Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. My Soup Pot Has a Story (in Three Parts)

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. My Soup Pot Has a Story (in Three Parts)

My Soup Pot Has a Story (in Three Parts)

I invited three people over for dinner. My voice teacher and mentor, Linda, the founder of Transformational Voice®. Her partner, Frans, builder of pipe organs and sound healer. Richard, Transformational Voice® accompanist, musicianship teacher and pianist extraordinaire. One of Linda’s students is a professional opera singer. Another is Grammy-nominated. Richard once played piano at the White House, when Bill Clinton claimed the Oval Office. Frans continues a rich tradition of pipe organ building, as practiced for centuries in his country of origin: the Netherlands.

Yes, quite an illustrious gathering at our dinner party that evening! I didn’t really think about it until the next day, because we were just enjoying each other’s company and the meal. I love these people, and we loved the food.

The soup pot I used for that dinner has a story, too. I claimed it from my wasbund (was-husband), as we were divorcing in 2006. Jeff had never really used the big ol’ stock pot, and he gave me permission to take it.

Part 1: During our marriage, I once used this pot as a cleansing and healing element, creating a “green fire” in it. I don’t recall the book that gave me this tip, but the basics are: 1) Line the pot with foil 2) Fill it with two cups Epsom salt 3) Add enough rubbing alcohol so the salt is fully covered.

Make sure there is a protective plate under the pot (preferably in the middle of a large floor) and keep it away from anything which might catch fire.

Ask your higher guidance to cleanse away anything that is negative or holding you back. You can write these things down on a piece of paper and put them into the mix. Then, light the fire.

It’s helpful to drum or vocalize while the fire is burning out – about 10-15 minutes.

This is a wonderful energy-clearing exercise.

Part 2: After my divorce, while living at Neff Park Lane, I made a big batch of turkey soup with leftover turkey from a holiday dinner. I was in a hurry and on my cell phone at the same time, grabbed the pot to stir, and the whole thing crashed to the floor, dousing me with hot soup, leaving a dent in the pot.

That was quite a mess to clean up. I wasn’t burned, threw my drenched pants away, salvaged about a third of the soup, and kept the dented pot.

Part 3: I invited Linda, Frans, and Richard for dinner. The menu was fresh green salads, beef burgundy with al dente noodles, and toasted parmesan bread. Our guests brought delicious filled cream puffs for dessert.

The beef burgundy turned out beautifully, and the meal was devoured. The company and conversation were as good, maybe better, than the meal. The beef burgundy was cooked in the dented pot.

Our voices have stories, too. Perhaps in some places we need cleansing, to understand where we might be dented, or to embrace our deliciousness.

Here’s the Beef Burgundy Recipe: (Photo by Dana Fontaine: https://www.danafontaine.com)

Beef Burgundy:

-6 oz. bacon, cut in pieces

-3 lb. lean stewing meat, cut in cubes

-1 sliced carrot (I use more)

-I sliced small onion

-1 tsp. salt

-1 lb. fresh mushrooms, sautéed in butter (I don’t like mushrooms, so leave them out)

-1/4 tsp pepper

-2 TBSP flour

-3 C burgundy/pinot noir wine

-2-3 C beef broth

-1 TBSP tomato paste

-2 cloves mashed garlic

Sauté bacon in oil and remove to large baking pan. Sauté beef chunks, brown all sides and add to dish. Sauté carrot and onion, add to dish. Sprinkle in flour and toss ingredients to coat. Bake at 450 for 4 minutes. Stir and bake 4 minutes more. Remove from oven and add wine, beef broth, tomato paste, garlic and seasoning. Bring to a simmer on the stove. If you like mushrooms, add them here. Cover, return to oven and bake at 325 for 3-4 hours.

Serve over al dente egg noodles (my choice) or wild rice.

If you found this post helpful, please spread the love and pass it along to a friend!

In only a few lessons with Laura, my voice quality improved tremendously, both for singing and speaking. I’m noticing more resonance, clarity, and range. Laura has a great ear, and her teaching and coaching style feels safe, friendly and professional. She is supportive and stretches me. Her acting, singing, and speaking backgrounds blend beautifully to support presence and confidence in her students, as well. I’m excited to continue studying with her, and highly recommend her if you want to improve your voice. -Cricket W.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. Peace Valley School

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. Peace Valley School

Peace Valley School

Molly was winded and sweaty when I first met her in person. The sheep had gotten out. Molly was beautiful and glowing in jeans, a T-shirt, and casual cardigan thrown over, having helped wrangle the sheep back in. I wouldn’t have known she was winded and sweaty if she hadn’t told me.

