Me? Getting in my own way?

Happy Daylight Savings Time to those of us who lost an hour over night.  

There are no coffee rules today.  Who am I kidding?! There are no coffee rules any day.  Drink it til you can move things with your mind!

I am giddy because maybe, just maybe this horrible winter is over.  Although as I type, I am seeing white crap falling from the sky and 30 minutes ago it was brilliantly sunny. 

I do know it's warmer, because my weather app says so.  Let's hope that is true and spring is truly teasing us into something better.

So what about you?  How's the audition season?  How was the audition season?

Where are you at in your process?

How many times have you heard over the years: "Stop getting in your own way!"

What the hell does that mean?!?!?!

Well, in all honesty I do not know.  I cannot know since I am not you.  These things are personal, journey-driven,  craft-driven,  self-esteem driven. 

So, what I can share with you are ideas that may help you find out how to get to that elusive and universal question for yourself, in order to find the answers.

When we want something so much,  the idea of being still seems counter productive.  Yet, wanting can lead to drive, can lead to over-zealous, can lead to single-mindedness, can lead to craving, can lead to trying to do too much, can lead to frustration, can lead to desperation, can lead to anxiousness, can lead to confusion, can lead to wanting it harder, can lead to panic, can lead to...

Get the idea?  Are you breathing?

Stillness doesn't mean you aren't DOING something.  Stillness simply gives you permission to be you in the moment.  Not to say "yeah, but I have to..."  We all have to.  Wait a second.  Take a breath.  Let it out.  Take another one.

"But I have to show them I can sing, I can act, I can be what they want!"

How do you know that's what they want? 

Take a breath.  Be still.

Trying too hard often can be translated into trying to do too much at one time;  trying to reveal more than you have to;  trying, trying, trying.

So break it down:  What are you DOING to develop the TOTALITY of your craft?  Layer by layer. 

Do you study voice?  Regularly?  Do you understand your physicality?  Do you know where you are in that process?  Do you really understand how your physicality uniquely influences what your voice is as an athletic presence of sound? 

Do you study performance?  Do you study acting?  Do you know how and why and where the physicality embodies the characterization of breath, of intention, of thought, of action?  Do you find that in the lyrics of a song or aria?  Do you find that character in the phrase a composer has taken the time to craft for you to lift off a page?

Do you explore your physical athleticism outside your craft?  Do you know where you hold your tension?  Do you know your vulnerable spots? 

Do you find your trouble spots when you are completely safe? 

Do you allow yourself to find out what happens when you don't feel like you are in your element?

What changes?  Why?

How do you compensate?  Do you allow, do you try harder, do you become still,  do you just get in the way and spiral out of control?

Are you in your body during your study? During a class?  During your practice?  Are you present in your mind and spirit or are you going through the motions?  Do you mimic? Do you hide? Do you truly explore the messy, the raw and the undeveloped potential and let it be where it is or do you gloss over it hoping nobody saw, including you?

We aren't always ready to see.  We aren't always ready to acknowledge.  We aren't always ready to claim.   It's okay.  But not being ready creates panic in a pressure situation and then - we get in our own way.

If you want it badly enough,  you have to realize,  recognize and do the work to create the stillness to access it.  Period.

There isn't a formulaic plan for that, sorry.  Each of us, with guidance from someone or several someones outside ourselves,  have to find that for ourselves.

We need to know in order to see the truth.  Once we see those truths, then we don't make excuses for them:  they simply are.  There is no value judgement.  We now can pick up those truths and develop them, hone them, sculpt them to create a larger reality that we can be still in;  live in;  claim fully.

You can't get in your own way if you are living in your craft and your body and spirit in an authentic way.  You cannot get in your own way if you let go of excuses.  You cannot be intimidated if you find the desire to simply learn about YOU and what the development of your craft reveals ABOUT you.

This should allow excitement to bubble.  This should lead to possibilities.  This should lead to desire and not panic.  Possibilities lead to timelessness,  not running out of time.

Those voices that tell you "if you don't figure it out now it's over"  - need to be kicked to the curb. 

YOU have never been here before.  All of our possibilities are new.  It's not over because it hasn't been before. 

How do you get out of your own way?

Get ON your way.  Claim the journey,  warts and all.  Make no excuses.  Find everything you need to fulfill your possibility.  Make no excuses.  Make choices.  Be BOLD.  Be real.  Be still.

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

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