As a singer and songwriter, I work a lot in front of audiences. I never really know how I'm coming across visually, but when I'm feeling strong and confident, and when I'm singing well, I feel like I'm giving the audience something beautiful. That's at least, my goal. It's an inner beauty and strength, the kind you give to others that counts. I get compliments on my looks, but I think it's partly because of those other factors that I try to cultivate, like keeping healthy, getting rest and staying centered. All of it allows me to approach each day and each situation with confidence.
Doing what I do, I've learned a lot about how to summon all my positives and get everything working at once in order to rise to the occasion and hopefully be able to inspire another person. It's the same with friends and loved ones. If you've worked on yourself and have taken care of yourself, that's when you have something to give to the people you love.
For the past couple of years, I've been fortunate enough to be on an extensive world tour with Leonard Cohen. Like many women who have a lot of responsibility and not a lot of time, I've had to learn how to focus on what's important when it comes to things like beauty and self-care. Some of the things I do to stay in shape are very simple and straight-forward, like I will do some yoga in my hotel room, try to eat mostly lean protein and vegetables, take walks, take vitamins and make sure I get enough sleep. Doing it all takes commitment and concentration. That's the hard part. You have to get a little selfish with your time in order to be who you want to be.
I feel really lucky to be a singer. Singing is very physical. You're using lots of muscles and transferring lots of air and oxygen. I can't help but think it enhances my appearance. But I think that everyone can find that thing in what they do that becomes an element of their beauty. From the physical demands of what we do to our intellectual pursuits and the use of the imagination, these can all become expressions of beauty. These are the things that put the light behind the eyes.