What a #trip of a week it has been returning back to my college campus (Oklahoma City University) and diving right into another jam-packed semester filled with singing, dancing, acting, music theory, and so much more! This week, I also had the honor of releasing the Fearless Files Podcast which is now available on all streaming platforms!
Despite having a restful, yet productive, holiday break, I am thrilled to be back at OCU doing what I love, while continuing to serve as Miss Plano everyday. This season of my life is filled with such wonderful opportunity and I am forever grateful.
That being said, I wanted to share a very joyful and eye opening experience I had in a vocal coaching earlier this week! In this particular lesson, I was working on Carole King's "So Far Away" with one of my professors. This was the first of many private lessons I had during the first week of classes and I was so eager to get back into the routine of singing/performing everyday. Furthermore, I was so excited to get back to work and continue to grow as an artist, singer, and human being. However, in the pursuit of consistent improvement, I often become overcritical of my performance...yes, even in lessons. This session was no different. As I was singing, I was marking the areas I wanted to "fix," shaking my head at notes I didn't like, and internally reprimanding myself for every minor, misplaced detail. It is safe to say that I was thinking about quite literally everything other than the glorious depth of emotion behind the song. I knew it and so did my professor. While singing, my coach stopped me and said,
"Landry. This semester, I want you to focus on leading every practice session, lesson, and performance with a specific intention-joy."
He then went back to playing the piano accompaniment and I began to sing...this time focusing only on the joy of the piece I was performing. In that brief moment, my motivation behind this lesson changed from a self critical, judgmental place, to a driving force of positivity and appreciation for this Carole King classic.
Why am I sharing this with you?
There are so many times in life we are told to follow our passions. We are encouraged to turn our talents into careers and are often told "if you do what you love, you won't work a day in your life."
I am here to tell you, that while this may not be 100% accurate, leading with an intentional, joyful, mindset will make "cheesy" sayings like this more realistic.
While making your passion and career synonymous is a wonderful thing, it also poses its challenges. For me, growing up, music was my coping mechanism. Whenever I was stressed, anxious, angry, happy, or any other emotion in-between, I turned to music to guide me. However, when I chose to follow my passion and pursue my undergrad in music theatre, my relationship with this hobby changed.
Music became my job. Consequently, this once informal propinquity was now characterized by greater expectation and responsibility. There have been many times in my experience as a music student where singing became monotonous, wearisome, and even stressful. The previously mentioned voice lesson was no exception.
However, placing an intention behind your passion and/or your job changes everything. When my professor asked me to choose joy over self analyzation, I was reminded WHY I chose music in the first place, coincidentally allowing myself to embrace the hard work that comes with pursuing a hobby. My clouded student perspective shifted back to a place of gratitude for this opportunity I have been given to chase my dreams. Most importantly, I was reminded that even though my passion for singing now comes with required expectation, the magic of doing what I love remains.
I share this story with you as inspiration to set an intention behind everything you do. Whether it's running errands, giving a presentation, or even spending time with friends/family-be specific about the WHY behind your actions. We all, from time to time, find ourselves caught between a joyful existence and a demanding place. But clearly stating our purpose in the experiences we have chosen for ourself will give us the strength to move forward.
While the story I shared in this post is one of passion for the life I have chosen, I think it also important to note, that there is so much about this life we cannot control. Maybe you haven't had the opportunity to truly pursue your passion. Maybe you find yourself in a career or situation that is not as fulfilling as you once dreamt-don't worry. Setting an intention even in those challenging moments is still crucial, if not more so.
So Here's the Challenge...
Regardless of your situation, I am inviting you to walk in your intention. Take control of the thoughts that consume your everyday experiences and find the joy in the opportunities that are presented to you.
Whenever you find yourself in a challenging space, think back on your WHY and how that has influenced where you are today. I hope that in doing so, you develop a newfound love for your talents, careers, and relationships. Having the courage to hold yourself accountable for your own intentionality will aid you on your journey to living fearlessly.