the real reason taylor swift is breaking records (light the way, girl)

The real reason Taylor Swift is breaking records - #1989

You guys, I am obsessed with the new Taylor Swift album, 1989. It’s so good! And I’m not the only one who thinks so. After her bold and brilliant move from country to pop, music industry execs say she’s about to become the first artist ever to top one million sales in the first week for three albums. At the ripe old age of 24. Wow.

Yes, she’s a great songwriter. Yes, she’s got a round-the-clock publicity and promotion machine behind her. Yes, she’s a strong role model for young girls (and, heck, 40-year-old moms, too). But I believe the real reason this superstar is on top of the world again is this: Taylor Swift is seriously tuned in to her intuition. 

I could tell as soon as I heard the album: she sounds like a young woman who is crystal-clear about where she’s been, what she’s learned and how to tell her stories in ways that move people – literally and figuratively. She gets the power of keeping it real, singing From the beats to the hooks to her subtle giggle on the mega-hit “Shake It Off,” Taylor didn’t miss a detail – and that’s the sign of intuition at work. It trumps convention, it overshadows the “right” way to do anything, it offers inspiration that feels like rocket fuel, and it empowers us to trust our inner guidance even when everyone else says not to.

Sure enough, when I opened up the insert from Taylor’s CD, her thank-you note to family, friends and fans confirmed it. “For the last few years, I’ve woken up every day not wanting, but needing to write a new style of music,” she writes in her foreword. “I needed to change the way I told my stories and the way they sounded…it was a good thing to follow this gut feeling.”

She reiterated this in an interview with the Montreal Gazette last month: “I had this constant intuition and gut feeling and inspiration coming at me saying: ‘Make this album this way, make this album different from everything you’ve done before.’ So creatively I just followed that intuition and made the album the way I wanted to make it.”

That’s no small feat, completely switching genres when you’re a superstar singer. Management and radio stations and concert promoters freak the freak out when you threaten to rock the boat. Think of the pressure! You have to sense, deep down, that such a bold move will be totally worth the leap of faith. Taylor’s record label worried about offending all the country radio stations who’ve supported her work over the years, and asked her to please include three country songs on 1989. But Taylor’s intuition was unshakeable; she politely declined because she knew that she had to make a clean break.

Shake It Off lyrics by Taylor Swift

Our intuition is like a song playing over and over in our minds, the beat pulsing through our veins, the words pumping us up. So it’s no surprise someone like Taylor Swift can FEEL that music. She’s made all kinds of unconventional decisions for this album release that serve others – from inviting hundreds of fans to secret listening parties at her homes to donating all the proceeds from her latest hit (Welcome to New York) to NYC public schools – and, like a boomerang, these intuitively-guided  choices have not only touched others but bolstered her own success.

Taylor Swift’s on fire not only because she makes cool tunes, but because she’s the poster girl for following your heart. I vote that we all follow in her footsteps…we’ll make the moves up as we go. 

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Speaking of intuition, I’m soooo glad Lori and I listened to ours and said YES to launching Infinite Purpose next week. The response has been awesome, with people around the world signing up, sending sweet notes of celebration and sharing it with others. We are so excited! Join us here.

Keith Urban: Dreams Do Come True {10.17.11}

The first time I saw Keith Urban play, I was in a hotel conference room with about 50 people. On Saturday, I was one of 13,000 fans singing along on the last night of his world tour.

I get goosebumps when I think about that day in 2005, knowing he was tiptoeing along the edge of super stardom while I ate my box lunch. At the time, I was running a radio promotions company and attended a conference annually where up-and-coming acts performed their tunes live for radio execs, hoping to sway them to play their songs. It’s a tough crowd; they’ve seen it all.

But when Keith Urban took the stage that day – a tiny platform only big enough to fit him and two members of his band on chairs – the energy in the room suddenly shifted. He was a charming, genuine, talented guy with a guitar and big dreams {and an adorable Australian accent} who played his heart out. I’m not a huge country music fan, but my colleagues and I were smitten right away. And I admit it: we giggled like schoolgirls when he later walked by us in the hall.

He just had that special something – that it factor – and by the end of his set, all those jaded radio execs at their round luncheon tables were tapping their toes. Though he’d had some success in the U.S., he was nowhere near a household name at the time. I remember someone asking Keith for thoughts on the rumors swirling about a romance between him and actress Nicole Kidman. He smiled, said he’d met her at an awards show that year and that she was clearly way out of his league.

Wouldn’t it have been fun on that day, six years ago, to whisper in his ear that all his dreams were about to come true? He got the girl {he married Nicole a year later}, he rose above his past problems with addiction, and he became one of music’s biggest stars. He wasn’t an overnight success, for sure; he worked and prayed and played like crazy for many years. But Keith Urban’s incredible success over these past few years proves nice guys don’t always finish last and that dreams do, indeed, come true.

