Well, the day had come. The House Concert at my friend, Che's, was that night! And I was really looking forward to it! Was well-rested and preparing for that evening. Che had singer/songwriter, Kyle Hicks, open for me and everyone really enjoyed him very much.

And, finally, it was time for me to hit the stage. So Che walked onto it and introduced me...

I took a deep breath, took my position on the stage, and started off my part of the concert with the title cut of my new album, "Souls Of Love". I think they liked it.

Listening audiences are so awesome. What I love about house concerts: there are no loud coffee machines or TV screens all over the walls, or people talking loud, like in bars. No. It's a CONCERT. They are only there to hear the music. Yes!

And we were definitely having a good time!

The lovely surroundings added a wonderful charm to the whole experience. Utah is SO beautiful!

It was great to get out of L.A. for a while and meet new fans on the road and share some music with my new friends in Ogden, Utah! I had heard that the people of Utah were very appreciative of 'live" new music and now I know I heard right!

I felt VERY welcomed! Thanks, Utah!

But, before I knew it, the night flew by and it was over.

Here I am, talking to some new fans and selling and signing some CD's. I know that, at least one of these women's names is "Shelly". (Lol! If she reads this, I think she will laugh! There was a joke that night regarding someone named Shelly.) ;)

All in all, it was a very fun night! Thank you again, Che, for having me and for all of your help! You're one awesome lady! And I am so grateful to my darlin' cuz Karen for taking all of the great pictures and videos! Thanks so much, Cuz!

(By the way, some videos coming soon!)
A really fun and successful night so, of course, we had to toast! Thanks, everybody! I would do this again! :)

(All photography by Karen Schiltz.)

The day we left was a tough one. The hardest thing to do: stuffing everything into the car that we'd need and saying goodbye to my Billy.

But, as soon as we got moving, Cuz Karen and I realized we were in for many fun (and possibly challenging) adventures but we were ready. We had both been preparing, in many ways, for this journey for months now and were ready to take the plunge. So off we went. Wasn't sure exactly how long it would take but we figured we could make it by late that night, if not sooner. It was a hot day, if I recall, but not too bad. However, on our way to Utah, we passed through Las Vegas. Now, THAT was hot! When I looked at the outdoor thermometer on my car's dashboard while we were passing through there, I saw the highest temperature I can now say I had seen on the entire trip: 119 degrees! I just wanted to get out of there as fast as I could because I didn't want to make my car's air conditioner work so hard ( or let my tires melt! Lol! ) And I was very well aware of the long trip ahead so didn't want to put any extra strain on my engine, etc.

If my memory serves me correctly, we arrived at my friend's place in Utah somewhere around 1 or 1:30 in the morning. So we were a little off in our calculations but we did hit some traffic here and there and maybe made too many stops overall.

But, at least now we finally arrived at our first stop, the one where I would be doing the majority of my performing on the trip, most likely, since I was still trying to get more dates booked in other states but nothing was definite at that point yet. So, we would stay over, get a good night's sleep, and come morning, I would start preparing for the house concert that following evening. Pretty exciting!

(Photography by: Karen Schiltz.)

Back in January, I made a decision. I was very close to finishing my new CD, "Souls Of Love", and knew I would need to do something to let the world know about it. I was planning to have a CD Release Party in the Spring but wanted to do something even a little bit more major than that. Something I had never done before. So I decided I wanted to go on a road trip! A tour to promote the album. I had recently asked my mechanic, do you think my car could make it on a cross country trip? It's a 2000 Toyota Avalon that I had just bought used the year before and he told me at that time what a good car it was. He said yes, he believed it could, just to bring it in right before leaving to give it a thorough check and all. So I started planning. Well, before I knew it, I had a few gigs booked and arranged to be hitting the road by June 20th! And, as a huge bonus, my cousin-in-law who loves to travel agreed to take the trip with me! Everything began to fall into place and the day came and the tour began! But, being that there was really no time for me to make any entries while we were traveling, I thought perhaps after I got back I could write about it all and share some of the fun moments from the trip. So this is just a little blog I decided to write about my touring experiences. I will start here with this first entry and, with each "adventure" on the road, I will share a new blog entry.

And we're off . . .


The Biggest Challenge: Focus!
                                                                                           by, Jeannie Willets

        The question is: What are you willing to “give your mind to”? So many things are competing, everyday, for our attention. The media, FB posts, TV and radio commercials and advertisements, and the list goes on. Are you willing to let these distractions steer you away from your real goals in life? Are you willing to let them control your mind and determine your mood for the day? Well, I have decided that I am not. A huge realization that I have recently had, and would like to share, is that we pretty much “create” what we focus on. So, of course, there are probably many reasons, I am sure, why the media and advertisers would like us all to focus on what they are saying. I suppose they would like us to continue “creating” the reality that they want. But the fact of the matter is: you can create any reality you want. You create your reality everyday! I realized today that there is so much power in this but what is stopping us from knowing about it is that our attention is constantly “being directed” to areas that we are not intending for it to go and so we are often distracted instead of “focused” on what we want it on. So staying focused on our goals and on desirable things, instead of letting our attention go to anything that happens to pop up throughout the day that we did not choose, can be the biggest challenge in this high tech, information highway world we are living in today. I realize that some may think “well, if you don’t pay attention to the news or other important things that are happening, isn’t that the same as ignoring what’s going on or “being in denial”? Well, no, it isn’t. Why? Because, first of all, we all have the right to choose what we put our attention on and, secondly, I believe that putting attention on an undesirable thing actually “creates” more of it. Because when you, for instance, talk about injustices in the world or about politics, let’s say, and you get all upset, does that really help anything? No, it just raises your blood pressure so I’d say it’s even unhealthy. But if you don’t talk about or think about these things, and if you instead talk about or think about things that bring joy or good, positive  feelings, then that’s what you will “create”: good, positive things that bring joy! Now isn’t that better than perpetuating upset, fear, and worry?
        Sometimes knowledge needs to be passed along in order to help people, even if it is unpleasant to put our attention on. This is understandable. But to dwell on it and feel sad about it all day long is something else entirely and is really not necessary at all. It only “creates” more of that, in fact! It kind of reminds me of the same idea of what Gandhi said. (I’m paraphrasing but): “Be the change you’d like to see.” If you focus on those wonderful, positive things that you prefer in life, you will “create” more of that! Try it and see! Here’s an example of this that happened to me just today so I can say with absolute certainty that this works! In fact, it happened twice today! but I’ll just share one of them for now. I was in Starbucks waiting on line to order a coffee when I noticed this lady who was apparently waiting for her coffee for a long time, to be made, because her arms were folded and she looked really tense and annoyed. Well, I just thought to myself, “Hey, there’s nothing to be upset about. Lighten up. You’re beautiful. You have nice hair. It’s gonna be alright.” And I’m telling you, I couldn’t believe this, but right after that, she started smiling! and talking to this little kid next to her and she looked just fine! And believe me, just a minute ago, before that, she was NOT fine! So that just blew my mind and made me realize that WE ARE POWERFUL! Where we put our thoughts is powerful! Can you imagine what a beautiful world it could be if we all thought positive, loving things and lightened people’s days by sending them admiration and love in our thoughts all the time?! So you get to choose what to do the next time you see someone like that lady. Will you just think, “Man, that woman looks like such a bitch, I’m staying away from her.” Or will you do what I did? Which one is a better, more helpful way to focus your attention?
        So, if there is something that you would like to see in the world, some improvement or anything at all, “create it”, starting with your thoughts. And remember to focus on what you choose. It can be a challenge but one very worth taking!  :)

In Harmony,
Jeannie Willets

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