The Feminine Path to End War

I'm sitting at the entrance to sacred Kotel wall in Jerusalem. Our radical feminist rabbi is telling us about how, until recently, women were not allowed to carry holly objects or even pray at the wall and she reminds us in the orthodox community women are not permitted to sing in front of men.

I can't seem to control my grief.  It feels old, ancient, not even mine.  It is so painful to know how much women's voices are still not honored and valued.  We are told, even on this day to cover our shoulders and where long dresses while the men in our group remain in their hiking clothing.  We enter the women’s entrance to the kotel, which is about 1/2 the size of the mens.  I notice that male workers are allowed to be here, but doubt they would let a female worker on the men's side.  The wall is powerful, I can feel ancient feminine wisdom here.  I participate in what feels like a radical show of civil disobedience (but is probably not as we aren't arrested or anything) and burst into song.  I sing wide open, yet feel scared to sing "too loudly,” something I haven't felt in years. My song is a prayer, a grieving cry for all the women past and current who do not know the power of their voices, and if they do have been forced to soften and hide them.  I am convinced this is a huge cause of war.

Posted on August 12, 2014 .

Won't You Fall

Hello Dear Ones,

I'm in Isreal and have been in so much grief over the current conflict - hearing the pain from both sides and setting up meetings with musician peace makers. I wrote this song and hope you enjoy it and it makes a difference for you!  If you know anyone who you think would benefit from hearing this song, please share it with them!  Read the mega blog post coming out tomorrow for more on my experience and thoughts while being here.

Blessings,

Emma

Posted on August 11, 2014 .

How to work with stage fright instead of fighting it

Okay, let’s be honest, most of us have felt that nervous energy coursing through us as we step onstage. Some of us have been completely overwhelmed by it. Our hands shake, our mouth and throat suddenly dry up and our mind goes blank, we forget that line of lyrics, skip the bridge, and totally screw up that solo…and walk off the stage thinking “I know I could have done better if I hadn’t felt so nervous!”

As a child and teenager, I always thought nerves were kind of fun – natural actually. Before every show, I would feel those butterflies in my stomach and know “This is it. This is my time. This is the moment I’ve been waiting for! This is my moment to share my gift and shine!”

But then, somewhere around age 20, I started having what we call “Stage fright” – fear so strong it interfered with my performance. I would stand onstage and wish to God the show would get itself over with and SOON – before I completely lose it! I felt completely disconnected from the music, from the audience and I hated every minute. But afterwards, offstage, I was heartbroken, wishing to have another chance, longing to perform. So I would schedule another show, look forward to it for weeks, and then onstage again, I’d be consumed by fear, struggle through it and wait for it to all to be over. I knew I loved performing – I was even told I had “great stage presence.” I wanted to share my music, but I had lost my sense of how to love it in the moment. Not to mention that playing my best was impossible.

Posted on April 30, 2014 and filed under Being onstage, Recieving.

Claiming our right to be seen and heard

One of the key things I see women struggle with in putting themselves out there – onstage AND in life – is in giving themselves permission to be seen and heard. 

It’s New Years Eve and I am dancing my ass off.  I love to dance.  I love surrendering to music in the way that dance allows.  It’s very different from playing: for me a less engaged way of giving in and interacting with music.  I love letting music move my body.

So… I’m on the dance floor, having a great time, mostly unaware of people around me, caught up in my own little world of sound and movement.

Then there is a whisper in my ear “You are such a great dancer…”  That was the beginning; I won’t write here what he actually said….

What the hell ladies!  Can’t we enjoy feeling sexy and moving sexy without getting sleazily hit on???

Now before I go on a crazy tangent, I want you to know, I met my boyfriend on the dance floor.  In the appropriate situation and with a kinder approach, I think it is great for men to feel they can compliment us, ask us to dance, tell us we are great dancers.  It is OKAY to be sex and to have attention on us.  But, there is a line where it becomes uncomfortable and inappropriate.  How can we allow ourselves to move freely, tune into our sensuality, feel the amazing power of our beautiful sexy bodies and be seen without our bodies being diminished and our sense of power and self brought down by often unintentionally inappropriate comments?  We are raised with so many mixed messages: be sexy, but don’t attract the WRONG kind of attention.  Don’t talk about sex…don’t be too sexy… don’t be “that” girl.  We play the innocent, sometimes denying ourselves fun and pleasure, and we struggle with our longing to be seen – and the constant feeling that it is unsafe, immoral, and selfish.

It is the kind of experience I had on New Year’s Eve that teach us to shrink, and hide.  “Oh – if I’m attracting that kind of attention, it must be my fault, I’m doing something wrong, I shouldn’t dance like this.”  We don’t want THAT kind of attention so sometimes we avoid attention all together.  

What if wanting to be seen simply means that we know we have an incredible gift to offer the world, and by allowing people to see us we are giving them permission to receive this gift.  What if attracting attention is the natural impact of you sharing your beautiful self authentically with others.  When it comes down to it, it is totally OKAY that YOU WANT TO BE SEEN!  Because, come on, if we are honest, who doesn’t want to be seen? Who doesn’t want to be recognized for the extraordinary human being she is?  Who doesn’t want to have her beauty, wisdom, sensuality, love and freedom of expression honored, witnessed, respected, seen, heard and celebrated?

 

She Sings Out Loud is about being able to be seen and heard on OUR terms!  To allow ourselves to be witnessed for the unique, beautiful, divine, sensual, feminine, vocal beings we are!

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure…. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  For when you let your own light shine, you unintentionally give others permission to do the same.”  ~ Marianne Williamson

Being onstage is about letting our light shine.  It is about giving the greatest gift of our voice, and the healing power of our music to others.  It is about creating a sacred space where we get to connect and be human together.  And, to do this…. We must BE SEEN and BE HEARD.

The theme for the March Voice Circle is “Our right to be seen and heard.”  I invite you to come share and explore what keeps you from allowing yourself to be seen and heard and what helps you let yourself be seen and heard.  Share your voice, share your wisdom, connect and engage in community through song and discussion.

I will share with you some very special tools to help you give yourself permission to be heard and take your rightful place on the stage of your dreams.

For today, I invite you to practice being seen everywhere you go.  Let yourself shine as you get your coffee, walk down the street, dance, speak and sing.

I love you,

Emma

Posted on February 28, 2014 .