While it seems quiet on the outside, my world has been transforming so fast on the inside that I can hardly stand to keep up and I am amazed at the erupting earthquakes, running rivulets, sudden volcanoes, warm sunshine, soft breezes, and stormy weather that has dappled my inner world for some time now.
My ability to sing has been my greatest gift and curse. My ego and heart got all intertwined with my voice early in my life and a over the years a thorny rose bush grew around it. I enjoyed public success as a youngster and skated on natural talent for years. And, perhaps more importantly, my singing garnered love and approval from my parents, something I did not receive enough of for just being me.
Somewhere in college, performing and stage became big, real and too scary for me. Singing as a singer is so vulnerable. Your heart is literally splayed open for all to see. I could still sing while acting in a part in a musical, or as a choral group with perhaps a solo or two. But, my calling is not to be a chorus girl so this just did not quite work out. Through a series of sad twists and turns, I turned my back on singing and shut my mouth and heart to song for almost 10 years.
Part of my awakening happened at 30 — I was in a dying marriage, depressed, a work-a-holic and would fantasize my eulogy because the only way out was the breast cancer I was going to get. Fortunately, I had enough energy and sight to see the signals the Universe kept giving me and my Spiritual Guide and Voice Teacher was plopped in front of my path. I woke up.
I began to sing again, untangle my heart, and started the long task of weeding around that rose bush, unraveling years of damage and chaos, rage and sorrow and heaping piles of still-moist fear. And the last 12 years have been a glorious journey of awakening and stripping away to uncover the real me, the shining rose.
About a year ago, I was triggered doubly — by reading Deborah King’s book “Truth Heals” and by going back to my singing. . . . AGAIN after another hiatus, this time three years after a successful concert tour with my group in Poland. . . I got my spade all the way to the roots and dug even deeper, doing searing inner work supported by my Sufi Spiritual Guide and Deborah King’s healing gifts. I named the ultimate fear strangling my blossom and reached a place black, velvety holding for my singing. Since this work, I’ve dabbled in a few things – singing at a fundraiser, a wedding, a funeral – each time, testing to see if my new-found serenity and safety would hold. They did.
About a month ago, an opportunity came wafting along in a casual conversation. Two prominent musicians and fellow alumni from my alma mater, the University of Notre Dame – ironically, the time and place where so much of my pain around my singing occurred – are producing two albums of alumni musicians and vocalists. Alumni and students are invited to submit their music for inclusion via an audition process. I felt inspired and moved. I kicked up my lessons, began the search for a venue, a pianist and a recording engineer, and a way to financially afford a professionally recorded demo, something I have never done.
Until last night. After a month of hard work, but a lifetime of preparation, I walked into a cavernous, cold Church, was supported by a talented pianist and an engineer with an impeccable ear. . . and I sang out filling the space and warming the night. I sang freely with joy. As part of the balancing and tweaking process, I listened to several takes of the first piece (Samuel Barber’s “Sure on this Shining Night”) so I could hear what I needed to shift to achieve better balance, tone, color. . . I’ve always been able to make adjustments on the fly.
During the fourth take of this magnificent art song, I was flooded with the presence of St. Cecilia, the Christian patron saint of singers, and St. Germain, the Ascended Master with the purifying violet flame of transmutation. You see, I had meditated and sent them on ahead of me earlier that evening, asking them to clear and prepare the space and to hold me while I sang. Then, promptly forgot all about them. As I was singing, all of a sudden, there they were. I finished the song as if on angels’ wings. . . and all was quiet. I hung my head in awe, the pianist and producer had nothing to say. An energy hung in the air that was not to be disturbed, but absorbed. That was it, that was the one. I bounced over to listen on the headset and played it all back. A few lines into the song, I started weeping, and soon, crumpled to the floor, overcome with the beauty of the sound coming back at me in stereo. I simply wept. I did not care that a huge lump was forming in my throat or that mascara was running or that snots were gathering dangerously at the tickling point of my nose. Perhaps for the first time, I was experiencing myself clearly and truly – and there was present a mystical, alchemical mix of tight technique, fine voice and full heart. A gift from the heavens, and recorded to share.
I stepped into myself and the Universe stepped me up higher. I walked through a portal last night. I noticed and am still noticing that my third and fourth chakras are activated in a way never before. I feel them spinning, running on energy and shimmering. I hear the thrum of their exquisite vibrational song. The energy field around me has shifted. . . I am experiencing a shift in visual perception and I fill the space like never before. I feel tall in the space where I am, literally. This is power without ego, joy without worry, freedom without fear. Authentically me, blossoming and stretching toward my sun.
Because I took this step in self-healing and empowerment with courage, trust and full giving of my heart and gifts, I know the Universe will be right there to meet me. Whether I get into this CD project or not does not matter (although I think I will be on the CD, it feels suspiciously “right” and just ironic enough to satisfy the sense of humor I always seem to experience with Universal lessons). Doors will open, opportunities will come, my gift is to be shared, and at 42, I’m finally ready.