Elise Witt gets the world singing. She’s the “you can do it” elf.
Walking into her singing circle, it’s easy to see adventure ahead, and that she’ll teach you what you need to know to move right along with her. At a workshop in Asheville, NC she gave these singing points,which translate perfectly to love.
1. Sing like PLUTO, big and round in expression. This is a really good thing to do in intimate relationships, too. Going for bold lets your lover know where you stand. Elise told us to forget about expressing little ol’ you. Big you is way more fun.
She inspired us to prod a little, and poke around to find out what else we’ve got — and let it out! We have many voices, aspects, faces and inner places. As we sang, she encouraged us to find as many as possible.
Finding your other voices, faces and inner places keeps your relationship interesting!
2. Switch things up. Try the parts you don’t usually sing. Don’t get stuck in “I only sing alto.” She asked us to move to another singing section and give it a whirl. She reminded us that we have more room to move than we might think.
Singing a part you’re not accustomed to puts you in a different frame of mind, like brushing your teeth with your non-dominant hand. It’s good for you.
Such fantastic advice for a relationship! Put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Think outside the box. Role play. Pretend you don’t know your partner, try on their point of view. Say what they said, and say it with conviction!
When you’ve interpreted your partner’s action, and you’re sure what s/he meant, ask yourself, “What else could it be?”
3. Know the value of your part. Feel your worth. So huge! Your relationship song wouldn’t be the same without you!
4. Don’t blast. Radiate instead. Beautiful singing is about surround sound. Elise demonstrated singing while standing in the middle of our circle, and how people behind her could hear her as well as the people in front of her.
In a relationship with another human, radiating (not blasting) is always appreciated.
5. Listen as you sing. Elise says 80% of singing is listening.
She asked us to “sing through our ears.”
This idea is magic in a love relationship. Listen as you speak. Have your ears open while you express yourself.
Ever find yourself yearning for a shot of creativity when you need most it, not when it needs you?
Oh, wherefore art thou my pen, my brush, my song of songs?
C”mon creativity, where did you go? Where is the “on demand” feature?
And, despite the pleading and the begging, your creativity is apparently off to see the wizard.
OH, WE DO LOVE CREATIVITY!
There is a yummy feeling that comes with the energy of inspiration flowing through us. It is the energy of life moving through our veins, and we know it. There is nothing like it. And yes, it keeps us young and happy.
In a state of bliss, all seems to go well — effortlessly! The big blue sky of creativity opens up, shining happy streaks of sunny love color all over life and we’re sparkling with ideas.
WEST ASHEVILLE COMMUNITY CHOIR
Recently, I went to hear the West Asheville Community Choir. On that particular day, I was truly muddling along, ready to be uplifted by song. I had never heard of this choir, but I can tell you that when they sang, the cells in my mind and body woke up. In less than 30 seconds after they began to sing, I was lifted into “oh, now THAT’S better….” and within 45 seconds was transported straight to happy. After a whole minute, I was floating over the moon and the floating lasted for the rest of the hour.
Time disappeared. I was in a state of wonder. The sounds were beautiful. I found myself wanting to stand up and shout, “That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” It was also meditative. Gorgeous. Intricate. Simple. Moving to my heart.
THE FLOWER OF CREATIVITY
Moonflower Opening -- photo courtesy of Lois Yeager
The 50 member choir sang traditional a cappella songs, from South Africa, the Balkans, Caucus Georgia, as well as American Shape-Note and Gospel songs. Suzannah Park and Nathan Morrison, the directors, also sang a duet together. I don’t even remember the song really, not because the song was not memorable, but because the emotional experience of hearing them sing together took center stage.
I vividly remember the feeling of the song. It was not your average listening experience, that’s for sure. I don’t even know what happened to me when they sang, but I know their expression changed me somehow. When Suzannah and Nathan sang it seemed as if the entire audience expanded to make room in their hearts for whatever it was the two were offering. The audience opened. I opened.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…………….!!! Now that’s much better!
THE JOY FACTOR
I don’t know the best way to get anyone’s creative juices flowing, but it sure helps to “get to happy.” What gives you a boatload of joy? Do more of that.
