Unleash your Power!

superman

One of my goals for the new year was to find an outlet for my singing. I was blessed to find a gospel choir in my local area  http://hcgchoir.org/   I have been attending the choir since February, and it has been an amazing source of spiritual energy in my life. What I love about it, is that when we sing songs about God and Jesus, the power of the belief and spirit shines through us all as a collective voice. I feel so inspired to sing my best and really bring through the emotions of the songs we are singing. To me, it feels like my weekly worship. I feel a connection to God when I sing these songs and a deep sense of satisfaction.

I also love the power the choir has when we sing in unison. During the very first week, when we started to sing in harmonies, I realised that it was the perfect place for me. Everybody there is so warm and friendly and I instantly felt at home in the choir’s atmosphere.

Doing this has reminded me that our lives are anything but 1 dimensional and we have to try and honour the parts of us that want to be expressed. If you are an musician at heart, you must find a way to express your musicality. It is part of who you are. Without honouring that part of your life, you will not feel complete. That completeness was missing from my life for years because I wasn’t using one of my gifts.

Sometimes, because something doesn’t pay the bills or is not a source of income, we can dismiss that passion as unimportant and not productive.  This is a mistake. Expressing who you really are is what gives life its true richness. Burying aspects of your character will never make you happy, even if you have all the money in the world. What is the point of chasing just the material form of success? It won’t make up for the joy you would have felt doing whatever it is that lights you up and awakens your power within. This is what inspires people the most and is a way you can give back to the world.  It also puts you in a better place psychologically which can only help when striving for success and building your personal empire!

It’s taken me years to realise that the people I admire the most don’t fit the mould of normal. They are all unique in their own way as everyone in life clearly is. The difference though was their willingness to embrace who they were fully without apology and without concern for popularity. This is still one of the biggest challenges I find in my life. It is challenging to be myself when it is so much easier to just put on a mask and embrace the rat race lifestyle.

I wouldn’t call myself an anti-conformist, as I’m not that extreme about it and this isn’t a black and white issue. I have taken the time to sit down and write what my values are, and I use these to make decisions and work out the path of my life. Without my own values, I would be relying on others to give me values and that is a scary proposition that I do not want to entertain. No government, boss, family member or friend is going to decide my values for me. This is my life, and I need to be responsible for my own decisions and actions. This, I believe, is a true expression of personal power.

Are there any goals, dreams or little actions that you have been holding back from doing?

What gains (financial, spiritual, intellectual, love, happiness, peace, health) could this action bring?

Isn’t it worth trying if it makes your life richer?

I tried just one, and it has made a world of difference.

Show the world who you really are and claim back your power!

I wish you the best

Do what scares you.

 

Image

 

So last weekend my best friend got married in an amazing ceremony. I was so privileged to be there and felt honoured to be his best man also. If you recall in a past post, I mentioned that I would be singing the first dance song for my friend. I also told you that I was scared about doing this due to the feelings that I had attached to singing in public.

As the day drew closer, I felt like I wanted to back out and make excuses and I did have a real opportunity to do so. We couldn’t find an instrumental or backing track anywhere for the song that he wanted. I then had a decision to make. I could have decided to leave it at that and put it down to bad luck. However, when I confronted myself, I knew this was not the truth. I was going to use this as an excuse to not perform. I was trying to run away from it all in my head. I had to remember that what I was doing was in fact not for me but my friend. He had wanted this moment and expected it to happen and so I could not let him down.

I went on to you tube to look for options and stumbled across the website audacity that allows you to edit song tracks. I taught myself how to remove the vocals from a song and created my own instrumental to use. With that done, all excuses were out of the way.

The best lesson I learnt through this experience came two nights before the wedding itself. I practiced in front of my wife and she said that it was good. Ten minutes later whilst I was cooking in the kitchen, she came in and basically said that I could sing the song far better than I was.

“What’s wrong with what I’m doing?” I asked. I was hurt, but also curious.

“You’re not being yourself when you are singing it” she said. “You did it better the other day.”

“Alright then.” I responded defensively and I carried on with my cooking. I didn’t speak for the next ten minutes and was left to stew alone in the kitchen about what my wife had said. I appreciated her feedback because I knew she would tell me the truth. I was now also completely terrified. I felt like I wasn’t ready to do the song and that I would not be very good. All my old conditioning was kicking in. However, within these ten minutes, all the work that I have been putting in to becoming my best self kicked into play. I replayed what Annemarie had said and confronted the truth. She was right. I wasn’t performing the song to the best of my ability and I knew why. I was over-thinking the whole thing and did not allow myself to interpret the song authentically as myself. She had basically called me out for being cowardly when I was singing and this was true.

“I want to do it again for you after dinner” I said to Annemarie. I knew what to do this time. I had to be present when singing the song and stop having an inner monologue going on in my head. I had to connect with the emotion of the song and become vulnerable. I basically had to show myself.

When I performed the song this time, I forgot about where I was, the time and my fears and I threw myself completely into those 4 minutes as if they would be my last. After my last note, I looked to Annemarie and her reaction was written all over her face. She grabbed me in the tightest hug.

“That’s more like it!” she said. I had known in my heart that I had done it this time, because I felt in total alignment. All aspects of who I am came together and I committed my body, mind, heart and spirit to the song. It is this alignment that makes all the difference.

I knew I was prepared to perform at the wedding, and when the moment came, I produced one of the best vocal performances of my life.

My wife and younger brother were all moved to tears as were other members of the wedding party. I received tons of praise from people who wanted to show appreciation for what I had done and I was grateful to everyone for their kind words.

 I connected deeply with the song and was motivated by the opportunity I had to create a wonderful memory for my friend. He told me afterwards that it was one of the greatest moments of his life. Adding that kind of value to someone is one of life’s greatest gifts. I learnt so much from the experience, and it has accelerated my personal growth no end. I also felt the power of doing work that is completely congruent with your character. I could have sung all night and people did ask me to, but I had done what was necessary.  I will now ensure that I have music in my life daily to raise my spirits and revive that part of my personality that I let lie dormant for so long. I am a singer, and should always sing. It was a crime to not let my light shine. I won’t make that mistake in the future.

My fear of singing in public is now cleansed. I’ve realised that my perception of singing from when I was a teenager was a false paradigm that I had carried around until last week. Now I see singing as a way of expressing my true self. I also see it as fun and uplifting.

Do what scares you, and it will no longer have power over you. You can and will find a way to overcome. That was what I learnt.

Let your light shine.

I wish you the best

Shaun