Katie Rose
from: Katie Rose
Category: Voicework

5 Steps to a More Songful You

January Blog - 5 Steps to a More Songful You in 2013
So this New Year, I’ve decided to create some new resources to empower singers. I’m really excited about sharing the richness that singing has given me and what I’ve learned from witnessing transformation in others.  I’m putting together an e-course and do invite you to the first workshop of the year Sing From Within.  Please do read this month’s blog - I’d love to hear your comments!

1. Creating a Sanctuary of Song

There is no doubt that any creative adventure requires stepping over the edge and moving beyond our comfort zone.  For many people, including some of the world’s top performers, the thought of singing or speaking in public induces chills, hot flushes and blushes, tummy turn-overs, palpitations, negative self-talk or outright terror. I can happily say that I’ve experienced all this and more and survived.
The over-the-edge feeling that arises in the moment of performance is inevitable and the wonderful thing about it is, of course, how absolutely exhilarating it is. This is because we are, in that moment, fully present to everything that is happening in a heightened way.  Spontaneity is so precious - hence why we both fear and crave it - and whilst we cannot ever predict it, we can prepare for it by creating a feeling of support and safety around our creativity which acts as a springboard into spontaneity.
Everyone has different needs and their own ways of taking support which can include:



  • Meditation - singing is ultimately, for me, a form of meditation - which is something that brings us into connection with the spontaneous, creative essence of ourselves and life itself.  When we meditate regularly, performance becomes less terrifying because we build a foundation of positive, nourishing experiences which we can tap into in the moment of performance.  A meditation practice need not be attached to a belief-system - it is simply something that helps you feel present - eg - walking in nature, writing, drawing, sitting silently, breathwork, martial arts, yoga etc.  The important thing is to find something that works for you.


 



  • Practice - this often has old associations of school teachers saying ‘practice makes perfect’ etc.  In truth Practice makes Process. Practice means spending time with your voice, getting to know it and finding out what helps it to be expressed fully. This is a daily process because our voice is an expression of us and we are different everyday.  

  • Supportive People & Places  - this can be a singing teacher, chanting group, choir, mentor, creative friend, course, workshop - the fundamental thing is that these are places of safety and respect where any feedback you receive will be constructive and supportive of your growth.  



2. Befriending our Fear and our Inner Audience
To sing is to share our soul (a.k.a. most innermost self), so there is nothing wrong with feeling vulnerable or scared about it. Actually if you’re feeling afraid, it’s a great sign that you’re growing.  So make friends with your fear, don’t deny, suppress or make it wrong.   It is often our fear of fear that causes inhibition, not fear itself.  Like every emotion, fear dissipates most quickly when we let it pass, so sing through, with and out of your fear.
Our fears are mostly based in internalised belief systems and inner chit-chat from our Inner Audience.  You may be surprised to find out just how many people are sat in your Inner Auditorium carping away ad nauseum - that old music teacher who told you to mime at school will be there, along with with well-meaning family members who tried to protect you from taking risks and gossipy, jealous friends who mocked your dreams. The best way to deal with these voices is to acknowledge and embrace them as distorted mirrors of your own greatness and as messengers from your subconscious.  We all have everything within us, from the sublime to the ridiculous and the more willing we are to accept everything in ourselves, the more able we are to accept it in others and to feel less flummoxed when our inner or outer critics start mud-slinging.  It may not stop it hurting sometimes, but it is a truly empowered perspective to say - “Thank you for mirroring to me my fear that I can’t do it. I’m going to do it anyway.”  After time spent cultivating this kind of dialogue, the old Inner Audience get less boisterous and lose their power, meaning that you can repopulate your Inner Auditorium with a crowd of flower-throwing, loving supporters.


3. Finding Your Super Singing Self
To sing is to express our highest potential and expression, so as we befriend our Inner Audience, we can align ourselves with our most magnificently creative, sublime, expansive aspects.  This is not the same as developing a massive ego and throwing a hissy fit when someone dares to tread on your designer coat tails.  Quite the contrary, it is actually a process of complete humility of surrendering yourself to the most loving forces within you and, indeed, the entire Universe.  Now that’s not to say you can’t have a range of fabulous outfits, because the more you honour the magnificent being that you are and the force of sublime creativity that you are aligned to, the more you will raise your game and radiate beauty in every aspect of your life, including your wardrobe.  
A great way to discover your highest qualities is to take a look at who inspires you - your Muses - for their qualities are a mirror of your own inner treasures.  So go find your Inner and Outer Super Wo/Men and humbly claim your own true greatness and your unique creative mission here on Earth.

4. Honing Your Skills and Expanding Your Vision
Whilst it’s all very good prancing around in those fabulous outfits with a hairbrush in your bedroom, there comes a time when it needs to be shared with the world.  Here’s where you get to be really creative and start setting intentions and taking consistent actions.
Find out what adventures your Super Singing Self wants to have in this world and go about having them - so you want to sing at that open mic down the road? -  go along and get to know people there, polish up your songs and get your show on the road.  Maybe you want to lead your class of urban kids in kick-ass nursery raps - find a workshop for facilitators and teachers who want to use more singing in their work.  It’s the small steps that build greatness. Every action you take, even if it’s simply 5 minutes of dedicated all-out singing in the shower every morning, contributes to your growth.

5.  Devotion and Surrender
For me the ultimate bliss of singing is the ecstatic experience of being sung.  It’s an experience of surrender to devotion which sublimely spontaneous.  It cannot be forced, contrived, induced or bartered into being.  It has to be made welcome like a beloved.
So, yes, I’ve done all sorts of weird and wonderful practices, delirious dancing, mind-blowing meditations, bendy body things etc and it’s all doubtless enriched me and brought a kaleidoscope of colour and a host of wonderful friends into my life.  Ultimately, it’s not about finding a path or a tribe to belong to, because we are all already on our way and we all belong to each other, whether we like it or not.  What it’s really about is becoming aware that we are each amazing, unique instruments and that if we want the transformational current of song to pass through us, we need to make space and be ready for it to happen.  We need to tune our antennae to the frequency of UniversalSong FM. So I practice like crazy, so I can completely let go in the moment.  I tune the strings of my heart daily, so that love can come and sing through me. 


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If 2013 is the year when you’d like to amplify your singing journey, please do join me at:
Heaven on Earth Gathering - Shake Out the Old, Embrace the New - Jan 26th
Sing From Within - Jan 27th
The Garden of Roses - Tones of Transformation - with Michael Ormiston, Candida Valentino & Raphael Radoux-Rogier - Jan 29th - FREE! :)
Love Your Voice Vocal Coaching Sessions

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I look forward to seeing and singing with you!
Much Love and Blessings for a Songful You in 2013


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