Recently my singing/speaking voice has decreased in range, partly due to a lack of practice, over use as I lecture in college classes, and pushing the bounds of style. But what about the “beliefs I have about myself?” How does a decreased self-confidence and stress effect my voice – and my Voice?
According to Christiane Northrup, M.D., “we are taught from an early age that our health is largely the result of our genetic heritage, whether or not we’ve been immunized, how many supplements we take, and how much exercise we get. There is no doubt that these factors can contribute to our state of health. But their influence pales in comparison to the power of our beliefs and attitudes.”
Take a moment to document the stress coming at you from the outside. Are you pushing it aside or breathing through it? Do these stressors include work, increased work, care for your family, increased care for family, and maybe a change in your own physical health? Is it the weather and how weather effects these stressors? In any case, you and your health are a lot more important than what our culture wants us to achieve. And how I view and believe in myself is too.
Take time to calibrate and understand this connection. It may help save your life making it richer, bolder, and healthier.
Susan waited outside the door of my studio for her lesson time as another woman finished singing “I Dreamed a Dream.” When I opened the door to let my Fantine out and let Susan in, she w
as crying. She had waited 30 years to return to a voice lesson and now the time had arrived. Susan was a voice major in college and after graduation, life stepped in to steal her away for a job that would give her security, respect, and a predictable life.
Now, 30 years later, she was exploring the person she had left behind, set on the shelf and the anticipation brought tears to her eyes. When you hear the true sound of your own voice singing….It opens a place within your soul that either – you didn’t know existed or didn’t know could be re-found. Try a lesson and you will be overwhelmed with the possibility of a MORE abundant life that is waiting for you to step in.
“Using my voice to help others find theirs.”
I watched “Iron Jawed Angels” tonight on Youtube. Hilary Swank plays the role of suffragette, Alice Paul. And, let me say… if there was ever any pause in my support of women…in my understanding of equality…and in my gratitude for my right to vote, it has been decided. The movie runs from 1912 to Aug 26, 1920 (a date we all should honor). It is a well told and amazing story. (Unfortunately, the music was not to my liking but I am a music snob in some ways, I digress).
While watching this show, I read about a young 14 yr old former student of mine on Facebook. Her mother was asking for options because the daughter is facing daily sexual harassment. In conjunction with my movie, I can only surmise that our country has gained mere inches in the equality of all women? Of all people? Where we should have gained miles.
Take a look at this movie. Dig into your Feminist History. And enjoy the innate power that not only lies within each woman and girl in this world, but the creativity, honor, and advancement that await our country when women lead!
I love the #metoo movement, #timesup, and other efforts to bring a focus to equality. I will now join the steps to advance these actions. For this is a way my VOICE can be strengthened and heard. And for my SONG to be sung.
Wherever you are right now, is exactly where you need to be. As you sit and wait for opportunity or chance or others to fulfill your hopes, you are exactly where you need to be. Maybe you are working hard to carve out a path, a life, a greater opportunity…exactly the right place. And that place is PRESENT. Be present.
You can plan, schedule, reward, and enjoy but in any situation, be exactly where you are. Be present. Breathe and look and live. The seeds you planned last Tuesday are beginning to move and grow. The seeds you sowed last month have sprouted and are heading back your way. And the relationships you made years ago need to be nurtured. Because you need to be nurtured. You work so hard planting the seeds, and giving, and producing. Take a breath. Be present. All will come your way in its time.
And your country….it is (for good or bad) exactly where it needs to be. It is a mirror, a gut-check, and a reality call on the deep dark wounds of the past. It is a small child hoping for care. And it has seeds that were planted years ago growing as we speak. Do not despair, breathe and know that at this very moment, you are exactly where you need to be.
Rest, receive help from others, and restore. The plants that will push through the soil next week will require your attention. Take this time to become ready….because next week…that is where you will need to be in those exact moments.
Thanksgiving Week is a unique moment in time. Most musicians and artists have been rehearsing for months to either sneak on the Christmas scene or explode with fur and snowflakes! It’s a touchy time. Many people love to hear and see the Christmas festivities each year, but don’t want to admit that it is “that time” again. This time of year means facing the past, loss or trying to reach unmet or unexpressed expectations. This post, hidden deep inside Facebook, is the most real news you will ever get. Consider this a little present of truth, just for you. A gift of power and difference making. If you want change, a release of stress and a path for you and your family to a simple more meaningful holiday… be the one to carve it out. Select simple gifts, keep traditions but set boundaries with family so you don’t get run over, and don’t forget to count your blessings at the end of another year. Your health, your joy and the respect of your children and family members could be the best Christmas gifts this year.