This was my first in-person introduction to Molly Lord-Garrettson, Head of Peace Valley School, on five acres of beautiful land just outside Lafayette, Oregon, with sheep, chickens, a big garden, and a school dog and cat. I met the dog, Mariposa (Spanish for Butterfly; she was rescued from Baja, Mexico), before I met Molly.

Molly taught in traditional school systems, and abroad, for 15 years – focusing on subjects like Social Studies. One assignment she has right now is to fix an old globe and update it with recent countries, like South Sudan.

She is married to Nathan Garrettson and has a five-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Grace.

Molly decided to branch out and create her own school because, “Education hasn’t changed, although our culture and our children have. While public schools’ intention was originally developed to Americanize citizens, the new trend has been to prepare them for the work force. A lack of funding, plus an economic downturn, has removed even taxes from the main stream public academic curriculum.” These events leave educators like Molly perplexed. She says, “We teach humans, not robots. We need to help them operate in the world of relationships, laundry, home-cooked food, and community.” Molly adds, “The rest matters, too, but if I meet a man who can take the derivative but can’t take a pie out of the oven on time, I’m worried.”

Students create their own curriculum in this school, within parameters. I saw an Amish yarn winder that would be used for creations with local fiber. Two students playing chess. A young gal who plays the ukulele. Mari, the dog, coming and going. The kitchen, where students make their own meals – on a budget. They go grocery shopping every week with a budget of $100. If they’re able to save on the organic, healthy groceries, they get to have an adventure – like getting air zip-lining, or at the closest trampoline park in Salem, Oregon.

The school’s mission is:

At Peace Valley School we encourage all learners to make education real. To do this, we learn by working together on real-world projects to solve universal problems. By practicing healthy communication to solve a common problem through inquiry, we can garner a sense of responsibility instead of entitlement. We can become perpetual learners with the courage and life-skills that entails. We can discover who we are and help each other grow. We can be the change we want to see in the world.

While writing this blog, I’m smack dab in the middle of teaching Peace Valley School’s first music class! What an honor! Join me for a live Facebook feed at the school Friday shortly after 1:30 PM PST.

Please also join me in supporting Peace Valley School. http://peacevalleyschool.org/

I came away with a much better understanding of how to do, and effectively use, belly breathing to speak confidently, efficiently and effectively. -Caroline M.

Laura is a skilled teacher and observer of her students. -Anita E.

Supportive, fun, safe…and immediately applicable tools and skills. -Barbara M.

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. The One Note

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. The One Note

The One Note

We could call that from which everything arises the One Note at the center of everything. Some say this is the note we hear while being born, that we search for our whole lives. Perhaps babies crying at birth are trying to tell us the secrets of life in the only language they have. Perhaps this early cry becomes the song of the One Note that we spend our lives trying to rediscover.

The pianist Michael Jones reminds us that musicians and composers began with a need to find and play the One Note. Early on, composers used to go into nature and listen to farmers and peasants singing in the fields. They would then base their sonatas and symphonies on the common sounds they heard in how human beings worked in the earth.

In 1916, Anton Dvorak said that some fundamental aspect of music had died because, in the modern age, farmers had stopped singing and musicians had stopped listening. Dvorak and Michael Jones raise two questions that are crucial to how art has always served life. First, what is it about the cycle of experience – especially in modern life – that numbs us from singing while we work and from hearing each other? And even more important, what must we relearn in order to remember how to touch the Earth and sing, to remember how to listen to each other and turn that listening into music? Art has always helped us touch the Earth and sing. It has always helped us rediscover the One Note. Art, the great inner bridge that lets the song of inwardness sing us. In all its forms, art has always given us a way to recover from the numbness of experience.

–from Seven Thousand Ways to Listen: Staying Close to What is Sacred, Mark Nepo http://www.marknepo.com/

What is your “one note”? Let us know on the blog!

