When the talent show ends…the Performer and the Natural Child

Rebecca was an such an adorable child, so bright and filled with joy and enthusiasm, and what a voice she had!  She sang freely without a care in the world and singing to her was as natural as breathing.  From the first time her parents heard her singing they could not believe how beautiful her voice was, it gave them shivers.  Every time she sang they were more and more amazed. One day they asked the neighbours over for her to sing for them, and they were in awe as well, “she’s so young and so talented!”  Rebecca could see how happy she was making them and this made her feel very special indeed.

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As she grew older she knew she had a special talent, her voice, but secretly she knew she had an even greater power; the power to get love and attention by singing and Performing.  Her secret powers worked like a charm when her voice felt free and shined in all its glory, but when her voice was less than perfect she didn’t get the same reactions from them, she could tell they were not as happy, and so she worked harder and harder to make them happy.

If there is and was a loving audience of parents, family and community who could hold the child in this natural capacity of joy and exuberance without labeling them as being ‘talented‘, but just being who they naturally are, then the child will grow up with the Performer integrated within them in a healthy, balanced manner.  The adult will be able to belong and be held in a community without Performing or needing to stand out to belong.  They will be equally as comfortable standing out as standing back.

joyous child exhibiting natural gifts that grew up within a healthy environment with supportive parents is able to separate their special talents and gifts from their self worth, knowing they are special just as they are.  In contrast, a child like Rebecca had to develop a Performer personality to work for her to get the love she needed to survive and thrive in her life.  This Performer personality protected Rebecca’s vulnerability and innocence which was not protected or respected by her parents, and this is all too common.

The Performer might have developed at an early stage in our lives through dance classes, singing, painting etc, or even just by doing talent shows in front of our parents.  At this young developmental stage the Performer personality was not yet present as a separate self needing anything, but present as a healthy natural need to be seen and heard in having vitality, joy and love for life.

Being seen and heard can be wonderful if when the talent show ends the child’s talents don’t get taken up as a ‘cause or a mission‘ by the parents to get them out there to be seen by others through competitions etc. Respecting the child’s wishes, not talents, first and foremost.  At a certain time in the development of the child the parents and the child can talk about this step of ‘exposure‘ to perform outside the home and if the child wishes to have this experience at all.  And this is also taking into consideration that there is a maturity level within the child that can even assess the situation at all, which is somewhat doubtful.  When appropriate protection of the child is not respected then it can develop a life long injury of Performing for Love and validation that might never be undone.

We all need to be seen and heard and to know that we can exist just as we are and not by performing to get love.  As a voice teacher and facilitator I witness this childhood injury playing over and over in so many people.  From young to old, from men and women this Performer injury exhibits itself as needing to prove something to the audience (aka the parents) and community.  To prove once and for all that they, the child, is loveable and special.  The Performers job is to get this love through whatever talents were applauded back then in their early years.  Only now, the Natural expression of the innocent child is enmeshed and entangled together with the Performer and seems forever undoable.

Rebecca’s healing as an adult will be to unwind this enmeshment of Performer and the Natural Child and to replace the Performer with the Protector energy bringing the Performer back into a healthy balance.  

This is the work I have been doing for myself and for others in my classes and workshops for many many moons.  Helping to heal the relationship between the Performer and the audience. To bring Protection to where there might have been an over-exposure from the over-worked Performer who is just trying to do his or her job.  And to return again and again to the Natural Child who is innocent, vulnerable and Protected from harm.

“This holy ground in me, innocent, wild and free.”

 

Keep it simple…

The complexities of our minds have robbed us from the pleasures of simplicity. The pleasures of enjoying a simple exercise like breathing.
A student recently shared with me that she feels like she is moving backwards and not forwards with her voice. I suggested that we must walk backwards towards simple and effortless to reset a natural way of being which our voice will then reflect back to us.
Moving back into ourselves feels like moving backwards, however it’s relaxing deeper into our bodies and away from the complexities of ‘trying to figure everything out’ that feels like letting go of control and ‘progress’.
It’s amazing how much better the singing voice works when we approach it this way, and therefore as always, our lives.
The voice is a reflection of how we live our lives.

