Singing is not just singing. It is more than a big voice, a quirky or unique voice, a love of song and expression.
Because I had always wanted to, because I did before and enjoyed it, because I promised myself I would do what I love, I took a step forward. I returned to being a student though of something very different from the academic and professional studies I had undertaken.
And the lessons I have learned so far are surprising.
My initial goal was to ensure the sounds I make are enjoyable to others in whatever context. The dream was to be able to hold my own in a set. I knew I had work to do.
But the goal… the work… were not what I anticipated.
Singing requires commitment… to the process, beyond learning melody and lyrics.
And the process involves learning and integrating techniques and there are plenty of them. It is integrating my mind, my body and my spirit to work in oneness. It is a demonstration of how much my thoughts, breath and emotions impact upon each other. For every tension, doubt, concern, dislike, avoidance, it shows in the voice that flows. So does every emotion, connection, openness that arrives. The “work” is thus to coordinate these.
Instead of focusing on the destination, this goal of perfect sound, I am embedding mindfulness of the techniques, to be present in preparing for the journey. Through commitment to the process and “work” on the techniques in each moment, I will arrive.
And therein lay the letting go of control, to trust the process and ultimately myself (that what I do is enough) … and to allow the outcome to be what it will be.
The process also requires the removal of barriers of self-protection and safety… to sing, one must go where the song leads. To be vulnerable to the rising emotions that a song evokes, the emerging emotions that have been dormant, ignored or unnoticed.
Mere mortals like us spend years putting on our armour and masks, to protect ourselves from the world. We know we are vulnerable but we have managed to bury it so deep. Vulnerability has been a stranger to many of us. So now we are afraid of what we may find, if we let it out. We may not wish to be reminded of our hurtful experience of being vulnerable. But, then we were helpless, now we are not. Then we were battered and bruised by it, now we don’t have to.
To put my heart and soul into a song is a big deal.
I am learning to get out of my own way. And I glimpse freedom.
And so it is in living life.
Through singing, I have unwittingly extended my commitment to be being mindful, to experiencing one-ness in life, to pulling down walls… and allowing the future to come to pass.
I am grateful for this experience.
I am a novice again – somewhat scary but refreshing and exhilarating.
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