May There Be Peace This Magical May 

May There Be Peace This Magical May

Join the Singing Magic and Help Create More Peace in the World.



Dear 
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Happy May Day!! 

The Magical Month of May
Magic and May spring from the same wordy roots meaning 'to have power' - the name of today's May Day Queen means 'she who is great.'
So this May, here's some reflections on how the great magic of singing
can help us make more peace in the world.

How Singing Helps Us Makes Peace

1. Bringing Magic to Mental Mayhem
As singing requires us to focus on the movement of rhythm, melodies and lyrics, our mind is liberated from unhelpful thoughts, creating space for magic. 
We may begin with worrying thoughts 'HOW am I going to do this?' but the invitation of singing is simply to DO it - to jump in and have a go.  In doing so we become absorbed and relieved of mental pressure by the currents of music washing through us.  As our breathing deepens, our toes tap and our voices rise, we feel the great magic of life buzzing in our cells and it feels great!

2. Making Great Connections
As we become more peaceful internally, we have space to perceive those around us in a more peaceful way - to register smiling faces, shining eyes and tender feelings around us.  As we all take the risk of expressing ourselves together, we gain appreciation and respect for everyone's unique contribution.   Through the creative power of making gobsmackingly beautiful harmonies, we become beautified, harmonised and humanised. 

3.  Peaceful Singing Magic Ripples Across The World
Singing goes viral everyday - it moves, shakes, shimmies and invites us to play and bring more magic into our lives.  When we allow ourselves this joyful experience, we liberate ourselves from stress and tension.
 Just one peaceful, uplifted person can move mountains.
The sense of support, connection and wellbeing we gain from singing together can be contagious.  We can become clear, confident communicators of good vibes in the world.

Inviting You to Join the Anthem For Peace
This June I am directing Croydon's first Festival of Peace.
The centrepiece of the Festival is the London Mozart Player's Anthem for Peace - which we warmly invite you to come and sing, dance and play with us during the Festival week.
There is a full programme of vibrant arts events from 16th-23rd June.
Do come and help us create magic!
http://festivalofpeacecroydon.org/


Wishing you a Magical May

Website: www.therosewindow.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katierosewindow
Twitter: @katierosewindow

Precious Life 

One More Life 
- A response to Knife Crime
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Precious Life

This a capella song One More Life is a response to Knife Crime in London. 
I found myself asking how can we help young people value and cherish the preciousness of their lives - to channel their passions into creating lives they love and becoming the leaders of the future.

Throw-Away Lives
I find myself witnessing a global de-valuing of life and humanity
- a void which produces destruction of ourselves and our environment.  Numbed to our true preciousness, we fill our planet full of plastic,
our heads full of nonsense, and our bodies full of toxins.
In the City, it's so easy to run around like a headless chicken,
seduced into throwing away precious moments in hypnotic illusions
- worries, stresses, media frenzy - on and on it goes.
Just this morning I found myself picking up a bag full of litter in a park I love,
saddened by the lack of value those that left it felt for their surroundings. 

Precious Spring Rising
Yet as the faces of the precious spring flowers break through the earth,
it only takes a moment to breathe in their perfume,
to savour their colours and reconnect to the essential quick of life. 
It takes just a little bit of exercise and good nutrition for bodies to feel vibrant.
It takes just one hour of singing for people to feel uplifted and connected. 
It takes just one touch of a lonely hand for someone to feel cared for.



Restoring Preciousness
As all the wise folks have reminded us throughout time,
change is an inside job
- if we learn to value ourselves,
we can contribute more value to the lives of others.
So I endeavour to take moments of refuge
- to remember to breathe deep and get still, listen, reflect and
make space for the creative spark of inspiration
alive and kicking in every cell.
It's right here in our bones and in our feet - the ancient and the new
all singing within us with the wisdom of the ageless -
the incredible symphony of life wanting to be heard
and for us to sing our song within it.
When we listen and tune into the song of life,
every moment becomes precious
every face we pass in the street
every flower in the garden
every step of our feet
every breath
of our
Precious
Life




Wishing you a Life-Loving April

Website: www.therosewindow.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katierosewindow
Twitter: @katierosewindow

They Paved the Way - Women Making Herstory 

They Paved The Way - Katie Rose
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They Paved the Way

A Triibute to Women Making Herstory
This is my song and blog for this year's #InternationalWomen'sDay2018 - a tribute to some of the many female activists and suffragists around the world. 

