Stretching Your Voice

I’m losing my voice.

My throat is sore and scratchy, my energy is low.  I feel crappy.

This wasn’t supposed to happen today. Not this week….I can feel my vocal cords swelling and absolute confusion mounting, as I ask myself

How did I get here?

And the pain underneath of,
I don’t want to be sick.
I don’t have time for this.
This is soooooo unfair!

I don’t want to be where I am.

 

Have you ever felt like this?

I’ve been sharing with all of you my health journey over the past year, and most recently, I completed a very intense 28 Day Cleanse.  My last day was a Sunday, and I had been looking forward to it for weeks.

I imagined a wonderful celebration at the end.

I imagined an inner ticker tape parade, my blood and organs all standing tall, cheering saying,

We DID IT!

Instead, I started to feel sick the evening of my last day.

I had planned to wake up Monday morning, excited to add back in eggs, nuts, and coconut, ready to move back to some level of normalcy.

And instead, I woke up feeling sick and went into management mode, trying to ward off what felt like an impending cold or infection.

I gargled with salt water.
I took tons of natural supplements.
I drank lots of tea.
I made sure to get solid sleep.
I stayed in Astoria, instead of venturing into Manhattan, and didn’t take dance or yoga.

I did everything right….didn’t I?

And yet, come Thursday, after waking up feeling really fantastic and convinced I had beaten off the germs….I started to lose my voice.

Ironically, it happened while having lunch with my voice teacher.

And the panic started to rise.

I had big plans for the weekend.  I also had lots of clients and my business IS my voice.

But, with each sentence, I could feel my vocal cords swelling even more, and my voice getting raspier and raspier, and by Thursday night….it was completely gone.

Despite my best efforts, my voice was done.

So, I stopped speaking.

For DAYS.

I re-scheduled clients, and doubled down on rest, steaming, hot tea, and echinacea.  I started a Z pack, tried a whole new regiment I found from another singer who had lost her voice, and stayed in as much as possible.

And then the cough began.

I felt like I couldn’t cut a break.

Wasn’t I doing everything right?

It was SO frustrating to put in so much effort and healthy intention, and feel like I was moving at a snail’s pace.
Have you ever felt like this?

Been working so hard on what matters in your Creative Passion, and feel like the pace of your results doesn’t equal the level of what you are putting in?

Have you ever wanted to scream,
Can we just BE there ALREADY??

I imagine it feels like you are staring at a chasm.  You SEE your Vision, your goal of what you want to achieve.  You can even hear your raving fans, your completed novel, or hear that gorgeous symphony….

And yet, the question remains,

Why am I not there YET?

Maybe the chasm is there for a reason, though.  And perhaps the real question to ask yourself in the moment is something all together different.

What if in that moment, you took a breath, checked in, and released the death grip?

What if the chasm is actually PART OF the process and there to test you?

What if your Dream simply takes more time?

We all desire the quick fix, but at the end of the day, the test of having to stay in the process is really going to bring to light the most powerful tool we have as Artists,

Your commitment.

And by this, I mean your commitment to your work, and to your audience who is in witness to your expression.  Your commitment to the role Art plays in your lives, how it opens your heart and brings you to song.  None of us became Artists for trivial reasons.  This work is far deeper, and feeds us unlike anything else.

Music
Dance
Art
Photography
Writing

We are all changing lives, and it begins with honoring this within ourselves.

This isn’t automatic.  It’s deeply human, and this kind of work takes cultivation and intention.

When you are in the midst of the struggle, come back to your vision, and come back to your commitment.

Because the truth is, you have NO idea what tomorrow will bring.

Tomorrow,
Broadway may call
Your book may make the Bestseller List
The booker may book your band
A new collector may ask to buy your whole collection

You honestly can’t KNOW the future, but you can CREATE it.

You can wake everyday and continue to put in the effort from a place of honest intention, and doing the work it takes.

So your voice can be heard.

YOU decide.

 

This past week, my voice began to come back, slowly but surely.  My cough subsided, and my throat infection cleared.

It took way longer than I wanted, but I knew I had to stay in it, every day and take care of myself.

And my commitment?

You.

While I may have lost my physical voice, my commitment is that you never do.  And it gave me time to really reflect and come back to why I created my business in the first place and decided to empower Creatives across the globe.

My commitment to remind you of your brilliance, and remind you to stay IN it.

I’ve only lost my voice twice before in my life, so it was scary and frustrating to experience, but it also reminded me of what I’m capable of, and the moment of illness was temporary.

I imagine how scary it can be to start believing you won’t “make it”, but the truth is, with every day you ARE.  You are becoming in every moment, with every stroke, picture and note, the artist you desire to be.

Every day is a new day, one you have never lived before. And the list of “overnight successes” really is speaking to the night it all came together, after consistent work and effort.  In truth, most of these artists just stayed IN the process, no matter what. Tom Hanks was an overnight success after 10 years….take that in.

Live in the stretch and stay committed to your Art.

You create the life you want.

Share your glorious voice..

Blend Your Grind

I think I just drank plastic.

