Whole Singing – our Playful Conversation with Music

Blog #3 Whole singing Series – our Playful conversation with Music.

I think we can all remember a time in our childhood, when we were overtaken with the flow of our own play and imagination. Being a twin, my sister and I had many moments like that. Our world of play was effortless and seamless. Looking back I can see now how that world of play my sister and I engaged in was so very important to the work we both do as adults. It was that practice of flowing with my imagination and the practice of allowing creativity that lended itself to my conversation with Music.

Imagination and music seem to have the same source- our higher self, Great Spirit, life force…God.

There is a wonderful book, “The Music Lesson: a spiritual search for growth through music” by Victor l. Wooten. In this book he encourages us to look at our relationship and conversation with music.  I immediately related it back to my childhood and my conversation with play.  Imagination and music seem to have the same source- our higher self, Great Spirit, life force…God. My understanding is that it is all the same thing and when we trust and allow that force to come thru, then we play, we pray, we converse with music. We sing!

       Thankfully,
many of the greatest spiritual teachers, scientific minds and
musicians were brave enough
to stand by themselves and share their insights.

In our modern society of separating all the parts to make a whole we have done ourselves a disservice. We have become perfectionists and become very self-conscious. We have become fearful. We have taken on the attitude of “I must be taught; I must have a class if I am to know anything.”  This is very interesting because if you look through history, it is the greatest out-of-the-box thinkers who have evolved our world the most. They had to trust what was coming through them.  Thankfully, many of the greatest spiritual teachers, scientific minds and musicians were brave enough to stand by themselves and share their insights. That was not learned from a book or a class.

Give yourself permission to have a playful conversation with music

My question to myself and to you reading this is, are we brave enough? Are we brave enough to go back in time and remember the feeling we had as a child of that easeful play? Are we willing to bring that feeling and flow into our conversation with music and allow and trust what comes. My challenge for you is to go PLAY an instrument or go sing. Do not go PRACTICE. Go Play. In your play as a child did you judge it did you analyze it. I think the answer would be no. But for some of us this ease of play is very hard to tap into. Therefore, make sure you do this on a regular basis. Give yourself permission to have a playful conversation with music for say 20 minutes a day. See what comes. What sounds, what words.

Once you have become familiar with your relationship with play, the music follows and so may your singing. The feeling you will feel when you come from this place while singing is that of the easefulness of childhood play. It is a wonderful feeling. This is what I have come to know as Whole Singing.

Self talk – what Flavor are you choosing (BLOG SERIES #2)

The conversation you have with yourself in your own head is extremely important. Just like Baskin Robins ice cream, there are many flavors we can choose to talk to ourselves in. Start to tune in to see what flavor you are choosing each day. While your driving to work, while your doing laundry or cooking; while you are on a run or working out or while you are bathing your children etc. Thoughts are constantly coming to our minds. When we deliberately tune in and take a conscious peak of what “self talk” we are engaging in and what flavor we are doing it in, we are developing a side of ourselves called the “witness”. When our witness becomes strong then we are able to make choices that serve our lives better and empower us to do things we have always wanted to do …like SINGING! Some self talk that we may start to notice does nothing to build us up. In fact, we may start to notice that we are our biggest rival rather then our biggest cheerleader! These negative habits or “flavors ” of talking to ourselves create a domino effect that go from the mind to the physical body, causing contraction around expressing ourselves freely. When self talk is habitually negative we develop beliefs about our selves and our environment that trap us in a safe box. This box is our contracted body and mind that are doing its best to SURVIVE… However, we may be at a moment in our lives that we want more out of life then simply surviving. We want to THRIVE! WE WANT TO SING ! So the next step to WHOLE SINGING I have found in my personal journey, is to develop a witness. Begin with noticing or maybe even journaling each day what “self talk” you witness and what “flavor” you are noticing. Just bringing an awareness to your thoughts can start to ease the contraction ( tightness & fear ) in your body and your mind. Once you have gotten good at witnessing or noticing your thoughts then you can start infusing a more positive flavor. When you lesson the physical and mental contraction in your body and your mind thru allowing more positive self thoughts, habits and perceptions then you are on the road to freer singing! …..NEXT TIME WE’LL TALK ABOUT HAVING A CONVERSATION WITH MUSIC

Ecstasy and singing – WHOLE SINGING (BLOG SERIES #1)

One of the most easeful ways to feel ecstasy in my life is through singing. I feel so good when I am singing. For years I compared it to what I thought flying might feel like. Then yesterday, I found a quote that said just that, “If I can not fly, then let me sing” -Sephen Sondheim.

