These Kids on American Idol really have a lot of pressure on them to suddenly take singing, which they love to do so much to a whole new level - A GLOBAL ONE. Not only are many of them learning as they go, but they get to be watched, by millions of people at the same time.
After watching tonight's episode, I just had an even deeper feeling of compassion for all of the singers - even the crazy ones like Nick Mitchell, aka, Norman Gentle (who is actually quite a smart fellow).
I know there are a zillion people out there blogging and vlogging about Idol, making judgements on everything from their voice to what kind of pants they were wearing. There's a part of me that just cringes, because I do feel this can be so destructive in building an nurturing the most humanly divine instrument there is. Our voice is connected to our Mind, Heart and Body, and because of this, it's the most vulnerable thing on earth to sing. Keep in mind too, that the way we judge others always reflects back on ourselves. How do you think and feel about your own voice?
I've been working with singers and teaching since the mid 80's, when I was a kid, and I think I have been in just about every position imaginable - from feeling completely humiliated on stage to feeling like an empowered, connected diva. It's taken me a long time to figure out how to build my own voice and even though I was born with a natural talent, I learned that owning my self esteem played a HUGE role in how effectively I sang. The more I learned how to connect to what I liked about myself, and accept where I was at in that moment, the more I was able to grow. My 6 years of Higher Education and 4 Degrees didn't teach me that. Neither did the 20 plus years of teaching. Actually having to endure and overcome pain, trauma and conflict in my own life did. I know if it were not for the people who reached out in compassion that believed in me, I would not be where I am today.
I mention these things because we all suffer and have to endure pain. And we all know it's how we choose to use the "stuff" we go through, that will make or break us. We can use our experiences to have more compassion and love for others.
How does this become music? Take a look at Danny Gokey. He's the perfect example of channeling his experiences into his vocal expression. Danny's wife just passed away 7 months ago and it left him traumatized. Taking the ENERGY of what he felt, connecting his heart to it and using it to move forward in a positive, passionate way inspired many. That takes courage, will power, and confidence. Through it, we heal. Now he says he's on a mission. I'm excited for him because that boy, along with many of the other contestants, can saaaaang!
Have you ever wondered why you are addicted to American Idol? Or why you're not? Interesting thing to think about - isn't it? Some people can't stand the show - I used to never watch it myself because I couldn't stand the criticism... but now I know I have a way to reach out to the contestants, and I'm so glad about this!
We never know what others have endured in life or what brought them to where they are now. Whether we have a "Hollywood Story" or not, we're all humans, and humans grow from love and respect. Beautiful voices come from a passionate, connected heart. So, my message today is - the next time you watch American Idol, or listen to anyone sing, for that matter, try and hear more of where they're coming from. Listen to their energy and find something you like about it. This will help that person to grow if they are receptive. See how it feels to come from a deeper place from within yourself as you listen, and know that they are opening up themselves on some level. Appreciate that - because some day, it just might be you, and wouldn't you want the same?