1. Honouring Women in the fullest spectrum of gender rainbows

Honouring that 'women' includes those who identify with being assigned female at birth (cis),  those who have transitioned (transexuals) and those exploring the full spectrum of expression beyond binary ideas of gender- such as Kate Bornsteinwho having transitioned from male to female sees herself as neither, and describes gender 'as a conscious practice, and a playful journey.'   


2.  Honouring Women in the fullest spectrum of global experience

– Rebecca Lolosoli, Founder of Umoji a women-only village in Kenya
In 1990, Rebecca Lolosoli spoke out against the rape of what is estimated to have been 1400 women in the 1980s & 90s by British soldiers.  She was beaten by local men and received no support from her husband.  She left her village and formed theUmojii village with 15 rape survivors, which now houses 50 women and 200 children seeking refuge from FGM, child marriage, rape and domestic violence.  In the Samburu culture, a woman is seen as property - circumcised child brides are bought by polygamous older men who often desert or infect them with HIV and STDs.  In Umoji, the women manage their own land and earn their own money through work such as beading, which has outraged local men.  Their rape cases are finally being investigated legally.

I honour the experience of these and many other women facing injustice, degradation and violence across the world.   As a white western woman, I am acutely aware that the Western version of 'Herstory' is often whitewashed.   I celebrate the centenary of SOME white, propertied women in the UK getting the vote this year.  It only happened for black American women in the 1960s and women in Saudi Arabia in 2015 and in too many places is yet to happen. 

3. Honouring the fullest possibilities and power of women


Women can face and overcome incredible obstacles - such as Serena Williams who faced a barrage of  sexist, racist commentary and threats during the course of her extraordinary tennis career.  She has however always responded with grace, professionalism and tenacity, determining her own destiny and becoming the winner of the most combined (39) Grand Slam titles.

This month in some of my choirs we will be singing Polly Bolton's song To Grace the Earth, a tribute to environmental and women's rights activist Wangari Maathai who knew that every tree she planted was an act of change.  On many occasions she was arrested and injured for doing so.  The Green Belt movement she founded in 1977 has since planted 51 million trees and she was the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.  She knew that power lies in 'the little things citizens do. That's what will make the difference. My little thing is planting trees.’
 

4. Honouring Women with Acts of Solidarity 

What can I do? - It's easy to feel powerless in the face of enormous issues facing women around the world. But following the example of these women, I can take small daily actions - such as sharing their story with you - to demonstrate my solidarity or Umoji - Unity - with them.
Everyday there are daily actions I can take
I can donate to Plan International who campaign for an end to child marriage and promote education for all girls and The Circle, Annie Lennox's Charity supporting women and girls facing inequality.
I can attend #IWD2018 events to share solidarity with women in my city - including Gill Manly's IWD tea party on 10th March at the Oval Tavern which will include a collection of sanitary products for local campaigners against Period Poverty We-Stap.
I can write share the stories of inspirational women such as Mayor of Croydon, Toni Letts who survived domestic violence and went on to lead an amazing career.
I can sing songs.



Your Turn - Have Your Say!

What are your acts of solidarity this International Women's Day?
How will you help pave the way for a brighter future for women and girls everywhere? 

What we do today can make it a better world for people of all genders.  For when women grow, the whole world grows.
Share it, tweet it, tell it! 


