Saturday, December 12, 2009
One of my clients had a breakthrough yesterday. With her permission, I'd like to share her story with you.
Katherine doesn't consider herself a singer. She works in finance, but heard about me through a friend and thought doing some singing would help to open her up to deeper creative and personal expression.
As many of you know, I've found over the years that vocal tension– for both the amateur and professional– more often than not comes from or is exacerbated by non-vocal issues; lack of faith in self, unresolved or unaddressed emotional concerns, insecurities, fears of failure and success, and the like.
With this in mind, as she struggled through a song, I asked Katherine to focus not on how she was sounding, but rather, to concentrate on the meaning of the words and music. To feel the voice coming from a deeper place. To stop listening to and trying to manage every note, and instead, focus on the process of the sound being born, formed, resonating in, and leaving her body.
I asked her to sing from her soul.
To which she replied, "I don't know where my soul is..."
We sat there together for a long while in silence, as Katherine consciously confronted an issue she'd been trying so hard to avoid- one I'd so carefully been trying to lead her to. Bringing her back to the song, I shared this with her:
You don't have to know where your soul is to sing. By singing, the journey toward your soul begins. And it's a never-ending journey... a leisurely, sensory walk deeper and deeper into yourself and the world.
But the journey of finding and celebrating your soul can't begin until you relinquish judgment and expectation. The soul and the voice don't care how you sound or look. They don't have an idea of how your heart song 'should' go. There is no music they call 'good' or 'bad', no notes they call 'too high' or 'too low', no feelings or ideas or imaginings they call 'wrong' or 'right'. The soul only asks one thing... the voice only asks one thing...
... to sing.
Katherine sat still, eyes closed, hand on her stomach, tears in her eyes, and– as all of the muscles in her face and body released in childlike surrender– made some of the most beautiful sounds I've ever heard.