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Q&A: Alanis Morissette on Living Green & Happy
Alanis Morissette has earned seven Grammy awards. But you might not know about another honor she's proud of: a Global Tolerance Award from the Friends of the United Nations, for promoting tolerance through her art and in her daily life. And, merging ecoactivism with her greatest talents, she's lending her voice to a whole other brand of entertainment: She narrated The Great Warming, which some have praised as the best film yet about global warming.
We caught up with Alanis and asked how she walks her green talk, taps her creativity, and more.
Q. How do you live green?
A. I have solar panels and drive a hybrid or my motorcycle. I rarely use air conditioning these days. I am using less and less of products that harm the environment. And I’m working with a costume designer who is designing some beautiful pieces made from recycled clothing and hemp.
I do the best I can without beating myself up; I am evolving in my choices each day. I’m inspired by my many friends who live off the grid and live off their land. They are true inspirations to me.
Your work says a lot about how "awake and aware" you are spiritually, too. Was there a moment when that first started happening?
There is no one moment that I can attribute to my awakening, as I still feel myself awakening as we speak. I’m convinced it may take more than this lifetime for me to do it. There have been several moments in which I have felt myself being alchemically transmuted by the heat of pain. I can attribute every rock-bottom experience as an opportunity for my phoenix to rise, so to speak.
But my awakening moments include navigating wildfire of fame when it hit me ... learning how to be a better lover in relationships ... going to India and getting off the radar ... reading my ass off all the time ... spiritual teachers like Debbie Ford, Harville Hendrix, Margaret Paul, Byron Katie, Eckhart Tolle, Pia Mellody …. So many writers and teachers who have shed light on the darks places that had left me feeling separate from life and people. Taking responsibility for my own needs and wants and carving out my values has been invaluable in my sense of connection. I see the bridging of the human and the divine as the most exciting “job” I have on this planet in this lifetime.
How do you manage stress?
Solitude. And silence. For hours. Reading something inspiring before I even get out of bed in the morning. Swimming alone.
How do you stay fit?
I get very bored quite easily. I am a dabbler. And, I consider myself a nature girl. I love to surf. Do yoga. Dance five rhythms. Hike. Bicycle. Kick box. Swim in the ocean. Trampoline. Play volleyball and basketball. I’ve done mini triathlons. I jump all over the place. And my body feels better than it’s ever felt.
Who or what is your muse?
Life experience informs everything I ever write. Commenting on different relationships. Watching my life unfold like a witness, watching people, I live to observe and then comment. I love distilling things that feel complicated to me into a four-minute song. I have written songs before, many times, that wind up speaking directly to the future me.
What's next from Alanis?
Just finished a record entitled “flavors of entanglement”. (I love it!) Am recording 8 or so “b-sides” or extra songs. I'm planning a small tour with Q&As … I want to get more and more interactive and engage in dialog with people. I'm also meeting tons of new people, developing my website, nurturing relationships ... generally growing like a weed.