Soffology: Thoughts on Real Life

When You Wake Up in the Wrong Life: How to Heal After a Faith Crisis 

In the Fall of 2014, I found myself on a sunlit hillside looking out over my town at the sinking sun. I could see my rooftop where my husband and three children were waiting for me to come home and make dinner. It was a crisp, beautiful evening and on the outside, my life seemed just peachy. 

But I was a mess. 

I had just told my friends and family that I was leaving the church and religion of my childhood. For personal reasons, the faith no longer served my authentic self. I was forced to make a choice between myself, and my family heritage. I felt like I had woken up to a life I didn’t choose. In the fallout, I experienced anxiety, depression, and a whole lot of fear until I hit my rock bottom. That moment on the hillside marked a turning point in my entire neuro framework. 

I began to dig myself out, one miserable, beautiful step at a time. How? With purpose. 

Purpose is the antidote for depression. You must begin to establish a deep sense of purpose to live at your highest capacity. What is your purpose? Only you can decide your specific contribution to humanity, but your maximum joy and light is the greatest gift you can bestow on all of us. In fact, if everyone on our planet were filled with purpose and happiness, most of our problems would simply melt away. 

Here’s a brief overview of what I call the “6 Steps to a Life On Purpose”. There are several more steps in between, but these will get you started. 

Take Accountability 

When we’re hurting, it’s tempting to blame people or institutions for the way our lives have turned out. After all, we wouldn’t be in this mess if it weren’t for them. Right??  Learning to let go of anger and resentment is the first step toward healing because anger keeps you stuck. Believe it or not, our lives are exactly the way we crafted them to be. Every relationship, life decision, career choice, or financial status is there because of our previous beliefs. Take full responsibility for your choices so far, and recognize that you have full control over your life now as you build it. 

Master Your Mindset 

How you view yourself and the world around you is the single most powerful tool you have to let go of pain and create the life you want. If you want change, you MUST change the thoughts inside your head. Your thoughts are the power tools with which you construct your future. With shabby tools, you’ll build a shabby life. Start watching what you say to yourself. Practice feeding yourself positive thoughts to replace the negative. It will take practice, but in time you will retrain your mind to see love instead of fear. No single effort is as critical or as impactful than this singular skill - to change your thoughts. 

Learn to Like Yourself 

Prior to my faith crisis I had heard of “self love” and thought it was a weak-sauce, self-centered waste of time. LOL. I couldn’t have been more wrong. This is a CRITICAL step if you are to create a life of joy and success. Just like taking care of any friend or relationship, the formula for self love is simple. Figure out what you like, and give it to yourself as often as possible. Yoga, books, meditation, hikes, mimosas, TV shows, hikes, parties, you name it. Be sure to also spend time being quiet and listening to yourself as you would a friend. Tell yourself how awesome you are, how much you appreciate your own growth, and yes; tell yourself, “I love you”. It feels weird, but it works. 

Decide What You Want 

This is the exciting part! Once you’ve let go of the fear and anger, you can start thinking about what you want life to be like. This is where you can stop looking back, and daydream about the future. Think about all the aspects of your life you wish were different (friendships, how you spend your time, career, money, relationships, etc.) Write all of these down and open your mind to the crazy fantasy dreamworld life you’d like to have. Read these thoughts to yourself every night before bed. It may seem silly at first but I promise you, this is where the magic begins. 

Make a Plan 

All the dreaming in the world will not make your physical world change. If you want a different reality, start taking micro steps in a new direction. Choose one area you listed, and brainstorm all the small steps it would take to bring that new desire into your world. List those steps in order of priority, and begin systematically working on each one. Keep in mind you will likely experience self doubt and fear. Inner voices from your past may creep back in and tell you you’re selfish, worldly, or even evil. When this happens, return to step 3 and establish a deeper connection with yourself. Remember, love conquers all. 

Overhaul Your Habits 

This is where the rubber meets the road. Whatever you’ve been doing to get you where you are, will not get you where you want to be. This is a hard pill to swallow, but do it quickly and then brace for major changes. Figure out what habits, mindset, skills, connections, or information you need to begin. Then, start doing them! Research how to start and maintain habits. The simplest way is just to begin. Stop thinking about your limitations, and just start. 

