Growing in circles

My own journey has not been a linear path, anything but. Sometimes I approached success and went off in an entirely different direction for some reason I can't fathom now looking back. But there are a few things I have learned:

- don't give up your dreams to have a relationship. I don't mean you shouldn't respect your partner or work on that togetherness. I mean, if someone tells you your dreams are not their dreams and you need to choose, don't give up yours. The price of love should never be the thing that lights you up inside. If someone really loves you, they will support that thing that inspires you. That's what makes you you.

- don't give up your dreams because you have wasted time doing something else or have reached a certain age. Creativity has no number attached to it. There are wonderfully talented young people, and wonderfully talented seniors, and everything in between. Like I said, I have been on the road and off the road, gone around in circles, been in deep ruts, lost and unsure. Forgive yourself, get back up, and start again. I have, more times than I can count ;)

- allow yourself to play. Not everything that you 'make' or 'create' is going to be perfect. Do it for the joy of doing, and trust you'll find a way to smooth the edges later, or, if it ends up being something you can't fix up, know it's experience and grist for the mill.

- do what you can when you can. Everyone is different. Some have full-time jobs and families and all sorts of responsibilities. Find 5 minutes here and 5 minutes there. It adds up.

- take time to take care of you. Your mind and your heart need peace, serenity, sleep, nourishment.

- not everyone is going to like what you do or how you do it. Listen to the feedback of those you trust, and let the rest go. Remember Star Trek and IDIC... infinite diversity in infinite combinations.

- pay it forward when you can. It's amazing how generous our creative tribe is. Part of that is taking responsibility for being informed and being responsible for disseminating good information along with encouragement and support to others on the path.

- everyone can sing. Everyone can be 'in the music'. We should encourage this in our children, in our friends and in our world. Music is the only human activity that lights up the whole brain. It's one of the most beautiful things humans do and create. Relish it and treasure it and share it.


what do you get when you don't get stuff done

It's been an amazingly interesting month, working with a voice student on an intensive program for freeing the voice, and meeting 5 days out of 7 for an hour. As part of the student's process, they are recording video of the sessions and journalling immediately after, then watching the video the next next day and journaling more. I'm taking notes as I participate as mentor, and sharing my process and my knowledge with him as we go forward. Many discussions on what it means to free oneself from past programming and what it means to be alive and in the moment.

Many many voice teachers speak of pedagogy, as do I, but for me the studying of singing is more than the technical things we need to do in order for the voice to work properly. Because those of us who are shy or introverted or intimidated or doubtful can study technique til we are blue in the face, but unless the way we relate to ourselves and the world is included it's hard to get free. I teach this because it was the process of learning to sing that allowed me to wake up to the way I protected myself and how that held my voice back... and me back... from being fully actualized.

In today's session I wrote, 'what am I not accomplishing, and what do I get from not accomplishing it?' (I called this a 'Dr Phil moment' :D)  There has to be a payoff for those things we wish to do and have opportunity to do but do not do. Not that we should be rigid and expect every hour to be busy with stuff. But there are hours wasted surfing the net or playing games that would potentially be better spent. That's what I contemplate tonight....

"Never hope for more than you are willing to work for"

I found that quote in an interesting blog by Brian Medavoy. Although the blog is about breaking into Hollywood, all the things he talks about could apply to a creative career anywhere. Highly recommended: Getting to Know Hollywood: Sign the Town Before You Sign the Talent

'Social prescribing' has its benefits

Just had to share this article: 'British Doctors May Soon Prescribe Art, Music, Dance, Singing Lessons'

When I read an article like that I think someone is finally getting it right. I've always felt that removing music from schools for lack of funds - like it's not important for our development and wellbeing - is a crime. Music is not a luxury. It's a necessity. I know not everyone can afford lessons or instruments or even to join a choir sometimes is impossible. But still we can enjoy music in our lives in a variety of ways. There are many benefits to being 'in the music'. Don't wait!

the ebb and flow of a day

I only have my own perspective, really, but it often feels to me like a day has its own ebb and flow, rather like the ocean tides. Some days, like today, I feel like I am in a tidal backwater and the sea is very very low. Other days I feel like everything flows along at a good clip and I am vibrating with creative energy a decent amount of the time. I begin to wonder if I need those fallow days as much as I need the vibrant ones. It can't sunshine all the time. Perhaps it's enough to sit and listen to the music of the rain.

quality in doing...

It occurred to me today that all my excessive planning might be as bad as bingewatching the latest series on Netflix or spending too much time on Facebook. It's as much not being present as any other overconcern with what happened before this moment and what's going to happen next.

I'd always considered that planning ahead was a reasonably reasonable thing to do. Indeed, how does one get from A to B without a road map. Very true. There does need to be some kind of purpose to one's day and some kind of a sketch as to which way one will go and what one might actually do when one arrives.

I do remember Eckhart Tolle saying something like, you can't think about attaining some future state as that removes you from the now. And, if one is so focused on an intention that one feels a lack in one's current moment... we create an unhappy state that affects the self and those around.

It seems, then, the quality of our 'doing' is more important than an end goal. As I write that it resonates with me.

In working with my students it is all about hearing & seeing the person before me as they are now, today. We cannot push the voice to be something it's not. Our whole journey together is about removing past programming and future expections to experience the natural voice without constraints.

There is a practice associated with that process... the goal is to practice for the sake of practicing... to allow that today's practice will feel however it feels but is the foundation for growth... to embrace the idea that breathing, sighing, and vibrating with sound today is sufficient. That it feels good. It feels good to have practiced being in the moment practicing. ~

the challenge...

I was watching a TAXI TV episode today with two very successful media composers. It was very interesting when they started talking about time. They don't do facebook, they don't watch tv. As they spoke I knew they were right, that there are definitely hours in my day that could be put to better use.

So I began again. Years ago I had a daily journal where I would write down what I'd done that day towards my creative goals. Not big earth shattering amounts of anything. Just a slow, sure walk on the path.

Since I'm working on several things at the moment, my list is Words (for writing my novel); Guitar (must practice as I am taking lessons), Composing (create music), Walk (good for you), and an ancillary item or two like 'pay bills' or 'put the recycle out'.

I remind myself that the goal here is not to be perfect. I may write something that doesn't quite jive or the musical cue I start may not gel, or my guitar practice may still be out of time with the metronome. But a little work on each of these things every day is, first and foremost, acting creatively. Secondly, you can't get to where you want to go without walking the path before it, however overgrown or meandering. ~