April Call-Out for Your Questions/ Ideas 
Do you have a question or topic you'd like me to write about for April?  
It can be as playful or as profound as you wish... drop me a line atinfo@therosewindow.org

Wishing you a wonderful March

Website: www.therosewindow.org
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katierosewindow
Twitter: @katierosewindow

Photo: conducting 7 local choirs at the rehearsal for our wonderful concert to raise awareness of the Compassionate Neighbours Programme

I Believe I Can Fly 

I Believe I Can Fly

What I learned from paragliding and a flying start to 2018!
In January, I set off for a weeks R&R, little knowing that a big dream would come true - here's what I learned from jumping off a big volcano in Tenerife....!

1. This Planet is Amazingly Beautiful
Vitality and beauty are gifts of nature, for those who live according to its laws
- Leonardo da Vinci

I hope the video above allows you to enjoy the amazing beauty I witnessed (with thanks to Enminube Paragliding Team for photos and Gregor for his filming.)   I felt so alive and connected to the air, the trees, the mountains and the power of life humming through this incredible Planet.  I hope in future humans can treat all life with more respect and preserve a legacy of beauty.

2.  Courage is Cumulative
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. - Eleanor Roosevelt
As the Enminube Paragliding Team van wound its way up hairpin bends to the top of Mt Teide, the third tallest volcano in the world, I found myself thinking - 'If I managed to lead 500 people singing at Sing for Water, I can do this.'  The deep breathing exercises which are part of every warm up we do at choir also came in very handy! :)  Every time we take even the tiniest step out of our comfort zone, we grow our ability to act on the callings of our hearts, no matter how scary it feels.  We can build on each experience to reach new heights we never thought possible.

3. Space liberates clear decision making
Decision is power - Anthony Robbins
Just like any other human being on the planet I can dither, deliberate, procrastinate and delay major decisions in my life.  In the fresh sea air of Tenerife, away from the daily grist of London and to-do lists,  I was able to make a very clear, confident decision that I would paraglide and follow through on it. When we give ourselves space to breathe - by going to the gym, meditating, being in nature etc - we are then able to reflect and clearly direct our course in life.

4.  Gently held, dreams come true in their own time

“Life is all about timing... the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable... attainable. Have the patience, wait it out It's all about timing.” - Stacy Charter
I have always wanted to fly - it's just been there, like a little seed within me that every so often gets activated by watching birds, hot air balloons or hang gliders.  To suddenly have it burst into flower amongst the poinsettias of Tenerife was a wonderful surprise and a reminder to trust that all things come along in their own good time and as the runes say 'what's yours will not pass you by.'

5. Human Connectivity builds Resilience
“Connection is why we're here; it is what gives purpose and meaning to our lives." - Brene Brown 
Experienced in flying people through their fears, the Enimube Facebook Pageis full of exhilarated, glowing testimonies to the unique connection they build with those who paraglide with them.  We were transformed from a group of strangers from four different countries into a team for an afternoon.  Gregor, who kindly allowed me to use his head camera footage in the video, said that the experience of flying was even better when shared.   The same bonding process happens in shared creative activities such as singing, where we can be real, take risks and grow together.
I'm currently working towards a Community Choir Concert with St Christopher's Hospice Compassionate Neighbours programme which is building a network of volunteers to reduce social isolation by visiting those experiencing chronic, long term and terminal illness.  I've also been very honoured to be included in discussions about Social Prescribing initiatives aiming to build hubs of creative and wellbeing activities.  We all have our personal volcanoes to face - but when we are connected to others, research shows that we live longer, happier lives and face our challenges with increased resilience.
When we connect, we fly.

Wishing you safe and happy flights of creative connection this February

Twitter: @katierosewindow
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/katierosewindow
Website: www.therosewindow.org

Happy Singing New Year! - 7 Ways to Free the Creative Voice! 



Happy Singing New Year!

With thanks for sharing your voice, gifts and energy in the world,
here's a few thoughts on bringing on the creative times in 2018! 


