Living life, Reflection, The Self

It takes the time that it takes

I had returned to singing after a very very long break. The last time I took singing seriously was in my late teens. The voice lessons were prompted by interest and a desire to see if I still had “it”.

I found out pretty quick that my “it” was lacklustre, and this was unsurprising. What surprised me was the disbelief that my instrument – my vocal chords, my body and breath – could do its job. I felt uncertain and vulnerable despite logically knowing after decades of dormancy it wouldn’t happen easily or quickly.

So for more than a year, I worked hard on applying every technique my teacher taught me to the songs, but at the same time not quite believing that I could do it. My mind preempted every note with warnings and questions. This effort resulted in a tense body and vocal chords, constricted breathing which translated into a voice without commitment and conviction singing songs which did not emotionally flow nor engage.

Then life got busy (so I told myself) and the lessons stopped.

Fast forward to recent times with easing of pandemic restrictions, a little voice told me to finish what I had started that is, to resume what I began some 4 years ago.

Walking back into the private lesson, I sensed something different within me. Perhaps I can call it a relaxed approach or cavalier attitude that wasn’t present before.

I sang with an ease within myself. It didn’t feel so effortful. I embraced and applied the techniques but this time, there was a willingness to let go of preconceptions of what singing is about.

It seems I am more “chill” about the singing process now. It seems I have learnt to listen to my body and my heart, allowing my breath and my body to do what they know to do.

My growth in the past 2 years (as my teacher says) has been the learning to trust myself – my body, mind and heart. And from this place of knowing who I am, I am open to exploring what else I can do, of taking risks and being vulnerable.

I let go of needing to, and fearing that I cannot, produce the perfect sound.

The “work” of singing is in the process – to set the intention before I begin and to attend to executing the techniques in each moment; and to let go of controlling and tensing in anticipation of failure or expectation of perfection. I am enjoying the process.

I finally experience what it means to get out of my own way.

The road to here has taken many years – through the effort, the struggle, the stopping and starting, the coming and going, and attending to the call of what brings me joy.

The same principle applies to living life.

There is no prescribed time for us to arrive. The next destination will take the time that it will take on the road. Sometimes it requires persistence, sometimes we need to slow, even pause and allow things to unfold or to consolidate.

We set intention to delight in each moment, trusting that if we do each moment well, then we will arrive. It takes the time that it takes.

~FlorenceT

© 2022 FlorenceT Copyright reserved. The author asserts her moral and legal rights over this work.

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