It's taken me a while to formulate my thoughts about this past weekend, because it was such a journey of emotion, so many frequencies and levels.
The weekend started with a fabulous coaching. I am starting to think I have found MY coach. Over the years, as a singer, you start to realize that musical authorities often say one thing to you, and do another. You'll be in an audition where you sang fabulously and they are all over you, throwing out promises about various things, and the contract never arrives. You'll have praises heaped upon your head from this or that person, only to find they've hired someone else who must be even more perfect than you for the role. You'll hear one thing from one coach, one thing from another. You'll ask what direction they feel you should go with your rep, and get an answer like "Anything that Kiri te Kanawa sings would be great for you." You start to wonder if anyone really give a damn about singers, really, or if we are all just there to pad their wallets, their budgets, and make them feel powerful. You begin to wonder if anyone is interested in really using the time you pay them for to focus on helping you to find your strengths so that you can make an educated decision. Or do they just want to a) take you down a notch, b) make you feel like you haven't done your work, c) get through the hour, or d) prove to you how intellectual they are? You start to realize why all those years your teacher told you how important it is to have a very strong sense of your voice, and of who you are as a singer.
It's rare to find someone that you feel you can really trust, who has no agenda and will give you honest feedback. I think I'm on the right track with this new coach, and I leave each session feeling inspired and excited about singing. It's a rare and wonderful feeling. I was lucky not to have to search long and hard to find my voice teacher, who also has the same effect on me. But great coaches who jive with your personality and are at once encouraging and brutally honest are just as hard to find.
After that marvelous coaching, I met up with some friends, I was on an emotional high, didn't have a bit of my guard up, and was suddenly forced to face an oddly painful issue I have with my singing, in a round about, weird way. I had such a great time with them, but left feeling sad because of my own insecurities. Part of me thinks that I've been in an emotionally raw state all week any way because of the 9/11 memorial things surrounding us. But, my faith in humanity was restored when a friend noticed my sadness and called to see how I was! It was good for me to have a conversation about it and hash this particular issue out with my friend and with Joe. Insecurity: It's there all the time, just under the surface. I never know when it will rear its ugly head!
There is one yoga class I try to go to on Monday nights that i always leave thinking "I can't believe I would ever NOT attend this class for any reason. It's insane that this is only $16~!"
I love the class because the teacher never gets comfortable in a routine-- she is always coming up with new ways to challenge us-- both spiritually and physically. She really seems to invest herself in every moment of the class. Last night, when we were holding downward dog for way longer than anyone should have to hold downward dog, she said something to us about how as humans, our instincts are to run from discomfort. Which is so true-- I am constantly trying to get away from things that make me feel bad. But she said that discomfort is what makes us grow, and learning how to be with the discomfort is how we grow. Think about how many situations in our lives this could be applied to! Agitation and discomfort and ambiguity can serve us in so many ways.