It seems appropriate that in a decade of my life with such a heavy emphasis on travel, I should be writing this blog from a cafe in Brussels-Midi train station, fresh from Luxembourg and on my way to a project here and in Lille for the rest of the week. It’s also the day before my 40th birthday. This blog originated in the desire to chronicle in some fashion the many “indulgences,” the rich abundance of experience my life has brought me, in these first four decades. On the train, I was reading a book that a friend recently gave me, about the four principles of creation, the four things we came to Earth to experience: love, health & well-being, abundance, and creation, especially the knowledge that we create our own reality, “not some of it, or most of it, but ALL of it!” as the author of the book proclaims. Sometimes this seems a ridiculous idea, especially in challenging times or in the instances when we don’t feel we are in the right place doing the right thing. Yet, when I examine the events of my personal history on a deep level, I see how true this has proven to be. The times that have felt the most tumultuous, the beginning of my 30’s for example, have since revealed themselves to be key in the direction my life took in response to those challenges. It is a lesson I have continued to learn, over and over again.One of the greatest joys in my life is the journey that playing the horn has provided me – especially in the way my ensembles have enabled me to travel around the world and spread the vision of healing through music, through performance and teaching master classes… accessing a level of emotion and symmetry, gently bringing my soul into harmony with the best within me… striving, through discipline and focus, through listening closely and being open to new ideas, to create beauty and go beyond what was possible even a few concerts ago… moving from a place of idealism and enthusiasm, even when tired or under the weather or in the presence of cynicism… I’m not saying I always live up to these ideals. I have experienced much self-doubt and anxiety, even when things seemed to be going their best. But I have always tried to keep this vision before me, to remind myself and surround myself with reminders for the times when I lose the flow and sink into negativity. The greatest tool I know for remaining positive is gratitude, constant and profound gratitude. That part comes easily to me since I feel so very blessed, especially through the amazing people who are a part of my life. I was going to do a little list of some of the moments that stood out for me during my 30’s, and maybe I will still do that at some point, but as I write at this moment, I just feel overwhelmed with a feeling of happiness for the gifts in my life and a sense of open curiosity for what the next year, the next decade will bring.