You Rock My World {Here’s How} ~ 03.03.11

I know. It’s super cheesy.
But while I was doodling up some magnet designs yesterday, 
this spilled out and rang true. 
If my life were a concert, 
you’d all be long-haired, spandex-wearing, power-ballad-singing rock stars
and I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs for you,
lighter bobbing above my head.
That’s how hard I think you rock.
You leave comments and send me heartfelt notes that floor me.
You forward and tweet and “like” stuff I write (like this) and it amazes me.
You join stuff I ask you to join,
you buy stuff I tell you I’ve made,
you tell me about stuff I might love…just because.
And sometimes it all just makes me want 
to break down and cry
like a latte-buzzed schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber concert.
You are so talented and gorgeous and kind and charming
that I just want to run away on a tour bus with you,
hit the open road and leave our cares behind,
and eventually muster up the courage to tell you –
in the middle of nowhere and out of the blue – 
just how much I love you.
But that would be weird.
So I made you a magnet instead.
Liv

You Rock My World {Here’s How} ~ 03.03.11

I know. It’s super cheesy.
But while I was doodling up some magnet designs yesterday, 
this spilled out and rang true. 
If my life were a concert, 
you’d all be long-haired, spandex-wearing, power-ballad-singing rock stars
and I’d be screaming at the top of my lungs for you,
lighter bobbing above my head.
That’s how hard I think you rock.
You leave comments and send me heartfelt notes that floor me.
You forward and tweet and “like” stuff I write (like this) and it amazes me.
You join stuff I ask you to join,
you buy stuff I tell you I’ve made,
you tell me about stuff I might love…just because.
And sometimes it all just makes me want 
to break down and cry
like a latte-buzzed schoolgirl at a Justin Bieber concert.
You are so talented and gorgeous and kind and charming
that I just want to run away on a tour bus with you,
hit the open road and leave our cares behind,
and eventually muster up the courage to tell you –
in the middle of nowhere and out of the blue – 
just how much I love you.
But that would be weird.
So I made you a magnet instead.
Liv

Mix It Up A Bit ~ 01.27.11

(new in the shop: i’m a mix tape)
I wish I could hit “rewind” and tell my younger self to save all the mix tapes I created in the 80s and early 90s. I bet they’d be so fun to listen to now, especially since my musical interests were all over the map. 
Don’t judge, but I’m pretty sure those old tapes would have included tracks from the Indigo Girls, Tori Amos, Bon Jovi, Richard Marx, The Eagles, Dolly Parton, Linda Rondstadt, Bobby Brown, New Edition, Bette Midler, Tracy Chapman, Nelson, Joan Jett, Enya and Skid Row. Eclectic enough for you?
I know hearing any of the songs that were on those mix tapes would catapult me back to another time and place. It’s amazing to me how music can imprint a moment on my heart and hold it there forever. When I hear Kool & The Gang’s “Cherish,” I can feel myself sitting at the piano in my parents’ bedroom (the only place in our house it would fit!), playing the song for my grandparents over the phone. When I hear “Waiting for a Star to Fall” by Boy Meets Girl, I’m instantly sitting in the passenger seat of my dad’s car, daydreaming about my latest crush, before being dropped off at my friend Mary’s house. If I hear Kylie Minogue’s version of “Locomotion,” I can feel myself in a conga line, weaving through the junior high cafeteria during an after-school dance. 
Music is such a powerful connector and influence, present in our lives even when we’re not fully aware of it. Do you have memories from years gone by that come to mind when you hear a certain song? Would your mix tape have included any musicians more embarrassing than the ones on my list? I seriously doubt it…but try me! ;o) 
P.S. I hope kids everywhere are playing this song over and over on their iPods. It’s new from Pink; whenever I hear it on the radio, I get a little choked up. 

Mix It Up A Bit ~ 01.27.11

(new in the shop: i’m a mix tape)
I wish I could hit “rewind” and tell my younger self to save all the mix tapes I created in the 80s and early 90s. I bet they’d be so fun to listen to now, especially since my musical interests were all over the map. 
Don’t judge, but I’m pretty sure those old tapes would have included tracks from the Indigo Girls, Tori Amos, Bon Jovi, Richard Marx, The Eagles, Dolly Parton, Linda Rondstadt, Bobby Brown, New Edition, Bette Midler, Tracy Chapman, Nelson, Joan Jett, Enya and Skid Row. Eclectic enough for you?
I know hearing any of the songs that were on those mix tapes would catapult me back to another time and place. It’s amazing to me how music can imprint a moment on my heart and hold it there forever. When I hear Kool & The Gang’s “Cherish,” I can feel myself sitting at the piano in my parents’ bedroom (the only place in our house it would fit!), playing the song for my grandparents over the phone. When I hear “Waiting for a Star to Fall” by Boy Meets Girl, I’m instantly sitting in the passenger seat of my dad’s car, daydreaming about my latest crush, before being dropped off at my friend Mary’s house. If I hear Kylie Minogue’s version of “Locomotion,” I can feel myself in a conga line, weaving through the junior high cafeteria during an after-school dance. 
Music is such a powerful connector and influence, present in our lives even when we’re not fully aware of it. Do you have memories from years gone by that come to mind when you hear a certain song? Would your mix tape have included any musicians more embarrassing than the ones on my list? I seriously doubt it…but try me! ;o) 
P.S. I hope kids everywhere are playing this song over and over on their iPods. It’s new from Pink; whenever I hear it on the radio, I get a little choked up. 

