Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Filling in the gaps...The Nile Project



Stacie has returned to Instagram during the COVID-19 crisis, performing a series of stunning songs as part of the #voiceofthequarantine, which Stacie also encouraged her followers to upload their creative output during this time. Follow the link to check them out - https://www.instagram.com/stacieorrico/.

Today Stacie also shared a link to a project she has been involved with, titled The Nile Project. On the website (https://www.thenileproject.org/), it details its mission, to 'find your authentic voice' and 'reignite your inner spark'.

Stacie shared her story on the website, detailing her life in the limelight, the disillusionment that came with working in the music industry, right up to where she is at in her life right now:

"My name is Stacie Orrico and I am an artist.
As far back as I can recall, I have been creating: singing, dancing, telling stories, playing make-believe and conjuring up other worlds. I did it all. My home was filled with music and I spent Sundays singing in church, so naturally singing became my thing. To sing was to feel my imagination and my body merge. It was the space where I was truly at home with myself.

Then, right around the time I started wearing a bra, I was offered a record deal. In that moment there was no decision to make. My internal world was big and wild and the idea of stepping into the adventure of being a singer felt only natural. Now, in hindsight, I see that it was a bit more jarring to my creative core than I could have predicted. Anyway, I toured the world and sold a lot of albums. I was nominated for a Grammy and even got some plaques for the wall--which I always hid in the closet because I had felt like a fraud. I was singing music that wasnʼt my own, wearing clothes made by designers I had never heard of, speaking with authority about things that I had not yet lived, and publicly playing nice with people who were devouring me. Honestly...it was scary.

I could feel the joy of music draining out of me. It felt like a hundred people had dragged their chairs into my magical creative room and sat down with suggestions. And lets be honest--they were all dudes. Every bit of this magical creative space was taken leaving no room for me. By the time I was in my early 20s I literally did not know the sound of my own voice. My anxiety and depression had swallowed me. On January 1, 2008 I told the label that I was done.

People have often said I made the brave choice. Trust me, it wasnʼt bravery. It was survival. What followed was a pretty epic identity crisis. To give you a glimpse: I smoked a pack a day, cruising around in my Hummer, meanwhile working as a newly-certified pilates instructor planning my move to Africa. What? I was totally fine!

There were some truly lovely detours as well. I studied Womenʼs Literature and Acting. I wrote an album with my best childhood friend in her studio (that we never released). I met and married a man who taught me to live as the courageous woman I really am, and I rediscovered the holiness of my body as I carried and gave birth to my two children.
When my daughter was born, I was reborn as well. Holding her perfect whole little being in my arms for the first time--and being in the presence of a woman who hadnʼt been
undone by this world--lit a fire in me that could not be matched by anything I had experienced on stage or in the studio. I realized in that moment that I needed to

dedicate my life to just two things: healing and nurturing my own creative voice, and holding space for my daughter and fellow artists to do the same.

The voice of the artist is imperative to our survival. Art is the language of our souls, our pain, our healing, and our humanity. To abandon your creative voice is to abandon yourself, and we cannot afford that. I made a vow myself: I do not know all of the forms that my voice will ask to take throughout my life, but I will make space for her to ebb and flow and weep and be impulsive and say whatever she needs to say.

I began to make that safe space for myself and very welcome visitors arrived to guide me toward a rich life of creativity that I had never known possible. Not a life of productivity and acclaim but one of wonder and aliveness. Two of these goddesses are my dear friends, Heather and Jenny. They are tapped into that good good stuff that leaves you forever changed. I asked them to help me build a haven where dreamers, makers, imaginers, and culture-shifters could come together and reconnect with our most essential voices while being held up by the arms of others who get it.

Spoiler...they said yes and The Nile Project was born. Named after my baby girl, it is a promise to her and to myself that I will never let my light go out again."

It has been so wonderful to see and hear from Stacie once again, and fingers crossed there is more to come..!

If you are interested in learning more about Stacie's 'The Nile Project', please visit the website, where you can sign up for the 3-part online course: https://www.thenileproject.org/online-course

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