Eden Moody - Are you hesitant for a midlife change? Overcoming the fear of change.
"When a midlife change is required, what next"?
I have talked to many people that are ready for a change in their life. Matter of fact, there is always talk about the need for change, when you turn on the T.V. Often times, change is needed to improve the lifestyle of individuals. Sometimes change is required, because we get stuck in a rut. The particular portion of that definition that defines are subject is a “pattern of unproductive behavior”. Getting stuck in a rut, can happen to anyone. Blue collar and white collar workers. Actors, and musicians as well. What happens when you get older, but you have been doing the same thing for years. It becomes a habit that is bitterly tolerable. If something doesn’t change soon, you feel that life is going to start crumbling around you. Can you relate? This is a rhetorical question that you can ask yourself.
However, what happens when you know you need a change, and yet you feel like you are too old to do anything about it? What will enable you to have the courage to take action? After all, only you can be accountable for the change in your life. No one else is going to push you into changing the habit of unproductivity. Well, unless you are married. Our spouses have a creative way of motivating us to make changes in our lives. Whether we want to or not. “Give me a moment, I have to finish the dishes”. Ok, I am back now. Clearly, that was an example of a man who had to be motivated by his wife to do the dishes. Like I said, not all change is easy. We sometimes are hesitant and even resist change. Even when we know it’s good for us to do so.
If you are a musician and you feel that you are stuck singing and playing the same type of music. Yes, you are getting “gigs” but, you really haven’t made any progress. Is there anything you can do? You might even be in our mid years, and making a change at this point seems to be insane. How can you reduce the risk? Is there a way to eliminate the fear?
I personally have been at the same job for the last 14 years or so. What keeps me from becoming unproductive is my attitude. If I find myself needing a change of pace, then I build creative workshops for myself. Which allows me to showcase my skills or creativity. I know that I have a particular niche. So I concentrate on areas of my life that will enable me to use the skills that form my niche. I don’t assume that everyone knows what a niche is. It is defined as, a place, employment, status, or activity for which a person or thing is best fitted. You find your niche, when you know you have the skills or strategy that proved effective for you. That is the short definition of a niche.
At this point, I have made my point. It is time for you to make a change. While it has worked for me, it might not work for others. Yes, and no. I have discussed thus far, that change is good for everyone. Even if you are at your midlife years. I have also described a way that has helped me to avoid getting into a rut or an unproductive habit. You want more proof, or examples of someone that has overcome resistance or fear of making changes during their midlife years.
Well, I decided to take you up on that challenge, and found someone that will provide her example of overcoming change during a very sensitive and important time in her life. Otherwise known as “midlife years”. Her name is Eden Moody. She is an amazing musician. She has multiple talents, that include singing, songwriting and playing guitar. Just to name a few. We had a chance to interrupt her busy work day, to interview her about this very subject. Let’s look into what she had to say to Country Music Vibe:
CMV: What an awesome privilege it is to be able to ask you some questions today. I have to apologize again. As I mentioned to you previously, I have been wanting to sit down with you for an interview. Your photo on Country Music Vibe is so inviting, that I kick myself every time I forget to ask for an interview. Now, finally, we get a chance to do some Q&A. So I am really appreciative of your time today.
Eden: It is absolutely my pleasure! I love what you guys stand for at CMV, so it is truly an honor for me to be in the “hot seat” today.
CMV: Needless, to say the topic for discussion is quite applicable for the time period that we live in. Many people are demanding change on policy, procedure and practice. However, they become resistant or even fearful to make changes personal changes. I know that you have had some changes in your life, that were based upon need and desire. Would you like to tell our readers, what it was and what inspired you to take immediate action? (Note: Eden I am referring to the content in your website bio). ☺
Eden: Sure. Well, I heard once that there are two ways to navigate life - the first, as if everything is happening TO you; and the second, as if everything is happening FOR you. I’ve always held to the belief that this life is simply one big learning experience. Also even if you aren’t the artsy or creative type, every day you are creating your life - so I believe everybody is creative in their own way.
In my case - like they say, “necessity is the mother of invention” - hardship was initially the greatest catalyst for change in my life. I read a story once about the bald eagle and how little by little as the fledglings get bigger, the parent eagle removes a layer of nesting...the soft feathers...then the shrubs...until finally all that’s left is thorns - literally. When it gets to that point, the young eagle has no choice but to jump out of the nest off the cliff - at which point it opens its wings and learns to fly. The quote that goes with that story goes, “change happens only when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of the facing the unknown” and this couldn’t hold truer for me.
By the time I was 21 I had a 20-month-old on one lap & a 2-month-old on the other. My life was RADICALLY different than it is today. My DREAMS, GOALS, EVERYTHING in my life was different! I loved certain aspects about my life but in general, the life I was living and the people in it were totally out of alignment with my personal values. I guess this was my “coming of age” moment where because I now had kids, I started seriously questioning my life, what I believed in and who I was if it was all congruent because this was something that would affect not just me, but my children as well! Obviously it would’ve been better - not to mention, hella easier! - if I’d had this “crisis” before having kids - but what if it only happened because I had kids?
