Who knew that sitting by herself on a local beach, crying her heart out, writing down all her thoughts, would lead to Prita Grealy launching an enviable musical career?
I grew up all over the place. Both sets of parents (my own split when I was 18 months old) moved a lot. They were all following ‘Bhagwan’ and were ‘Sanyasin’, and we grew up with a predominately vegetarian diet, lots of different and strange meditations, tai chi, karate, Indian music, incense, growing our own vegies and chooks.
My mum being a physiotherapist did a lot of country ‘locum’ work so we would move from country town to town in WA. My dad on the other side of the country was training to be a teacher. He also moved from town to town but all within the borders of NSW.
Growing up I always felt comfortable to move and travel between my parents – mainly living with mum and visiting dad for holidays – I felt lucky! I felt like I was always seeing new exciting places and easily making new friends. It wasn’t until I was about 8 years old though, that I realised not everyone’s family was the same as mine, and I couldn’t talk about ‘energy’ and ‘spirit’ as freely in public as I could at home – that’s when I learnt to shut up (until fairly recently).
I always sang and made up songs from a very early age – I remember at age three living in Fremantle WA and making up songs about the sun shining down and the ducks in the garden, and on long journeys in the car down south I would sing songs about travelling on the road again…
I went to lots of different schools, all of which I made sure I was in the all the choirs, concerts, plays, and dance shows that were going on. From Fremantle, Busselton, Capel, Albany, Torbay, Austinville, Candelo, and Bega – where I spent the last 4 years of High School.
In high school I didn’t know what I wanted to ‘BE’ and found the emphasis and pressure so huge especially in the last 2 years of high school to know what I wanted to ‘DO’ and ‘BE’, ‘for the rest of my life’ I think I was so scared to make the wrong decision that I didn’t want to make a decision at all.
I entered every talent quest and auditioned for every show in high school and almost always had a part to play somewhere. I learnt dance after hours and even went to Sydney for ‘work experience’ at a dance company. In my last year of High School I lived with my grandfather on the ‘farm’ in the paddocks of toothdale, NSW. For me it was a blessing in disguise. At first I was mad that my dad and stepmum had moved away in what I thought was my most important and stressful year of school, and left me to fend for myself (with my grandpa). In the end I realised it was an amazing opportunity and freedom. We had always been close and it was a great opportunity to spend quality daily time with him before he passed away.
I left High School with no idea what I really wanted to do but adventure being the main aim. I bussed across the country, and my life became a patchwork of language studies, photography, computers, a bakery job, softball, swimming, drinking with new friends on weekends. In Thailand I did a meditation retreat in the way of the ‘Tao’, and studied massage and chi gung before returning to Perth and getting my Diploma of Remedial and Sports Massage. I went on to learn Kinesiology, Ki force, more Yoga, Chi Gung, Shing Yi, Flower Essences, Body Tell and numerous other energy related healing courses and meditations.
Eventually I decided to give singing a go and audition for the Conservatorium. I found a teacher and did jazz singing lessons for a year then auditioned. I was devastated when I didn’t get in. I cried and cried, feeling like all hope was lost and I just wasn’t good enough (a recurring theme).
I gave up the idea of trying to get in to the ‘con’ and ventured out tentatively on my own – singing and playing guitar, my own original songs at small gigs and ‘open mic’ nights.
Over time I joined a band and eventually went to TAFE to study music and business. I also studied at Abmusic where I made lifelong musical friends. I was in a female trio called ‘Deep Water Blue’ for four years, we sang three part harmonies and all wrote and played an instrument, we also recorded and launched our own self-titled EP.
Later I was in ‘Dave Mann Collective’ as a backing singer, I loved it but was always one step behind my boyfriend in the music world and started to resent being only known as ‘his girlfriend’ and felt my own creativity wasn’t truly being expressed. He always supported me in doing my own thing but it took me a really long time to believe in myself enough to give it a go, especially through my eyes what seemed like a very male dominated scene. It took leaving him and everything I knew to go off and adventure with no plan, no set itinerary overseas again before I found my thing.
I went backpacking around Europe, exploring back streets and countries I’d only dreamed of visiting. I learnt languages, made friend and took a million photos. After three months of adventures and a ten day silent meditation retreat in the mountains on northern Italy I got a call from my brother who was now cheffing on Yachts out of America and the Mediterranean. He offered me a job if I could get to Miami in the following week. I had a day or so to decide… and I chose to take it!! What could I lose??
So the adventure took another turn and soon I was in Miami aboard a massive private yacht bound for the Bahamas. I spent two years working, playing and living on this boat as a stewardess and eventually a Chief Stew, with some massage and some singing thrown in for good measure.
It was overseas that I got to one of my lowest of lows emotionally, it was in the middle of a season in the Caribbean (which sounds really exotic) and I was feeling totally lost and didn’t know what I wanted to do next, the boat was an amazing experience but also a very high pressure environment for all the staff who lived, worked and played together.
I went down to a local beach by myself, sat down and cried my heart out, wrote all my thoughts down and listened to music on my iPod. I wrote down everything that was wrong and everything I didn’t want in my life, then when I got to the end I started writing all the things I did want in my life, all the dreams and wishes and desires.
