Stuff I think and like...Ce que je pense et j'aime...

Backstage antics! 

Had a bunch of fun with these guys playing for Canada Day in Quebec City...we did Canadian songstress' Luba's big 80's hit ''Let it go'', Lost Fingers' style...these guys are tight!

Dreaming new dreams...je rêve de renouveau  

I had such a weird dream last night. I mean, it was so out of step with my current reality!

Usually, the meanings of dreams reveal themselves pretty quickly but this one eluded me, even after several details being recalled.

Since I just couldn't figure out its message, I did a little Heart Math to put myself in a better receiving mode. I then got the intuition for automatic writing, just letting one's subconscious mind decide what to write without stopping to think about meaning.

Well, it turns out my dream represented the continuation of a dysfunctional pattern that my mind was logically trying to keep going, even though I feel my current life is dysfunctional no longer and neither is my heart!

This reminded me of Moses in the desert, walking around in circles for 40 years...


Now, why did they all do that? So that a brand-new generation could be born in freedom. Even though they technically had already broken free from the shackles of slavery, their minds were still programmed in the slavery mentality, hence the need to wander around long enough that a brand-new generation could be born into something totally different. 

For this brand-new generation, slavery was not an option, it wasn't even a memory! Therefore, they were much freer than their parents and able to pursue their dreams far beyond just the ideal of becoming free.

That's what my weird dream was telling me: my subconscious mind was still in the groove of hardship, strain and danger. And there's no more need for that. Since the end of 2012, everything changed but as I'm finding out, it does take a while to acclimate to this new reality.

So during my automatic writing, I asked: how could I break free from my own self-imposed slavery?

I've been saying affirmations out loud for months now, I know how powerful they are.

I was then given this lovely new declaration to affirm:

''I am free from any kind of bondage. I cut the links and cords binding me to past experiences that make me feel defeated. I am alive with promise. I am magnificent and I am ready to come into my power as of this moment. I am well and free and I live in perfect abundance. I take control of my life and steer it in the direction of my choosing. I am successful, grand and mighty and I radiate love, joy, compassion and quiet strength. I feel the joy of God in my body more and more and I am able to find new ways to express these energies. I am powerful. I change my life to my liking. I have a wonderful, loving partner and it is proper for me to require this because I am ready to spread my Joy to empower others, both in my community and around the world. This is as I say and I make it so.''

I feel these are the perfect words to accompany a drawing I made when I was little. I rediscovered it a few days ago when my 11 year-old neighbour Alexandra came over after school for help with her homework. As we chatted, I got out this scrapbook my grandmother had gifted each of her grandkids when we were little. It had a section for every school year and it turns out I'd saved a lot of art! I showed the drawings to Alexandra. She got a kick out of it and so did I.

I see a little girl, happy and shiny, with a huge star right above her head. The sun is out, the moon is out, her best friend's there, birds are flying around and the picture reflects a giant sort of optimism. A true knowing of how great, happy and wonderful life can be. This little girl was still connected to Spirit, she was truly in the Flow. And you know what? So am I.

Spring has sprung...tout repousse! 

Yep, that's me, covered in mud. I was working in the rain, doing a big transplant job spreading these huge, rustic perennials to another spot. I had a ball digging in the garden...playing hooky from my desk and computers, getting my hands dirty. It's what I do.

This passion of mine is what inspired the Seeds song, title song from my last album with Bet.e and Stef.

Here are the lyrics:

''Seeds'' 

(Music and  Lyrics : Provencher-Carreau-Atwill) 
©Les Éditions Bet.e and Stef Publishing ®All rights reserved 

You can't rush it blooms unfold in time 

No need to force it or to call it mine 

Sweet fruit of my toil creates a ripple effect 

With my hands in the soil what you sow's what you get 

I just planted a few seeds and my whole world started growing 

Such a humble deed and now it’s love we’re sowing 

I planted a few seeds and from a simple gesture 

Filled a common need and my neighbours came together 

Now there's nothing I need... 

Nothing that I can't create it's built into my heart 

For everything there is a season something to celebrate 

As if seeking shelter children gather round 

They want to be helpers proud of what they've found 

They tell their friends and bring them round to see 

And nature mends a new reality 

I just planted a few seeds and my whole world started growing 

Such a humble deed and now it’s love we’re sowing 

I planted a few seeds and from a simple gesture 

Filled a common need and my neighbours came together 

And now there's nothing I need... 

And my whole world started growing and my whole way got flowing 

And from a simple gesture my neighbours came together 

And now there’s nothing I need

 

You see, a few years ago, I moved into this raggedy neighbourhood. No one was taking care of the land around the building. It was a mess. Dandelions everywhere (sidebar: I know they're medicinal and great but they will take over if ya let' em and nothing else will be allowed to grow), garbage, cigarette butts, I mean, nobody cared.