7 Steps to Free The Creative Voice in 2018


Find the courage to explore the unknown.  Not take what other artists have done before and be satisfied with copying them. Finding your voice to develop your own personal sound is of the utmost importance.
- Herbie Hancock


1. Give Yourself Time
- time to play, create, daydream, sing, write, doodle, noodle, express yourself - schedule and screen it off in your diary.

2. Find a Creative Corner 
- place/s were you can make space for inspiration and create in peace.

3. Listen
- to your dreams, passions, heartfelt longings, hunches and creative callings
 - do not dismiss them.

4. Manage the Monkey Mind
- it will come up with excuses, judgements, inhibitions, reasons, taunts, lamentations and gnashing of teeth to distract you. 
Find your own way to crack the monkey nut - for me, doing something physical - dancing, walking, cleaning, gardening - is a great monkey tamer.

5. Buddy Up
Join forces with supportive mentors, coaches, courses, groups and friends 
who will encourage, support, champion and keep you accountable.

6. Protect your creative energy and discern wisely where to direct it. 
Take an energy inventory - where and to whom is most of your energy going?
Where would you like it to go and flow in 2018?

7. Let Go
Surrender to the process.  
Creativity is not linear - it moves in mysterious ways. 
Be ready to take leaps of faith - tangents, 'mistakes' and bends in the road can often reveal new possibilities. 
 Use your heart as your sat nav and enjoy the ride!

Ready to flex your creative voice?
Come along to a choir or book a 121 session - more info below
Or please contact me for a free 20 min phone/skype consultation

Wishing you a happy, creative, expressive start to 2018

Reindeer & Rituals 

Reindeer & Rituals


A Tsaatan child asleep on his reindeer - Photo: Pascal Mannaerts.
The Last Reindeer Tribe

 
As another midwinter comes around, here in London we navigate our way through a mad medley of Christian, Pagan and Capitalist rituals – from turkey dinners, consumer shopping frenzy, carol singing and leaving carrots out for reindeer.  In the face of seasonal overwhelm, how can we find ‘peace and goodwill’ with Midwinter rituals?
Let’s call in Scrooge’s three Ghostly friends to help us.

 

Christmas Past
Ritual is important to us as human beings. It ties us to our traditions and histories  – Miller Williams
Ritual can offer us a connective story-line through time and space - the ritual of posting photos preserves millions of memories on instagram everyday.
I’ve recently had the great honour of conducting St Christopher’s Hospice Choir at two beautiful Remembrance Services.  These powerfully simple services are attended by hundreds of people who light candles, sing and remember together.  Singing in the choir is a healthy, weekly ritual where singers can safely share their feelings with others who have experienced bereavement as part of their recovery.
I've also just completed four wonderful terms of maternity cover at Heart of the City Choir - and trust that the warm connections we have shared will continue in many forms, including participation in cross-choral events including a magical forthcoming Festive Winter Voices Concert in aid of Sydenham Arts.  
My present-day experiences of leading choirs in these diverse settings across London connects me to people and places I still hold in my heart - to my Christmases Past singing around the piano with family while my grandparents were still alive and the beauty of candlelit carol services in my hometown of St Albans Abbey.  Through ritual, we can chart landmarks in our own journeys through time. 

 

Christmas Present
Rituals are the formulas by which harmony is restored.
- Terry Tempest Williams 
As the saying goes, the best present you can give is your presence – and effective rituals are a space where we can enjoy harmonising shared presence – whether it’s volunteering at a Soup Kitchen or partying with friends. Shared rituals build shared communities – at the recent Croydon Diwali Mela in Surrey Street, I was spotted happily singing along with the Gayatri Mantra by a member of the Hindu community who was curious to know where I learned it and to share about his experiences.  Turning up for this ritual brought me gifts of understanding and connection.
To turn up and engage fully requires a process of tuning into which rituals which feel true for us - for me, that means turning down the volume on commercial clamour and decorating the trees in my garden rather than chopping one down.   We can reinvigorate traditional rituals to make them relevant to our modern communities - as part of Festival of Peace Croydon, we are posting pictures of peaceful cultural and arts activities with the hashtag #PeacefulCroydon during December.  


