2011 and 25!

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So here we are – a new year, a new semester, a new decade, and I just turned 25. I don’t really feel like anything has changed, but I have taken this opportunity to examine what about me has changed recently – my desires, goals, and outlook on life.

I think any young person (ie younger than 25) would be foolish not to want to live life to the fullest. For me, this has meant I have tried to fit as much as possible into my life, as many things as possible into my life, and with unending passion. This is beautiful and my teenage years were a wonderful time in my life. I discovered my own abilities, pushed my limits, and experienced fear and excitement. However, as I have gotten a little bit older, I am beginning to appreciate a new concept: Balance.

Balance, to me, is tied with the concepts of moderation, well-being, discipline and routine. I must say that I don’t believe I have actually found balance in my life – this is nearly impossible in the career I have chosen. Singing all but demands your full attention at each and every moment. Thinking about singing forces me to think about the future – about money, and about plans, auditions, learning languages; in short, it makes me think about things that are not yet in my life. While I am sure that some singers are able to find balance within their singing, I find that I need to include other things in my life to find some semblance of balance; yoga, food, and visual art.

Most importantly, one thing that I would like to do more of is living “where my feet are”. This is a concept I was introduced to on the zen blog, Tiny Buddha. It is very simple: don’t let your head float to the past or the future, or even somewhere into metaphysical dreamland. Live in the moment – live where your feet are. When I succeed at doing this, I feel the lightness of being, and the pure joy of knowing that I am living my life, not in the ‘movie’ in my head. In the moment, worries about the future or regret about the past does not seem as important and life-shattering. I will not get this moment back, so I might as well experience it.

This brings me to my simple intention for this next phase of my life: do things for myself, for my own benefit. This may sound selfish, but that’s ok. If I am a wreck, how will I ever give to the world what I know is in me to give? To start, I decided I want to work toward my yoga teacher certification. Whether or not I actually become certified is irrelevant – it is the process that I care about. It has been awhile since I have made goals that don’t relate to singing in any way, and goals in my life have been extremely powerful. Goals I have made have inspired me to pursue particular paths that have made me into the person I am today: note, that it is the path, the process, that formed me, not the actual reaching of the goal. It is high time I made a goal that relates to my own, personal well-being.

To close this post and open the new decade, I want to share with you the Anusara yoga invocation, which I find extremely beautiful, and which is sung before each Anusara yoga class.

I honor the essence of being, the auspicious one, the luminous teacher within and without, who assumes the form of truth, consciousness, and bliss, is never absent, full of peace, ultimately free and sparkles with divine lustre.