So I looked around and thought: oh ya. Lemme fix this.

People thought I was a complete nutter, digging around in the rain, picking up garbage and sweeping the sidewalk. They couldn't understand why anyone would bother.

Fast-forward to a few years later: flowers everywhere, vegetables and berries, flowering vines creeping their way up the building. Now, waaay less garbage gets thrown around. People walking by do a stop'n'chat. They tell me how they love to see the garden come to life every year and congratulate me for the work I put in. Kids mill around, curious and helpful.

For a while there, people loved stealing the tomatoes and cucumbers. At first I didn't mind, but as word got around, I was lucky if I got one single tomato per summer, so...I planted kale instead! Nobody steals that. Hey, I'm all for sharing but with respect, right?

This year, I'm participating in a large community garden so tomatoes won't be a problem. I planted my organic seedlings and they've ALL sprouted. Now I've got over 60 plants! I'll spread this abundance amongst friends who'll also get to plant these tomatoes in their gardens.
And to think that just a couple of weeks ago, it was like this in one of my favorite forests...
Snow...but grass. It felt like hope. That's why I love this time of year. Everything starts over. And you know what? I'm ready! Ready for new songs, new creations, a new love...a whole new life. You hear that, Universe? I'm allowing for new, happy, abundant growth in my life...what are you wishing for in this new season?

Coming Full Circle...Boucler la Boucle 

When I was a teenager, I went through a pretty intense rebellious...I'd like to call it a phase, but deep down I'm still punk. I just mellowed out a bit. 

There weren't a lot of mohawk haircuts in 1985 Trois-Rivières, Quebec. Just me and this one guy. We even started nodding to each other, because of the hair, but it wasn't enough to spark a friendship.

So there I was with my mohawk haircut, listening to Suicidal Tendencies and Einstürzende Neubauten. I hated my life and especially, this one song that kept coming on the radio in the foster home where I lived. That song represented everything I hated about the world. Hearing it hurt my heart: I couldn't have despised it more. In those days, my world was one of suffering and dark outcomes. I hated everything but my music and my dreams. I felt deeply sad and restless, bored and misunderstood.

Fast-forward to 30 years later. My biggest dream of becoming a singer finally come true, here I am doing a benefit show, sharing the stage with a slew of other artists including...Patrick Normand, the very artist who wrote that song.

Ah, the irony. Turns out he's the sweetest guy ever. Seventy years old, newly in love, a super spiffy dresser, I mean the guy's got great energy. You can sense he's got so much love, it just emanates out of him. I confided that it would've been absolutely unbelievable to hear if someone had told me then that I'd live to see this day.

Meeting him gave me the chance to measure how far I've come from those days when my life was absolute hell, all the way to now. I've understood so much, evolving through countless layers of challenges and difficulties.

I felt grateful to be there. Grateful for the moment. Grateful for what Life was showing me: just hang on, keep walking, do your best, keep your chin up, things will get better.

I've always been a survivor. An incredibly tenacious and resilient warrior of the Light. It's not been an easy road, but this meeting was a true gift.


At the end of the night, we artists gathered onstage to sing that very song as a goodbye to the audience. I went right to the front, right in the middle. I even harmonized. I was so happy!

This is how I felt at the time...so full of pain and anguish...Phil Collins recorded a soft version of it. If I played you the real punk stuff you'd be shocked!


...and this is that song, which contrasted so highly with my teenage mood that I just couldn't stand it...too much love, too much softness, too much hope...and you know what? It still plays on the radio. One full generation later, it's become a classic. ''Quand on est en Amour,'' written and performed by Patrick Normand. A simple song, still reaching hearts today...including mine.

Follow the rail, down the road...suivre les traces du chemin intérieur 

Sometimes, you just gotta walk towards the sun. Long road ahead, no map. Just a trace, a feeling, an intuition. Sometimes, we're part of no thing.

 Pulling on that thread I feel it unravelling my certainties. You just keep on walking.
Plug in that gear, trace your fingers across instruments, make new sounds, hear new thoughts. 

You're watching a picture being born.

What's on the other side...Qu'est-ce qui m'attend de l'autre côté? 

I love that moment just before going onstage where everything is standing by. The gig got booked, the sound checked, the venue filled, you're there, you've warmed up, you're ready to play. Like a diver on the board. You pray: ''Please, let me get out of the way, let the energy run through me and make its way to their hearts. Let those that need this Light energy be reached right where they need it. Let the music come forth, let's all gel together and let this show rise.'' Then you walk onstage. You never take that for granted. It's a privilege!

