Tuneful Tuesday Week 4: Still Hurting

This piece is such a powerful ballad. I’ve sung this piece to myself on so many bad days. We all have those moments when we feel like the weight of the whole world is on our shoulders–like life is spinning out of control and you don’t know where to turn. The pain, grief, and loneliness can consume us and leave us still hurting while everyone else is moving on. But, when those moments come, turning to song and letting out those emotions and thoughts can be so cathartic. Click Still Hurting to view. 

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Tuneful Tuesday Week 3: She Used To Be Mine

2016 was one of the hardest years of my life. When Sara Bareilles came out with her album “Waitress,” I would listen to this track over and over again as giant tears rolled down my face. This song spoke to me like no one else could and it reminded me that others shared the same fears, pain, and heartache. It was the balm my aching soul needed at the time. I have a feeling this piece will hold a place in my heart for the rest of my life. 

Click She Used To Be Mine to view. 

Embrace Your Core!

As singers, we’re taught that physical fitness is the key to our success when tackling the demands of stage acting while singing extremely demanding repertoire. We are told that a strong and flexible core can help create positive change in vocal strength, color, and overall quality. But, how do we create that abdominal strength without hindering our ability to fully relax the abdominal wall during inhalation? 

Through yoga core work, of course. 

Some of my greatest vocal breakthroughs have occurred after I’ve attempted a new yoga pose: building strength but also maintaining my flexibility. The short core series I complete in the video below is one of my latest challenges. Don’t be deceived; this is hard work! Eventually, you want to have your feel hovering off the ground, but I’m not there yet. 

To start series you’ll need a yoga block for each hand. If you don’t have a block, use a phone book or dictionary. If you have carpet floors I’d suggest you invest in furniture sliders for your feet. They add quite a bit of challenge to many physical postures and they are also quite handy to have around. If you have wood floors, a blanket, towel, or paper plates will work just fine. 

Begin by grounding the shoulders, pressing into your blocks, and lifting your bum off the ground. Maybe that’s what you work on for awhile. Once you are able to get yourself off the ground without tensing the shoulders, start to hug the belly in, rounding the back, and pull your straight legs back, gliding them across the floor. Complete a set of 5: inhaling to slide your legs forward while relaxing the abdominal wall and exhaling to slide your legs backward, engaging strongly. Complete as many sets as your strength will allow and then stretch it out with a soft backbend. 

(It also helps to have a little rain falling in the background.) 😉

Happy yoga-ing! 

1 till I’m 30

“When you stand and share your story in an empowering way, your story will heal you and your story will heal somebody else.” -Iyanla Vanzant

Well, tomorrow is the big day. It has been an emotional roller coaster this past month putting to paper 30 reasons I am grateful to be turning 30. When I decided to take on this challenge, it was to change the stereotype that it is all downhill once you reach that third decade on this earth. Part of this challenge was to celebrate all of the reasons why I love where I am in my life and why I am so grateful to be done with the stress, uncertainty, and growth that my 20s forced upon me. Sure being in your 20s is great and all…and, yes, you have perfect baby-soft skin, but those awkward transition years aren’t all they are cracked up to be. So, what is with this societal notion that you getting older is something to hide? Getting older means getting wise. And I think that’s pretty fantastic, personally. The other part of this challenge was to remind myself just how lucky I am and how much I have to be grateful for. The past few years have been filled with trials, self-discovery, pain, and fear. They’ve also, of course, been filled with joy, laughter, growth, and love. So often I find my mind listing off the failures more than the successes, but this project brought to light all of the reasons I should be thankful for this 30th rotation around the sun. This countdown forced me to share things about myself that I have never shared before. It made me admit things that I hadn’t quite admitted to myself, let alone the entire electronic world. But, in sharing there is healing and I feel that a weight has been lifted off my chest. The stories and memories that I played over in over in my head have now been processed and set free into the blogosphere, where they will hopefully inspire others to cherish their moments on this earth and learn from their experiences. Time is fleeting. Take a moment, sit down, look back on how you have evolved in this thing called life. The little details we take for granted everyday are often the most beautiful miracles. The struggles we survive through often spark the greatest growth. The moments that take our breath away are often the most life-changing. 

What do you have to be grateful for today? I am grateful for each and every one of you. Thank you for supporting me through this journey and letting me share a little piece of my story with you.