Coming out of a religious paradigm can sometimes feel like landing on mars. The world looks harsh, unfamiliar, and unknown. With a sense of purpose, you point yourself in a new direction that strips away sadness, anxiety, and depression. Follow these steps and you’ll begin to climb out of the hole. You’ll see massive change in your outlook, productivity, and a world of possibilities will open up. I wish you so much joy and fulfillment on your path to recovery! Be kind and patient with yourself. A life on purpose, is a life worth loving.

Female Pilots and Flying to SLC 

Greetings friends!

Our album release show of 'Second Wind' was great! Thanks to everyone who came, we had a great time!

Next week, I'm heading to Salt Lake City for a live audience interview on Mormon Stories Podcast where I'll be talking about my life, music, religion, the album, etc. I'm playing a few songs too. It's free to attend, just register here.

Here's a quick link if you want to listen again and share the album with friends

Please follow us on Spotify or iTunes and leave a review, it means so much.

This blog post is important for 2 reasons:

1. May is my favorite month. Even better than December, which is runner-up. This is because it's Mother's Day month and I'll get extra loves from my kids. Then, I get to lock myself in a room with dark chocolate and Netflix for a few hours GUILT-FREE.  

Also, it's warm outside. 

2. There are many incredible women in my life, and I get to share just two of them. 

This is my grandmother. She was a female pilot at a time when generally speaking, women didn't fly. She died tragically at age 35 in a plane accident when flying her plane over the Andes Mountains in Argentina. My mom was 7 years old. 

Even in death, to me, she seemed immortal. My family told stories about her alligator hunting expeditions with my grandfather, cross-continental flights, and raising her family in South America. She was bright, vibrant, beautiful, fashionable, and fearless.  

Her story of graceful bravery has followed me around all my life.

 

This adorable woman is my mother. She is a survivor on many levels. A fighter for family, and the epicenter of my childhood. She has a courage and strength that lies deep within - the kind you only get by passing through the storms of life. She's adventurous, kind, and taught me to be curious.  #yearofthewoman 

Love you mom.  

Happy Mother's Day to all of you and your mothers! May you find a reason to celebrate the women in your life this week. 

Love, 

Angela 

PS - A song I wrote called, "Amazing" was featured on the Women of Substance Podcast Episode this week. I wrote it for my son when he was a baby. That's another story, for another day. =)

Announcing: "Second Wind" Release Party Celebration! 

 

I'm so very proud to say I accomplished my one main goal for 2017: 

"Be Brave." 

Includes, but not limited to: 

 - do 3 pull-ups 

- color my hair for the first time since high school 

- film music and public speaking videos 

- ask people to support my music projects 

- tell my story 

Being brave sometimes means letting yourself be seen, which as an introverted artist, is extremely difficult. I don't like posting on social media or opening up my music or life for possible scrutiny. Every time I do, it's an act of bravery. 

I'm curious, what are you doing to be brave in 2018? 

Meanwhile, we're ramping up for the Second Wind album release in April which is now on pre-sale and the new single comes out in February. 

Here's what's happening: 

— Get the album on pre-sale from my website here! We're running a special offer between now and January 31: you set the price. This means YOU decide how much to it's worth to you and when the album is released you'll be sent the complete download of the album. (Photo credit to Sofia Jaramillo) 

— The first Official Music Video will be filmed and produced this month in Seattle, WA. Should be freezing and lots of fun to film! Watch for photos on social media. 

— Logo and merchandise are being developed so you can wear your favorite band t-shirts and gear. Available online in March 2018. 

— Our Pacific Northwest Tour will begin at the end of April through May.  Our Idaho and Utah Tour will be in June and July. If you're in any of these locations and want to book a private house party with the band for your friends and family  (which are amazing btw) let me know and we can get you on the schedule. 

 

And finally ANNOUNCING! Drum roll please.... 

 

SECOND WIND ALBUM RELEASE EVENT 

AND ARTISTIC CELEBRATION 

Saturday, April 21, 2018 

7:00pm -  10:00pm 

The Seasons Performance Hall 

Yakima, Washington 

Mark your calendars! This will be an all-ages event celebrating not only the album release but Yakima's artistic flare. (There will be an art show, food, drinks, merchandise, shopping, and all kinds of fantastic stuff) It's an event you'll want to plan for! Ticket sales will be announced when available. 

