How do we honor ourselves?
Your Voice has value.
It's time to stop questioning that.
How we honor ourselves determines how others honor us. When you value your music, your voice, what you have to offer, you inspire others. "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure... and when we let our own light shine we give others permission to do the same “(Marianne Williamson). When we share our music, we speak the truth we feel called to speak, and we inspire others to do the same. Valuing ourselves doesn't actually have to do with how good we are, or we how good we think we are. Self-worth comes from within and is a state of being.
Value is intimately tied to authenticity. We have been taught to honor what others value, what society values versus what we intuitively value in ourselves. When we are able to express what is true for us, and honor its value for others, then confidence follows. We spend a lot of energy working to become confident. What if instead we started expressing what feels most true without expectation from others and without apology. Then confidence would be a natural result.
For women (and perhaps men as well? feel free to chime in) value is very much tied to image.
I was recently out with a girlfriend and showed her a flyer of an upcoming New Year's Eve show (not mine). It was a "hey we should go to this" gesture, but she couldn't get passed the image of a thin women in high heels holding a champagne glass on the front. "that's just not me, or how I see myself" she said. "so what?" Is it a problem that we still depict women being desirable in a specific fashion? Perhaps. I for one, totally relate to the silhouette, and so actually didn't even really notice it until she pointed it out. But that's me, authentically. I'm thin, tall, love high heels and red lipstick, and champaign. But it's taken years for me to allow myself to be this and get over the "stop trying to attract attention" voice in my head. We all get to be a sexy desireable woman, if we want. But we get to do it ON OUR TERMS. It is the same with our voice. We get to step onstage and sing our heart out "on our terms."
I've been watching The Voice lately. This is another example of what is socially deemed desirable. I am really impressed by many of the singers' skills. Yet they all have a similar sound, and are applauded for the same skills. Now if that pop sound is you, awesome! Go for it!! But it is so not me, and I'm cool with that. The only problem is when you're not. If you aren't the thin tall girl in high heels, so what, as long as you own what is beautiful, valuable, desirable about YOU! I am just as comfortable in my high heels as in my beat up cow-girl boots with messy hair and blue jeans rockin' it in the recording studio. Have any of you ever seen me eat? Splattering pasta down my chin, smearing red lipstick all over my face? It's real. It's a part of me. Have you heard me giggle onstage... laughing insanely at myself in front of a crowd for no reason except that I'm happy...onstage when no one else is... but that's another story. We HAve to honor ourselves. We can not expect this from anyone else. So here are a few questions for self reflection:
What is the quirkiest most embarrassing thing about you?
How could you learn to love that and rock it?
What in you is unique, authentic and has tremendous value?
How could you focus in on this and practice valuing this in you all the time, in all types of circumstances?
I started writing this blog because I've been thinking a lot about the value of music, specifically how non-musicians think of and value music. I'm going to save my musings on this for later, but wanted to just direct your attention to the following article. Why it matters so much that we value ourselves and our art is that, until we do, no one else will. People are going to try to undervalue you. So you have to know how great your are in your core. And, whenever you question that.... well that is what community is for. That is what Living Song is for. So if you're questioning your value right now, I invite you to comment on this blog. Let's start a discussion about why WE matter, why WE value ourselves and support each other in owning that totally and authentically.
I love you all,