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

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. What’s the Problem with Most People’s Voices?

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. What’s the Problem with Most People’s Voices?

What’s the Problem with Most People’s Voices? 

What’s the problem with most people’s voices? Absolutely nothing, other than a few bad habits to unlearn. Everyone has a beautiful voice within, just waiting to come out.

Yet people say things like: “I couldn’t carry a tune if it was packed in my luggage.” Or, “People can’t hear me. Even my husband is constantly asking me to speak up. I don’t think I speak softly – I don’t get what’s going on!” They get hoarse while talking on the phone with clients, even after just a few minutes, or panic when they need to speak in public.

Is that you? I hear these complaints from students all the time. And none of it is necessary!

All it takes is learning how to speak on the breath, with resonance, in your most natural pitch, the place where your authentic voice most wants to land, to express itself, to reach people. It’s so simple. Not necessarily easy, yet simple all the same.

Exciting things are coming up to explore these details of the authentic voice in more detail! On TV Toastmasters Sunday, I’ll be interviewing Lenny Gotter, who is uncovering his big, tenor, operatic voice. I’m in the process of developing a workshop with a colleague (hush, hush for now; you, my readers will be the first to hear) to bring to school systems.

In the meantime, you can listen to this audio blog from the wonderful Billy Atwell on his FEAR NOT podcast, and make comments: https://www.livingbeyondyourfears.com/laura-handke-teaches-us-connection-fear-breath/. And, please join me LIVE on FACEBOOK Friday March 23, 2:30 pm PST.

I sound confident! I didn’t realize how much I needed you. -Dona C

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 five spaces open for private voice students – in person or online.

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. On Grief

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. On Grief

On Grief

You may remember I have a part-time job on Thursdays at a chiropractic clinic. On those Thursdays, I’ve gotten to know some amazing people. One man, whom I will refer to as “T”, often came in with his young daughter. The girl’s mother came in for adjustments from time to time as well.

Late December, I read a post from a friend on Facebook that the girl and her mother died in a car accident on Christmas Day. They were heading to the Mount Hood area on snowy Highway 26, and the car lost traction, heading into oncoming traffic.

I barely knew any of them, yet my heart sunk down in my chest all the same. T had always struck me as someone I wanted to get to know better. I felt this strange kinship with him, in ways I can’t explain.

I contacted Doc at the clinic, asking if she had heard about this. She had, and said she felt so bad for T, yet didn’t know how to reach out to him – what to say, or do.

I didn’t either, but I reached out to someone who did, my dear friend and colleague Natalia Volz. Natalia lost her husband to pancreatic cancer several years ago and is now a grief guide. http://www.passingthroughgrief.com/.

Natalia said: Sometimes there are no perfect words, no words that will take away the pain. Sometimes the best thing to do is acknowledge the loss. You can say something like, “I heard of your tragic loss. I don’t know what to say, but I want you to know I care.” Then be okay with any awkward silence which may follow. Give him time. And listen if he talks. The most important thing is to see him. Don’t avoid him. I hope this helps.

It did help. We sent a card from the clinic saying almost exactly that.

I don’t know why, but I kept thinking of T, especially while showering in the morning. I kept sending him loving thoughts, over and over, letting him know I was praying for him and sending loving light his way.

The following Saturday morning, my fiancé and I went out for breakfast at Biscuits Cafe. I saw a man at a nearby table that I was almost sure was T. I only saw his profile at first, so couldn’t be sure. He was with what appeared to me to be a supportive group of men, talking and often laughing. At times, the man joined in the laughter. At times, his head lowered, and he appeared to check out and go inside himself.

At one point, his head turned towards our table, and we made eye contact. He recognized me. I quietly whispered to George, “It is him; he recognized me.” T and I stood up at exactly the same time and met between our tables. He asked how he knew me, and I said it was from the chiro clinic. My arms flew out without thought, and he hugged me back. I started to cry, a little. T didn’t. I said, “You have been in my thoughts and prayers.” We pulled apart and held hands. He said, “Thank you.”

We went back to our respective tables, and I haven’t seen T since.

Yet, as George suggested, the energy of love brought T and I together at that particular time, in that particular restaurant. I have no question.

