Accompanied by "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt.
"What makes you vulnerable makes your beautiful." Brene Brown
SO...once again...I apologize for my lack of blogging. I have three half written blogs if it makes anyone feel better?! Lots of transition happening so I've been a bit distracted and less than inspired to write about anything!!! I'm actually trying to re-vamp this blog so if you have any ideas, THROW THEM AT MY FACE!!! I'd love to hear them!
NOW...why we are here in the first place...ahhhheeeem:
For the last six weeks I have been involved in a singing course called The Discovery Class with the infamous Elaine Overholt - AND DISCOVER I DID! Of course there were many familiar patterns popping up...but this time they were being called out and exposed for aaaallll to see. Thank you Elaine. I joined the course to first improve my vocal skills, but more importantly to start feeling more comfortable being vulnerable in front of people. My natural reaction when I'm stuck in an uncomfortable situation is to infuse humour and to self-deprecate a.k.a DEFLECTION! If I make fun of myself first then people will know I'm aware that I just sucked and therefore will shoot down any chance of them perhaps making fun of me first! HA people! I'm unsure as to why I created this defense mechanism over the years, but it's there and this year I want to kick it out of my life. What a freakin challenge that is! Who wants to be naked in front of people you don't know or in front of people you DO know?! Well...I suppose there are many people that don't mind that and make pretty good money doing it I'm sure...BUT I am not one of them. Porn is great and all but...I mean...I thought of being an escort once but...I mean...*awkward*.
There were six people in my class (as well as Elaine), and I was super nervous the first day (and pretty much every class after that actually). Every class included these vocal warm ups which you did as a group and by yourself. That in itself was a little nerve wrecking as I felt my skills weren't up to par with others in my class to begin with, so to do a warm-up one by one was embarrassing! My upper register is less than stellar due to all the fun I had in university and perhaps my everyday loud talking in general. This was a good lesson in halting any comparison to other people and just accept where I was at and what I can ACTUALLY offer. To my surprise there IS something I can offer. Accepting your limitations at that moment is certainly hard to do when you want to so badly excel at something. However with that said, the lesson I wanted to learn was be comfortable with who I am now and accept all parts of me, which includes my limited upper register. Loving and accepting all parts of you makes you become less afraid of showing those parts of you that perhaps will be misunderstood or judged
Throughout the six weeks I was challenged for sure but learned a lot. Each week we were pushed to improve our skills and really dig deep and draw from experience to help us connect to our songs. My song was "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt, and how appropriate that song was for what I wanted to accomplish and for what I was experiencing and have experienced numerous times in my life. I have definitely had my fair share of heartache and disappointments in the past (as many of us have) and many years of feeling unworthy, and to have to share that with others alone on the stage, with everyone staring at me, was absolutely terrifying. However, that is why I was in the class in the first place. I wanted to be able to be comfortable letting myself go and get lost in a song that left me vulnerable. I've been moved to tears experiencing other artists conquer this feat and wanted to get to that place myself. I wanted to be able to connect with people in the same way and have them go on a journey with me. I wanted to be honest with myself and connect and feel the pain I had buried throughout the years and not be scared of what people thought of me while exposing my emotional side. Some classes were certainly better than others, but one class in particular stuck out for me that changed so much for me. I got up on stage, and was rather nervous. I wasn't feeling particularly confident that day and was making it known by my body language and nervous habits. I started singing my song and started off well but throughout the song I could hear little mistakes I was making and started to cut myself up as I was singing. I felt defeated by the end of it and wanted to run away. I was told to sit down in front of the class, and I just started to cry at that point (which was rather embarrassing in itself). I had disappointed myself and disappointed the class by my lack of confidence. Elaine and other classmates said they would never have even noticed the mistakes if I hadn't picked them out. They were enjoying the song and I pretty much destroyed it by being so ridiculous. In Lianne fashion I was trying to lower any expectations of what people were about to encounter, before anyone else could comment. I had wasted a lesson and on the car ride home I began to see the blessing in that class. There were a couple of other students who were called out on their shit and as I was driving I started to really feel gratitude. I learned that I needed to stop taking things for granted and really cherish and be present in the moment I'm in. I needed to take advantage of what I've been given and what I have committed to do. I spent good money to join this experience and to waste it away and not really put my 100% effort into what I was doing because of fear or my insecurities was ridiculous. After that class I went into every other class with more gratitude and tried my best to get past any fear I was feeling. On the last class we performed in front of family and friends (around 33 people) and although my voice was completely shoooottttt I was able to emote and make people cry in the process. SCORE!
I learned its best to take risks and fight through the fear and uncomfortable feelings than to not try at all and regret what could have been. I don't want to have any more lost opportunities because I was too scared to do what I wanted to do. I learned it is OK to stand naked in front of a crowd (figuratively) and let the crowd see your soul. Although there is a risk of being criticized or judged or a risk of getting your heart broken if you are sharing your feelings with someone, it's also the only way to really truly connect with the world. I've spent many years hiding certain feelings or not being honest with myself to avoid being vulnerable or rocking the boat or risk being embarrassed or rejected. It's so freeing to know that you have challenged yourself and allowed yourself to connect to someone or a group of people, perhaps inspiring change in them as well!! I got in the way of myself and as much as I still struggle with nerves and insecurities, I still fight through them and go out there anyway. Through time I know things will get easier, it's a matter of having compassion and love for myself and a lot of patience!!! Rome wasn't built overnight damnit!!
Til next time people! Have a great weekend :)