Okay, so we're gonna start from scratch with this whole body instrument that you are, and you are, and I am, and we're gonna have a bunch of fun with it. And we're gonna probably talk about you as a body in a way you've not considered, and we're playing games and have fun with it. I'm also gonna bring in a new way of being with yourself, with your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions. If you ever really look at what holds people back from being with their expression, it's mostly the inhibitions, the thoughts, the feelings, the sensations, the emotions, the how-will-I-look, how-do-I-sound alarms. And it does sound kind of trivial and boring, and everyone always says this, but the reality is, to the extent of which we can get out of our own way, is to the extent of which we can be fully expressed.
I have a little game to play to do that. It's my version of a new relationship to the brain as an artist, which you are all each individual artists. Okay, so I want you to find a very comfortable place to sit. I don't feel like you need to be sitting any specific way. Whatever feels good to you.
It could be slouchy, it could be upright. I've had different people say different things about... "It's too slouchy," or it's, "Thank god I can be... Can I do this?" And if that's what you wanna do that's totally cool. We're just trained in yoga to be like this all the time and so is that really where you wanna be? I don't, honestly, I'm gonna chill.
Perfect. So this is a waking meditation, if you will. It's certainly not a meditation in it's purest form. This is really being hyper-aware and hyper-conscious and hyper-up-to-this-game. So if you'd like to have your eyes closed, you're more than welcome.
So we're gonna play an awareness game, and by awareness in this game, I mean: become aware of your left big toe. What does it feel like to have a left big toe? Just with your attention itself, become aware of having a left big toe. I want you to now become aware of having knees. I want you to become aware of having shoulders.
What I find is awareness is that first key step to really moving into the body as a whole instrument. And so I want you to, throughout this game, really be with your awareness. So again we're gonna just become relaxed, sit up if you'd like, and I just want you to imagine moving in to the middle center of your brain. I want you to imagine that that's actually a geographic possibility. I want you to even imagine there's an armchair where, in the middle center of your brain, you can go and sit in.
Like an old chair, it could be a new chair. Even name this chair. I want you to give it a big old name like your favorite captain's chair in the basement, something. Got a name? Steve.
Steve will work. I like Steve. (laughs) It's an orange La-Z-Boy named Steve. Perfect. Does it have the foot recliner? Yeah, it's ratty, it's old, it's in an attic. And it's so comfortable. Perfect.
Steve is so comfortable. Steve is very happily in the middle center of your brain. And I just want you to take a beautiful seat in Steve. And from Steve, or whatever you've named your middle center chair, I want you to just witness everything that is happening to you. I want you to become aware of all of your automatic thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions.
I want you to watch them like clouds in the sky, I want you to literally watch them with your awareness like you were feeling your left big toe. And as you're doing this I want you to just allow the breath to come in, and to leave. Effortlessly, however the breath is existing right now for you. And again I just want you to become aware of all of the thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions that you're having, what's automatically coming up. And I want you to just have them, no adjustment needed, just to be up to having whatever it is that's coming up.
And as you're being with these thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions, I want you to allow yourself to just turn around and see the witness that's been witnessing these thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions. And from that witness, I want you to just take a very beautiful, deep inhale, and exhale. And getting even more comfortable in Steve, I want you to take an inhale, and exhale. And inhale, and exhale. One more time inhale, and exhale.
I just want you to, now, on this next exhale, start a really beautiful low hum, any note. Inhale. (humming) Beautiful, just letting that vibration, that natural hum, resonate through your whole body. Inhale. (humming) Inhale. (humming) Beautiful, so what did that feel like? Oh my gosh, Steve is so comfy.
(laughs) I hope you find your own Steve, because I don't care, in that space, if I sound good. I'm not watching the voice. What will they think of me, what will you think of me? What will you think of me? I'm just feeling it.
Exactly. I had a thought, my only real thought, was I wonder if I could sing "Shines Bright Like A Diamond" right now and it would just be normal. By Rihanna? Yeah! I don't know, I just was like, "Oh maybe I could just sing from here." Maybe you could've. It was the weirdest... It would have been
Sensation. Really fun if you just, if you just broke into that. I know, but I mean it was so effortless where I've tried to sing, like, "here's the song, "I'm singing, and here's the om, and here's the Sadie "out there in the world." And I'm up on stage too, I have to do the same. Exactly. It's so wonderful to just be natural, if you just did that with us I hope you felt some naturalness like that.
It's perfect what you said. What I've found over all of the countless singers that I've taught, and as I move into people that have never sung in their whole lives, what I see as a common denominator between everyone is that there's a misconception that there's a way to sound, that there's something to do, that there's a display, and a presentation in the world that says, "My voice," or "Voice." And obviously we're surrounded by all these singing television shows, and public speakers, and all this kind of stuff. But we are all individual communicators, we each have a voice, and to find, and to be with that voice, is really a process of coming back into the body as a whole instrument, to be in our body. The first step for that is to have the experience of coming home. That's the whole fun part of middle center of the brain.
By the way, middle center of the brain I mean that beautiful tip and end of the spinal column as it comes up past your atlas, up into your crown. It's a beautiful place to come from. And what you might find is, you play the game of coming middle center of your brain, you might find it really easy to suddenly be a witness to your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and emotions that are naturally coming up. And we're no longer in the front survival part of the brain when we're there. I felt the sensation like, first of all, I was being sung instead of singing it, right?
Also, when I was allowing that sound to come out, I was almost sinking and settling back in that chair. Instead of going forward like I have to press this out, or sing it out of my body, but just to sit in the singing-ness. So it was this two-way street, like a sound was coming out but I was sinking back. Fantastic. Fantastic. That was really relaxing.
When we step up to breathing and singing, I want you to, instead of stepping up, I want you to come home. It's exactly counter-intuitive. The best part of this is that when it feels good, and when we really are in our bodies, and allowing ourselves to go beyond the feelings, thoughts, sensations, inhibitions, and just be up to allowing that sound out as we're gonna do a lot more of, what I find, is that everyone suddenly has the experience of feeling good, and having an experience of having a voice. And whenever it feels good, it sounds good. And I've heard people that claim that they've never been able to sing, always felt like they've had a crappy voice, and all of a sudden they're resonating like the best of them.
No shower needed, they could be in any room, and everyone has a voice. I do sing pretty well in the shower, and the car. Well, because, it's a beautiful acoustical space. It makes you feel like your voice is richer. We're gonna go into ways to no longer need a shower to sound really rich and vibrant.
So that was fantastic, and we're gonna keep bringing back this first part a bunch. Really I want you to experience, whatever we do, I want you to start with the game of being middle center in the brain, the place of witness. The ability to be in your body. For nothing to be achieved other than the natural sound that's within you to come out. So we're gonna keep that the whole time in every other exercise that we do together.
Okay, so mantra for me will be Steve. Mantra for you, I don't know, Sally. Esmeralda? Yeah. Humphrey.
That's an old name. Chuck. Someone needs a chair named Humphrey at home. Or, you know... I unfortunately Cushy...
called mine Nancy, Spot. the other day... You did, you called yours Nancy. and I feel like I can't rename my chair now. Although I would never...
I never wanted to sit in Nancy, and yet, that's my lot, there it is. Here you are. So pick a name and we'll see everyone comfortable in their chairs. (laughs) See you soon. I'm gonna see everyone in their chair, now.
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