January 29, 2014

Finding Our Singing Voices: How to Be an Open-Hearted Warrior. {Video}

Music is my medicine, but I am shy with my own voice—lacking in self-confidence when it comes to singing.

I sing sweet little melodies that are silly and light, nowhere near the powerful sound of Sara Bareilles or Ella Fitzgerald.

My singing voice only escapes in those places of solitude: under the shower water or while driving in the car. Occasionally, I’ll belt out a playful tune while I am biking along a crowded noisy path, knowing that no one will really hear—testing the waters of my voice.

All-in-all, I find that my voice stays quiet and soft most of the day as I write words. I want to sing more, so I look for reminders.

Yesterday, I found a “Sing with your heart” quote on my tea bag tag, so I began to sing a doo-dee-dah-dah-do tune as I typed. Later, I taped the quote on my mirror—as a key to sing. A few hours later, I sighed while reading the words again, as I had found out that Pete Seeger passed away.

Pete Seeger, the grandfather of folk music, showed us how singing our voices uplifted our world, creating change through songs. Like I said, I love music, but I am a writer, not a singer.

I’ve learned to find my voice through writing and poetry, but I want to be brave enough to sing in front of others. A silly desire, but one that feels necessary.

Why do I need to find my singing voice? Isn’t it good enough to have a quiet writer’s voice?

Nope, I don’t think so.

Songs are the pulse of our soul. As we live in these crazy busy times, we need a way to bring ourselves back to ourselves. We are alive in our singing; we share our joys and our sorrows.

As I think about the grand life of Pete Seeger, I am reminded to truly be present in my singing voice for that is the act of living—our voices resonating in song. Let’s not be shy. Let’s live a long life like Pete, singing and creating change in the world around us: a spark of cheerfulness for all.

So if you see me coming down the road, humming a little tune—just smile and know that I’m in training to be an open-hearted warrior.

Join me in singing this song (there’s a sweet bonus at the end!):


And my favorite one from Pete Seeger’s 90th Birthday concert:



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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo Credit: Ahmad Soleh/Pixoto

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