Maria Shriver Guest Post

Saturday, July 13, 2013
Maria Shriver posted this article i wrote on her blog today!  What fun!  I've posted it here as well. Enjoy! :)

I was the little girl who loved to sing.

My family would ask me to sing a Christmas carol and 30 minutes later, with absolutely no one listening, I would still be standing on the hearth singing my heart out. Music was something I just loved.

So how is it that as a music major in college, I would be asked to sing at a party and my heart would stop and I would begin to panic? “What if I start in the wrong key?” “What if my voice isn’t warmed up?” “What if they wonder why I am a music major?”

How is it that the idea of signing in public became so twisted and contracted?
I realize the effect that judgment has on all of us. The freedom it takes away.

And it's easy to see this about a negative judgment. You tell a child in the choir they should lip sync or say "that tree looks like an elephant" and you will quickly see that judgment at work as the child shuts down, refusing to sing or paint again.

But what about positive judgments? What if those judgments are equally debilitating? Or even more so because they are sneakier?

We don’t even know that positive judgments have taken hold until we are well on our way to stopping ourselves.

What made me sing as a child? Well, I suppose it was the fact that I could. Yet it wasn't long before everyone started telling me what a beautiful voice I had and how good I was at singing.
“You should take voice lessons and be a professional singer!” And you would think that would be a wonderful thing. But I remember quite vividly the first time it entered my little six-year-old brain that it was good to be good at singing. And very quickly I craved receiving that positive judgment.
It wasn't long until I wouldn't sing unless I knew I would be good. I had to know all the words. I had to warm up. Everyone had to be quiet.

Then after I sang I had to judge myself. Was that good enough? Was it my best? Was anyone in the room better than I was who would think I was not good?

What had once been something that brought me great joy became something torturous and ridden with anxiety. What if the positive judgments stopped? I would never be able to sing again!

I look back to that time in my life and realize simply put, I had no freedom. No freedom to make mistakes. No freedom to do things others didn't like. No freedom to sing terrible or just for the joy of singing.

And thankfully, at some point the weight became just too great, and my craving for freedom won out over my craving for judgment and I began to seek another possibility.

What I found was that judgment didn’t only permeate my singing. It permeated everything. Most of my choices had nothing to do with what I desired to do. They were almost all related to what others would judge me positively or negatively for.

I wasn’t even creating my own life. I was creating a life in reaction to judgment everywhere!

It wasn’t easy reversing this pattern, but it was possible! And that for me was the start of a new life!
It has since become my life's work— unlocking people from the judgment that keeps them trapped. For wherever you are trying to align with or resist to other people's judgments, you simply have no freedom to be you.

There is a phrase that helps me get out of being the effect of judgment and I would like to pass on to you. Do not be deceived by its simplicity. It has changed my life.
The phrase is simply “interesting point of view."

What would your life be like if everything you thought about yourself was just an interesting point of view and not something you had to make real or defend?

What if someone told you that you were the most beautiful girl in the class and you could also say "interesting point of view" and not have to be bound by their judgment or try to match it?
What if someone told you that you were fat and ugly and you could see that as an "interesting point of view" as well?

The true turning point in my life where freedom was mine was when I no longer cared what other people concluded about me. Not from a lack of caring, but actually from a caring for me.
I started singing for me. Because I could. Not because I was good. Not because I was bad. Simply because I could. And it made me happy.

It is hard to describe the ease and peace in my universe when someone asks me to sing today. Rather than my heart racing and my palms sweating, I ask myself “would it be fun?" And most the time it is yes.

And most of the time I then sing. And at the end of singing I remind myself that my only job is not to judge myself or try to conclude about what had just happened. It's all just an interesting point of view.

I no longer sing for judgment.  I no longer live for judgment.

And the freedom on the other side of that is incredible.

What Do You Already Know About Bringing Your Voice Into The World?

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

It doesn’t matter what my desire for these Right Voice For You classes is, what will change things for you is what you desire to create in your life.