PS - I'm calling all hands on deck for this event so if you'd like to be involved (and VIP status for life!) let me know. 

As always, your support means the world to me. Thank you for reading, listening, and being a fan. I've included a free download of a song from my last album "Slow Boat", about going through life with someone meaningful. Hope you like it. 

May your 2018 be filled with joy as you move forward with bravery. 

With love, 

Angela 

PS - As always, follow us for more timely updates at: 

www.facebook.com/angelasoffeband 

www.instagram.com/soffeangela 

www.angelasoffe.com

The Mom Fail Award 

Hi Friends! 

Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you all are well and about to enjoy time with loved ones. Here's a quick update on the album and upcoming shows. 

We just wrapped up 2 recording days and my producer and I declared the album finished. Yay! Well, almost. There's still much more to be done, but the recording phase is finalized. 

The next step is to mix and master the final versions of the songs. There will be 10 songs on this record and the first single will be released in February. The full album is scheduled to release in April 2018. As always, you will be the first to know and hear it. 

Studio fiddle time! 

Check our website and band Facebook page for more immediate updates on shows and other info. We'd love to hear from you! 

 


 

Personal note: 

The above is the true but pretty version of this project, read on for the messy one. 

I'm pretty sure I get the Mom Fail Award of the month. (By the way, have you seen those Mom Fail videos? They're hilarious: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=16ZQeMl5ioI

This album has taken a toll on my family and before I get thankful...I'm going to be honest. It's been tough on everyone. 

For example, I drove home from the studio two nights ago and was so tired I ate 3 candy bars I found in the car just to stay awake. (Insert horrified emoji). 

This is pretty much against my moral code of food ethics and it gets worse. 

I've discovered long overdue library books, bananas in the back seat, school assignments I didn't know about, laundry from who knows when, and to top it all off - I got a call from my child's therapist saying I was on probation for failure to complete assignments with competence. #absolutemomfail 

It's pretty much a tasty bowl of exhaustion, neglect, and overwhelm, with a dash of insanity. Fun times! Can anyone relate? 

Sometimes when we enjoy a work of art, we only see the glamor and glitz. There's a lot of time, discomfort, and sacrifice that goes into creating something meaningful. I'll be the first to admit when I'm tired and overwhelmed. 

This Thanksgiving, I'm grateful to my incredible little family who has endured my long absences and bad dinners, my band for being awesome in every way, my friends who still love me even though I haven't called them in months; and you, for supporting my music. 

Thank you for your emails, texts, and kind words. This project would not be possible without you! 

Now I'm going to bake some cookies, make a puzzle, and sack out in my PJs for a couple of days (after I get rid of the candy bars in my car). 

We also have a show on Friday, so I'll get off the couch for that. ;) You should come, it's a free show for the whole family! Details below. 

Wishing you a warm and very peaceful Thanksgiving! 

much love, 

Angela 

PS - We're playing Christmas songs at the Suncadia Tree Lighting Ceremony this weekend! Bring the kids to meet Santa, and enjoy cookies and hot cocoa. Admission is free. 

 

Suncadia Tree Lighting Ceremony 

Friday, November 24 

6:30-8:00pm 

Dawson Park, Suncadia 

Cle Elum, WA 

 

Band selfie from a Thanksgiving show last weekend.

My Encounter with a Witch in Hong Kong  

When I was 8 years old, my family lived a year in Hong Kong, China before moving to the Philippines. Upon arrival, my mother enrolled me with a witch who was posing as a piano teacher. 

Twice a week I walked from my flat down the hill to Stanley Market for lessons. I was certain my teacher was something demonic, so my mother bribed me with ice cream money so I could buy one on my way home.  

My teacher had long, black silky hair and was beautiful in a pale, Maleficent sort of way. Her apartment was strung with voodoo dolls hanging from the ceiling, art pieces that were cut in half on the walls, and a screaming tea kettle. Add this to the concoction of green slimy things in glass jars in the bathroom, strong British accent, flowy dark robes, and I was pretty sure she was casting spells in her spare time. 

The real evidence of her witchcraft however, was something lurking upstairs. 

At the top of the stairs was her black grand piano where I endured some of the most terrifying moments of my early life. Why? 