Coming up next: Transformational Voice® Music Class at Peace Valley School! http://peacevalleyschool.org/.

Laura helped me find my truer voice. After just one lesson, I already feel more resonance, and more ease and comfortability in singing. Thank you.

-Levi P

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. Get Out of the Rut: Make a Play Date

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. Get Out of the Rut: Make a Play Date

Get Out of the Rut: Make a Play Date

Everything felt old and stale. I wasn’t having enough fun.  I’m overdue for a vacation. I decided I needed a play date, what Julia Cameron http://juliacameronlive.com/ would call an artist’s date.

That Friday in March, I took the whole afternoon off and drove to Banks, Oregon. Banks is a small town, population 1780 something, within 30 miles of metropolitan Portland, and I’d never been there. I parked my car on Main Street and walked around for about an hour.

It must have worked, because this week is a big one for Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher! (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Sunday, I had my first in-home private voice class in Boring, Oregon, which isn’t boring at all!  The host home is in farm-land heaven, surrounded by blooming trees, flowing fields and horses. What a blast! We squeezed a lot into those two hours.

I loved the energy & professionalism, not intimidating at all. The class gave me awesome tips and ideas; I should have taken notes! I am interested in more classes and would definitely recommend it. -Jane R.

Yes, I do in-home voice classes! E-mail laurahanj@comcast.net for your complimentary 15-minute consultation if you’re interested in hosting one.

Tuesday, I was interviewed by Paula Vail, host of Why am I so Happy on BBS internet radio www.bbsradio.com/whyamisohappy and will be featured in her podcast later this month. Paula and I had so much fun together; she’s a great host and I fell a little in love with her that day, even though we’d only met through social media before.

Wednesday afternoon, one of my private vocal students had made so much progress in her first four lessons, we moved to more singing and she started to embrace again her lovely lyric soprano voice. She sounded fantastic! That evening, my colleague, Katie Ramseur https://innerpathwayhypnosis.com/  and I gave a SPEAK UP! Authentic Communication workshop for Portland’s Dress for Success chapter. We came away from this engaged and participatory audience with a new appreciation for Dress for Success, https://dressforsuccess.org/ and how this amazing non-profit organization is accomplishing their purpose, right here in Portland.

This class gave me many tools, and taught me about the different aspects of breath, onsets, resonance and pitch. I am interested in a more advanced, and longer, workshop. Thank you so much! -Melanii L.

Thank you so much for coming to speak at our meeting last night. The women really enjoyed your presentation – Kim and I have received nothing but rave reviews! If there is any chance you are able to come back and present again this month at another meeting, we’d love to have you. -Joanie S.

This Friday morning, Katie and I are heading to an alternative high school in St. Helens to present our first workshop for high school students there. We are committed to helping women and young people express their true, authentic voices in the world, with confidence and power. Yes! We are available for your school or organization! E-mail laurahanj@comcast.net for your complimentary 15-minute consultation.

Now, let’s get back to my play date. If it can help me this much, think how much you might benefit from the same!

Here are a few glimpses of what I found in Banks that charming Friday afternoon. Inspiration…

Take a hard look at your spontaneity. Can you open up to something new or do you rigidly hang on to your accustomed behavior?…The rigid never grow. They tend to do things the same way they’ve always done them. A colleague of mine who teaches graduate courses for teachers frequently asks the old-timers, who have spent thirty years or more in the classroom, “Have you really been teaching for thirty years or have you been teaching one year, thirty times?” And you, dear reader, have you really lived 10,000 or more days or have you lived one day, 10,000 or more times? A good question to ask yourself as you work toward more spontaneity in your life. –Dr. Wayne Dyer, Your Erroneous Zones

I first met Laura a few years ago at a speaking event, where she led one of the most fun and memorable workshops I have ever attended. More recently, I worked with her one-on-one to help me improve my vocal skills, both as a professional speaker as well as professional singer. She met me right at my level, and helped me tremendously. I am better on both fronts for working with her. I highly recommend Laura: Hire her for your next event, and she will WOW your attendees with her fun, interactive style, or work with her one-on-one to improve your own vocal skills! -Michelle M

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love, Laura

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. Who is the Mighty Foe?

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. Who is the Mighty Foe?

