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Scan & PDF: WorldMags &JIrnal-Plaza most amazing things about meeting fans, too, and them saying, "Oh, this song you wrote —it brought me through a really hard time." It's amazing validation to know that something you've created has gone out there in the world and affected somebody else.

Why did you decide to bring Lilith Fair back this year?

Again, it comes back to our deep-rooted need to connect with other human beings, and to that social network that was created through Lilith 12 years ago. Since then, the digital age, the mania of Twitter and IM and everything else—nobody actually connects on a visceral, human level anymore. And Lilith is that sense of community for musicians and for the audience.

The basic mandate of this is celebrating women. We talked about this —the importance of sisterhood and how incredibly powerful that is. And how much I've relied on my women friends for comfort, for understanding, for information, and for wisdom. There are so many amazing women out there making music, why not come together, share ideas, and be part of something that's bigger than ourselves?

It's really simple. For me, everything comes down to feel and instinct. I don't know why I want it, but I want it. That's how I've always lived my life, and it's worked out really well for me.

I'm curious how you keep things fresh when you're performing the same song over and over. I think everyone struggles with tapping into their creativity at times.

Where do you pull from when you're kind of at your wits' end? I don't know. I've prided myself on pretty much always being able to rise to the occasion. No matter what's goingon, what storm is going on inside my head, I can find the place to do my job, essentially.

It helps that I love the songs. When I stop loving the songs, that's the time to quit. I feel like if I'm not completclyprcs-ent, if I'm not in the moment singing the songs, I'm not giving the song its value, I'm not giving the people thcirvalue, I'm not giving myself value. And whatever I do, I want to be fully present, no percent. I'm a bit hard-core that way. If I'm going to do it, I'm going to really do it.

I'm better in my professional life. I've floundered a lot more as a mother. And that's way more emotionally charged. I have a fantastically [laughing} challenging kid, who just pushes constantly. She's such a gift. She's taught me so much patience, and I just have to be the calm in her storm.

I try and look at everything, even what people might consider just the worst possible emotional scenario, as if there's something good that's going to come out of this. I always try and look for the positive. You know, this is going to teach me something. [Laughs.] I don't know what it is right now!

Another opportunity for growth!

But, yeah, can I just not grow today, please? [Laughs.]

I hear you.

Yeah, but it's beautiful. God, I so love being out on the limb. You know? You're living life.

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Does yoga influence your parenting?

Oh, yeah. Yoga helps me be a better person in general. It makes me calmer and more centered.

There are a few quotes that Janet repeats, like "Take your heart into a vast field and let it breathe." And those words resonate so strongly with me. She says, "Carry that with you for the rest of the day and set that intention." You know, be kind to yourself. Be kind to the people around you. It's the way I want to live my life. If I could always be as centered as I was right after I finished yoga, like, Ah! And then it's, whooml Right back into life. But I carry it with me. Absolutely.

I want you to tell me a little bit about your love of surfing.

Ohh! I started surfing when I was 30. A girlfriend kept trying to push me into it, because I've always been a water baby. I love the ocean. And she took me out with

Sarah Mclachlan Surfing

VJ Editor in chief Kaitlin Quistgaard, Sarah McLachlan, and yoga teacher Janet Wallden on the set.

a friend who was a professional surfer and a teacher, and he got me up.

I stood up, and I rode a wave, and that was it. I was hooked. I think about it every single day, and I wish I could do it every single day.

I don't like big waves. I mean, I surfed pretty big waves wrhen I didn't know what I was doing. And I got whiplash from it. My friend Crystal broke a rib, I got whiplash, we were red as lobsters, and we

VJ Editor in chief Kaitlin Quistgaard, Sarah McLachlan, and yoga teacher Janet Wallden on the set.

came home and said, "That was the best day ever!" [Laughs.] We were so happy! Why is that?

Well, there's something to be said for putting yourself in a little bit of danger. It's that wanting to feel alive, wanting to feel on the edge.

And funnily enough, back to yoga and singing: With surfing, when you're on the wave and you're about to get up, you have to be completely and utterly focused in that moment. And that's the other place where I feel that same complete freedom—high and free and in the moment and connected to everything.

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"Soinlit: e/idince suggests Dut does net awe naieatmj 15 ources per oay of most nus (such as alTonds ana ueanjtsi. as part of a die: 1» n satoteJ fe & cfdistero1 rd tot resulting in increased ca cic intake, r^ reduce the risk cf coronal »ear? disease the SPCA, in which you sing your hit "Angel"and talk about the need to protect animals from abuse, has inspired millions of dollars in charitable donations. Will you tell me about your interest in charities and being of service?

I took a trip to Thailand and Cambodia in 1991 when I was 19 years old. Little did I know it would completely change my life.

I was thrust into situations that were so shocking and painful to witness. Going into a pediatric hospital in Phnom Penh and watching a mother holding her dying child—dying because they didn't know they could bring it into the hospital; they didn't know medicine even existed. If it had existed, they couldn't get it anyway, because they didn't have access to it.

So many things that I'd taken for granted in my life — I realized that in a huge part of the world, they have no access to this stuff. It was so shocking to me. And I came home thinking, "I've got to do whatever it is I can to help." It really informed me—really, really profoundly. I've always carried that with me.

I have a responsibility as a human being to do whatever it is I can to make the world around me a better place—whether that's a small gesture of helping someone with their groceries, or smiling at someone, or giving millions of dollars to charity. It doesn't matter what it is. All of these acts of selfless goodness have such a profound effect on the world.

I have a great platform. I can show up for two hours and do a commercial that generates $30 million in revenue for the SPCA. To be able to use the platform that I have as an artist to be influential like that is huge.

Ultimately, it comes down to, What am I good at? How am I going to have the biggest impact? I have two small kids, and I have to prioritize. I sing; that's what I'm good at. So I lend my voice.

I've been so lucky and blessed in my life with all the opportunities I've been given. It feels right to give back. It makes me feel good. It's kind of selfish, really.

Last one: What can you tell me about the music school you founded'?

I put the money I made from Lilith into a foundation. Looking at all the music programs being cut from schools, I thought music was the way to go. We've been running for eight years now, and we have 280 kids in the program, after school. Completely free. [The Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach program offers Vancouver inner-city kids free lessons in guitar, piano, percussion, and choir, taught by professional musicians—plus opportunities to perform.]

Some kids have turned their lives around because of this. They had a place to go after school. They had a focus. Music saved my butt in so many ways when I was growing up. It was the one thing I knew I was good at, and I could hold on to that and feel good about myself. A lot of these kids—whether they're great musicians or not doesn't matter. They get to explore their emotional world, and they get to do it in a nurturing environment. *

Kaitlin i^yistgaard is the editor in chief of Yoga Journal.

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