So anyways, at that time I had to face the harsh reality that I needed to make some changes and create a new reality if I wanted a better future. And when I say a “better” future, I don’t mean by anyone else’s standards but my own. I wanted a future that I could feel good about. I didn’t exactly know what that future looked like at the time, only that it wasn’t the same as my present, Lol! In essence, this change involved walking away from EVERYTHING I knew to be sensible, stable and true at the time: my children’s father, the religious organization I was extremely involved with - that also included almost all of the people that up until then I considered to be family & friends. It was an extremely lonely decision, extremely scary - especially for someone with no formal education - but it felt SO right. I had so much inner peace - which I credit to my faith - which was the only thing that gave me the courage to face the unknown.
CMV: That is commendable that you identified a need for change, even though it was much later in your life. During a time when most people become hesitant to make changes. Often putting up with unproductive behavior. I would compare a “rut” with a jail sentence. Getting to a point in your life, where you need to somewhere different. Though your mind and body, will not allow you too.
From my personal experience, using my skills to enable creativity is a requirement. It encourages productivity and the ability to think outside the box. I could go for hours just talking about your singing ability, but there is more to you than singing. You can speak several languages, and you welcome your fans to talk to you on social media in anyone one of those languages. During your busy life as a musician, when did you learn how to speak so many languages? I find it difficult sometimes, just to speak English. ☺
Eden: Haha! Well, I have my upbringing to credit for that. Although I grew up in Brazil, my day-to-day environment was very multi-cultural - which is how I picked up on Spanish. But mostly, because my parents are American, I grew up speaking English at home and Portuguese with everyone else. So even though I understand most and speak some Spanish, English & Portuguese are really the only two languages I am fluent in.
CMV: I would be “remiss” if I didn’t ask you about your musical background. Most of the artists that I have come in contact with, started from a very young age. They were influenced by either their parents, or their favorite singer. Who or what was your influence to become a musical artist?
Eden: On man...this is a subject I often feel like an alien talking about - and it goes back to just how different my upbringing was. The religious organization I grew up in was extremely closed in that way - they were adamant about “keeping it local”. Pretty cultish if you ask me. But I didn’t know any differently so I really didn’t mind. While many of my peers at the time rebelled and sneakily listen to mainstream music on their walkmans, I actually never felt the need. I really did enjoy the music I grew up on which included hymns and lots of unknown christian music. A lot of those unknown artists were of course influenced by the music they were raised on which I know now was all of the music of the 70’s and the 80’s like the Beatles, John Denver, Simon & Garfunkel, Creedence Clearwater, The Eagles, The Carpenters, Fleetwood Mac, & others. So I guess I was indirectly influenced??
That said, the first mainstream music I owned was Sade, Mariah Carey, & U2 - because somebody gave me their cassettes. Makes me laugh now because I remember loving some of Mariah’s songs...and because I loved singing I tried to learn them, then when I couldn’t sing like her, I just figured I couldn’t sing.
But even though I didn’t consider myself a “singer” and as “green” as I was in mainstream music, there was never a time period in my life when I wasn’t onstage singing and performing in some way. From the time I could talk, my mom would record cassettes tapes of me singing to send home to our family in the USA for the Holidays. Then my dad got me singing & performing with him - on the radio, at large church gatherings, at family events, to anyone who would listen, everywhere. I remember once, when I was about 5 or 6, pulling out my ukelele and playing a song for this one blind man because I’d seen him many times before in the same spot begging and I wanted to give him something. I remember he cried because he was so touched and that had a profound impact on me. I became aware of the power music has to bring strangers together and create meaningful experiences.
To be honest, that’s what being a music artist all boils down to for me and why I’m still in it today. There is no experience more magical and capable of bringing people together than music.
CMV: I would classify your music as country. Though, I believe your Latin background has an influence on your sound. Which is amazing. Your sound is very unique, and there is no other artist that I can compare you with. I thought because of your culture, that Tori Sparks would come close to it. However, you both have your own style. In the music business, it is very important to stand out as being unique, and different from everyone else.
I enjoy listening to your music, and you always have something new. Your very consistent, and I like that. There is nothing more frustrating, than liking the singing of an artist and the last time they produced music was 2 or more years ago. Which causes me to start questioning their love for music. I tend to avoid those types of artists. So do producers, or labels. What makes you so different? Why are you able to produce music so often, when others find it a challenge?