1. The piano bench was right at the edge of the stairs so if you leaned back, you'd fall down the stairs.  

2. If I played a wrong note, she screamed with a whack on the fingers with her pointer stick. (This is true, I had red knuckles after lessons) 

3. Worst of all, at the end of the room sat a porcelain-faced, full-sized mannequin in a starchy white wedding dress - veil and presents and all.  

To an eight-year-old, this was terrifying. 

If she left me alone with the mannequin, I'd shut my eyes and try NOT to think about the bride coming to life. I'd practice my guts out at home to NOT play a wrong note, and sometimes hide under my bed hoping my mom wouldn't find me. After a while, the mannequin and I became cordial and I found her less creepy than my living instructor. 

I'd use some of my ice cream money to pay a visit to the Buddhist temple around the corner from her flat. The gods in there also had creepy faces, but I figured I could use all the help I could get. I'd burn an incense stick for my favorite one, praying for some relief from my bi-weekly disturbing encounters. My prayers were answered and my family moved away the next year. Can I get a Hallelujah? 

So fast forward, this year for Halloween, this is what I'm wearing for my students. What do you think? A friend loaned me this dress (thank you E!) and it's only fitting I scare my little pupils at least once. After all, it is Halloween.  

  


Music Update! 

Recording in progress! This past week my producer and I finished up the lead vocals on all the songs. I'll be back in the studio mid-November to add vocal harmonies, and some finishing touches on instrumentation. I'm also teaming up with a fantastic PR firm to get rolling on promotion and music video production.  Whew! Busy, fun, stressful, exciting, exhausting, amazing, all in one.  

I'm also excited to be heading to Salt Lake City, Utah this week with David Owens for a performance at the Open Stories Foundation, a non-profit which helps people share their stories, connect, and find support.  I'm honored to be speaking and performing at this event! 

Check for updates on Facebook and my website, I'm going to be needing some extras in a new music video... ;) More updates to come. Enjoy your Halloweening! 

Hugs and Haunts! 

Angela 

  

www.angelasoffe.com

Studio Secrets 

I just emerged from a week of intense recording in the studio along with my fellow humanoid musicians. I'm pretty sure I've mutated in some fashion, but the result is 10 new songs I can't wait to share with you. We were shooting for recording 5 songs, but cranked out 10! (Thanks to my incredible producer and musicians). 

I learned some interesting things about recording studios in Seattle: they're all a big secret. 

None of them are advertised and the buildings are unmarked with no windows so people can't find them. This keeps crowds of fans and curious onlookers from interrupting the creative process. (Yeah, it's a rough life fighting off the crowds... ;) 

This studio in particular is home recording sessions of some of the most notable bands of the 90s including Nirvana, Sound Garden, The Postal Service, and more recently Death Cab for Cutie to name a few. It's been surreal to record in the same space as Kurt Cobain and some of the greats from my childhood. 

Some clips from the session!

 

This week is phase one in the process. In the next couple of weeks we'll add the final vocals and finishing touches before the album goes to mastering (where sound levels are balanced for your speakers). 

Some action shot photos for you are below! It's been magical to hear my songs coming together, I'm really happy with the product so far. Many thanks to my producer, musicians, husband, babysitters, kids, contributors, and friends who have pitched in to make this come together. Hugs all around! 

More updates to come... 

love, 

Angela

More pics below!

It Has Begun 

Dear friends,

I'm writing to you from the taupe-colored couch at Hall of Justice Studio in Seattle, Washington. It's been two weeks since the campaign ended and I'm thrilled to let you know recording has commenced! 

I'm in the studio all week with my producer, Andy Park, and a fantastic team of musicians. We just laid our first track of drums and guitar, the sun is shining outside, and I'm so happy to finally be here. A week-long session in a recording studio is blissful, magical, exhaustion crammed into 800 square feet of space. We work 10am-10pm in a windowless building and stop only to sleep and eat (sometimes!). 

Here's a studio selfie for you. As promised, I'll keep you updated on our progress and send a video clip or two. =) Thank you once again for your support - this wouldn't be possible without you!

With much love and gratitude as always,

 

Angela

 

www.angelasoffe.com

Oh WOW...We DID it!  