Who is the Mighty Foe?

I’m going through the Transformational Voice® Apprenticeship program a second time this year as Assistant Teacher, although in all honesty, I’m learning more than I’m teaching.

In last Wednesday evening’s seminar my teacher, Linda Brice, said that fear is the “mighty foe” of any vocalist. When you experience fear (also known as stage fright or performance anxiety), your body fills with tension, the abdominal muscles clench, and – of course – that impacts your voice. The authentic voice can’t ring out clear and true in a tight and clenched body.

More often than not, that fear is in our own heads. It’s not like somebody is holding a gun to our temple and saying if we don’t sing perfectly we’ll be killed. We make it up ourselves, we expect perfection of ourselves, so that foe is faux.

That was to be the crux of this message until…

Oh, friends, where to begin?…I don’t really know fear.

Okay, let’s begin with Sister Zeph. https://www.facebook.com/donate/319227991932881/ Last Saturday, I hosted an Empowerment/Self Defense class presented by my friend and colleague, Michele Moore Maupin http://www.empoweredfsd.com/.

Michele’s Story: A young woman called me wanting private self-defense lessons in 2015, because she was heading to Pakistan to teach an art class to a group of women. 1.5 years later, one of the girls headed to school was murdered, because she walked to school alone and was hassled by a man, and her brother, out of “honor,” had to kill her.  They asked if I would be willing to help the girls with self-defense.  Yes indeed.  I created a YouTube video and live training for these women.  In the past year that we have been doing these classes, we have trained on street safety, assertiveness, and domestic violence (rampant there).  Two girls in the past few months have attributed this training directly to their survival – both of them were kidnapped with the apparent intent to rape (and possibly kill) them. BOTH girls fought back and got away.  

Sister Zeph is a Christian woman in Pakistan, a predominantly Muslim country, trying to make a difference by educating women.  She has been attacked, shot at, cyber-bullied and more, but she does not stop.  She is determined to fight for change for the women there, through education.  She has recently opened a second school for the poor children in her region.  I deeply admire her – and donations that come through these empowerment/self-defense classes will go directly toward security for her schools.  

Friends, this girl heading to school was just trying to get to school. Girls aren’t allowed an education, so that by itself makes her a target. And, she was walking alone – you simply don’t do that in Pakistan, as a woman, because it means you are inviting sex.  When a man approached her, harassed her, and it was reported to her brother, it was his “duty of honor” to beat his sister to death. So, he did.

After Michele’s workshop, I turned on my computer and found a message from my dear friend, Nasreen Sheik. This video link was in it: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1uqrCX97MhnK0D4KOGR_UTvgmyU2tg2bS/view.

Watching the video will take six minutes. This is Nasreen’s sister. Do you see how thin many of the people are in this video? Perhaps they don’t have enough to eat.

Not long ago, I saw a pretty awful sci-fi movie, in which the question was asked, “How is it that you have a simultaneous epidemic of both obesity and starvation on your planet?” The movie was bad, but the question is good. How is that even possible?

These women are raising their voices in a big way, in Pakistan and Nepal. Will you join me in sending a generous donation?

That’s one way we can raise our voices.

That all felt so serious. Which, of course, it is. So, let me tell you about something fun! I’ve teamed up with Katie Ramseur, Licensed Hypnotist, to help you – your employees, students, organization – combat performance anxiety! We’re working with alternative high schools and organizations like Dress For Success, for starters. This is one of the most exciting and impactful things I’ve ever been involved in. Join me LIVE on Facebook Friday 4/20 at 2:30 pm PST to get a few of the juicy details!

Laura Handke’s Transformational Voice® therapy lessons are wonderful! She is a treasure trove of valuable information about voice, speaking, singing and acting. Laura guides you in understanding how your own voice “works” and provides easy practices to do between appointments. I want to thank Laura for being a very warm, encouraging, supportive vocal coach. I warmly recommend her.

-Paivi PV

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Laura

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. I Dreamed of Nick and Sharon on Y&R, but I was Cast as a Cervidae

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. I Dreamed of Nick and Sharon on Y&R, but I was Cast as a Cervidae

I Dreamed of Nick and Sharon on Y&R, but I was Cast as a Cervidae

Let me answer the obvious question first, in case you might have it. What is a Cervidae? It’s the family of deer – does, stags or bucks, and baby fawns. Apparently, there are about 60 breeds of deer.

