Sing your song loud, proud

Don’t let your song die within you, whatever that may be.

Is there anything you’d love to do, something you’d love to try, but haven’t done it yet? What stops you?

For many, the fear of not being perfect, whatever that is, stops them.

Taking the risk of making a mistake, or of failing, keeps people bound from trying the things they’d love to try. Self-consciousness often gets in the way of people sharing the gift of themselves, and the old inner-critic stops people before they begin.

Life is short, and it’s to be lived.

Yet, as a nurse, I’ve heard so many people quietly whisper, “I always wanted to try that, but it’s too late now!”

This past Sunday, I attended a year-end music recital for students of Kelowna Voice Lab  under the direction of Kim Foreman-Rhindress, and her husband Jim Rhindress, who teaches guitar.

They both teach with love.

I’ve become a regular at these recitals because each time I attend, I am moved and inspired by the students’ courage, tenacity, and growth. My smile muscles ache by the end of the evening.

The range of talent and ability of the students is wide, from those who are singing in public for the very first time, to some more accustomed to the stage. There are even those amazing students who are learning to play guitar to accompany their own voice; a feat unto itself.

At the Christmas recital, one young lad even wrote a song he played and sang about the meaning of Christmas. His wisdom about what’s important in life, and his willingness to share it in song, moved me to tears.

It was beautiful, and he inspired me.

Each recital, I marvel at the courage it takes to get up on the stage to sing and play in front of an audience. Even though they’re nervous, the students let their lights shine, and everyone in the room benefits.

I’ve been blessed to watch the evolution of students, and I marvel at witnessing their growth. With each recital, I see the confidence of the students grow.

What’s unique in this setting is the love, support, and admiration that fills the room.

Even though most are not polished professionals, there’s a recognition of their courage and willingness to sing in front of a room full of people. They share their evolving talents, and we all benefit.

In this setting, missed notes are not a reason to grimace. Smiles of encouragement are found everywhere. Starting off on the wrong note is OK, as starting again is safe, not judged.

Regular recital attendees support and celebrate, not only their loved one’s accomplishments, but those of each student who gets on the stage.

The room is filled with cheers and heart-felt applause for everyone. High-fives are common as people leave the stage. Words of encouragement to the performers are quick from the lips of fellow students and audience members.

As I bask in the memory of this wonderful evening, I wonder what life might be, what amazing gifts we’d see emerge from people, if the whole world simply celebrated others who had the courage to try.

Critical voices would fall away, and maybe the old inner critic would be silenced. People would start to dance out on the skinny branches, as they stretched their own ability, found new passions, and shared the gifts they’ve come here to bring.

I wonder how many gifts lie buried behind this perceived shield of safety.

What would you love to do?

What would you love to learn, or try?

When are you going to do it?

This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Corinne is first a wife, mother, and grandmother, whose eclectic background has created a rich alchemy that serves to inform her perspectives on life.

An assistant minister at the Centre for Spiritual Living Kelowna, she is a retired nurse with a master’s degree in health science and is a hospice volunteer.  She is also an adjunct professor with the school of nursing  at UBC Okanagan and currently spends her time teaching smartUBC, a unique mindfulness program offered at UBC, to the public. 

She is a speaker and presenter and from her diverse experience and knowledge, both personally and professionally, she has developed an extraordinary passion for helping people gain a new perspective, awaken and recognize we do not have to be a slave to our thoughts, stress or to life. We are always at a point of change.

Through this column, Corinne blends her insights and research to provide food for the mind and the heart, to encourage an awakening of the power and potential within everyone.

Corinne lives in Kelowna with her husband of 44 years and can be reached at [email protected].

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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