Christmas Future

Resolutions need rituals – Tony Robbins
Rituals can offer us moments of present moment reflection on what we want to create in our lives – whether that’s the ritual of making New Year’s resolutions or taking time out to meditate or exersize before the day begins.
In my choirs we’ve been enjoying singing the Finnish Reindeer Chant - Ole le loila – which brings out a sense of playfulness when we imagine a stampede of reindeer responding to our calls.  In our rituals we become playful, creative, imaginative – and in shifting our present, we create space for something new to happen - the reindeer will surely come any minute now - and in Finland they really do!  
When children play, they repeat the same pleasurable experience - ‘again, again!’ – creating their own rituals.  We are all still children inside and we need magic, playfulness and creativity to lighten our days and the long winter nights.  Changing our reality together in a shared ritual enables us to call in the reindeer or our dreams for the coming year.

Chosen well and infused with our conscious, creative presence, ritual can enable us to remember, become present and create a beautiful legacy for and with our families and communities.

 

Wishing you all a beautiful midwinter that resonates with your heart’s desire




Remembrance Service, St Christopher's Hospice, Bromley

Acts of Creative Rebellion 

Acts of Creative Rebellion


Fireworks at Crystal Palace - Photo Fluid4Sight

Necessary Rebellion

Nothing is more necessary or stronger in us than rebellion. - George Bataille
To grow we need to continually rebel - whether that's the new generation against the old or the internal dynamic of overcoming our inhibitions.   In this month where we light fires and launch fireworks in remembrance of a daring act of rebellion, we are seeing a great rebellion against oppressive patriarchal abuses of women.  Jo Brand just courageously addressed a panel of men on Have I Got News For You and the #MeToo campaign following the revelations around Harvey Weinstein has released an outpouring of voices calling out sexual abuse and harassment.  This is an absolutely essential rebellion - one that must continue daily as we call out and challenge centuries of patriarchal conditioning.  So here's a few thoughts in celebration of Creative Rebellion for this month...
Rebellion rewards risk taking
Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. - Banksy
Risk taking is at the core of rebellion which invites us beyond the comfort zone into vibrant, vital, authenticity - life lived in the quick of the present from the heart of our deepest longings, passions and convictions.   I am often asked to lead singing groups in large institutions where hierarchy, bureaucracy and politics are often at odds with our humanity.  Singing together immediately restores a sense of human connection as we breathe and raise our voices together.  It requires us to take the risk of being vulnerable through creative expression - we have to let our guard down to allow our voices to rise up.  As we open up to the power of our creativity, we experience a confidence-boosting salve in disturbing times and spaces.  Isolated individuals become knitted together in a supportive creative eco-system - and this act of rebellion against divisive, dehumanising social conditioning can lead to cultural change -  the enormous growth of choirs in healthcare, workplace and community settings is now being backed by government led research.  

Rebellion Raises The Game

Poetry is the lifeblood of rebellion, revolution, and the raising of consciousness.
- Alice Walker
One of the poems I love and return to repeatedly is Maya Angelou's poem And Still I Rise.  Every time I read it, my spirit rises.  It acknowledges centuries of suffering whilst commanding us to rise above feelings of 'victimhood,' imbuing a vital, empowered state of mind.   Creative acts of rebellion such as this incredible poem make us step up, stand up, turn up for ourselves and for others in powerful, meaningful ways.

Rebellion Roars with the Voice of Courage

Real courage is risking something that might force you to rethink your thoughts and suffer change and stretch consciousness. Real courage is risking one's clichés. - Tom Robbins
A recent Miss Peru Pageant challenged the cliches of the beauty industry when instead of stating their body measurements, models listed statistics about violence against women.  They immediately changed up the meaning of 'vital statistics',  clearly demonstrating that it's not about waist measurements, it's about respect and safety for women in Peru and everywhere.   It takes courage to refuse to conform and to insist on living from the healthy, vibrant creativity that gives rise to our unique contribution in life.  It takes that one deep breath to raise your voice for that which makes your heart sing.

