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“If everyone started off the day singing,
just think how happy they’d be.”
― Lauren Myracle, Shine

Earlier today, I felt like this:

Now, I am feeling a little more like myself:

The difference?  THIS:

You see, for the past several days, my poor daughter has been fighting a nasty bug that has kept her feverish and miserable. This has consequently kept us both confined within the walls of our lovely home. Today, Day 4, Jack Torrance (Nicholson) showed up to relieve Florence Nightingale. But thankfully, it was a Thursday, so no one got hurt.
(Note to self: Once she’s feeling better, I will have to help my little girl get out to do something good for HER soul, too).

I have learned that music is as essential to my balance and well-being as food, water and breathing.  As much as breathing.  This makes perfect sense when I really think about it.  Because music encompasses all of these things at once:

1. FOOD: Aside from the fact that our little trio is making music in a restaurant each week, one with delicious food where the talented chef literally feeds us following most performances, singing feeds my soul.  It just makes me feel full and happy.  Like a good meal.  Eating really good food that is prepared with kindness at the end of the night is just gravy.

2. WATER:  During the three hours I spend singing on Thursday nights, I am constantly hydrating.  I drink at least 32 oz. of water across the course of the evening.  I do this for the primary purpose of keeping my throat from getting dry so that I can make a decent sound, but the bonus effect is that it also flushes my body of toxins.  By the end of the night, my body feels fresh and clean and new. Well-hydrated.  I drink a little wine sometimes, too, just because it tastes good and makes me feel warm and fuzzy, but that, again, is more of a luxury than a necessity.

3. AIR:  Singing is all about the breath, which is why it is my favorite way to engage in yoga.  During music nights, my mind rests, which in turn relaxes my body.  This happens because I am completely in the moment – I am focused only on the music moving through me in connection with my breath.  The breathing techniques in singing are practiced and intentional, just as they are in any yoga class.  They keep me centered and grounded and connected with my surroundings through all of my senses.  Music nights become like a three-hour meditation period, which is enough to make me feel clear, balanced and happy for at least another week, when I get to do it all again.

The moral of the story: if you like to sing, you should do it often.  Doesn’t matter whether or not you are good at it.  Sing in the shower.  In the car.  Sing out loud, so that you are forced to breathe deeply and control your exhale to let out a resonant sound. Follow it up with a nice, cold glass of water and a snack.  You will have met all of your basic needs in one fell-swoop.  Then you’ll be able to take care of others’ needs, like little girls who need someone to make soup and put a washcloth on their heads.  Florence is back, and ready for Day 5.