CAROLINE WATERS, JAZZ ENTERTAINER, AUTHOR, VOCAL COACH
Caroline Waters Blog Posts
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- The Journey to Vocal Freedom carolinewatersblog.com/2021/01/17/the… 6 months ago
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com. 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!
Tax season is upon us and I am meticulously inputting data and adding up numbers. There is something extremely satisfying about seeing the result of a whole year mapped out in front of me, no matter how well I did or didn’t do. But there is also something extremely nerve wrecking about it.
As a self employed artist, I am really good at the art, music, production and performance side of things. But, in spite of the fact that I have taken numerous courses in financial finangelings, I am not as good at the bookkeeping and budgeting side of things. I have actually felt quite stupid for being so slow and not having everything perfectly lined up already the way I wanted to.
Imagine my relief as I discovered the scientific facts as they were presented to me by one of Norway’s leading experts on taxes: “Artists,” he said, “develop the brain differently and quite opposite from bookkeepers and finance savvy folks. As a matter of fact, the more you crunch numbers, the less you are able to let your creative mind do its thing and the more you creative you are, the less able you’ll be in terms of linear, financial, number stuff.” I don’t know if he said this so we would hire him instead of trying to figure things out on our own, but it kinda made sense what he was saying. It certainly made me feel better about myself.
I think it’s a good idea to know the basics of bookkeeping and budgeting and to keep abreast of the financial aspect oft things, no matter what we do for a living. But I also know, for myself, that in order for me to truly create from my heart and soul, I need to suspend all linear thoughts connected to outcome. I need to embrace the unknown, to welcome the deep and mysterious and abstract, to risk going out on a limb, to abandon all safety lines and to completely surrender to the moment, for however long it takes. When I do this, magic happens. And, as a result of the amazing surge of energy that naturally follows the joy of creating something truly heartfelt and original, all kinds of good things seem to naturally follow, like new ideas, new fans, more jobs and financial bliss.
The trick is to do just the right amount of bookkeeping and budgeting, so that we are free to create and bask in that energy when it comes our way. For me, it’s a work in progress, this balancing act. So, I continue to forgive myself for the imperfection that follows my attempt to balance the abstract with the linear. I continue to let myself risk being left naked and alone in the name of artistic expression. And, as I simply move forward, one moment at a time, life itself, gloriously, mysteriously and deliciously, has its way with me.
The sun is warming the streets of Oslo as I write this, creating a perfect illusion of summer. Once my taxes are done, I will walk those streets, take in the city life, shake off the numbers and let myself fall into the next chapter of my artist self. Feel free to join me, if you dare.
Yes, I have made quite a commitment to myself for this new and amazing year. For no reason other than the feeling of it being deliciously inspiring and tantalizing, I decided to dedicate 2013 to bliss, in its most potent exposure.
Imagine the most delicious of all flavors embedded in each and every moment of being. Imagine holding, releasing, breathing, embracing, receiving and savoring the exquisite sensation of intentionally focused pure positive energy in every move, thought, word, note, pause and cadence.
The very notion of aligning my entire being, path, creations and interactions with the essence of this intensely focused yet amazingly reverberating and expansive energy is both thrilling and terrifying. It requires that I meet every single moment fully alive, fully present, completely receptive, heart wide open. It demands that I listen with all my senses and allow the well being of all that is to move me, without resistance, beyond ego, beyond comfort zones, into new, delicious and continually expanding consciousness.
Care to join me? Welcome to Vocal Freedom 2013!
Have you ever felt trapped in your own mind? Imprisoned by your fear or anger or depression? Well, I have, on several occasions. When I was eighteen years old I was in a car accident that reduced me from a vastly successful performer, athlete and A-student to a physically and mentally impaired, fear ridden, morphine addicted head case with post traumatic stress disorder in one fell swoop. It wasn’t fun, I can tell you that, and it took many years to heal.
Two things helped speed up my recovery more than anything else: Writing and Vocal Expression. By writing my thoughts and feelings on paper, I found a way to process the overwhelming amount of fear and trauma that otherwise created panic attacks. And by singing the songs that emerged from the deep of my soul, I was able to transform feelings of rage and despair to empowered joyous expression.
This transformation didn’t happen overnight, by any stretch of the imagination. It happened slowly and gradually, over many years. But I can tell you this. The more I allowed myself to express myself, verbally and vocally, the faster I healed. Today, after eight albums, eight movies, somewhere in the vicinity of fifteen hundred performances and two decades of Vocal Freedom, I am grateful beyond compare.
Why writing helps: Writing gives us a sanctuary, a place to explore and expand and appreciate and clarify and organize and summon and release. We have so many treasures hidden within, simply within our ability to perceive. When we allow ourselves to tune into our inner wisdom, our consciousness expands, we reach a higher level of vibration and more of our dreams and aspirations are available to us.
Why singing helps: Singing inspires every single cell of our being to its fullest potential. It soothes our nervous systems, distracts our otherwise busy minds and aligns us with our dreams and aspirations. When we allow ourselves to sing the song that is in our hearts, we allow ourselves to tune into our inner wisdom on a purely vibrational level, which expands our consciousness even more and connects us to all that is in the most joyous fashion. From this point of connection anything is possible.
Enjoy your expression!
Love Always, Caroline