It’s the little, consistent steps that forge any path. Careful adherence to our daily routines, healthy habits and beliefs carve out the Path we want to achieve. And bad or unhealthy steps inhibit that path, even if it is as small as a little chocolate donut. You may be thinking the rabbit wins the race by jumping from one event to the next. Maybe you are a rabbit and this has worked for you but I am willing to bet there are some small steps you count on. Steps that are out of your Control – like waiting on others, timing, and patience. The combination of steps needs to be carefully planned and yes – they include help from others.
It is the first weeks of May and that means many skilled and unskilled people are attempting to summit Mt. Everest. There are climbers who have spent years training and climbers who just went out to buy their sub-standard gear. There are professional lead climbers and guides and natural native climbers called Sherpa. As a group, they will attempt to summit the tallest mountain (29,029 ft) in the world on Thursday. (I have included a link to the story below).
Each day, I am carving out a path of small steps and know I am making headway on my overall goal. But, I believe I am at the “Dip”. A term coined by Seth Godin to signify that place of quitting right before you reach the goal. I am at the dip because a few of my steps are faltering – belief in myself, consistency, and I may have a hint of burn-out. I must stop to rest, look at the crowd of people able to help and hand off some of the load. In fact, delegating is a very good small step to take. In the process of reaching my goals, I don’t need to do it alone. Solo climbs are really not necessary when you face a mountain like Everest
Link to story on The Guardian: http://gu.com/p/4j34d?CMP=Share_iOSApp_Other
For the month of April, my blog topic was “failure.” How ironic, I failed at writing anything on this topic until now. Everywhere I look, failure has become a badge of honor. “Fail quick and often.” “It’s better to fail at something you love, than not to try at all.” Even – “It’s better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
I get failure – a failed audition, a failed class or a failed relationship are all a part of my path. But failure is not a part of my vocabulary. I don’t see the inability to complete a task, a plan and effort in business, as a fail. In mid-stream, ideas flow in another direction. Choices to recover or save a project are the natural way to run a business. Like risk, failure can be planned out.
In the month of April, I haven’t allowed failure to focus me. I have been making plans and taking steps – the topic for May. I can bypass failure by making plans and taking steps in the direction of my goals. That’s all I do and I think I am in a pretty good place. With the help of others – I keep moving ahead.
Recently I had coffee with a new friend. After we got caught up with each other’s lives, events, and opinions, we explored a deeper topic of “what we want.” We agreed there will always be opportunities, functions, Facebook & LinkedIn events in which to network, connect socially, and expand our business or personal interests. What we wanted was to take a break.
Our conversation soon turned to…when is enough, enough? When do I stop searching for the “next thing” and focus on my own work? I can’t continue to balance both work and play equally. At some point, I must stop reading information and produce it as my own. As my friend and I talked about our slipping and sliding around town attending events, I realized I was not only looking for connection with others but a deeper substance with myself. A substance only found when I make time to create, dream and explore my own work.
So, here is the question. What do I Want? What do I want my business to be? What do you Want your life or business or family…to be? The choices made today construct the path to goals achieved and successes. Just wishing I were so-in-so or hoping for a successful business will not make it so. I need to find a better balance of work and play. Coffee dates/cocktail events and teaching people to sing. Friends and new friends will always be waiting to see me. I must make sure I have done the work and achieved the success to talk about it with them. Consistent good work equals a success to talk about.
For months, I have been carrying around this torn out page from an old Oprah magazine. I am drawn to its colors, design and enduring message. This message is for me. And to be honest – the journey is all I have. I can’t guarantee the outcome of any event or relationship, but I can work them out and enjoy myself. I can always end a journey by selling my business or accepting another adventure. I guess the present moment is a lot cooler than I give it credit for.
This month my journey has led me to a few coffee dates with some very interesting and connected people. With each one, I had the privilege of telling my story and being surprised by our similarities. A CEO of a national company, the director of a small theater and the president of a non-profit arts organization all have journies they are excited about. Projects and risk, hopes and expectations that have no guarantee= enjoying the journey. Maybe that is why their lives are so exciting.
I guess I have still been thinking that after all this work, I will plateau and enjoy the ride. But, that isn’t true – AND, I am not allowing myself to enjoy it. James Clear writes, “Your concern is to do the work, not to judge it. Your concern is to fall in love with the process, not to grade the outcome. Keep your eyes on your own paper.” The journey is everything – and if others come along….awesome.