I've always thought that working with the voice is a spiritual practice. Definitely anyone who is a performer or artist has met the nature of inner work in form of different challenges, fears, beliefs in some way. Doing the inner work doesn't only grow you as a being, but it makes you a better singer and performer. Here are of few of the highlights of spiritual insights from the year 2016!
1. SING LESS, SURRENDER MORE
Letting go of the idea of singing is a big key to singing more authentically. To clarify what I mean by this, is that often when we are "supposed" to sing we start doing all kinds of things. Things that we think means singing. We stick unconsiously to our unhealthy habits like safety anchors. This is more like doing instead of being.
The more you surrender and let go of trying to sing nicely, more real your voice becomes.
We sometimes think that we are doing a strong interpretation by pushing, forcing and trying to make our voice be something else. It isn't only a message to yourself that you're voice is not enough, it stays on a really shallow level of feeling and presence. It's like you're running through the song or a speech without sensing what's happening.
This could come out as a singer using their voice very loudly all the time, the loss of dynamics, depending excessively on high notes, doing excess amount of maners or effects without it feeling natural. These can all be ways to "hide" the fear of surrendering to what could happen if we just let go or stripped down all the doing.
The difference is awareness.
With awareness you're able to let go of all the ways you did it before, all the ways it should be done, all the ways you think that are wrong, all the habitual ways. There is a possibility to come into this moment and sense with a fresh perspective. Once you practice more awareness of your mind and body, you start to notice the difference in yourself. When you're more aware, it is more pleasurable to sing, more effortless and moving. It is also scary because you can't control it in the same way.
2. YOUR DREAMS ARE NOT ALWAYS WHAT YOU THINK THEY ARE
Why I write about this is that I've noticed that human has a tendency to create dreams that come from ideas of what we've seen others do, rather than create our own dreams. You must have sometimes experienced your dream coming true and realizing that you don't even enjoy it at all. Then why are you so disappointed if it was your dream?
Sometimes artists think they have to go a certain path to be successful, so they end up creating dreams based on this image, just to realize at some point that it doesn't really even fulfil them. Let me tell you - it doesn't have to be the same way someone else did it. You can create your own unique way of using your gifts.
When we are building our personal dreams it is most valuable to recognize what is the core essence of what we REALLY want to experience and feel. The more clarity there is on this, the more clearly we resonate what we want into the universe. The thing is that this often also takes time.
You need to know how you want to FEEL in your dream manifestation. What are the core values that build up your dream? How do you want to connect with people? How do you want to feel by the end of the day? What kind of things do you really enjoy doing? And all of these without the frames of those ideas we have.
3. HONOR YOUR JOY
Joy is our spiritual guide. Our joy tells us what nourishes us, what we need, what we like. It tunes us into higher frequencies and creates flow, excitement and passion. When you find your joy, you find the space of timelessness.
What I learned is that sometimes we overlook our joy as something useless. It can be something like buying green balloons, which might seem a little irrational to our mind.
Our joy doesn't always create linear results in the way the goal-orientated mind is used to. Instead it is like a part of a treasure map that leads you in a mysterious way toward the dream of your heart.
If it brings you joy to go out and jump on the trampoline, then do it. When you hear your heart jump out of joy, listen to it and honor what it has to say. Even though it might seem like a waste of time, it is leading you towards your spirit and your true self. The same goes with our voice. If there are certain songs that spark your joy, sing them, even if no one around you appreciates them. If you like to listen to certain bands, listen to them. If you like to make jokes, make jokes. If you'd like to explore strange areas of your voice, explore them.
There is always more to explore. To get to know our voice, we need to get to know ourselves, our blind spots, our shadows and beliefs. It's a journey of laughter and tears, pain and pleasure. It is more than just technique. Let yourself go there and discover.