Stress is a sneaky little creature; you’re busy riding a wave of success, reveling in the excitement and activity that comes with it, little realizing that burnout has you in its sights. It’s only a matter of time until it has you firmly in its grasp but you’re just too damn busy to notice.

And when you finally do notice that burnout has taken hold, you still don’t listen. After working so hard and making so much progress, you’re scared to take your foot off the pedal.

What if you miss a golden opportunity? What if the next big thing for your business, your career, or your personal life is just around the corner and you let it slip through your fingers because you’ve taken a little time to let the dust settle?

I feel your pain on this one! But I’ve recently been given a wonderful reminder that the greatest opportunities, the ones that feel like a match made in heaven, the ones that are 100% right for you, will always find their way through.

At exactly the right time.

Taking a step back.

I don’t mind admitting that earlier this year I spread myself too thin.

Being invited to bring Sing Portland! to NYC, to Carnegie Hall no less, was a huge honor but the event prep took its toll. Trying to balance catering for the NYC crew and my remaining singers was a juggling act and the nerves leading up to the big day were exhausting.

Of course it was an amazing experience, totally worth the pressure, but I had to take a little time to let the dust settle. To rest and recuperate. To dedicate some time to establishing a healthy schedule filled with yoga, meditation, and nutritious food. To getting out of the habit of excess screen time and instead ending my post-rehearsal relaxation time with a soothing bath or a book. To getting enough sleep

To trusting that, through it all, the right opportunities would still be waiting for me — and that I’d be replenished enough to grab them with both hands — when the time is right.

A match made in heaven.

And that’s exactly what has happened. I dedicated spring term to finding my lost mojo and to reconnecting with my path. I found my lost enthusiasm and began to fall in love with everything once again: my singers, our songs, to focusing on the moment instead of “everything that needs to be done”.

Now we’re having a blast every single rehearsal. My singers know that I’m back. I know I’m back. We’re rocking it. It’s incredible.

It also means that when those “match made in heaven” opportunities came knocking, I was in the right place to say “hell, yeah! Bring it on.”

Heavenly match no.1: MaMuse.

Have you ever had one of those moments when you pick up your phone to call a friend and before you can even unlock it that same friend’s name pops up on your call screen? Isn’t it awesome when that happens? It’s a glorious reminder of how in tune you are with the people you love.

It looks like I’m gloriously in tune with MaMuse too (and if you’re not sure who I’m talking about, you’re in for a treat…)

I first encountered MaMuse back when we were doing the same choral training: CCLT in Victoria, BC. Denis Donnelly had created an arrangement of “Halleluiah” which, along with some of MaMuse’s other songs, has since become a huge hit with my singers.

We’ve now met several times at various singing camps or conferences and we co-taught at Esalen last fall, and we will do so again next September.

For me, asking them to do a workshop with my choir when they’re in town this June was a no-brainer. What I didn’t realize was that they were simultaneously deciding to reach out to me to discuss a potential collaboration.

See? Gloriously in tune!

So Sing Portland! will have the honor of joining MaMuse at their concert on June 24th. They’re an incredibly cool duo; their songs are the type that really stick with you (in a good way!), easy to sing and easy to memorize. Their lyrics are profound…soulful. And many of my singers are huge fans, constantly requesting we sing their material at weekly practice. You’re gonna love it.

Heavenly match no.2: Danielle Louise Ross.

June is clearly going to be a big month for Sing Portland! — as well as the MaMuse concert, we also have Danielle Louise Ross’s Intuitive Speaking Live 2019 event to look forward to.

The folks attending the conference are going to learn a whole bunch of stuff about how to overcome their fears around public speaking so they can showcase the very best of themselves.

I’m going to lead the 200 conference participants in a 20-minute vocal improv and I couldn’t ask for a more appropriate audience. After all, vocal improv is intuitive singing — like intuitive speaking, it too is about working through self-doubt, self-consciousness and about letting your inner self, your best self, shine through.

Without a doubt, it’s another match made in heaven.

And the best thing? I didn’t have to make any effort to make these things happen — I didn’t have to push through my burnout and make myself sick, afraid that I would miss out on exciting opportunities. By doing the right thing for me, by letting the dust settle and finding time to refocus on the joy Sing Portland! brings me and my singers, I was in the right place and in the right frame of mind to say yes to these cool collaborations.

So if you’re feeling the creep of impending burnout, don’t be afraid to step back for a little while to rest and regroup, to let the dust settle. The right opportunities, those matches made in heaven, will still be waiting for you when you come back. And you’ll be ready to rock them!

Looking for your own match made in heaven? It might be waiting here for you at Sing Portland!. With so many exciting ventures on the horizon, we’d love to welcome you this summer.