Expressed By You

“Most things have already been done – but they have not yet been done by you.”
Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic (p. 97)

Someone recently called me the Liz Gilbert of the voice world.  That’s high praise, ’cause Elizabeth Gilbert has changed my life. Twice. And even though I may never be as influential or well spoken as she is, I get her.  She speaks to me, just as I hope to speak to you.

The first time was with Eat, Pray, Love.  I know, I know, totally 2007, but I read that book in one sitting because I was deeply desperate for hope and authenticity.  Those were things I couldn’t muster for myself at the time, and that book was a guidepost toward my healing.

In that dark time, Eat, Pray, Love was a ray of bright, loving light shining straight into my heart.  One sitting, one book, life bettered.

The second time Liz’s words changed me was with her new book Big Magic.  A friend asked me if I wanted to borrow el libro recently, and with a title like that, who could refuse?  Several ideas from Big Magic have allowed me to do the unthinkable, including start this blog.  Hence, the next few posts will be about insights from this gem.

On discussing originality vs. authenticity, Gilbert says, “Everything reminds us of something.  But once you put your own expression and passion behind an idea, that idea becomes yours.” (97)Big Magic and Esther

Boom.  This concept is a game changer, and I’ll tell you why.

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Letting Go of Should

“Stop should-ing all over yourself.”  Ever heard that one?

It’s not original, but it’s a statement I jokingly use often.  If you could eliminate one word from the English language, what would it be?

My word: SHOULD.

I can imagine many scenarios where the word should comes in handy.  “I should brush my teeth, lest they rot out of my head.”  But, even in those cases, do we really need it?  (Pause here, people . . . breathe . . . ask again: do we?)

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Small Action, High Impact

Image: https://commons.wikimedia.org/

In watching a few (well, ahem, maybe more than “a few”) Seth Godin YouTube talks this week, I’ve been impressed with the idea that in today’s economy taking small actions with high impact are the “new” way to get our jobs done.

These small actions are intrinsic to what Mr. Godin calls the “connection economy,” where we are more attracted to individuals and products that provide real human interaction and care than mass marketed, mediocre commodities.  Thank you for the ability to communicate cheaply, Mr. Internets.

We have all considered the concept of quality over quantity, but it bears noticing – just because an action is small does not limit it’s effectiveness or impact, and it might be that in today’s world those are the actions that really count.

This is the kind of idea that sets my soul afire.  Probably because it’s how I want to live in the world, creating as many small, palpable moments of shift in and around myself so as to create positive ripples that move across the universe forever.

Big rock lands in small pond, can you see it?

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Learning a New Voice

I am currently working with several clients who are in the process of making peace with a new voice.  Some have sustained vocal injury and are habilitating (yes, that’s a word) their vocal function, some are discovering their physiological range and timbre for the first time, and some are simply allowing themselves to sing new styles of music or give a public speech for the first time.

They all share one thing in common, though. The brain doesn’t recognize the new sounds they are making as familiar, and they are all a bit mystified as to how they “should” sound.  I have experienced this psychological quagmire through learning to sing classical Italian art songs.  (The sound these songs require was completely foreign to me at first, and it has taken awhile to interpret and produce a convincing sound in this style.)

I don’t have all the answers when it comes to learning to make new, healthy vocal sounds.  Each person has the option to remain open to healing (or not), and my job is to provide evidence-based practices and unwavering encouragement along the way. Very often, that’s all we have to work with in the beginning, and the rest is an uncharted journey.

What I do know for sure is that this a journey of acceptance and trust.

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