You know that feeling you get when you’re so excited your smile reaches your ears and you just want to jump up and down like an overjoyed 5-year old? That’s me right now. I’m planning our next house concert and I’m just so excited about it.
I’m overflowing with ideas and already have a whole program of favorites lined up for the big night: “My Funny Valentine”, “Time After Time”, “Joy of Spring”, “Body and Soul” and lots more… At this rate I’ll have to make it a week-long event!
All this planning has got me thinking about this time last year. I had just started my vocal improv training and although I was cautiously falling in love with it, I wasn’t there yet. I wasn’t fully in the flow. And sure, I was excited about last year’s house concert, but my inner 5-year old was far too nervous for any jumping up and down.
In fact I was so anxious about the whole thing I struggled to come up with even 8 songs to add to the program list. The whole thing felt like a chore, an assignment I had to complete. What a difference from how I’m feeling as I prepare for this year’s concert.
So what changed?
Well, it helps that I’m having so much fun with my pianist — Craig Jones is insanely talented and can play any song from memory in any key and we have totally clicked musically. It’s more than that though. After a year of vocal improv training, and having been part of a 2-hour improv singing performance, I’ve finally found my freedom: the freedom to move my body, the freedom to trust my instinct and my musicality.
It helps too that our winter term with songs from and for nature was such a blast. Some of my singers have told me that it’s been the best term yet and I totally feel the same way. It feels like it’s been a period of transition for me and for rest of the choir too. We’re all learning to trust the flow more and to focus on simply having a great time and finding what works for us. We’re singing songs that thousands of people have sung before, but what a joy to do it our way!
Now when it comes to music it feels like there’s nothing I can’t do, and that kind of freedom just spills over into every part of my life, including my preparations for the house concert. My inner critic has been replaced by my inner 5-year old — and she’s doing a little happy dance.
Find your freedom.
Your inner 5-year old deserves to do a happy dance too. It truly is time to fire the inner critic that stops you from letting go, stops you from taking chances, and stops you from trusting your instinct. When your inner critic tries to stop you from doing something new, when it tells you that you don’t know what you’re doing, nod wisely and hit it with my new favorite word:
You might not know what you’re doing yet. But you will. You’ll find your way.
And when you do find your way, when you’re able to let go a little, when you’re able to ditch the idea of perfectionism and focus on following your heart and letting things flow through you, you’ll see the bigger picture. You’ll find out that the universe has your back. You can’t do the world a bigger favor than being your true self. Your greatest gift is the person you are when you are at your happiest –– the person you are when you’re letting the music flow.
The music will be in full flow on Monday May 28th at 4pm at my house concert, and I’d love to share the experience with you! Whether you want to come and listen or if you’re feeling the pull to find your own way of connecting with the music, why not come and sing with us? You’re more than welcome!