I have made a difficult decision. I will not be offering my Voice Lifted at Christmas concert this year. I struggled to come to the decision, and I feel a mix of emotions in announcing this to you.
At each of my concerts, I share with the audience a message of slowing down and appreciating the simple beauty that is always present…during the holiday season and at all times during the year. At every yoga class that I teach, I encourage and support others in taking care of themselves in body, in mind, and in spirit.
I need to practice what I preach.
The decision to rest my voice and to take a year off from offering my Christmas benefit concert is a choice that I am making in order to allow myself to slow down and to take care of myself in body, in mind, and in spirit.
We live in a world that is moving at a fast pace. Productivity and multi-tasking are no longer buzz words that are associated with overachievers but are now minimum performance requirements and expectations. Many elementary school children are stressed with their overly packed schedules that take them from school to sports to extra-curricular activities. Parents are hunched over cell phones trying to pay their mortgage on an online banking app while baking brownies for the band boosters fundraiser and listening to their younger child’s spelling words, while the tv news is playing in the background, broadcasting reports of natural disasters and incidents of violence at public places.
A writer and public speaker whom I have found to be inspirational, Brene Brown, has asserted that when we define our self-worth by what we accomplish, we are constantly in a “hustle for worthiness.” It is very easy to buy in to societal messages that we must do more. We can go through our days trying to prove ourselves or trying to please others by saying “yes” when we really are tired and want to say “no.”
I realize that I am most joyful when I am going through life in a slow and conscious manner, when I have time to notice the details and reflect on how I got to this place and where I intend to go next. I am most inspired and most myself when I can do something spontaneous and be creative in the way that I go about what I do in a day or in a week. Each day is a gift and a blessing, and I am committed to experiencing these days fully. In order to do that, I need to rest so that I am fully awake and alive and present.
I plan on returning to the stage at the Tamaqua Community Art Center in December 2018, refreshed. I thank you for understanding my decision to have a time that is quieter and more restful so that I can offer my best self to the world. I will continue to share my voice on this blog, and I will continue to keep the songs alive in my heart.