It’s 9:30pm Sunday evening (29 April) as I am writing this and I’m finally in bed after a huge day including an epic gig tonight performing in my band.
I’m not sure if you know this but I’m in all girl jazz band called Yas Queen. We play mostly jazz but also leave room for old school pop, rock, blues and soul in our set lists. I don’t want to toot our own horn, but I will. We’re a bloody load of fun. Come and see us sometime!
We played this evening at a quirky little bar in Woolloongabba called Can You Keep a Secret? If you live in or come to Brisbane, you should definitely check it out. It’s run by a fellow Bundabergian and I swear it is where all the big-hearted, creative souls go to hang out. You would feel at home there.
Anyway – I had ambitious plans of rushing home tonight from the gig and write you a lengthy article about mindset and how to abolish our singing blocks. This will happen in the near future – but not for now.
Instead, I will tell you about a couple of experiences I had today and tonight, which I hope you will draw some meaning from.
So where do I start?
Let me just repeat - it was a big day. A big weekend, in fact, of cramming in a whole lot of things to do and people to see.
It’s Greek Orthodox Easter too, which I inadvertently celebrate as a quarter Greek and a christened Greek Orthodox. *Christos anesti, by the way!
I also live extremely close to the Greek Orthodox church here in Brisbane and it was pumping until 2:30am last night with the clergy singing all of their classic hits from ‘Behold Jesus has risen’ to ‘God Bless the Queen and our politicians’. So, as you can imagine I woke up pretty tired this morning and with a bad case of the Byzantine blues. Google ‘Byzantine Music’ to get that reference.
Anyhow after this extravaganza of an evening, I still managed to do a lot today from editing my first video for the Beginner Singer’s Course on my website to celebrating Easter with my cousin Goldie, to learning Aretha’s ‘Natural Woman’ and Gloria Jone’s ‘Tainted Love’ for tonight’s gig. I also made a couple of trips to Officeworks after buying the wrong ethernet adaptor for my Macbook.
You are probably thinking, where is she going with this?
Well, you see, I had two moments today where either my soul or my body told me to calm the farm down and go easy.
Epiphany One: There's always more than enough time and 'rushing' is a choice.
The first epiphany came to me as I was rushing home in the car from Officeworks and I was centimetres away from running into a car in front of me that had diligently stopped for the yellow light.
I had the realization then and there that ‘rushing’ can actually be bloody dangerous and there was actually no need for it.
It dawned on me that I had time. There was actually plenty of time and it was my belief in a lack of time that was causing me to rush.
I not only could have had an accident, but my body was also being negatively impacted. I was in a state of fight or flight for no reason at all.
I took a deep breath, forgave myself and did 10km under the speed limit the rest of the way home.
Epiphany Two: Breathe and choose to opt out of shit stories + Make friends with Sophia.
After a big first set tonight, I was feeling pretty frazzled mcdazzled.
I ignored my inner wisdom to take myself out of the bar for fresh air and have some alone time during the set break. Instead I kept myself ‘on’ and was chatting away to my mates. I was in the middle of talking to one of my friends, when it was like a fuse blew in my brain.
I was suddenly very faint, and I literally couldn’t talk anymore. My body became the travel agent from Little Britain, the one who’s catch line is ‘computer says no’.
I excused myself and went outside for air, but instead of chilling out, I bought into the drama of what was happening.
I was convinced that I couldn’t do the second set. How was I going to muster the energy to sing three corker soul songs that are taxing on the voice and the body? Aretha Franklin, Gloria Jones, Sam & Dave – c’mon?!
Anyhow - I had learned this week that Sophia is the Greek word for wisdom. For me, ‘wisdom’ is something we all have access to through awareness. And thank God for Sophia. She brought me back tonight and reminded me that by diving deeper into the story of my body being weirdo and feeling so energetically drained that I couldn’t function wasn’t actually going to help my situation.
I took more deep breaths, returned to the bar, collapsed on my best mate Jake and watched our incredible guest artist sing her heart out. Seeing her so connected to her voice and to the music, stopped the negative loop I was in.
Now it’s 10:55 pm, so I should really rap this up.
All I want to say is, this week, learn from my experiences today and be gentle with yourself.
Let Sophia be your friendly Greek guide. Listen to her. Listen to your body. Say no to the things that don’t suit you and please don’t feel the need to justify yourself. Do things that bring you joy and don’t feel as though you need to cram so many things into your days, unless of course it's exhilarating for you. Meaning, it gives you energy instead of taking it away from you.
Remember to breathe when you feel yourself tensing up or your heart racing. If your mind tries to create a story about it, let Sophia in to remind you that it is simply that… a story.
And remember, you are precious.
Take care of yourself!