Now let me answer the second question, in case you might have it. Who are Nick and Sharon, and what the heck is Y&R?

My friends, The Young and the Restless on CBS: https://www.cbs.com/shows/the_young_and_the_restless/

Before you deign to joke about your favorite voice teacher watching a soap opera (Gasp! It can’t be true!) know I honestly watch very little television, while I do adore movies. The only sitcom I’ve laughed at since Seinfeld is Life in Pieces https://www.cbs.com/shows/life-in-pieces/, ironically also on CBS…and a former Y&R actor, Hunter King, is now on Life in Pieces… but I digress…

I simply am not a big TV watcher, yet I’ve been following the goings-on in the fictional city of Genoa City, Wisconsin, at least once a week, since I was 15 years old. I don’t even want to do the math or pull out the calculator. I’ve watched Y&R for a very, very long time. Many of the same actors, from when I started watching, are playing the same characters now. The show is celebrating it’s 45th anniversary this year! How many TV shows last that long? Without Googling, can you name even one?  So, instead of making fun of daytime drama, I choose to celebrate Y&R’s anniversary.

Now, onto my dream.

I was sitting in a theatre, while a new play was starting. Sharon Case (who plays Sharon on Y&R) and Joshua Morrow (who plays Nick on Y&R) were doing a scene on a rough-hewn wooden bench on the stage. I didn’t yet know if I was cast in the play or not. Sharon wiggled her finger to me in a come-hither way, inviting me on stage. I felt grateful to have been invited. I climbed up the stairs, walked on-stage, and asked about my lines.

It turns out I didn’t have any. I was to be cast as a deer, in a deer costume.

I thought to myself, “I should probably take this job; it might be the best offer I’ll ever get,” even though my heart felt heavy and sad at the idea. I heard my first acting teacher, Jo’s, voice in my head. She said, “It hurts to experience yourself as less than you are, doesn’t it?” I climbed up on stage and realized a teenage boy would be much better in the role of deer, with the costume, than I would be.

Then I woke up.

A deer’s senses are very acute. Its vision is designed for clarity at a distance. It is especially effective at detecting contrasts and edges in dim light. Its hearing is equally acute. Anyone who has deer as a totem will find increasing ability to detect subtle movements and appearances. They will begin to hear what may not be said directly.

When deer show up in your life it is time to be gentle with yourself and others. A new innocence and freshness is about to be awakened or born. There is going to be a gentle, enticing lure of new adventures. Ask yourself important questions. Are you trying to force things? Are others? Are you being too critical and uncaring of yourself? When deer show up there is an opportunity to express gentle love that will open new doors to adventure for you. Animal-Speak: The Spiritual & Magical Powers of Creatures Great & Small, Ted Andrews

I absolutely love being a voice teacher and singer! I’m also an actor, when the right opportunity presents itself. Friends, I would not – repeat, not – turn down an opportunity for a six-week stint on Y&R. I’m ready to get down and dirty with a small role entangled between the Newman’s and the Abbot’s. Bring it on, CBS!

Laura Handke’s Transformational Voice® therapy lessons are wonderful! She is a treasure trove of valuable information about voice, speaking, singing and acting. Laura guides you in understanding how your own voice “works” and provides easy practices to do between appointments. I want to thank Laura for being a very warm, encouraging, supportive vocal coach. I warmly recommend her.

-Paivi PV

Laura helped me find my truer voice. After just one lesson, I already feel more resonance, and more ease and comfortability in singing. Thank you.

-Levi P

I first met Laura a few years ago at a speaking event, where she lead one of the most fun and memorable workshops I have ever attended. More recently, I worked with her one-on-one to help me improve my vocal skills, both as a professional speaker as well as professional singer. She met me right at my level, and helped me tremendously. I am better on both fronts for working with her.

I highly recommend Laura: Hire her for your next event, and she will WOW your attendees with her fun, interactive style, or work with her one-on-one to improve your own vocal skills!

-Michelle M

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

If you’re ready to bring your inner voice into the outer world, text or call 503.409.0421! I have four spaces open for private voice students – in person or on-line.

Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.),

Laura