After doing some research I realize that many people feel this same ecstatic feeling as I do when singing. However, thru the years I have also come across people that really wish and yearn to be “able” to sing but feel they cannot. My reply is, WHY?  The sad truth is that many people’s voices, and breath for that matter, are locked up inside them.

Use your reactions, inspirations, excuses, doubts and defenses…

I can’t think of a more uncomfortable feeling then to be trapped in our own body and mind, yearning to do something, yet unable. Singing with ease took time for me. The experience of unlocking my voice is one I do know well. While some of my fears still trap me in other areas of my life, I have no more reserve with singing and performing. This is what I would love to share with you.  My journey to ecstasy through singing. With any journey, there are mountains to climb and beautiful sites to see.  There is perseverance and joy.  There are tears and doubts.  There is growth.  There are road blocks and new directions and so on.

To get on the map for this journey, start here-
What is your reaction to this comment: “If you can breath, if you can talk, then you can SING.”

Use your reactions, inspirations, excuses, doubts and defenses that come up with this quote; list each one.  Really sit with your list; are there some negative beliefs in there that are defining you or that are caging you in?

The next quote : ” What ever you can imagine, you can do.”

Now do the same process.  Usually our reactions to these two quotes will reveal a lot.  The journey has begun.  Now go SING!  I’ll fill you in on some more tips next week. Until then, enjoy YOU.

Sincerely,
Rebecca Abraxas

“Brave enough not to care”

Today I was reminded of lyrics from ” Rosalie”, one of the songs on my new CD.  I received a call from a friend distraught about a family encounter.  As we got into our phone call I remembered the words, “….brave enough not to care”.  Singing part of the song to him, I realize that this takes tremendous trust, detachment and courage.

When we are hooked into a very familiar negative pattern of “caring ” for our family, which includes giving our advise when it hasn’t been asked for, we are blinded by our habitual nature and believe we are helping when in fact we are sabotaging our own joy and disempowering and angering the other.  While it is hard to break old habits and beliefs, it’s worth it to start to see, really see, and then to let go of being hooked in.  In essence, we must become brave enough not to care, trusting the flow of other people’s lives, allowing the relationships they are experiencing and releasing the control we want to have.  In doing this, I think it will free up a lot of energy for our own self-care and joy, and as a result we are available to really be there when someone is actually asking for help.

Just a thought from my always-thinking mind… “Rosalie” can be heard on Reverbnation or Cd baby, or here at http://rebeccaabraxas.com/?page_id=35.

going with the flow

There is a time in our lives when we have to assess, what’s working and what’s not. For me it became very clear recently. I am lucky b/c I have a great barometer: my children. It became very clear this summer that something was not working when my children were out of sorts and being difficult and having tantrums (even at 8). So …. time to slow down and go with the flow. Since i have slowed down and switched my priorities I have found that life is less stressful and I have time for the little things that make life rich, such as a pool day with my kids or finding the time to decorate the way i want or even really to stop and smell a rose …really. So lately when i take something on, i feel into my body, and ask the question “does this feel stressful in my body, does it feel flowing in my body or does my body tighten up ” This has been an amazing realization to me tuning into the somatic response of my body to see if i am ‘going with the flow ‘ or if i am going against the current. This realization has also helped me put into perspective where i am with my music career, how i am mothering, how i am showing up as a wife and how i am tending to myself. Are you going with the flow …. have fun tuning in and feeling the difference between your body liking an idea of action or not liking it … it has really turned my life around (along with meditating every morning for 20min) …. happy August