Dearest friends and supporters (who I don't know but love you already), 

CELEBRATION TIME! 

Waaaaah! We did it! The campaign just ended and to my shock we've even EXCEEDED the goal. I'm overwhelmed, floored, and amazed by the support. We've had backers who supported from all around the world including new friends, old friends, family, and strangers. I respect and appreciate the pledges of all types, thank you for giving of yourself, I'm humbled. I don't know what else to say; thank you from the very deepest places of my heart! 

Your donations are sacred to me and I will treat them as such. Funds will only be used for the costs relating to this album. As an independent musician, it's incredibly difficult to produce an excellent product without the funds to do so. Thank you for supporting art - it keeps us human and connected to one another. 

I'll update you periodically as I move forward with the project and let you know when you can expect your own copy or download, or whatever reward you selected. I'll be heading to the studio in October and so very excited to begin my work. (Pinch me!) The timeline for the album release will likely be in the Spring of 2018, following the release of a few singles. As my early backers, you have priority status and will always be the first to receive the new music. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions. My hat is off to you my friends. I have gratitude for you engraved forever in my heart. 

MUCH LOVE! 

Angela 

PS - I'll be honest, this has been just a tad stressful and I'm relieved it's finally ending so I can focus on music (and my family) again.  A few months ago I was feeling some self doubt about this fundraiser and wanting to back out. I saw this print on a store window (below) that seemed to grab me. It got me thinking, "What are we all so afraid of?" If there's something you want to do, go do it. Don't be scared of failing and looking foolish, or whatever might hold you back. I decided that even if this fundraiser failed, I'd find another way to do what I'm passionate about. The world needs what you have to offer too - go do it. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I have some music to make. =)

Halfway There and One Week to Go! 

 

Nothing quite like a jam session with a 5-year-old 

This is my little girl and every time we jam out I have to giggle and take a photo of her intensity. We're celebrating! We're halfway funded with 83 backers! Wow, THANK YOU! Everyone who has supported - I'm so grateful! 

Please help get the word out to anyone who might be interested. Just one more week to go until the campaign closes on September 17.  You can also increase your pledge if you'd like. 

Here's a peek at Hall of Justice Studio in Seattle where I'll be recording. It's a cozy space with a baby grand and plenty of room for my kind of creations. 

Once again, thank you for being an early supporter. It means so very much! Can't wait to get recording! Here's the link to donate again: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2038474006/angela-soffe-a-new-record?ref=c13fts

love, 

Angela 

PS - I'm playing a couple of shows in the Seattle area this weekend. Check out my tour schedule on my website for more details. 

www.angelasoffe.com

Shooting video at Hall of Justice Studio, Seattle, WA

Me, Debbie Gibson, and American Idols 

Hi friends!

I'm continually honored and amazed by your support in so many ways. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your generous pledges! We've got 10 days left, and there's still time to pre-order the album and make a pledge. If you haven't yet, here's the link:

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/2038474006/angela-soffe-a-new-record?ref=2toaey

Please share with your own friends and family if you feel inclined. The more people we can reach, the greater the support!

Yesterday, I unexpectedly met someone I never thought I'd meet. Ever.

Debbie Gibson

Remember her? 1987 award-winning pop singer? Well, I certainly do. My parents had her tape permanently playing in the tape deck of our little coup on long drives from Boston to Salt Lake City. It was Debbie Gibson and the band Chicago taking turns singing in the car for 3 days straight. My mom can verify. (3 kids + no seat belts = fun times 1987).


Me and Debbie...besties. 

So I met my earliest American Idol yesterday at my daughter's dance studio. (She was rehearsing with her partner for "Dancing with the Stars" and needed a studio space apparently). Even though she was obviously exhausted and under some stress, she was so poised and kind - everything my 7-year-old self would have imagined. It got me thinking about the kinds of legacy we leave on people we don't even know. We've all got problems, issues, and plenty of reasons to be grumpy. Meeting her made me want to be a little better, kinder, and gracious to people around me. You never know what 7-year-olds are watching you. =)

We're all idols to someone. What kind of idol do you want to be? #thanksdebbiegibson

Below is a sneak peek at a new song! Enjoy!

Much love and gratitude,

Angela

PS - Special thanks to my music partner, David Owens; a gifted warrior in both music and life.