CAROLINE WATERS, JAZZ ENTERTAINER, AUTHOR, VOCAL COACH
Caroline Waters Blog Posts
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Tag Archives: Vocal freedom
I admit it. I am petrified. Frozen with fear. Emotionally locked inside a deep darkness. The big fat void of avoidance, of all things postponed, is now staring me down to the ground. I am, literally, chained to the floor of my internal torture chamber, as the poisonous venom of guilt, shame and feeling inadequate works its way through my veins.
These are powerful feelings and I allow them all. “Bring it on!” I say, as I close my eyes and prepare for death, still unable to move or even brace for the impact. And as I allow the waves of distain, of self loathing and blame, of hatred and shame to wash right through me, to the very core… As I allow this nuclear explosion, this unhinged train, this blow torch, this torrential rain, to have its way with me, I am strangely okay.
“How is it possible,” I ask, “to feel okay in the middle of my very own, personal, Armageddon?” At the moment of asking, I don’t know the answer. I don’t have to. It is what it is and I accept it as is. I’ve paid my dues. I no longer need to prove myself, not even to myself. And herein lies the answer to my quest. I no longer need to prove a thing, not even to myself. From this statement alone, another revelation is born: When we surrender the ego, all ego-related feelings, such as guilt and shame and feeling inadequate, automatically falls away.
In the ten minutes it took me to write this, I have moved from feeling completely paralyzed to feeling completely energized. This, to me, is the power of surrender, of being totally present in the moment, in the body, letting whatever emotions are there be fully felt and pass through unobstructed, without trying to deny it, fix it, explain it or change it.
Bring it on and enjoy your day!
Have you ever experienced feeling like you expressed yourself with such immaculate clarity, but for some bizarre reason, most of your intended communication got lost in translation? I have. Many times. In fact, over and over. It’s really frustrating.
So, here’s the deal: We receive 400 billion pieces of information every second. Of these 400 billion pieces, only 2000 gets delivered to our conscious mind via our brain’s filtering system. And, this filtering system is continuously formed by our emotional experiences, which of course varies greatly from person to person, depending on our DNA, our upbringing and our surroundings at any given time.
This explains why we perceive things so differently and why we can experience the same event, but observe completely different aspects of it and thus tend to give entirely different accounts when we reiterate said event.
Seeing and hearing and feeling things so differently from one another can make it difficult to communicate. Here are my three keys to making it easier:
1 – Listen with the intention to learn where the other person is coming from and how they experience what they experience. Ask them to clarify if anything is unclear.
2 – Resist the urge to offer an opinion, unless specifically asked. And, even then, I often find it more useful to ask more questions so that the other person can arrive at their own understanding first.
3 – Let new information sink in before jumping to conclusions. Recognizing that we are only perceiving a small part of the whole picture at any given moment opens the door to more playful, curious and exploratory communication. When we resist the urge to judge, we open for the possibility to expand our vision. This, in turn, expands our ability to collaborate and co-create.
For those of you who are interested, I am designing new Vocal Freedom seminars that include fun and empowering processes for expanding our self awareness and enhancing our communication skills. This, in addition, of course, to finding, freeing and exquisitely expressing our voices.
If you want me to stop by your town for a Vocal Freedom Seminar and/ or House Concert or to give a concert at your favorite venue, feel free to shoot me an email. Many choose to book a seminar/ concert as a one- or two-day event.
Email email@example.com with any questions or booking inquiries.
Vocal Freedom via SKYPE/ FaceTime is also an option.
Amazing things happen when we open to receive the good that abounds. Last summer, I said YES to perform at a music festival in Brønnøysund. It took three days to drive there with my sweetheart in a super cool electric Nissan Leaf and three days to drive back, across the beautiful mountains of Norway. And, as I thoroughly enjoyed the whole festival experience and appreciated all the aspects of the journey, I received another proposal. A group of extraordinary women musicians asked if I wanted to join them in a band. Again, I said YES.
Our band name is Engla & Banditta, which in English means Angels and Bandits. The name itself is significant for many reasons. In addition to our music being incredibly expressive, deep, joyous and diverse, ranging from Bluesy Rock to Jazzy Pop, we have a fierce social engagement and a soft spot for the underdog.