Shedding the old skin...faire peau neuve 

Last Fall, I was walking in one of my favorite forests out here in the Eastern Townships, feeling kind of unsure about what to do next. My former band was going on hiatus but I felt I wanted to keep creating and performing music. I had sort of outgrown its possibilities and felt stifled there. I wanted to be able to really express myself as an artist and evolve in an environment where I'd feel supported, respected and cherished.

As I walked, I asked the Universe to guide me and give me a sign of what to keep in mind. A moment later, this little guy appeared. Now, garter snakes are pretty shy, they tend to slither away rather quickly when they feel someone coming. But this little dude (or dudette, no idea how to tell) waited for me and bravely stayed there as I carefully approached.

He very slowly turned his little head to look at me. I saw him breathing, his tiny ribcage expanding and contracting. I thanked him for letting me absorb his snake medicine and assured him he was in no danger around me. We stayed there for a few minutes. He let me take his picture and then slithered away. Thank you, Universe.

When I got home, I looked it up:

''Transmutation is the key word here. The shedding of old skin and emotions and transforming them into something bigger and better. If Snake winds itself into your life know that change is in the wind and that you are at the center of it all as the catalyst. Make sure that your intentions are clear and that you have a clear sense of the direction that you need to strike out in. Snake is letting you know that these changes are safe and that there is no need to fear them.''  Quote taken from this website. 

It gave me the courage to go ahead and start a new project, form a new band, write new songs, find an agent, start practising new instruments and, well...here we are!

5 things I'm grateful for...5 raisons pour être reconnaissante 

Yep, another one. No, I did not request an eleven room at the front desk!
(Although to be fair, I'm totally requesting this from the Universe by making a big deal out of this eleven thing.)

So...here are 5 things I truly appreciate about the very first gig we played on March 3rd, 2017:
  • When I saw the room number I was given, I thought: oh, this is a good sign. Plus, it was a nice hotel. I love those! I might never tire of staying in hotels. I consider it a perk of my job. Thanks, Festival INDEO :)
 
  • The promoter thought of me for her festival line-up. Only 9 bands were asked to this three-day event, and eliza eleven was one of them! This is probably because we clicked when we last worked together, collaborating quite a bit on the promo side and sharing some nice chats here and there. Kindness pays, y'all. Thanks, Louise Rousseau :)
 
  • The soundman I already knew from a past gig so I knew I'd be in good hands cause that time, the sound was really good. Lemme tell ya, this took a whole lot of pressure off. I felt reassured! Thanks, Yvan Tanguay :)
 
  • My original guitarist couldn't make it but my first choice of replacement said yes. We'd done an album a few years prior and I knew we'd work well together. Even though we only had two rehearsals and he's currently working on a classical guitar degree (eliza eleven stuff is another feel entirely), I knew things would turn out ok and they did! It was nice to play together again and people dug his sound. Thanks, Paul Audy :)
 
  • A bunch of family members showed up. I mean, like, eight people. And they all bought their tickets! I felt so loved and supported, it really helped. Thanks, Caron-Shallhorn folks :)

Why Eleven...pourquoi le onze? 

My destiny number is 11. It's considered a master number, meaning it cannot be broken down by adding the ones to make a two. Its meaning is deep and strong. As I write this, it's 11:11pm! (No, I wasn't waiting around until that time came up. I just glanced at the time and there it was, again.)

Above, the last hotel room I stayed in for a gig. One, one, one. It's been showing up for years on clocks, licence plates, addresses, you name it. What does it mean?

Well, according to my numerology app: 

''Your Destiny (or Life Path, Birth Path) number is one of the most important numbers in your chart — it is the ruling force that describes what you must do in order to operate harmoniously with your environment and get the most out of your life. It is calculated by adding your birth month, day, and year. 

11 is the destiny of Inspiration. 11 is a master number with a strong spiritual vibration. It is a number of high tension and great power. When it becomes too difficult to live with, the person may revert to 2, which is not a master number and therefore easier to handle. The person with a destiny number of 11 must investigate mysticism, trust his intuition, have faith, live humbly in the limelight, and inspire others by his own example. 

2 is the destiny of Association with other people. The person with a destiny number of 2 must cultivate patience, diligence, cooperation, observation, tact, loyalty, and the ability to follow the lead of others. 

Your destiny number, expression number, and motivation number are at odds with each other. What you want to do may not fit what you are actually doing, and there will be constant interferences and confusion in your plans and career.'' Yeah, I know. But I'm also a Wild Boar in Chinese astrology. And nothing is more tenacious!

So that's why I decided upon the name Eliza Eleven. Eliza is part of my birth name, Elizabeth. And Eleven, well, now you know.