Eden: Wow, I’m so flattered and encouraged that you’d see me that way as I don’t think that I put out new music often enough! Honestly, the speed at which I am able to record and release a new album is directly related to how much funding and support I’ve received - which really boils down to my fans and their superpowers! They are the ones to credit for taking me from musician to recording artist. Playing shows & concerts keeps my lights on, but recording albums...if it weren’t for the financial support from those who love and want what I create, I would have never had the personal means to do that.
I also have to credit our digital age for the fact that I don’t have to move to Nashville and submit myself to the mercy of open mics and wait around hoping some label will notice me and offer a contract (which we all know that like a mortgage, comes with some serious strings attached). Every day I get to discover and be “discovered” by people all around the world who like what I’m about. - People who like “the stranger in me” (also referring to my song, pun intended)
And speaking of changes...every day I am learning to get more comfortable in “her” skin. Dreadlocks was part of that… ha!
Truly it’s been a process of discovery for me - where I fit on the musical spectrum - especially considering my upbringing and background. But the reason I love country music so much and stick with it is because it’s a level playing field for everyone involved - music from real people for real people - it brings all peoples together.
If there was one lasting thing I could hope to accomplish with my music and culture, it would be to open the world of country. Now I know it might piss some people off when I say this, but country music is not made in America, American country music is! Did you know that so many cultures around the world have their own country music and cowboy culture and most of it pre-dates western country?
Maybe it’s because I grew up in Brazil where they have their own country music (sertanejo), but it’s something I’ve become so fascinated with that I’ve decided to take that on as part of my mission - to bring country music from around the world together into one pot.
That idea actually inspired me to build a super fun experience for new fans. My “3 Days (soon to be 5, though) of Gypsy Country” includes membership to my closed group called Gypsy Country Nation. It’s a fun and free to join, and you get to experience my my music within the context of my story and the bigger picture that is culturally diverse country music. (Note: 3 Days of Gypsy Country is currently active, but the upgrade to 5 Days of Gypsy Country + the new Facebook Group are in pre-launch phase. Goal is launch by April 15)
And in case you were wondering, that’ where the “gypsy” comes from when I refer to myself as a “gypsy-country” music artist., it’s because I am nomadic as far as where I dwell in the country music genre so I’ve decided to build a community of country music globetrotters who seek the same experience.
By the way - that’s what I like about CMV! You are out there discovering new and different artists from around the world. It’s pretty awesome. I would’ve probably never learned about Tori Sparks if it wasn’t for you! - Because of you, I looked her up and now I’m going to Spain! Well I’m not going to Spain because of her, but I am going to Spain to visit a friend there … and I’m hoping we’ll be able to catch her live.
CMV: Do you have any particular organizations or charities that you sponsor? If so, can you give us some more information. Are there opportunities for others to get involved as well?
Eden: Absolutely! And thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak of this.
I did something completely out of pocket with my last album because it was for a cause that I decided to adopt as an artist. I created a special limited edition set for collectors that cannot be purchased. The only people that I personally mail this set to are those who’ve signed up to sponsor a child via my designated page at Project AK-47 - the non-religious non-profit organization I represent that exists to end child soldiering and sex trafficking. Here in America this is something that (thankfully!) we don’t have to deal with, making it an issue we are for the most part unaware of - and that’s why it is so insidious - because when allowed to continue worldwide, it strikes at the core of what we as a nation stand for, and that’s freedom. In a free country it’s hard to imagine living in an environment where there is literally no way out, no hope, and where from from a very young age you are trained to be killer in some terrorizing guerilla army - not because you believe in a case, but because you need food. With over 100,000 children worldwide facing this reality, this is a global issue - but one that we have the power to solve. And that’s pretty exciting to think about.
CMV: One last question, before we let you go. We both know, there continue to be artists joining the music industry. Regardless of genre. Not everyone is going to make it. It seems that you have to be super talented or very unique in your singing ability. Do you have any suggestions for artists that are struggling to make it in the music industry?
Eden: Oh man...I’ve learned so much and come such a long ways but I don’t feel qualified to give advice because I have so far still to go...so I will keep it simple.
I recently read a book just recently called “Start With Why”. Wish I’d read it ten years ago. So FIRST I’d “Start With Why” because if you don’t know exactly why you want to be in the music industry (not what you want to accomplish with music, but why you want to accomplish it), you will either tread water or eventually become cynical and burned out like so many other artists I know - even if you do “make it” for awhile.
SECOND - unless you are willing to fail, don’t do it.
CMV: We want to thank you for taking the time to interview with us today. I hope we can do a follow up with review for the future. Until then, I hope you will continue to enjoy the success you are currently experiencing. We look forward to hearing more from you.
To help us wrap up this topic, we want to encourage everyone to avoid being unproductive. Regardless of what type of industry you work in, do not be fearful of change. There are always areas for growth. Even if you are at the mid years of your life. Leave resistance, fear and uncertainty alone. You can achieve anything that you focus your attention on. The desire and dedication must be there. If not, you will continue to bored and unproductive by the rut you have found yourself in.