Literally and metaphorically! Because this post is about finding my way back to myself.
If you feel lost, stressed, out of touch, or overwhelmed, I want to assure you: you are not alone.
Today I'm going to explain how I'm resuscitating myself after much neglect, and then I'll wrap up by offering five resources that you can use, too.
If I help just one of you, it will be worth it.
As you may have heard, I'm moving away from teaching online voice lessons to pursue performing and adventure.
This is NOT because I don't love you all. But because I have simply, unequivocally, not been fully aligned, or in love, with myself.
Here's the hard truth that I have learned over and over: If something in you INTERNALLY is out of whack, no EXTERNAL circumstances will fix it.
And I mean NONE. Nada, nothing, zilch.
(No matter how many people you help or how many YouTube subscribers you have!)
I am learning this the long, hard, but ultimately best, fashion -- living it firsthand in a meandering, high-and-low, lol-filled way. And meanwhile I can tell you guys about it. :)
So here's my new approach to literally everything:
Inch wide. Mile deep.
Depth. Focus. Attention. Pause. Calm down. Everything is ok. You can take a moment. You're safe.
When you work in marketing (as I have been), DEPTH is kind of a dirty word. Instead you want REACH.
(By the way- it might surprise you to read that I have been working in "marketing," but that is essentially what I was doing; yes, I began as a Voice Finder, but I ultimately spent the majority of my time and funds trying to market and reach people, and that, woefully, became my job description.)
Marketing is about numbers and clicks and analytics and ticker marks. The intention starts to mutate from "How can I say something true?" to "How can I say something to the most people and get the best results?"
I'm sure you guys have experienced this on social media. It is all about MORE.
Life, business, and literal CONSCIOUSNESS starts to feel like skating across the top of an ever-expanding, murky pond. You have no chance to rest, and not a moment to dive beneath the surface and explore.
And the ultimate question -- WHO AM I? -- starts to feel like way too luxurious a thought. So we keep running and avoiding.
My friends, it's really nuts. And it's not sustainable.
**************** Time to take care of yourself, ask the hard questions, and put loving effort into yourself. Furreal.
Historically, I've never been great at self care. Until recently, it felt like a chip was broken in me for basically three decades. I put success and results (external reward) over feeling good, loved by myself, and nourished (internal peace).
I thought the whole "take care of yourself first" adage was a lie for selfish people and I was doing a world of good by putting myself last.
I owned the badge of the "hot mess" -- ya know? -- the "messy-hair, wrinkled-clothes" type. I would have rather stayed up all night working on a project or video or website, manic with thoughts and ideas, than chill out, cook nourishing food, go to the gym, or make sure I got to bed on time.
So I became cloudy, dissociated from myself, anxious, and mournful of a self that I had lost: the Fel who had time for herself, who embraced being alone, who was a dedicated creator and artist, who could be in the moment and relax.
I stretched myself for miles and miles, a couple of inches under the surface.
But now -- *orchestra swell* -- it time for the reverse.
Inch wide. Mile deep.
Take the time. I promise it's okay. Stop racing. Pause.
Risks are okay. They're necessary, even. Heck, I have no idea what my career is going to become. Who knows! (Maybe I should re-watch my own TEDx Talk on YouTube.) But I'll figured it out. The way forward is by going within.
I am not ungrateful for the past many years. Communicating with hundreds of thousands of people online has its benefits, rewards, and thrills.
Service is so important, yes!
But -- and forgive me if I'm telling you something you already know, but for me it's been SO HARD TO TRULY ACCEPT -- self care is the most essential thing you can do for the world.
The whole put-on-your-oxygen-mask-before-you-help-others rule is no flipping joke.
The struggle is real. But if you're used to putting others' needs first (family members, a partner or spouse, your job), you must STOPPIT right now. Tune in. Give yourself the time, the effort, the care. If you don't, I will slap you!!
Helping others -- *IF you yourself are neglecting yourself* -- will only morph into a host of negative emotions, physical ailments, and long-term resentments.
It ends today! Ya feel me? You can do it. So can I. We are doing it. Oh baby, it feels good.
In summary, moving forward I will look messy only in small doses, like, say, on alternating Wednesdays. :)
Inch wide. Mile deep.
Thanks for reading this far into the email. You're going deep with me and I dig that.
Here is a quick list of resources that have personally helped me in recent months. I've always wanted to send stuff like this but it didn't always fit with the whole "Voice Finder" singing-teacher image.
Not anymore! It's a new dawn!
We'll call these resources the "Fel's Self-Resuscitation List." :) I hope some, or all of them serve you. <3
FEL'S SELF-RESUSCITATION LIST
(these are NOT affiliate links, I don't get commission to plug these, I just sincerely believe in them)
I've always been so confused by all the conflicting ideas out there about food. What is good for my body? Seriously, someone clear it up! This book for some reason really clicked with me and helped cut through the noise.
It's not about "eating to look sexayyyy" or any of that shit.
It's about eating to help you function and feel good, literally in your noggin-brain-bin, and by extension, lots of other stuff will fall into place. You'll glow and radiate and look like a million bucks. Self-love first, and you'll look like a hottie while you do it.
Do you check your smartphone literally constantly to stave off anxiety and/or existential thoughts?
Yeah, let's stop doing that ASAP.
Enter: The Light Phone. It's a credit-card-sized phone that is JUST A PHONE. That's it. It rings, it dials, and it has nine buttons.
It is but a humble PHONE!
The cool part is you don't have to change your number and it's only $5 a month. The way it works is you can have your smartphone forward to the Light Phone during days/nights/weekends/vacations when you want to be FREE of your other phone.
That way you're reachable for emergencies but are unshackled by the burden of having to check for texts, emails, DMs, bloops, blips, flicks, jorp-jorps, and all the other horrifying notifications that compete for our time and attention and make our brains want to explode.
Some of you may know that I'm a practitioner of EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) but I just started dipping my toe into its older brother TFT (Thought Field Therapy).
TFT is essentially self-administered acupressure. Yes it's "woo," if by "woo" you mean alternative, disruptive, badass and not sanctioned by our most beloved hegemonic institutions :)
TFT is self-administered, risk-free, and all you need is the book linked above. I'm a HUGE proponent of trying out new stuff if it means it will inch you closer to living harmoniously with yourself, and so far TFT has gotten me incredible results in just a couple days.
It's definitely a bit weirder (at first) than EFT, and it requires a certain level of self-insight and intuition about what exactly to tap on, but it's been much faster and has delivered more dramatic results.
Check it out if you're brave and cool!
5. Fel's Homemade Calendar: Operation Artist Warrior (.jpeg below)
I mentioned this resource to my Singing Transformation students during a webinar and they were like "Omg, Fel, send it to us!" So, here I go.
This is a monthly chart I made for myself to log my progress toward the goal of becoming an "Artist Warrior." Basically, a strong, resilient, artistic badass who takes care of herself.
The way it works: print it out, fill in the month name at the top, then proceed through the days, checking off which activities you've done that day.
These icons are specific to me. You can ignore some or change their meaning for yourself. It won't be a perfect fit for all. But maybe some of you will like it.
The icon key is:
SNOWFLAKE = I took a cold shower :-D YOGA LADY = I did yoga BALLERINA WITH A WEIGHT = I did some form of exercise GUITAR = I practiced my guitar MICROPHONE = I practiced my singing WINE GLASS = I went on a solo artist date with myself HAND PAINTING = I drew or painted SOUND WAVE = I worked on audio engineering or production
Whelp, that's all for now.
Thank you for listening and thank you for a being a fellow human on this earth.
Please take care of yourself. Keep going. I will, too. We got this.