I have a new logo! Last week, my husband and I were brainstorming creative names for my piano studio. After a few forgettable suggestions from me, Pete (a brilliant writer) asked, “What about Rhapsody in You?”

I had chills.

For over two years, I’ve been reflecting on how two audiences can fit under one umbrella—pianists seeking lessons and musicians seeking mindfulness. This name, to me, captures it all.

An iconic piano piece. A piece that holds great meaning to me personally (it brought me out of my shell when I first performed it in college). And meditation, which essentially teaches us that everything we need is already inside of us, is captured by the free-form rhapsody.

But here’s the cool thing.

Maybe it will change again.

Venturing out on my own has been, well, a rhapsody. I’ve come to realize that sharing something so deeply meaningful with the world is a long game, and self-compassion is the key.

Luckily, I have my Duolingo widget to lead the way.

Tired of items getting neglected on my bucket list, I decided the easiest one to check off would be learning Italian. All I had to do was download the Duolingo app and tackle it for a few minutes after Olivia goes to bed.

No more waiting for a better time and more money. Perfect.

Unexpectedly, I’m learning more than a new language.

Duolingo came with a widget on the phone, a little character whose mood changes depending on whether I’ve practiced or not.

In the late morning, he hits me with this look:

Later in the day he slathers on the guilt:

And by the end of the night, he’s in a total panic:

Of course, I think this is hilarious. Then I half-jokingly texted my brother, Why am I emotionally impacted by this widget???

And I realized: When it comes to starting my own business, this widget is like the voice in my head.

Foreboding. Guilt-inducing. Panicked, sometimes.

The app people really know how to get us.

Here’s an exercise that has been remarkably helpful from the Off the Grid podcast, episode #36:

List all your fears, narratives, and “shoulds” around whatever it is you’re seeking to create—a business, a new project, or an upcoming performance.

I was surprised how long—and hard on myself—my list was.

So I added a second step: Rewrite each statement to more accurately reflect the true confidence within me.

Here’s an example:
I should be more extroverted and good at “selling” things.
Rewrite: It’s not who I am, and it wouldn’t fit the work I do. I can learn to do this in an authentic way.

It’s been a powerful exercise, and remarkably helpful in increasing my patience and self-compassion.

I hope this might be helpful to you in your endeavors.

And in the meantime, don’t let those widgets get you down.