I had so much feeling and emotion that it was all set into motion. I started searching out live music wherever we went and started getting gigs. I played in the Bahamas, St Maarten, St Barts, Puerto Rico, Fort Lauderdale, New York, San Diego all because I finally got brave enough to step up and ask, talk to musicians and give it a go.
I haven’t looked back since, now running my own business as a solo musician and having my own band. I am the manager, publicist, booking agent, artist all rolled into one. I have even started travelling with my music, last year touring Europe and visiting five countries in two months, touring the east coast of OZ and regionally around WA. I have released three EPs (or short CDs) and am happy to say I am on my path, doing what I love.
Ways I use spirit in my daily life
* Morning Affirmation Writing
I usually, most days, start the morning with a cup of black strong freshly ground and brewed coffee – savouring the smell as I open the packet of coffee beans!! With a pen in my hand I follow a set of affirmations writing about being in the flow, aligning with the flow, abundance is here now, I am loving living this life, joy is sprinkled throughout my day, I am surprised by all the amazing things in my life today, I am grateful for…, changing it up when I feel the need for change. After morning coffee and affirmations I usually go for a walk or run outside in the fresh air – I notice a really big difference when I do this and when I don’t –how I feel for the rest of the day – fresh or frumpy.
* Showering with the Goddess-ences
I pick whichever Goddessence I am drawn to that day and drop a few drops in the shower while it is heating up – then jump in and am steamed in beautiful aromatherapy!
* Daily Angel Card Readings Guidance
I don’t do this everyday but whenever I am drawn to the cards I pull them out (I have 3 different decks – Sonia Choquette, Doreen Virtue, and Collette Baron – Reid ) I simply shuffle and close my eyes, focus my intention on a question or simply ask for some guidance today. Then whatever jumps out (I usually get at least one jumper) and the other 2 or 3 I choose is my guidance for the day.
* Looking within – getting in touch with my spirit and the greater spirit
I check in often and throughout the day with my feelings and intentions, I like to make sure I am aligning with my truth as much as I can – some days this works great, others I feel I need some help! When I need help I get in touch with spirit guidance counselors that I trust or my mum! Who is a very spiritual woman too!
* Music – writing, playing, performing, recording
I am a singer-songwriter and I also play guitar. I get a lot of joy, satisfaction and expression from playing and creating music. I write about my own personal experiences, emotions, travel, love…in all its twists and turns, relationships and people I am inspired by their stories.
I love playing with my band – a great bunch of boys. My boys… the musos that help me create the fun and magic times we have on stage! I also enjoy the connection with the audience and entertaining people, creating a mood or an atmosphere… and seeing people smile and relate to the songs.
Recording is also a big creative project I have been working and playing on recently, after a couple of EPs, I have finally finished my debut full length album! It was a massive learning experience, working with a lot of different people over time, deciding who were the best people to record with, which musicians to get to play on the album, who’s advice to follow, how much to let go and how much to steer the creating. There were times of great frustration – when I just didn’t feel in the mood or vibe to sing my best and didn’t like the sound coming out – to times of great joy and exhilaration after recording many harmonies on a track and hearing it back for the first time, and the final listen to the album before it was sent away to be pressed.. I felt like I had accomplished something big!!
* Art through expression or expression through art
I go to a regular art class on a Friday morning with a friend and teacher – Dawn Meader, in the class is also my mum, auntie and another auntie through marriage plus a whole bunch of other women. We do warm-ups and guided visualisation before plunging into our latest project… I love this class!! And I love having another creative outlet that’s not music! I get to play with colour and texture and images. And am amazed at what is coming out of me!
* Listening to my gut feelings – clearing the air if it doesn’t feel right so I am free to be me and live in harmony (not being afraid to say I made a mistake – or this is what I really meant)
I have been doing this more lately, acting on something as soon as I feel it. Especially if it doesn’t feel right, or I get this queasy feeling in my stomach, I know then that there is something I need to clear up before I will feel all right.
* Dreaming, Future dreaming and now dreaming – Manifesting amazing things in my life.
I really believe in this. And I’m getting better and better at it!! I am amazed at the things that come into my life when I focus my intention on manifesting what I want! I have overcome obstacles easily; got through to people I needed to get in contact with, got radio airplay for my music.
When I was single I wrote a list of all the things I wanted in a man and then let go to the angels… and not long after got a new boyfriend!! Who I’ve now been with for a year and half and we live together!! I found new teachers for spirit and art. And I manifested a great (!!) house with a big garden full of birds (that someone else looks after – and I just have to enjoy it!!).
There are always more things to work/play/dream on to create in my life. The latest one has been abundance and money – being a freelance musician mean my income comes from everywhere. Sometimes this can be scary to trust that I will have enough and that more great gigs are coming my way.
To counter this I do the work necessary to get the good gigs!! I believe I am worth it!! I am getting braver at asking for what I want both conditions and financially when I book a gig. And recently I had a manager at a local nice pub I’ve been playing at, call me!! And offer me two more months of gigs!! This is not a very common procedure as normally you as the artist have to chase up more gigs!! SO this was a big sign to me that my manifesting, affirmations, and work have been paying off!!
I also got offered 3 months of well paid work on the east coast playing music – out of the ‘blue’, again a big sign of abundance. I now trust that I will always have more than enough and that the great gigs will keep on coming and keep getting bigger and better!!