Wishing you a radically rebellious November




At Croydon Composers - Photo with thanks to Fluid4Sight

A Recipe for Smashing It 

A Recipe for Smashing It

We Smashed It!
I just had the most extraordinary September - getting over the finish line for the jointAnthem For Peace & Festival of Peace Crowdfunder, co-directing 500 people at Sing for Water and the debut performance of a collaborative project with Croydon Composers atCroydon Mela - WOW! I feel so honoured to have been part of these immensely enriching projects which have stretched and grown me exponentially!
Huge thanks to all our crowdfunder supporters and pledgers, the amazing fundraising singers at Sing for Water and the Croydon Composers Team - we totally smashed it -people power in action! 
So here's a fun recipe for smashing it this October.... just a few flavoursome ingredients to add to your pot... :)

 
1.  Daring Dreaming
Dare to Dream, for in the daring there is defiance to live beyond your circumstances
- Su Williams
Yes you can have that big one. That big juicy, delicious dream that you only occasionally admit to yourself.  The really mad one that will wake you up in a cold sweat when it starts coming true.  That's the dream that will catalyse your greatness into embodiment.  Following that dream will have you cooking up a storm, burning the midnight oil, chasing rainbows, having kittens, butterflies and collywobbles - the works!  And it will be absolutely worth it because it will totally smash through your limiting beliefs and enable you to feast on the flavours of self-fulfilment.


Dream Team - Croydon Composers at Croydon Mela - Photo Vipul Sangoi

2. Dream Team

“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see the greatness within you, even when you don’t see it yourself.” - Edmund Lee
I am so full of gratitude for all the people in my life who call me out and grow me up.  We all need smashing dreamcatchers who remind us to catch hold of our greatest dreams.  This is not about having too many cooks in the brew, it's about precisely combining skills, talents and actions to make nourishing collaborative connections.  Sometimes these will take the form of angel-helpers who sweeten the way with a tender guiding hand, other times teachers will appear to chop through excuses and give us an almighty kick up the proverbial.  Welcome the friends who don't buy the 'I'm too small' stories and inspire you to play all out.

3. Practice Makes Presence

“Choosing authenticity means cultivating the courage to be imperfect" - Brene Brown
My early education featured phrases like 'practice makes perfect' which exerts unnecessary and unattainable pressure.  If perfection is the goal, we may need to go and live on another planet.  More honestly, practice means accepting that every time you sing a song, perform a play or bake a cake - even when using the same recipe - it will be different.   Practice means giving yourself the time to repeatedly embody and experience something until smashing it becomes a gloriously human, imperfect, spontaneous and joyful reality.   In the face of mega-nerves, I've found that practice is grounding, reassuring and informative - it helps me measure what I flavours I need more or less of, what is working and what needs work.  It is where I develop presence via the precious process of allowing dreams to land safely with me before taking them out into the big wide world.  It is a place full of constructive, present-moment, supportive action. And most importantly it is a place I can be utterly imperfect, make mistakes, recover, try again and sing bum notes to my hearts content.   

4. Upgrade to Action
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. - William James
If you are smashing pumpkins this October a large baseball bat is a great utensil.  Often we are sold and told we need the upgraded baseball bat with flashing lights and an instant pumpkin corer gadget.  Sometimes we use this as a get-out clause to say - 'I'm not ready, I need this amazing upgrade before I can do this dream.'  The most important upgrade we can make is from states of fearful inaction to fruitful creativity.  Many of the worlds greatest artists turned up with whatever they had and got on with it.  The Beatles are just one example of mega artists who made it without ever learning how to read music.  Richard Branson, whose motto is 'Screw it, just do it' dropped out of school at 16 with dyslexia and started his first mini-business running a student magazine which evolved into a record label that signed the Sex Pistols.  One of the principles of this month'sCreative Sprint is 'Perfection is Overrated' - people around the world are creating spontaneously from their immediate inner and outer resources in response to a daily prompt.  So if you want to smash pumpkins, that old baseball bat at the back of the shed will do just fine.

