Singing is one of the central forces of my life. But if you had asked me before the first weekend in January of this year whether a group of 20 people would want to come together for a weekend and sing for six hours a day, even I would have been a little hesitant.
And I would have been wrong — because when I came together with 19 other people in Oregon for a weekend of singing this January, it was absolutely incredible.
I came up with the idea of a singing weekend as a way for the members of the different Sing Portland! rehearsals to get to know each other — not to mention a really relaxing weekend away where a bunch of like minded people could connect. (The idea was to offer a relaxing weekend with pampering and singing (being in harmony together. Allowing the music to stir us inwardly as we look back at last year and set an intention for the new year. That gave us an opportunity to do some soul searching together as well ). It turned out that only singers who already knew me signed up. And THEY pointed out how nice it was to get to know other singers better). You do a much better job of rewording that:)
It was incredible just how fast everyone bonded together. There were people from three different Sing Portland! rehearsals, and even two non-SP members. I was amazed at just how quickly these people who barely knew each other could come together and feel totally comfortable, even intimate with each other.
What I didn’t expect was just how cathartic it was.
No matter where your politics lie, I think we can all agree that these past months have been rough on everyone. There’s a lot of upheaval, a lot of scary, and a lot of completely overwhelming things going on right now. And a lot of people came to this event with heavy hearts, feeling isolated or apprehensive.
But almost within hours, the outside world started to drop away. (I’d like to add a note here that we all got in touch with our inner core again. Our essence. Our fire. Our ability to feel compassion rather than fear. Ideas on how to love forward rather than fight against) As we focused all of our energies on being with each other and singing together, a sense of release and renewal ran through the whole group.
While I could never choose a favorite moment from the weekend — there are just too many — one really beautiful thing was the “angel wash”, where we divided up into small groups and sang to each other. As the person in the middle was showered with love, people let go. There were tears, but it was beautiful, delicate, and incredibly moving.
Of course, it wasn’t all heavy either. There were loads of moments where we were all cracking each other up, including a memorable round of singing the C-O-F-F-E-E song over breakfast, not to mention improv and qi gong.
But the best part for me was what people said on the last morning.
We ended the weekend by sharing what we’re taking home, and I was blown away by what people shared. People said they felt renewed, that they had regained their faith in humanity, that they felt gratitude and a new sense of the power of the individual to enact change. And simplest, but perhaps best of all, someone told me that after this weekend, they had a happy heart.
Of course, there’s no way I could let it stop there. That’s why we’re doing another one!
You are enthusiastically invited to join us for Sing Portland!’s next singing weekend. It’s happening March 24-26, again at the Ocean Inn in Manzanita, Oregon, and I would absolutely love for you to join us and see just what an incredible experience this is. And this is just the start — I’ll be running another one in November, and plan on doing 3 – 4 a year going forward. Find out more here!
And if you can’t wait for a weekend to start singing with us, we’d love to have you at one of our rehearsals in the meantime! Click here to find out more about how and when you can sing with us.