Posted in Musings

Be a (Music) Rebel – A Cure for Singer’s Blah

I believe that every singer has a little rebel living inside them.  In fact, I would encourage every singer to find that little rebel as soon as they possibly can.  Why?

Well let me first explain who that little rebel is.  Rebels generally have a bad reputation – think James Dean, surly, possibly chain-smoking (please, please do not ever smoke or give up if you do – it kills!), reckless, anti-social, maverick, and unorthodox.  But the music rebel I am referring to can actually be a great asset for singers and musicians.

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Posted in Music, Singing

How to Sing When You Don’t Feel Like It (or Can’t)

All singers, whether you are a professional, hobbyist, or volunteer, will encounter times when creating music just won’t come easily for various reasons.  The most obvious reason will be because of an emotional event that has happened to us or someone we know.  This has happened a few times for me when asked to sing at funerals or weddings (yes, weddings – a happy event, but one filled with high expectations!). 

The most challenging time was when I was asked to sing at the funeral of a woman I had known at church for many years.  She was an amazing lady who struggled with health issues all of her life, but was as sharp as a tack and lived her life with wit, humour, and determination.  When her family asked that I and another person sing at her funeral, I knew that of course I had to do it, even though my guts were churning.  You see, that was the first time I had to sing at a funeral – ever

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Posted in Musings

How a TV Show Gave Me Hope

I have just emerged from watching a beautiful television series which left me beaming with peace, happiness, hope, and optimism after every episode, but still somewhat tinged with sadness.  That television can be the cause of such joy is a refreshing and rare experience in our time, as most of what we see on ‘the tube’ can leave us feeling empty, angry, depressed, fearful, and constantly questioning ourselves in a world of endless comparison.

But not this time.

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Posted in Musings

One, Five

One, five.

No, not fifteen, but one and five.

There are so many things in life that we want to get to, right?  We keep being told that we need to do X amount of exercise each day or week, eat this or that, accomplish a specific chore, check off to-do lists, and on and on and on.  We can sometimes sit back and realise that it is just all too much, so we end up doing nothing at all! 

One morning as I was going through my twenty minutes of time allocated for stretches – essential for singers and anyone wanting to stay flexible! – I thought just that: it is all too much.  Twenty minutes is nothing, but my brain was on already on fast forward leaping into the activities of the day.  I was not in the moment.  Naturally, my focus became scattered, my stretches ended up looking like some pitiful 1970’s dance, and to top it all off my stomach was grumbling for some breakfast.  Enough already!


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Posted in Musings

Knowing Me…Watching You?…A-ha

Okay, brace yourself, here comes a bit of a revelation: 

I love ABBA

And the above title got me singing ‘Knowing Me, Knowing You’.  This song is about relationships – more on that later – but it also makes me wonder… how much do we really know ourselves? 

Do we spend so much time musing about other people’s lives and activities that we lose sight of who we really are, and about relating to others, that we end up feeling more fragmented because we just do not meet other people’s ‘ideal’ standards?

I think sometimes we can spend far too much time watching what other people are up to, especially online, and then in a subconscious way we start comparing ourselves with them.  A subtle depression and inadequacy can take seed within us if we decide that we don’t measure up to what that person is doing or what this person is saying or achieving.  In the meantime, if we do not use that information to improve our own lives, our time is just ticking away and all we have ever done is stare at a screen to keep up with someone else.

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Posted in Musings

The Darkness

An intense personal darkness is with me.  This has been triggered by several things, especially life and career transitions, but also because of the actions of some people around me.  Despite my own advice about not allowing yourself to be affected, things just sometimes do get to you, and you just have to ride it out.  For all of my positivity, the things that some people do…Just.  Plain.  Suck.  But this darkness has also become an inspiration for me to write even more.  You see, dark times need to be brought into the light, and writing is a perfect way to do that when the voice grows weary of speaking.

I recognize this awfulness as a period of desolation, depression, or even perhaps a dark night of the soul.  I am still not so sure.  Oh yes, I still sing my little heart out, but the rain clouds are hovering menacingly above me.  In fact, the rain is pelting down.  There have been some days when I do not want to even show up, or I only just hold it together. 

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Posted in Musings

To Give, and Give…and Give

So many times over the years I have repeated a pattern which has often, if not always, ended up in me feeling drained, depleted, and sometimes discarded.  When you find yourself in a situation or in relationships with different people – be they personal or professional – and find that you are continuously giving of yourself, or rescuing others in their time of woe to the point of your own mental and spiritual exhaustion, then it is time to stop.  It is time to reflect.  It is time to put yourself first. 

While an awareness of the needs of others and being a compassionate, giving person is a great thing, you do not want to be taken for granted either.  It is wonderful if the one you are helping recovers, but if they ghost you and then go on their merry way and never keep in touch, if they don’t care about you or even ask how you are going, well…it feels like a slap in the face.

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