PHOTO OF GUY GABRIEL,
JESSY SCHRAM, AND FELICIA
TOMASKO IN WARRIOR III
BY DAVID YOUNG-WOLFF.
I admit it: I’m a woman obsessed. It began on what seemed to be an innocent Friday night when a
friend and I attended India.Arie’s Songversation at Club Nokia in downtown LA. Before that night,
of course, I had heard India.Arie’s music and loved the combination of her voice and her heartfelt
storytelling. Yet there was something about our latest introduction that took my personal experience and appreciation to the next level.
Perhaps it had something to do with how much she shared of her personal journey; or perhaps, at
this time in my own life, I could relate to her words evoking transformation. For example, these
lines in “Soulbird Rise” speak from the depths of her personal journey: “What did not demolish
me/Simply polished me/Now the clearer I can see/I know where I wanna go/I am living in the flow/
And now that I have dropped the weight/I am as light as a feather/It’s time to elevate.”
Much of the storytelling on her latest album, Songversation, covers the kind of introspection that
rips us open, along with the kind of courage it takes to step into the world—or onto a stage—
differently than before. In “Break the Shell,” she sings, “It’s time to break the shell/Life’s gonna hurt
but it’s meant to be felt/You cannot touch the sky from inside yourself/You cannot fly until you
break the shell.”
When we spoke for her featured interview in this issue, India.Arie discussed how stepping back
from the stage and stepping into her own practice allowed her to return with new power—the
presence of which is evident in her album and on her tour. She’s written a story that gives us all
inspiration, as well as something to aspire to be and become.
Stories are one of the ways in which we inspire each other, even when those stories are the affirmations or the thoughts we repeat while looking at ourselves, as Dearbhla Kelly discusses in her piece
on the Neuroscience of Affirmation. We respond to stories, whether in our heads or on the silver
screen. Film is one way in which we tell stories. Nadine Truong’s round-up includes a selection of
yoga-related films while Guy Gabriel goes behind the scenes to describe how the practices of yoga
and meditation make a difference in the making of films, commercials, and television. All of this
speaks to the stories we share and how we can break free and write our own scripts.