Suzannah and Nathan are downright darling. They love each other and make no bones about it, but it’s not syrupy and it’s not an act. They have known each other since they were 14 years old. Suzannah, when she is talking, but especially when she’s singing, is like a 1,000 watt light bulb. You can’t help but catch the rays of her bright love. She is unabashedly happy when she sings, directs, talks about her husband or how much she loves the choir. She includes you in her energy field, and yes, it’s HUGE, and pretty soon you are transported to wherever she is singing from if you let yourself go there.
And I did.
And I’m glad.
As of this writing, the experience was 48 hours ago and I’m still flyin’. Joy is very good medicine.
IS CREATIVITY YOUR LONG LOST FRIEND?
Artist: MacKenzie Joy Crosby
Missing your creativity? Find what makes you laugh. Find the young kid in you. If your pets are funny and help you into a good mood with no effort, spend a little time with them.
Play a little. Jump up and down, dive into a pile of leaves, roll down a hill. Dance. Sing. Play with your kids or grand kids. You’ll feel better when your life-giving juices begin to flow. Being able to play — being able to get into a playful mood at will — is one of the best ways to deliberately create joy. When you have joy, finding the creativity button is easy.
Or, hey — go listen to the West Asheville Community Choir. Or the music of Suzannah or Nathan. Bon Jovi. k.d. lang. The New York Philharmonic. Leonard Cohen. The Beatles. Diana Krall.
Do whatever opens the floodgates for YOU, darling, because that makes the world a better place, immediately and forever.
SING OUT, PEOPLE!
It seems to me that most of the world’s problems could be solved by singing.
Try singing an argument
It’s hard to sing and fight, sing and be angry, or sing and be in a bad mood for long.
Have you ever tried to sing an argument?
OK, imagine doing it.
My point exactly… See what I mean? You can’t stay mad for long.
It could work. World peace could be closer than you think.
If you have a story about how the simple act of singing works wonders for you and your creativity, I’d LOVE to hear it.
Or when do you find yourself in your highest creative state? How do you get there? Do tell!
Note: Moonflower Photo courtesy of Lois Yeager. For more information on artist MacKenzie Joy Crosby go here.Continue Reading
You’re broken down and tired Of living life on a merry go round And you can’t find the fighter But I see it in you so we gonna walk it out And move mountains We gonna walk it out And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again And I’ll rise up High like the waves I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
When the silence isn’t quiet And it feels like it’s getting hard to breathe And I know you feel like dying But I promise we’ll take the world to its feet And move mountains Bring it to its feet And move mountains
And I’ll rise up I’ll rise like the day I’ll rise up I’ll rise unafraid I’ll rise up And I’ll do it a thousand times again
For you For you For you For you
All we need, all we need is hope And for that we have each other And for that we have each other And we will rise We will rise We’ll rise, oh, oh We’ll rise
I’ll rise up Rise like the day I’ll rise up In spite of the ache I will rise a thousand times again And we’ll rise up High like the waves We’ll rise up In spite of the ache We’ll rise up And we’ll do it a thousand times again
During this strange time in history, I noticed y’all were tackling all sorts of interesting projects. I decided I needed one, too—something positive to remember the pandemic of 2020 by.
I decided to pay attention to something I had abandoned…
Nope, I’m not cleaning my garage. I am not organizing one single thing. I’m not planting a garden or cleaning up my yard.
Instead, I decided to take care of myself better. This, folks, has made all the difference for me.
With relatively little time and effort on my part, I feel so much better than I did a month ago.
On March 30, I got on the exercise bike and the yoga mat for the first time in a long time, and did 30 minutes each. I liked it so much that I decided to do it every day. But I fell short of that, and changed my commitment to every other day, which felt more manageable, reasonable, and doable.
I also get off the bike after every song, take a couple of sips of water, shake out my legs and arms for a few seconds, and get back on. This makes the bike project a reasonable proposition, too.
Daily walks of any length—by myself, or with my little guy, Jackson—are a fresh air bonus.
My recumbent exercise bike has pulleys to work my upper body while I pedal, which gets my heart rate up fast, and also helps my whole-body strength. It feels good to get up from writing, or doing a consulting session with a client, to do something physically challenging while listening to good music.
After only a month, I feel a sheet of muscles on the front of me I haven’t felt for a very, very long time. Goodness gracious. Who knew they were there. I’ll be posting rippling ab photos soon, I’m sure.
I have no idea what the scales have to say about my bike/yoga project—I don’t care. Paying attention to scales tends to send me sideways, and therefore, I’m ignoring them completely.
But—I LOVE the way I feel! Hang in there, everyone.