Smashing events this October - You are warmly invited to come along to all the wonderful events this month - there's a feast of choirs to sing with plus delicious events including the Launch of Compassionate Neighbours with St Christopher's Hospice & London Mozart Players on 21st October and an innovative performance cooked up with Croydon Composers at Scream Lounge on 27th October. 

Wishing you a smashing October




At Sing for Water London - Photo with thanks to Fluid4Sight

Back to Singing!!  

Back to Singing


There's a waft of autumn crunch riding the breeze and the feeling of the city cranking up again after holiday times... it's definitely back to school and back to singing with sharpened pencil tops and a satchel full of harmonies...  Here's some thoughts about making learning a tip-top adventure...
 
1. Permission
We need to give ourselves permission to act out our dreams and visions, not look for more sensations, more phenomena, but live our strongest dreams -
even if it takes a lifetime - Vijali Hamilton
Every time we want to learn we have to actually allow it to happen - to give ourselves permission to grow, learn, change and take risks as part of that process.  We need to be willing to get out of our own way to enable learning to happen.  We need to be willing to make plenty of mistakes and backward steps as we move towards new ideas, schemes and projects.. and we need to give ourselves time to grow.

2. Clear Intent
A true intention or belief does not need to be spoken.
It is revealed through one's action.
Having a clear intent is like putting an address on the envelope - it gets things places.   Intention requires tuning in to deeper motivations - our WHY -  so we can direct ourselves with clarity and elbow grease to the journey ahead.  Taking time to set clear intentions can save enormous amounts of time and energy, as it acts like a internal sat nav enabling us to be clear about what we are doing, where and with whom.

3. Space 
The story goes that a Zen Master, when a rich man demanded that he teach him the way of Zen, filled a tea cup to overflowing and said 
 
You are like this tea cup, so full that nothing more can be added. Come back to me when the cup is empty. Come back to me with an empty mind.”
 
All learning requires emptying - the making of space in the our mind, heart and habits for new adventures.  To learn to sing requires a setting aside of daily distractions so we can to listen fully - both inwardly and outwardly.  Often where we are most full up is in our mental stories - the things we have been told and told ourselves about our own capacities. Learning to sing allows us to let go of the voice of that old music teacher who sent us to the back of the room when we were only 4 and couldn't get our heads round Mozart. As adults we can learn to tune ourselves up with the sweet harmonies around and within us that help us remember that everything is made of sound - from the beat of our heart to the music of the spheres and that singing is as natural as birds tweeting in trees...


4. Inner and Outer Resources
Human resources are like the earth’s natural resources.
They are highly diverse and often buried deep beneath the surface.
They need to be discovered, refined and applied - Ken Robinson
New adventures require equipment - whether its a folder for your song lyrics or a backpack for the round-the-world tour, getting the kit is all part of the process.  We also have to pack our inner knapsack with helpful qualities - patience, kindness, enthusiasm - and don't forget a bit of razzle-dazzle to keep spirits high :)

Join a Global Singing Adventure
Travel's promise is that tomorrow is not going to be like today - Samantha Brown
I'm very excited to be setting off on autumn singing adventures with a new set of songs which will enable me sing with wonderful friends new and old at choirs, celebrate World Peace Day with One Day One Choir friends across the globe and make a splash for WaterAid at Sing for Water London.  All welcome to join me at choirs, events and singing sessions.  Whatever way you find to share your voice this September, I hope it fills your cup with fresh inspiration and allows you an outpouring of creative expression.

Wishing you a spacious voyage of discovery this singing September





Singing One Day One Choir with Tom Morley, Gill Manly
& Jane Hanson at Black Tie White Lie
Photo Jason Purple Photography

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