Let me explain it here:
We are an hour before The Songbirds Cabaret. I’m standing firm and centered in the mission. Shannon Ward of Fiercely Peaceful and I are practicing voice drills in the cabin next door. We feel great, excited. I felt firmly grounded and clear and I was ready to be the speaker and the singer in this debut cabaret.
I explained to everyone in the audience that they’d be on a journey alongside of me toward my dreams of singing/performing. I invited everyone to think about a dream that they’ve had since they were a child and that perhaps there were stories that kept them from following those dreams/desires (Illuminating the Stories that Bind Us).
When I introduced my songs, I explained what story the song prescribed by Mick and Tess Pulver that we’d be breaking through. For example, the first song was I’ve Got a Right to be Wrong by Joss stone. The song meant to break through my perfectionist tendencies and my fear that I’d never be enough for my family.
My dear friend Kelly Cherry accompanied me by acoustic guitar. I took a deep breath and as the first line came out of my mouth, I heard it completely off key. Something that happened a lot in my practices with my beloved voice coach, Christa Pfeiffer. And when I heard it, I just giggled inside and kept going. I had fun. I felt the song with my whole being and felt mostly on key for the rest of the song. I continued through other prescribed songs ending with Feeling Good by Nina Simone – reminding all of us to find the simple things to help us feel good after 2 and a half years of a grueling global pandemic.
While I sang and spoke, I saw tears on people’s faces. I lost complete sense of time and was completely mesmerized by the co-healing, learning and growing.
During intermission people came up and hugged me and told me how inspired they were. How it made them want to follow their dreams, made them want to sing, made them want to participate. Some said they could feel themselves healing and growing. Afterwards the comments included:
“I was meant to be here, this was so inspiring”
“that was a year’s worth of therapy in one night”
“You were so brave and courageous”
“you are a powerhouse”
“I want to do this and commit to everything – when are you having it again?”
“ I feel so much joy, this was so uplifting”
“I could relate to everything you said”
“you are a rockstar”
“you have such a strong stage presence”
“you are so articulate and an amazing storyteller”
To know that people felt all of those things and to know how I felt – which was completely in my zone of genius (check out Gay Hendricks if you don’t know what that is), completely in my flow. Left me in a complete, natural high. A smile on my face, a contented heart, an energized body. I went to sleep that night feeling much different than the night before. I remember hugging my assistant Cassidy Brooks-Bowling and just being like: “we did it!”
I wish I could just leave it there, folks. And maybe someday, after I perform, I will. That is certainly my new goal. A couple days later, I crashed. Hard. And questioned everything.
Keep a look out for my next letter where I will share with you what happened. Sign up for my newsletter to be the first to read!