Modern life is busy. Deadlines, bills and endless boxes to be checked it is surprising that we haven’t all gone utterly insane trying to get everything done so that we can survive.
A friend of mine said oh I’d really like to go to that dance class but I just haven’t had the time and I had to work late… in fact I haven’t done anything but work all summer, and I’m utterly exhausted. She looks tired, and is not doing any of the things she enjoys.
So we have to ask ourselves what are we working for. A better life in the future? The trouble is life is now. There is only ever now. People meditate on this idea and find many ways to bring us to the present moment, and this can take years to achieve. Breathing exercises are the only way I can come vaguely close to this enlightenment, but even this seems a little silly to me. But singing is different. Immediately you are focused on the task in hand and it is impossible to sing properly with your mind wandering off. The fact that you have to breath in and then breath out slowly forces you into a calming meditative breath pattern, lowering heart rate and therefore stress levels. Concentrating on the words, music, intonation, dynamics, etc. makes us focus our thoughts and body on this one task. It gives us a little space and time away from everything that we have to do and allows us do do something we want to do. Even if only for a couple of hours a week… or whenever we can.
Sometimes we are even asked to sing in beautiful places. Last weekend I was lucky enough to listen to a choir who had been asked to sing in the beautiful Italian gardens at Iford Manor. The sun smiled on us all and the temperatures were definitely Mediterranean. Just sometimes we get a chance to do many things we love. For me there is nothing nicer than singing songs that have taken much time and to rehearse and perfect in a beautiful place with friends for an appreciative audience.
For you, your happy place may be somewhere entirely different but please take the time to find it and be more than a slave in the rat race. We are all beautiful.