What is your Personal Narrative?
Saturday musings...

What is your personal narrative?
We are all the star of our own play,  but what are you saying to yourself?

I believe personal narrative has to be a form of stress management.  We do need that.  We need to believe in ourselves.  However, at a certain point,  are the voices in your head helping you achieve your truth, or getting in the way of hearing the truth?

That personal narrative can be a crutch, a lie, a deception, or it can be a protection mechanism that creates another reality from being reached.  If it gets in the way of a larger truth,  it stunts us - as human beings and as artists.

By nature, artists have the capacity for self-doubt.  We need to question.  This is part of the process of growth, discovery, creativity and creation.  Creating and re-creating that personal narrative is so important to a healthy development as an artist.  However, what are you really saying?  What are you actually doing?  What does it allow you to explore and what does it prevent you from seeing/doing/becoming aware of in yourself?

Such a slippery slope, that personal narrative.  It can either keep you open to discover,  or it can close you off to self deception.  It can excuse ANYTHING you choose not to view in the reality that IS.

If you want to isolate and insulate yourself fully from the world,  then that personal narrative doesn't need constant examination.  However, if you want to be SEEN in the world,  that personal narrative needs to arrive at an honesty that allows you to LIVE there too.

Is your narrative full of statements or full of questions?  And if it has questions, are you asking the right ones?  Are you only asking the ones that YOU can answer, and thereby protect yourself,  or are you asking the ones someone else who has more knowledge/understanding/experience  could provide for you?

Sometimes the answers are surprising.  Surprisingly useful;  revealing;  lift weights;  Sometimes they are hard to swallow.  Sometimes they hurt.  However, those answers that could re-create a healthier personal narrative have to challenge where you ARE.  Sometimes they DO hurt - not because they are aimed to hurt YOU, but rather because they pose a truth that YOU have resisted and couldn't deal with - then or now.  If it hurts, there is still a possibility to change that narrative.

Yes, there will always be people who want to hurt - but let's not go there.  Let the questions become: why does that hurt?  Why does that sting?  Why does that make me uncomfortable?  Why do I get angry when I hear that?

Perhaps those things that are hard to swallow, or seem to hurt are actually going to give you freedom to see a deeper truth that you need to adjust that personal narrative and focus where it was cloudy.  Perhaps you didn't know it was cloudy - and when the fog clears,  it is a relief to see what is truly there and move through it!

The honest truth in a larger sense is this:  not everyone is a world class voice.  Not every world class voice works.  It is okay to be what you are,  develop what you have and pursue where you are.  First, you need to know and claim where that is.  That is part of the narrative.

It is okay to be just where you are.  It is okay to develop a personal narrative that reflects that.  It is okay to feel sad you aren't where you would like to be, where you thought you would be, and simply take the truth of that and make it part of the narrative.

Stress management does not need to be another form of reality!  Stress management as personal narrative can give you room to FEEL and to ask the right questions to get the correct answers to be YOU as an artist and as a singer (or actor or dancer or performer of ANY kind!)

What are the right questions?  Perhaps that is the first step and the first question.

Susan Eichhorn Young covers all things voice—strong and sophisticated singing and speaking. 

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