One surprising thing is we don’t talk about a lot of technique in this class.  For example, what if we could just uncreate and destroy everything that you have decided that is required for change in your voice to occur? How much practice it’s going to take, how many voice lessons it’s going to take, how much breathing upside down on the floor will it take, how many scales is it going to take… what if none of that is actually required?  What do you know?

Your body is an amazing thing, it is willing to gift to you and work with you.  So unlike other classes, I give you very few answers.  I have no desire to be a magician who fixes or does anything to you, what I would like us to do is for all of us to learn to ask the questions to discover for ourselves what’s required to have total ease and total joy with bringing our voice into the world.

What if no-one has to fix you, or do it for you or teach you?  What else could be possible? So what do you know that you are pretending not to know or denying that you know? Would you be willing to start acknowledging how much you actually already know?  And then to start asking what else you would like to know?

How much do we pretend not to know to make our teachers feel better? By progressing slowly our teachers see that they have taught us so much. So would you be willing to know more than me?

Would you be willing to acknowledge that you do know more than me about your voice and your body and what is required to change?

Does Being On Stage Make You Uncomfortable?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Whenever I offer a Right Voice For You class, the energy of being uncomfortable comes up for many people. ‘Scared as hell’ and ‘terrified’ are two common responses when I ask ‘what have you decided this class is going to be?’  

So if you are thinking of coming to a Right Voice For You class, but you are feeling really uncomfortable, ask yourself:  “How much are you picking up on everyone else's fear of this class?”  And would you be willing to change that so you can know what’s true for you?  Here’s a tool for change:

Will you acknowledge how psychic you are and that everything you bought as true and real for you is actually not even yours, and will you destroy and uncreate it all?  Right, wrong, good, bad, POD, POC, all 9, shorts, boys and beyonds.  (That bit at the end is the Access Consciousness® Clearing Statement - you can find out how it works at

What if you could be totally comfortable on stage?  Knowing that so many people are uncomfortable, your job when you are on the stage is to make your audience feel at ease.  Because they are all afraid. Actually it is not yours.  Who does this belong to?” is something we talk about in Access Consciousness® all the time. It is an amazing tool when you are in front of people too!  

When you ask, Who does this belong to?”, if it lightens up, even a tiny bit, it’s not yours.  So now you have all this information about how others are feeling.  So you can be grateful for all the sensations in your body, for the information it’s giving you and then you can ask: “What can I contribute to my audience to put them at ease?

One thing you will discover in the Right Voice For You class is how you being up on stage is actually not about you.  Most of the judgments you have about you are not about you.
People are so busy thinking about themselves.  So everything that you are picking up while you are on stage, are points of view other people might have.  

What if this one tool could take you from being totally uncomfortable, to being unbelievably comfortable on stage?  And what if you would be willing to use this tool anytime you are in front of an audience?  Could that change how you allow your voice to be found in the world?

My Name: The Verb

Sunday, December 23, 2012
I was hiding in the coat closet of the restaurant I worked at, stealing a conversation on my cell with my dad. 
He was in one of his bizarre manic phases and was talking a million miles a minute. "I gotta go Papa. I'm at work."
"Wait! Before you go... You know your name is a verb, right?”my dad asked.
“Sure Papa, hey, I gotta get going.”
“It’s a verb” he stated again.  “Not a noun.  It means to open.  Blossoming.  It’s not the flower.  It’s the verb. It is ever expanding.  That’s who you are.  Never forget that.  You’re a verb.  Ok, go blossom.”
I will always remember that conversation.
I had never thought of it really.  A noun or a verb. One was beautiful and fragrant and delicate: an object.  It was what people meant when they’d tell me “You look like a Blossom.”
The other was a possibility. An opening. To flourish.  To develop. To unfold and to grow. 
To me, blossoming it the adventure of living and the joy of continuous change. That was what my father saw in me.  And in that acknowledgement, he gave me more of me that day.
Is blossoming a cheesy title for a blog?  Perhaps :)  And yet it is what I continue doing as I change and question and uncover on this beautifully crazy planet.
It’s also what I invite you to play with me here!
If just one of the tools I share invites you to look at life with more joy and possibility, then blossoming is a success!
What if you are at the beginning of unfolding into what you only dared dream was possible?

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