This Living Word…..

as above so belowThis article is a reflection on the opposite energies or aspects of life that exist within all of us as; light and dark, structure and flow, masculine and feminine, personal and impersonal, and how they appear and vibrate within and throughout our daily communications with each other.  From clear and direct communication to somewhat wonky and manipulative communication and everywhere in-between, the energies are at play.

The work of developing awareness of these energies and their spectrum of light is the inner work that I feel is necessary to sing and live an authentic life.  The voice reflects our life and our life reflects our voice.

STRUCTURE AND FOCUS – THE IMPERSONAL, MASCULINE ASPECT 

For those who have pushed away structure and focus in our lives to some degree and found ourselves drifting without action and purpose, it can be quite alarming and disorienting to bring a more structured and disciplined focus into daily life.

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I feel as I have tiptoed in and out of the arenas of structure, discipline and the impersonal masculine directive.  I might find myself slipping firstly into an isolated road of only tasking and doing that is lacking in feeling and warmth and tending towards cutting off the feminine sensitivity as this strong structured rule-maker energy moves through me, long having been held back.

I find I can be short and on the edge of mean and thoughtless in my communications with others.  I’m factual and ruled by order and black and white straightness. Tasking, organizing and moving in a straight line feels like the only thing worth doing.

FLOW AND EMOTION – THE PERSONAL, FEMININE ASPECT

Conversely if we have pushed away an emotional, flowing rhythm in our day to day lives, we might find feel we are held rigidly within the confines and structures of life lacking in empathy and compassion in communication with self and others. In comparison, inviting the feminine principle of emotion and feeling can be as alarming as knowing a more structured masculine life.

I can become equally as stuck in emotion and feeling as I can get in structure and focus.  I sometimes get lost inside of the intoxication of my feelings as well as in simply being and not getting anything done. I just go with the flow and lose the focus of my life.  My personality can become a little too pleasing and malleable to others needs and wants.

It is easy to get stuck on either side of this equation and stay there for long periods of time, maybe even a lifetime.  The opposite voice, energy or aspect is always waiting to be brought into balance.

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PUTTING THEM TOGETHER

Brene Browns wise words, “When I know better I will do better”, and, “Everyone is really doing the best they can, including myself.”

Learning to bring both energies of dark and light, personal and impersonal, masculine and feminine, structure and flow together as one natural way of living, is no small task.  The buddhists call this the Middle Way. This is the work the singing voice has the potential to actualize within us if we so choose.  I believe it is also the foundations of all energy work and spiritual teaching; to become aware and therefore whole-hearted.  These limited words only touch the surface of what is underneath them.

When I find compassion for the parts that I have pushed away in myself and others, then and only then will I be able to fold them into the dough of who I am.  For balance and wholeness. 

THE AUTHENTIC VOICE – A FINE BALANCE

Because of the voices inherent nature to exhibit these two distinct energies of light and dark the voice gives us a direct reflection of how they are relating to one another, if at all. The singing voice can be a portal to look behind the scenes at what is really at play in each moment and which side or aspect we are holding at bay in our lives and our relationships.

The yearning for our unwanted, unclaimed opposite expressions of being are always there waiting for us to integrate them and brought them to balance within us.  Each side of the equation when out of balance or disconnected can bring feelings of despair, depression, anxiety and shame.  The repairing of this partnership is to heal our past, embrace our wholeness and find a resting place. Again, no small task.  Within our everyday communications we have the opportunity to weave together our wholeness through speech, word and the feeling tone in our voice.

Within each vowel, each consonant, each word, each phrase and each moment lies the potential for this inner balance to create stronger yet more heartfelt connections with ourselves and with others. Life that flows through every word that is thoughtful, emotionally centred and direct.

So may we;spirituality

Know authority without the loss of sensitivity.

Know emotion without the loss of structure.

Know clarity without loss of feeling.

Know becoming without the loss of belonging.

Know doing without the loss of being.

Know directness without the loss of compassion.


 

I have added a diagram on the energies with their accompanying vowels for your information which needs a lot more explanation, but this is a start.

 *By the way I’m using the masculine and feminine words to describe something that might not resonate with you given the current climate of gender equality and such. Please use other pairs of words to describe your inner experience and ignore the words that don’t work for you.  Thank you. 


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