Where to start.
We all have them in more or less measure and colours. Acknowledging them is growth. Working towards them requires courage and a strong will. Not always easy.
We become insecure when our expectations aren’t met and when we compare ourselves to others. If we only acknowledged that those expectations aren’t even ours! Those are expectations that outside influences have subliminally entered our mind, such as friends, family, society, education… then we fear taking decisions and we become insecure because we can’t please ourselves for the sake of others or we can’t please others for the sake of ourselves. The best way of attaining happiness is not to have any expectations, and not comparing ourselves to others. The problem is that one can become habituated in this comfort/not-so-comfort zone of “not pushing through our fears”, and that is the worse thing one can choose to do. There has to be a zero moment where we take responsibility and DECIDE to put a stop to our repeated behaviours that do not lead us anywhere. But sometimes those insecurities/obsessions are unseen, they come from unreleased wounds forgotten in the back of our cupboard.
Early insecurities on stage.
I remember my first performance in front of a real audience. I was 11 and it was the end of term festival in school. Me and my friend Carmen were “the singers of the class” and at the time (1990) there was this famous female duo in Spain called “Azúcar Moreno”, and we chose one of their songs to perform: “Bandido”. We rehearsed the moves to perfection and we knew the song by heart upside down and inside out. Our outfits were in place. I was so confident. However. The time came. My legs started to wobble. My breathing wasn’t functioning. My throat started to palpitate in on and off convulsions. “Why is my voice not coming out?” – I remember thinking. And I couldn’t get a single note in place. Then after a few seconds into the song, my microphone decided to stop working (leaving only Carmen to be heard). I kept going, not even aware of the song or myself, or the world around me. Then, at the bottom of the audience I saw the faces of my parents peeking from a corner (they knew I didn’t want them to be there otherwise I wouldn’t sing) and that was the end of the world altogether. From that point onwards I couldn’t hear or see myself, the music, my friend Carmen, the stage, the doubtful claps at the end, or the sunny day we had (at least that was good). After hell was over, I ran into the toilet, crying uncontrollably with no solace, saying to myself I would never ever sing again. Then and there I realized as much as I loved singing, I had a LONG road ahead to overcome my own insecurity – an insecurity I wasn’t aware of until that moment happened. This was not the first time I reacted this way to a performance. Subsequently, those dreaded reactions happened a few times and it took a while for them to gradually dissipate. I remember for example my first solo performance with my guitar in front of a real audience (a fashion parade). I peed myself backstage [#confessions]. BUT. It was thanks to pushing through these insecurities (will, courage, human instinct for thriving, survival), for the immense love I process for singing and music, that made me overcome them. And here I am.
The body releasing trauma: TRE.
A very good friend of mine told me about this for the first time. Check it out here.
“TRE® is an innovative series of exercises that assist the body in releasing deep muscular patterns of stress, tension and trauma. The exercises safely activate a natural reflex mechanism of shaking or vibrating that releases muscular tension, calming down the nervous system. When this muscular shaking/vibrating mechanism is activated in a safe and controlled environment, the body is encouraged to return back to a state of balance.”
This method is effective in removing all these physically translated insecurities (originated in energetic imbalances or many kinds) from our system. So the involuntary shaking and wobbling that occurred to me while being on stage is a self-defense mechanism that the body naturally has to release those subconscious fears/traumas stored in our cells overtime. Up to that point I had no clue I had traumas, but we all have them in more or less measure. They don’t have to be negative events necessarily. Major stress occurs with over-excitement too, or by always running on adrenaline. The good thing about this method is that it consciously guides you to provoke the release of those stresses, avoiding these to happen naturally in a situation when you don’t want them to happen.
Insecurity and the voice.
Being insecure will affect your breathing. Your movement. Your posture. Your behaviour. Your thinking. Your choice of words. Your life’s point of view. Your interactions. Your interpretation of events. And it will show in your voice. That’s the first thing I notice in a person, their voice says almost everything about them, and I have never been wrong in my perceptions to date.
Because, you see, you can’t separate your body from your feelings. If you hide/avoid them, they will come out in ways/times you don’t want to. The movements in our vocal tract, muscles around the rib cage and lungs, shape the form of our sound. One of the common responses to tension in the body is the holding of the breath, for example (just the thought of it gives me such an awful suffocating feeling). The respiratory system is a complex structure made up of interlocking and interactive parts: skeletal structure, muscles, ligaments and organs. Changes in one part will result in changes everywhere. The position of the pelvis, balance on the feet, immobility of the ribs, or laryngeal tension or posturing of the vocal folds, all can prevent the diaphragm from contracting/expanding appropriately consequently inhibiting exhalation in a relaxed manner. It may be the case that you are a talkative person that wants to be heard all the time (want to be heard? want to demand attention from everyone? or maybe you are always over-excited?) in which case you will talk and talk with no pause (without breathing) until your body gets exhausted and demands air. Or you may be a quiet person (have been told from an early age not to express yourself and being punished for doing so? have you seen too much too soon? can’t be bothered? – all these results of hidden traumas), in which case, your muscles won’t be properly toned and habituated to express themselves freely, hence suspending the breath or being unable to maintain a balance between inspiratory and exhalatory forces so no air can move naturally.
Insecurities and obsessions affect our breathing and the rhythm of our heart. The more insecure we are, the higher we breathe up in the lungs, and with such scarce air volume, the heart needs to pump faster in order to provide more oxygen to the body (when you breathe in the lower part of your lungs, you grab more air and therefore your heart doesn’t need to accelerate its beat because your oxygen supply lasts longer). That’s why being relaxed and in a peaceful environment is very important. We always have to come back to ourselves, to our center, our roots, to our centre of gravity, our root chakra. Be one with yourself and with the infinite within you. Ground yourself, so you can purify the body, clean your system and project that onto the outside. Become a centre of light, a centre of peace, a centre of harmony, for you and for the ones around you. That’s how you influence the world, it will reflect in your voice, in your movement, and in everything you do.