The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog


If I Were Brave

Jana Stanfield is an ebullient-effervescent, sonic spiritweaver whose music has been heard on Oprah, 20/20, Entertainment Tonight and the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, among others. Her tunes have been covered by numerous artists, including Andy Williams, Suzy Bogguss. Karen Taylor-Good and Megan McDonough. I came upon her soul tickling sound via one of her videos of a song she penned with Jimmy Scott, called If I Were Brave. It now has a cherished home on my ipod and listen to it each day on my way to work and as a tune up any other time I need it. It reminds me of how much we are capable of, if only we allow ourselves to reach and stretch beyond our self imposed limitations.

                                                  

 

How do you live your bliss?

International travel is my favorite form of enlightenment. It “lightens my load” of self-imposed limitations. As I write this, I’m on a 9 hour bus ride through Borneo…where I’ve been in the rain forest for the past 4 days, at Orangutan Rescue Centers, visiting our red-headed first cousins.

What inspires your music?

My biggest inspiration is the desire to be helpful. I wanted to be a social worker. This music is my social work, my way of doing good in the world, and in doing so, supporting others’ good work in the world. I love it when people who are doing good things use my music to share with their groups. We are increasing the power of each others’ positive ripples.

How did my new favorite mantra “If I Were Brave” come to be?

In a song called, “UBUIME” (translation: You Be You, I Am Me) I wrote in James Taylor’s style, wrote it about James Taylor, and the song was about asking for Jame’s advice. In the song, he actually called me back, and said, “BSUR, SUC, SIMIM” (translation: Be As You Are, As You See, As I Am I Am), which is a line from the James Taylor song called “BSUR.” None of that happened it real life, mainly because of my fears.

So how did “If I Were Brave” come to be?

I’ve never had the courage to send James Taylor that song. “If I Were Brave” keeps me doing a little more, and a little more, every day. Maybe SOMEDAY I’ll even have the courage to try to reach James Taylor.

What is your growing edge when it comes to bravery and living from the heart and soul?

Great question! My growing edge is embracing more international travel without completely knowing everything about how the money will come in to support that. We’ve heard that “every birth is a little death.” Part of the challenge of our growing edge is that it takes us a little further away from “the known”, and “the known” always feels safer than the unknown. In order to stay on that growing edge, it takes a song like, “If I Were Brave,” or “What Would I Do This Year If I Had No Fear?” to keep our confidence up.

I know you have been traveling lately. What adventures have you had?

I believe we are given our aspirations and our inspirations, our aptitudes and our abilities, our desires and our dreams for a reason. For a long time I have wanted to go see the orangutans in Borneo. Orangutans are in danger of extinction because their habitat, the jungles of Indonesia and Malaysia, are being cut down for palm oil plantations. Around Thanksgiving this year, I’ll be leading a trip, taking people with me to Borneo to see them, and to see how we can help. It was an awesome experience being with them for 4 days, and I can’t wait to share it with whoever wants to join me this fall.

What would you say to someone who lets fear rather than courage lead the way?

I’d like right in the mirror and say, “Jana you have a choice…to strengthen your fear muscles or your courage muscles today. The courage muscles often lead to more fun…so let’s go with that.” It’s not easy to make that choice. The song, “George Bailey” is very much about being courageous, to avoid the bigger fear of missing out on wonderful experiences.

Who inspires you?

My inspiration is my mom, Nancy Ferguson, who taught elementary music most of her life and still enthusiastically teaches piano lessons at 72. Among other things, her direct words inspired my songs, “Sing, Love,Dance” and “Do All You Can, While You Can.”

 

www.janastanfield.com

 

If I Were Brave

http://youtu.be/UF5V2PEujqs   

 

 

 



  • http://lilliangaffney.com/ Lillian Gaffney

    Jana has been an inspiration to me through her song even though I don’t know her personally. I’ve been brave many times over in my life. When I heard this song she inspired me to be yet, again. Thank you for this interview for I am reminded yet, again of that choice of living from our courageous-self. I choose to strengthen my courageous muscles!

    • http://www.liveinjoy.org Edie Weinstein, MSW, LSW

      Is she amazing or what? So glad I came upon her music recently. <3

Previous Posts

No Explanation Needed
"No' is one of the shortest words in the English language and one of the most difficult to say for some people, unless the person happens to be two years old and then it might well one of their most favorite to utter. It implies disagreement, disapproval, a sense of refusal and lack of cooperation.

posted 7:38:52am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Full Circle Experience
  With Christine Lavin and Julie Gold Had a full circle experience on Sunday, when I walked through the doors of the Unitarian Church at 21st and Chestnut in Philly to celebrate the 80th birthday and illustrious career of music legend Gene Shay. He had been the host of folk shows on

posted 9:50:13pm Mar. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Living With Grace, Flow and Ease-Book Review
  What if you could invite three angels into your home who would accompany you through your days, assisting you in having, as I like to refer to it, a 'rich, full, juicy life'? Would you issue a call and then keep the door open to welcome them in? Reading the book Living with Grace, F

posted 7:45:33am Feb. 28, 2015 | read full post »

The Sound of the Dove-Music Review
  "If you could combine the compelling voices of fellow Canadians Sarah McLachlan and Loreena McKennitt, with the soaring throat notes of kirtan singer; best known as Madonna's back up singer, Donna DeLory, you would have a sense of the magnificent tonings and tunes of Pamela Jane Gerr

posted 3:59:41pm Feb. 26, 2015 | read full post »

Bucket List
I awoke in the wee hours this morning, from a dream about my parents. Both passed in the last few years; my dad in 2008 and my mom in 2010. They were the dearest people in my life; teachers, guides, providers, cheerleaders and guardians of my heart and soul. Although I know that they are safe and so

posted 9:43:22pm Feb. 24, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.