Whole Life Magazine

August/September 2013

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Page 13 of 51

city of angels Rickie Byars Beckwith People Community Raj Festival Executive Producer IN YOUR "The one thing I've learned is that life is about acceptance. You can be, do and have anything you want if you accept the truth about who you are—a divine, spiritual being with unlimited potential," says Rickie Byars Beckwith. She should know. The multidimensional singer-songwriter and director of the Agape choir has jumped into a new brainchild: the Rhythm and Joy music festival (www.RajFestival. com) happening early October in Simi Valley. A jazz singer and prolific songwriter, her role at Agape began with a Christmas choir performance and evolved into the musical direction she continues today. "It is at Agape that I truly began my ultimate transformation," she says. "Through spiritual practice and service to others I began to know deeply that I can become anything I want as long as I have at the forefront my divine purpose, which is to serve." I LIVE… in the center of LA not far from Leimert Park. MY NEIGHBORHOOD IS GREAT BECAUSE… it's green, with trees, birds and lush vegetation. It's almost as if the houses are in a forest. I GREW UP IN… Charlotte, North Carolina in a large family, but actually I grew up in L.A. cause that is where I became spiritually aware. MY INTEREST IN MUSIC STARTED… at birth. I've been singing since the age of three. WHEN I'M LOOKING FOR INSPIRATION I… run my hand over the bookcase and stop at whatever book feels right, or go on YouTube and listen to my daughter Georgia sing "Roses" on Live at Agape. Or I listen to my son Stephen play the piano. Of course I think of what [my husband] Michael says or has written. MY GREATEST CONCERN ABOUT THE WORLD IS… the environment. We would be irresponsible not to take care of the earth for our children. THE BEST THING SOMEONE CAN SAY ABOUT MY WORK IS… that it healed their heart and made them feel good inside, that it helped them be more of who they are. WHAT MOST SURPRISES ME IS… that people will pay money to hear me speak and sing. That people play my music and get blown away by it. That I look so good at my age, that life could be so beautiful, and I can be so happy and healthy. THE MOST IMPORTANT THING I'VE LEARNED IS… I can choose what goes in and out of my mind. I don't have to go along with the crowd and there is triumph in small things. THE WAY I THINK I CAN HAVE THE GREATEST POSITIVE IMPACT ON THIS CRAZY WORLD IS… by working in community and continuing to make music that comes from joy. 14 wholelifetimesmagazine.com

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