Tag Archives: post traumatic stress

3 Keys to Resolving Conflicts

It was recently suggested to me that I displayed classic symptoms of Battered Women’s Syndrome. My symptoms were as follows: I felt verbally paralyzed, unable to speak out or take a stance in fear of what consequence may follow.

I don’t remember being battered, but I have experienced near death accidents that have caused post traumatic stress reactions and I have experienced other forms of suppression, such as verbal abuse, scare tactics and withholding.

Some of these experiences are still affecting my life from time to time in the form of fear. Fear of conflict being the most energy- and time consuming. In the spirit of Vocal Freedom, I am going to share 3 key elements that I have found to be the most useful in terms of regaining my confidence and ability to resolve conflicts:

1 – Being Fully Present

My automatic reaction to stress is to dissociate, to leave my body. Dissociation may be an affective tool to handle stress in the moment, but is not conducive to being effective or productive or resolving conflicts. So, in order to move into a better feeling place and a place of power, I first need to become present in my own body, to ground myself in the here and now, to feel my feelings.

2 – Identifying the Most Ideal Outcome

It is easy to get wrapped up in other people’s words and actions, to take things personally. And to respond from a place of feeling wounded and needy. So, in order to counter this victim-based reactive behavior, I step back and try to see the situation from a higher perspective, by identifying the most ideal outcome. In order to do this effectively, it is vital that I don’t act from an emotional charge, but wait until I have identified what I really want to get out of the situation.

I recently stepped into a difficult conversation with a group of people I didn’t know. And, because my initial engagement happened as a knee-jerk reaction, I fell flat on my face. It took almost a day and a half to untangle myself from the emotional defense I had gotten myself into and to see my carefully drafted ignorant BS for what it was. This can be a tricky thing to identify, since the ego automatically will come up with a number of self-glorifying justifications for our behavior, as long as we remain emotionally charged. Stepping back and identifying the most ideal outcome, helped me see clearly how to untangle myself and proceed in a more constructive way.

3 – Humbly Embracing the Opportunity to Learn

It takes a great deal of courage to be humble. It requires enough personal strength, confidence and wisdom to see the value of such a receptive state of being. For me in particular, being humble is something I have fought, tooth and nail, every step of the way. Why? Because I mistook it for weakness. Fortunately, I have come to realize that humility can serve as a most wonderful tool to discover what is possible to achieve and receive. When I humbly embrace the opportunity to learn from a situation, however triggering, confusing or challenging it may be, I put myself in a position of optimal reception. Being humble and unassuming enable us to see and receive what we have to offer each other with greater ease and precision.

Here’s a song I wrote that expresses the magic and beauty of being fully present, identifying a most ideal outcome and humbly embracing the opportunity to learn: Dancing In The Nude. It features Jennifer Leitham on bass, Katisse Buckingham on sax and programming, Tom Zink on keys, Chris Wabich on drums and Caroline Waters on piano and vocals. Enjoy!

Amanda Knox and Vocal Freedom

I just finished reading Amanda Knox’ memoir, Waiting to Be Heard. It moved me. She tells the story of how she managed to cope with a murder conviction and imprisonment in a foreign country. A conviction it took four years to overturn.

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Her vulnerability and willingness to openly share some of the less flattering elements of her story was particularly inspiring. So often we choose to only share that which we think enhances our likeability with the popular crowd. But I have personally discovered that when people show me their unpolished emotions and ways of thinking and being, because truth is to them far more important than looking good, I tend to trust them more.

I applaud anyone who dares to speak up in the face of overpowering injustice. Amanda Knox got to learn, the hard way, how to pursue her truth in the face of unimaginable pressure. She learned by making mistakes, over and over, and by never giving up trying to make herself be heard.

It has taken me a very long time to dare to share my own story, including some of the less flattering parts. But each time I let go of my superficial pride, each time I allow myself to fall into the core of my being, each time I expose my truth as it reveals itself to me, without trying to polish or cover it up, I take another step into freedom.

One of the ways from which I have gained tremendous strength throughout this whole process is by a series of exercises I have named, VOCAL FREEDOM. This coming week, I am giving 2 Vocal Freedom seminars in Los Angeles: A 5-day early morning seminar on the beach in Santa Monica and a 1-day intensive seminar in Culver City.

