A new habit I’ve formed is to go for a morning walk, preferably as soon as I get up. At the moment, I sometimes even start before the sun comes up. I have taken to snapping photos of images that strike me on these walks, especially if they seem somehow metaphorical. On a recent morning, this view of the sun slowly peeking its tired head, glowing through the cracks above the trees, spoke to me. I had just finished teaching my annual voice use workshop to a new group of folks who are completing their yoga teacher training course, and was reminded of the need for each of us to shine our light. Strikingly this year, I was made aware of just how fragile everyone is, how close to the surface their fears, tears and worries are. How many reasons there seem to be to want to hide, to not show our full selves, to stifle our songs. (In the singing world, the songs in public literally ARE stifled). Unsurprising then, really, that it felt even harder than usual for people to show up in the room with their whole selves. They seemed to keep wanting to disconnect from their bodies and their sound.
Little by little, though, with just a bit of encouragement (and my super-power of distracting singers from the task at hand, i.e. singing), they began to summon the courage to open their hearts and let their voices–and thus, their spirits–shine through. As it is every time I give such workshops, it was beautiful to witness. Because despite everything, we are so connected as humans through our voices and music. We literally can’t help ourselves: given the smallest bit of permission (and a feeling of being accepted and welcome), we simply want to shine through, cracks and all. And we can. And we do.