11.01.10 Choosing To Hip Hop Till You Don’t Stop

I’m probably slightly biased, but I’m pretty sure my kiddos were among the cutest trick-or-treaters on the planet last night. Sunday felt like the longest day in history to my seven year old, who must have asked 872 times how much longer he had to wait to go trick-or-treating.

When the time finally came, our mini hip hop DJ was out the door in a flash with his two-year-old brother – our little cheeseburger – following close behind, totally bewildered by all the excitement in the neighborhood. It took him a few houses to pick up on the fact that each homeowner would give him a treat just for showing up at their door looking like dinner.

Both of my boys were super adorable, but the real star of the show was my brother – their Uncle Kai. He created the turntable that totally made the DJ costume stand out in the crowd. It was truly a work of art with such attention to detail! Meanwhile, our cheeky cheeseburger did not want to explore the neighborhood with anyone but Uncle Kai. They held hands the whole time (unless Kai was carrying the burger boy). Even on a night that’s all about the candy, those kinds of moments make the sweetest memories.

11.01.10 Choosing To Hip Hop Till You Don’t Stop

I’m probably slightly biased, but I’m pretty sure my kiddos were among the cutest trick-or-treaters on the planet last night. Sunday felt like the longest day in history to my seven year old, who must have asked 872 times how much longer he had to wait to go trick-or-treating.

When the time finally came, our mini hip hop DJ was out the door in a flash with his two-year-old brother – our little cheeseburger – following close behind, totally bewildered by all the excitement in the neighborhood. It took him a few houses to pick up on the fact that each homeowner would give him a treat just for showing up at their door looking like dinner.

Both of my boys were super adorable, but the real star of the show was my brother – their Uncle Kai. He created the turntable that totally made the DJ costume stand out in the crowd. It was truly a work of art with such attention to detail! Meanwhile, our cheeky cheeseburger did not want to explore the neighborhood with anyone but Uncle Kai. They held hands the whole time (unless Kai was carrying the burger boy). Even on a night that’s all about the candy, those kinds of moments make the sweetest memories.

10.16.10 Choosing To Be Unforgettable with Rick Springfield

After my radio show this morning, I walked out of the studio with my co-host and buddy Colleen to find Rick Springfield standing in the waiting area with his publicist. He was very nice and very weathered, with more eyeliner than most women wear. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I hate to disappoint those of you who are genuine fans (and after posting the photo on Facebook, I realize there are a lot of you!)…but I know very little about this guy. I can, however, hum along to “Jesse’s Girl.”

Rick was in town to promote his new book. I’m pretty sure I was the highlight of his day since I… a) know virtually nothing about him and b) surely smelled like preschooler puke. Last night, on the way to a birthday dinner with my family, my two-year-old threw up all over himself and my car. While the second grader screamed in disgust. I did get to attend my birthday dinner while my husband drove the puke-covered toddler home and tried to clean up the car (which qualifies as superstar behavior in my book). But when I got into the car this morning, the lingering stench nearly made me lose my breakfast. So gross! I drove to the radio station with the windows down, hoping to air out the vehicle. It didn’t work. Fast forward a couple of hours and there I am, snuggling up to Rick Springfield and smelling like vomit.

Just another day in the life of Liv…

10.16.10 Choosing To Be Unforgettable with Rick Springfield

After my radio show this morning, I walked out of the studio with my co-host and buddy Colleen to find Rick Springfield standing in the waiting area with his publicist. He was very nice and very weathered, with more eyeliner than most women wear. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

I hate to disappoint those of you who are genuine fans (and after posting the photo on Facebook, I realize there are a lot of you!)…but I know very little about this guy. I can, however, hum along to “Jesse’s Girl.”

Rick was in town to promote his new book. I’m pretty sure I was the highlight of his day since I… a) know virtually nothing about him and b) surely smelled like preschooler puke. Last night, on the way to a birthday dinner with my family, my two-year-old threw up all over himself and my car. While the second grader screamed in disgust. I did get to attend my birthday dinner while my husband drove the puke-covered toddler home and tried to clean up the car (which qualifies as superstar behavior in my book). But when I got into the car this morning, the lingering stench nearly made me lose my breakfast. So gross! I drove to the radio station with the windows down, hoping to air out the vehicle. It didn’t work. Fast forward a couple of hours and there I am, snuggling up to Rick Springfield and smelling like vomit.

Just another day in the life of Liv…