Welcome to Following the Whispers blog

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here whenever I feel the need. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair. Now, my focus is sharing this journey we call life.

“Only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth, and that is not speaking it.” Naomi Wolf

“We are called human beings, not human doings.” Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs…(And) if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Theodore Roosevelt

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lightening Up - finally!

Most of you know I sing in a trio - Sugartime - at retirement communities, senior centers, and special events. Most of you also know I don't feel particularly confident in my singing ability. But I have come a long way from being paralyzed from stage fright to getting out there and having fun. Until Tuesday, if I made a mistake while singing, I gave myself a very hard time and it affected the whole rest of our performance. But Tuesday, first I sang the wrong verse on a song. I just kept going, didn't give it a second thought. Then my partner on my right didn't follow my lead on where we should stand. I was supposed to step back a step and the other two remain slightly in front of me. But every time I stepped back, she stepped back, too. Then I got a hairball in my throat. I just cracked up. Right in front of everyone. And you know what. They laughed with me. Later, when one of us forgot the lyrics, I said, "oops, we're having a senior moment here."

If we can laugh at ourselves, that is the key to all our perfectionistic tendencies. Because the truth is, no one is perfect. It isn't achievable. One of the vocal coaches on The Voice said it so succinctly when he asked the contestant, "Did you leave your heart on the stage? If the answer is yes, nothing else matters."

Well, the same is true in our lives. If we leave our hearts wherever we are and with whomever we are with, nothing else matters.

How about you?


Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Such a great lesson for us, Karen. I think so many of us have a perfectionist streak and the ability to laugh at ourselves and just enjoy what we're doing is so important. Thanks for sharing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm going to be laughing at the furball part all day!
You're right, nothing else matters.

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, Elizabeth.
Happy to oblige, Alex. And thanks!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

Well said. I learned to laugh at myself a long time ago, and it's a good thing, too. The older I get, the more "creative" I've become at screwing up.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Karen ... now when I splutter over something - I'll be thinking of your hair-ball ... I can see your hysteria developing and everyone joining it - great fun ..

So true re making sure our heart is fully exposed for whom ever we're with ...

Cheers Hilary

Carol Kilgore said...

Yay You!!!
I'm so happy to read this. We all need to read this at least once a week :)

Karen Walker said...

Susan, great attitude!
Hilary, thanks
Carol, yeah, we do, don't we?

Tonja said...

That's great to hear. It's definitely better to laugh than cry - especially in front of a crowd.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

At that point, what are you going to do? Cry? Might as well laugh. As for singing the wrong verse, if you just kept going I doubt the audience even noticed.

Murees Dupé said...

You have a wonderful attitude and I definitely learned something. I definitely need to laugh at myself more. I tend to be my own worst enemy at times. Thank you for this great post.

Karen Walker said...

Tonja, I'm learning they are just folks like you and me
Diane, that's exactly what I did -no one knew but me
Murees, thank you so much for your kind words

M.L. Swift said...

Nice post, Karen. I too, sing in a vocal group and have messed up words left and right. I even forgot a verse during a solo. Yikes! But yes...you have a "show must go on" mentality, shrug it off, and keep going. Everybody does make mistakes!

Karen Walker said...

Thanks, M.L. nice to know I'm not the only one - and you look so much younger!

Tracy Moore said...

Nice Karen! It makes me happy to see you feeling more confident and relaxed, therefore having more fun. That's awesome. Mentally hearing the hairball moment...giggling. :)

Liz Fichera said...

Good for you, Karen! And I think it's so wonderful that you volunteer for the seniors. I am sure they love what you do, more than you know. :)

Tracy Jo said...

Oh Karen...I have missed your posts. I am just getting back to my blog and reading this put a BIG smile on my face. You are always inspiring.