I am trying to allow more feeling into my music. When I was younger, I had no problem baring my soul through music, but as I have gotten older, the walls have become thicker. The problem with this is the music suffers. In order to become a great musician, you have to allow your feelings to come through. It is a very vulnerable place to be.
I started a major life transition 6 months ago, and I have had to ride a wave of different emotions throughout the process. I have tried to put those feelings into the music, and I get a little closer as each month passes. I still struggle with letting go completely, but I can tell I am getting there.
Over the last two weeks, David has been out of town, so in a way, I had time off. I still practiced each day and worked on songwriting, but without our regular rehearsals, I had more freedom to do other things. I decided to do activities that would get me in touch with my feelings. I went to two very dramatic plays, took a few yoga classes, took two modern dance classes and attended a Breathwork class with Gong Bath at the end. That last one probably sounds the most intriguing, and it certainly was.
My dear friend, Andrew Kutchera, leads breathwork classes here in Los Angeles. I met him when I was performing at a yoga studio many months ago. In his workshops, we learn to do a 3 part breath that starts at the diaphragm, moves into the lungs, and exits through the mouth. We do this for 45 minutes, lying on our backs, covered in blankets. It sounds like it wouldn’t be a big deal, but it definitely is.
We always start each session with intention setting. Lately, my intentions have had to do with confidence and believing I have a right to share my voice with the world. At this last class, I decided I wanted to become more grounded in how I feel about things. Everything. My opinions about life, my philosophy, the path I have chosen for myself… I want to feel secure in the way I see the world. I am a very sensitive person, and for a long time, I have questioned the way I believe my life should be. Sensitive people tend to spend a lot of energy pleasing others, and for the first time in my life, I am living totally for myself. I need to own that, and become more confident in the choices I have made. This kind of self-improvement is essential for becoming a better artist.
The breathwork experience was heightened by the Gong Bath. A very nice man, Nicolo from Italy, played the gongs through the entire session! Gongs are amazing. When a gong is struck, you can feel the vibrations throughout the entire room. The vibrations from the gong plus the repeated breath technique made me feel as if I were on some kind of drug. It was really incredible. As I continued to breathe, my body became more and more aware of all the emotional ups and downs I have dealt with lately. The gong vibrations hit me in a way I did not expect. When you hear a song from your childhood, your body usually responds. You have a memory and you feel like you are back in that same place where you heard the song for the first time. The gongs hit me in a similar way, on a spiritual level. I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling that I would be all right. It is okay that I am who I am. It’s time to own it.
After the class I had the sudden urge to sing “Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)” by Don Mclean. This song is about Vincent Van Gogh. How he was so sensitive and so different and out of place and how misunderstood he felt at times. For some reason, this song really called out to me, and I have been singing it for over a week. I was so moved by the chorus that for several days, I cried each time I sang it. Normally, I would stop singing it after crying no less than 6 times, afraid of the emotion inside of me, but this time, I decided to sing through it, tears and all. I’m sure the neighbors wondered why this girl was torturing herself sobbing through a song like that, but to me it was really a beautiful experience. I felt like I really experienced the music at a deep level. I no longer felt afraid to experience my real feelings through song.