Banjo- and guitar playing Tove Bøygard, who sings in real Halling, is improving the lives of drug addicts and prostitutes as a social worker. Bass- and castanet playing Venja Ruud Nilsen and sax tooting Bente Mari Mortensen are improving the lives of women prisoners as music therapists. Swedish singer/songwriter and electric guitar player Sara Andersson teaches and performs with extraordinary depth and compassion. Legendary drummer Metch Johannessen fights for the downtrodden with every beat of her heart and drum. And I, in addition to sharing my own personal story of overcoming adversary in Finding Venus, give seminars and teach Vocal Freedom for anyone and everyone who wants to heal from post-traumatic stress, find/ strengthen their voice and let their heart sing with no holds barred.
Engla & Banditta recently completed our first concert series, with performances at Iris Scene in Odda, Bredtveit Women’s Prison and Herr Nilsen in Oslo, Norway. The audience response has been amazing and we are now getting ready for a delicious summer of joyous expression in both Norway and Sweden.
If you would like to book us for your event, party, club, stage, TV or radio program, let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org. Chances are, if schedules allow and the price is right, we’ll say YES!
Have you ever felt like you’re on the verge of doom and that you don’t know how to move forward? Have you ever felt trapped in your own mind because you feel as if you are stuck between impossible choices?
I go through periods when these kinds of feelings are prominent. And when I stop to analyze the situation, I realize the feeling of doom is usually exaggerated and not a realistic response to my actual predicament. But it is often serious enough to warrant some major changes in the way I go abut my life or business.
The key, when I am faced with indecision, of not knowing what to do next, is to stay calm, breathe, make sure my body is properly nurtured and then proceed with activities that move me into a better feeling place.
When we build habits based on activities that put us in a better feeling place, solutions will present themselves in a more organic fashion. The following habits are my personal keys to freedom from mind bondage and indecision:
1. Make sure you get enough oxygen flowing through your system by doing yoga, breathing meditations, walking, running, jumping or dancing on a daily basis.
2. Make sure you are properly watered and nurtured with organically grown whole foods that are alkaline and life affirming on a daily basis.
3. Make sure you have an outlet for thoughts, feelings and ideas by journaling, conversing, songwriting, creating art, speaking or singing on a daily basis.
Vocal Freedom in Santa Monica
For the next five mornings, I will be teaching Vocal Freedom on the beach in Santa Monica. Feel free to join us if you’d like to walk with the dolphins, free your expression, strengthen your voice and sing your life into a more powerful and joyous existence. I will walk with you every step of the way.
Vocal Freedom in Culver City
You are also welcome to join us next Saturday, as I’ll be teaching a one-day Vocal Freedom Intensive seminar at Redhead Records Studio in Culver City.
Registration and more info at www.carolinewaters.com/seminars.php
Norway just had an election. The liberal Labour party got the most votes, but did not make it because the right wing parties combined were stronger. Surprisingly, Norway’s most racist, selfish and anti-climate party got lots and lots of votes. I can’t even begin to explain how that is possible in a nature loving country that is on the leading edge when it comes to equality, anti-discrimination, education and social welfare.
To live in a society where we are free to choose how to vote, how to think, what to believe in and how to express ourselves is a privilege that we need to appreciate, savor, take advantage of and not take for granted. I voted for the Green party, simply because I wanted someone to strongly represent mother nature in government. And, as I ponder how to be most effective in making a positive change for the issues I believe in, no matter what kind of government is in charge, I choose to focus on Vocal Freedom.
The positive aspect of having oppositional parties in power is that we tend to engage in debate more passionately and be inspired to take new action. This, in turn, helps us realize who we are on a deeper level and , hopefully, gets us to hone our skills and talents. I am totally inspired and committed right now to better myself so I can make a difference in the world at large through my words, music, performance and coaching. Will you join me? Will you make sure your voice gets heard?
Vocal Freedom guides us through a powerful transformational process to find, nurture and strengthen our individual voices, so we can express ourselves fully. Since several people have expressed an interest, I will be offering another seminar in Oslo before I head back to perform Finding Venus and to teach Vocal Freedom on the Beach in LA.
Stay tuned at www.carolinewaters.com/seminars.php
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.
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!