We had the good fortune of connecting with Summer Lall and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Summer, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
Over the years I’ve noticed a shift in my work/life balance. As a creative by trade, the lines between work and life are blurred. Work is part of life and I’ve made a conscious effort to choose activities and means of generating income that fulfill my soul and resonate with my purpose. Since the two easily flow into one another, I have had to make some boundaries for myself to prevent burn out as well as work-a-holism. Some of those boundaries include having a time each night where I ignore my phone, having set work hours even when working from home, and learning how to say no when the opportunity isn’t a good fit. Motivation and enthusiasm both come in waves. Rather than trying to force it when all I want to do is relax and read under a tree, I have learned to trust the ebb and flow of inspiration and drive. I have learned that there’s a time for going hard and a time for chilling out. I no longer feel afraid that just because the creative itch isn’t there right now, it doesn’t mean it’s not coming back. In fact, the more I honor my natural cycles and energy levels, the more productive and effective my investment and efforts become. Lastly, I believe this is a question about values. At the end of the day, all we have is the present and what we do with it. If I spent hours stressed out, manically firing off emails, making calls and checking off my to-do list, I find that I miss some of the. most precious moments that offered themselves throughout the day. This could be just taking a few deep breaths and really enjoying a good cup of java, taking a pause to snuggle with my dog, or giving a genuine smile to my husband in a moment of appreciation and awareness. The most important thing to me is the quality of my relationships and the energy I am putting out into the atmosphere, and I want that to be reflected in my choices and in my craft.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My art comes through in a variety of ways. The music I am most proud of and excited about is from my alternative R&B duo PWR CPL. We are in the middle of a 4 part series called BLKS and are gearing up to release the second EP from the series, called MIND. Right now we are diving into the visual aspects of storytelling and have partnered with our friend Samuel Singer in creating a short film to accompany the next 4 songs, which will become available in 2021. I am also excited about the online courses I am launching in January of 2021. During the quarantine, I was able to formulate 4 different 8 week classes called From Resistance to Resilience: Transforming Teens Through Music. The 4 categories to choose from are Music & Meditation, Lyrics & Listening, Instruments & Insight and Songwriting & Support. These courses are based off of my specialized experience in the use of music and music therapy with at risk youth for healing and connection. I want to share what i have learned with other people who are drawn to this work, so we can give the possible best care to the youth who need it most. Finally, 2020 has brought more surprises and gifts along the way. Since we were unexpectedly home all year, we connected with our neighbor Samuel Singer (@saamsong) and formed a new Youtube series called Beats, Kicks & Life, the one stop shop for all things music, kicks and culture. We released 6 episodes for season 1 and are already brainstorming for what season 2 will bring. There are times when things have felt easy. When I am in the zone and feeling inspired, synchronicities occur and it feels like everything is coming together naturally. Of course there are plenty of challenges along the way, and of course there will be many more. Challenges are unavoidable and we NEED them in order to strengthen and grow. That’s what life is. As I get older, what helps me get through the tough times is a solid team of people who help one another and compliment each other’s strengths and shortcomings. Having a routine of self care and carving out time for myself to recalibrate and remember my WHO and WHY (who I am and why I believe I’m here / why I’m doing what I’m doing) keeps my grounded and on track. For me, that shows up as daily meditation, mindfulness walks with my dog, time in nature, praying with friends, dancing, cooking and occasionally laughing at myself.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well, pre-COVID or post-COVID I would take them around the Grove to see the holiday decorations and tree, drive them to Cafe Gratitude in Venice and then walk the Venice Canals. I would show them the arboretum in Pasadena and have a sunset picnic at Malibu Bluffs Park. We would get breakfast burritos at Cofax on Fairfax and eat dinner at Open Sesame on Beverly. We would walk through Fern Glen up through Griffith Park and check out the observatory at night. We would probably catch a show at The Troubadour, The Comedy Cellar and/or Groundlings and go record shopping at Artform Studios. I would make sure to show them Elderberries cafe, go roller skating at Pan Pacific Park,, walk our neighborhood to see hype beast central. We would hike at Temescal Canyon Park and meditate at The Self Realization Temple on Sunset.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Absolutely! I have had tons of help, love and support along my journey and it’s 100% made all of the difference. First of all, my husband and partner in creation Jon Lall made sure I never gave up on myself and continues to help me to see my value and tap into my highest potential. My mentor, Christine Stevens, has taught me countless invaluable lessons in everything from building my career to spiritual awakening. I cherish her in my life more than I can say. I have learned so much from teachers along the way, including Mary DiCamillo, Jaqueline Levine, Jeff Goelitz, Katherine Wright, Kiefer and so many more. My family and friends have been my anchors since the beginning, always reminding me of who I am and what I’m capable of, lending a listening ear and lifting me up when I feel broken. I am a part of an intricate community web and am well aware of how much we all need one another and affect each other.
Website: www.PWRCPL.com; www.Rhythmandtruth.Org; www.CradlesongBirthing.com
Instagram: @PWR_CPL; @BeatsKicksLife, @rhythmandtruth
Facebook: PWRCPL; BeatsKicksLife; CradleSongBirthing ; RhythmandTruth
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/pwrcpl; https://www.youtube.com/beatskickslife
Seth Neuffer, Jon Lall, Sara Carter, BreastfeedLA