I’m pretty sure that horrible sound when I started my blender was the plastic cap…..

GRIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNDDDDDDDDDDddddddd…….

I couldn’t find the top this morning when I went to empty all my ingredients into my blender, and just thought,

It must have fallen down somewhere

OR…it was actually in the blender and just got mixed in with my ice, protein powder, coconut oil, and all the other goodies that make up my daily concoctions on this diet.

My smoothie tasted odd, different.  Something was definitely off, and it wasn’t the daily ingredients.

This was an extra piece that didn’t belong.

So, I emptied the smoothie down the drain, and started fresh, without the plastic cover on the top.  It was a pain, but I figured I could just hold I paper towel over the top to keep liquid from coming out.

The blender worked great otherwise, right?

WRONG.

 

Last summer, right before my 41st birthday, my whole world was turned upside down with the diagnosis of being pre-diabetic.  I went from a dancer’s mentality of loading up on carbs for energy to completely eliminating them.  My whole pantry emptied and was filled with items I didn’t think I would ever have.

My fruit bowl that was normally overflowing with bananas and peaches instead held avocados and squash. Chips, crackers, and popcorn all went away.

Thankfully, I started working with a brilliant biochemical nutritionist who prescribed a protocol that reversed my numbers in 3.5 months.  I was no longer pre-diabetic, but my blood sugar was still right on the cusp and too high.  So, in came her mentor, a integrative medicine doctor who started me on a more intense regiment and a cleanse.

A cleanse with smoothies.

Lots of them.

Before my diagnosis, I rarely drank smoothies.  I did enjoy a chocolate protein drink for breakfast every day, but my blender sat in my cupboard.

For years.

I don’t think I had taken it out once in the three years I’ve lived here, and the blender was actually from my bridal shower for my first marriage….back in 1997.

When I started the smoothies as part of my daily diet and a way to get good fats in my system, I got the old blender out of the cupboard, and it didn’t last long….just a few months.

And then, at the beginning of 2017, I grabbed my Bed Bath & Beyond coupon and bought the cheapest one I could.  With my coupon, the blender was a whopping $15.

That was all I wanted to spend.

I didn’t need anything fancy, right?

WRONG.

 

This $15 blender was a pain from the beginning.  The blades would get stuck, and I would have to pump the buttons to get an even mix.  Most of the time, the smoothies would come out lumpy, and when I would add avocado, the motor would actually burn out.

WHIRRRRRRRRRrrrrrrrrr…

And yet, I kept using it.

When the plastic top cover piece was ironically eaten by the blender, I had a quick thought,

Maybe I should buy a new blender.

And yet I didn’t.

I was determined to make this blender work.

Even though it was not working.

What was I really trying to prove?
What was actually going on?

 

Have you ever done something like this?

Tried to force something to work in your Art that clearly wasn’t?
Have you tried to keep working with people that you know in your gut are not your ideal collaborators?
Or forced a project that was not in integrity with your vision?
Have you seen all the signs and just trudged on anyway, thinking it will change on it’s own?

Most of all, have you cut yourself off from growth in your Creative Life for the sake of saving a few dollars?

Check in for a moment.  What in your Art are you allowing to be hard and take more energy than it needs?

There’s an easy solution, so you don’t have to drink plastic and burn out your motor.

You’d think the day I drank plastic would be the moment I would hop onto Amazon and buy a new blender, but I actually took the impending 28 Day cleanse I started in April to really bring it home.  I was looking at having 2-3 smoothies every day, and that was daunting.

So I broke down and went online.

And there it was….shining and new.  A glass jar, and the same make and model as my friend had recommended.

The price?

$23

Only $7 more than the last one.

The blender arrived and I plugged it in, and saw there was this button,
AUTO SMOOTHIE

I put all my ingredients in the jar, placed the nifty top on, and hit it.

And then magic happened.

The blender ground up the ice, and created the most even and perfect smoothie I have drank since my diagnosis.  All with one touch of a button.

That easy, and all it took was $7.

And there was a LOT in that $7.

There was the belief I could make it work.
There was an attachment to an old way of being.
There was a strong need to control a situation I didn’t feel comfortable in.

The answer?

Actually become present to the situation, recognize my frustration and anger at the cleanse and diagnosis, and then give myself a huge hug.

The old blender wasn’t working.  And I was using money as an excuse.

 

Have you done this before?

I think the real issue underneath was fear.  I was scared to admit I needed to let go.

And recognize I was doing the best I could, and this was not a sign of failure from my effort.

We can become so attached to how things HAVE been, and try to get the results we want, but just putting in more effort.

But more effort doesn’t equate results.  It’s really about the intention behind the effort and the effectiveness of your actions.

It may be as simple as just investing in making a change. Even more so, admitting to yourself it’s not working and it’s time for something new.

One that will free up your Creativity.
One that will be more effective, and allow for flow.
One that will inspire you and connect you even deeper to the reason you became an Artist in the first place.

And it may only cost $7.

As Albert Einstein said,
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results

What can you change today?

Throw away the old blender and bring in what puts you in the flow.