These seminars are specifically designed to release old fears and resistance, to empower, tone and strengthen our voices and to joyously embrace a focused commitment to a more powerful self expression.

For more info and to register, please visit www.carolinewaters.com/seminars.php

Hope to see YOU!

Finding Venus in Norway

I am scared shitless, to be perfectly honest. This is my home country, where I grew up, where all my “baggage” first assembled, where all my first impressions were formed, where my first insecurities took hold, where I first began to compare myself to others, where I used to feel extremely uncomfortable in my grown-up clothing.

I am also intensely excited, as I feel like I am stepping onto a new stage of life, in my home country, as someone who has come full circle in so many ways.

Three weeks from now I will be performing my new jazzy musical thriller, Finding Venus (På Hengende Håret), for the first time with a full cast in Norwegian. Yeah, it’s happening at Herr Nilsen in Oslo on June 21st!

Finding Venus (På Hengende Håret) by Caroline WatersThe scary part is that I suspect I might be met with a more critical eye and ear in these parts, since I come from a well known entertainment family, which of course entails certain expectations. At the same time it feels absolutely fantastic to finally get to tell my story of healing and transformation, which has been partially hidden for so many years.

The cast is fantastic, just the right mix of talented, wild and wise. A beautiful bundle of creative energies, each with their own unique expression of love and life.

The musicians are some of my very favorite in the world. Deb and I used to play together in a duo called Sirens. We’d make the European clubs go wild with our combination of jazzy classical pop and funky groovy out-of-this-world weirdness. Aage and I met when I played my violin in a Nordic Youth Symphony orchestra at fifteen and have played together off and on since then. Amazing cellist!

Here’s a link to the calendar and ticket sales: www.carolinewaters.com/shows.php

Here’s a link to my official website, where you can find video and sound clips for both the Norwegian and English versions: www.carolinewaters.com

Looking forward!

Love and Blessings, Caroline

It’s Time to Celebrate!

Signed, Sealed and Delivered

Exposed by Caroline Waters

I am deliriously happy to announce that my new CD, Exposed, has been delivered to the plant and is being printed as I write this. I am embarrassed to say that it took me some time to arrive at the deliriously happy stage, because I was still in obsessive work mode and could only think of what I needed to do next, like organize a release concert and tour and distribution and radio promotion and all that jazz.

The Beauty of Celebration

Coming from a family of highly effective worker bees, the need to constantly produce results is deeply embedded in my constitution. However, I have come to appreciate the value of celebration and savoring more and more. As a result, I am committed to creating a way of proceeding with everything in my life from a place of celebration.

The beauty of celebration gives everyone involved a chance to give thanks, to acknowledge and be acknowledged, to deepen our love for each other, to appreciate the fruits of our labor from new perspectives, to savor the journey itself and to allow ourselves to be inspired to even more joyous creations in the now. I love this!

The Power of Surrendering and Trusting

I realize how much of my life have been spent in a problem solving mode, getting from point A to point B, overcoming obstacles and hurdles, crossing off tasks in a list and achieving various degrees of success in the process. Even the celebrations have had an element of a need to achieve in them.

So now I am thinking, “What if I just let myself celebrate and savor without worrying so much about what it’s gonna look like or how it will be received?” It’s a frightening concept, to be less in control of the outcome, but also appealing. The notion that I can step into a place of surrender and trust that the idea of celebrating alone will attract a chain of events that will be pleasing to everyone involved is a new one for me.

The Art of Receiving

Esther Hicks channels the idea that if we stay out of the details as much as possible and focus on the art of receiving as much as possible, all will unfold that much more deliciously. This idea has also been my experience. The more I can keep my control issues at bay and simply receive the gifts of what I have summoned in my creatively inspired adventures, the better of I am.

My resolve is this: to celebrate the unfolding of the journey of this new CD as joyously, curiously, childlike, inclusively, blissfully, organically, socially, wildly unusually, serendipitously, romantically, gently and lovingly as possible. I welcome all who wish to join me in this adventure, to celebrate and co-create and dance with me. Let me know your thoughts and how I can be of service with my song and being in your joyous unfolding:)

Caroline Waters Exposed

If you’d like to check out my new CD, which is a collection of songs that have helped me through times of great adversity and songs written by some of my favorites heroes and heroines in music, such as Leonard Cohen, Jennifer Warnes, George Gershwin and Joni Mitchell, click here!

Love and Blessings, Caroline