At the moment, I’m doing a staycation in honor of my birthday week. Cancelled my hotel reservations when I realized it felt like just another thing to squeeze into my always over-packed schedule. This is good. No, this is excellent! It signals some much needed personal balance, and feels absolutely heavenly. I actually went to a movie yesterday (all too rare), shopped for a raincoat (better late than never), and started writing a new song (sad how hard it is to find the time to pursue my greatest passion). And, today? I’ve been enjoying writing to you while I take my time with a super-tasty breakfast and some iced green tea at my favorite local coffee shop. But now, I’ve begun thinking about wanting to get home to work on my latest tune. Sounds like the sweetest “dessert” possible. And next? There’s a sworn promise to myself to do whatever feels good in the moment until my regular work schedule begins again. Ahh-h-h-h-h…..
The “Month of Love” is just around the corner, and Valentines Day beckons us to ponder Love on so many levels… I love chocolate. (pretty surface) I love to write songs, and sing them for others. (getting deeper) I love my sweetheart Shelly who has been by my side for 39+ years. (very deep) I love the Source of all Love. (still deeper) An expression of this deeper level is found in one of my songs: “It takes work to open a stubborn heart, to reach way down to our highest part, where there are no complaints, no worries, no fear, where Love is ever present, ever clear.” (exerpt from Born to Love copyright 2016 Cynthia Bythell – All rights reserved.) I will be singing 3 of my inspirational songs at Unity of Santa Rosa on Feb. 3 at the 10:30 service. (4857 Redwood Hwy., Santa Rosa 707-542-7729) Unity is truly a welcoming and safe place for people of all life styles and spiritual persuasions. I would LOVE to see you there!
Dear (Adult Student Name Withheld), After several tearful sessions, it’s no wonder you would be thinking of “taking a break” from your singing lessons. Usually when a student quits, my response is, “I understand, and it has been a pleasure working with you.” This is different because I have grown to care about you as a friend. You are strong, brilliant, full of love, brimming with personality, funny, uninhibited, creative, and so much more. You also happen to be a good singer. You have done your best to do as I ask, and you have progressed at a good, steady pace. What did you start telling yourself at the lessons that made you cry? Why did you start to refuse to use some of the tools I offer? I’ve heard the word “can’t” from you several times lately. Do you feel like you’re not doing it right enough? The truth is you are way ahead of the crowd. Let me remind you that there is no end to learning. We are never finished in the Performance Arts (or anywhere else). Beyond each level is another level. The greatest opera singers are still “working on it”. Most of them have coaches to help. We can always be better, and that doesn’t make us bad. In fact, I believe we are all loving source energy at our very core. When we tell ourselves we are anything less than the goodness we actually are, it causes pain and distorts our reality. Can you love yourself even if you don’t appear to be the perfection you truly are? Not that long ago, you created a funny theatrical character, and I made up a friend to match. Our ongoing improv at your lessons was fun and filled with laughter. Simultaneously, you progressed quickly to a level where you seemed performance ready, and I even invited you to perform at a mic. This quick movement forward might not have been a coincidence, and it gives me a sort of “outside-the-box” idea: Let’s kick off 2019 by spending a little time making up a new “game” to keep our sessions light and fun. Laughing is good to open up the voice, and nothing serious is actually going on. Maybe you could enjoy being here moment by moment working on the more advanced singing skills we’ve begun. Meanwhile, we can continue holding a positive expectation for the future, and keep you always moving in the desired direction… With love, Cynthia
With leftover turkey soup in the freezer, and the new year feeling about a quick minute away, I’m deep in the holiday to-do list. Every year I try to simplify, but it still overwhelms. Apparently I don’t now how to decorate just a little, or invite less company, or keep the shopping to a minimum. Maybe the truth is that I get a kick out of the hectic holiday hubbub we’ve invented around a celebration that’s meant to reflect love, light, and peace. Seriously twisted, isn’t it? In an effort to compensate, here’s an offering from a deeper part of myself:
Light the candle.
Venture down the hall.
Turn the handle.
Open to love’s call.
Like the sun glows undercover
In the night while darkness hovers,
We are radiant with light
That is Ever Shining Bright.
(excerpt from Ever Shining Bright
Copyright 2016 Cynthia Bythell.
All Rights Reserved.)