Our thoughts, love, energy and voices are so very powerful. Even while just saying, “You’ve been in my thoughts and prayers” to someone you barely know yet feel love and compassion for all the same.

This is how the world spins around even better.

I hope these tips help you the next time you encounter someone dealing with grief. And if you are in grief, please contact Natalia.

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

If you’re ready to bring your inner voice into the outer world, text or call 503.409.0421 to claim one of five spaces open for private voice students – in person or on-line.

I sound confident! I didn’t realize how much I needed you. -Dona C

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

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. A Darned-Near Perfect Day

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. A Darned-Near Perfect Day

A Darned-Near Perfect Day

Today was a darned-near perfect day. I woke up before 7:30, without an alarm. Made a cup of tea and went back to bed, with cat Lady Jane, for my morning inspirational reading time and a brief meditation. By 9:00, I was ready for my on-line meeting with the wonderful women in my Soul-Aligned Mastermind group. Then ran errands and made myself a delicious lunch. My 1:00 voice student had made amazing progress since her last lesson. Startling, even. She’d been doing her homework.

I don’t take credit for this. I credit my student for three things, which she owns with consciousness and awareness. 1) As 2017 turned to 2018, Paivi realized she was no longer going to be the woman standing quietly in the corner, while people asked her to speak up when she talked. She knew her voice was ready to come out, and she was ready to fully express herself in front of people. 2) The work she had been doing with a coach since last fall started to sink in. 3) She scheduled her first voice lesson.

Paivi’s voice now rings out with confidence, clarity and resonance. Her coach commented on it, too. When I experience something like this, I remember all over again why I do what I do. This transformation in Paivi’s voice in such a short period of time is truly remarkable. All the elements came together at just the right time, because she was truly ready.

And, because Paivi and I both had an extra hour after the lesson, we went on a walk together. I share my neighborhood with peafowl who’ve been here far longer than me, and they came out in full display for Paivi today. We enjoyed Mother Nature’s glory for a full 40 minutes, along with inspiring conversation and good exercise.

My 4:00 phone appointment turned into another voice student booking a session for later this month, and then I received an e-mail that New Renaissance Bookshop accepted my proposal to do a workshop there. I suggested we do it next month and am inquiring into best dates/times.

My partner and I are making a simple, delicious, and mostly healthy dinner tonight of grilled chicken breasts, baked potatoes (the Mexican sour cream might not be all that healthy), and fresh green salads. We may watch a movie. Lady will be movie-watching with us on the living room couch.

How could this day have been even more perfect? (I recommend Barbara Sher’s Ideal Day Exercise from her wonderful book, Wishcraft, every chance I get.) If I had just received the direct deposit or check from that $2500 workshop I did last week. If Lady knew how to use the toilet and flush it herself. (I once saw a cat do that, on TV!) If the reservations for my trip to Bali in April (where I will be teaching a workshop) were just confirmed. If my laundry items had come out of the dryer, folded themselves, and put themselves away (after all, as a child I Dream of Jeannie aficionado, a part of me still believes in magic.)

That’s how my day could have been better. Yet I’m completely content and fulfilled with this day exactly as it’s been. I wish the same for you, my friends.

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

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 Panttila Vargas

Authentically Yours, Laura

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. When Something Really Hits You

Simply Authentic…Your Soul Voice is Calling. When Something Really Hits You

When Something Really Hits You

When I was on vacation with my parents and brother the summer before my senior year of high school, we went to a show at The Pink Garter Theatre in the city known then as Jackson Hole, Wyoming. (The theatre is still there now, in Jackson, as a music venue with concerts and a cocktail lounge!) Just nine days before my 18th birthday, we saw their production of Shootin’ Irons & Petticoats, a rollicking western musical.

I was utterly transfixed throughout the entire show. My heart connected with the performers, the music, the theatre itself, the rest of the audience…the entire experience…in a way that filled me with deep appreciation and even deeper longing. If only, I thought, if only that could be me up there one day. I wanted the show to go on forever, to never end. It wasn’t a sad show – quite the opposite – filled with upbeat numbers, dancing, and a lot of comedy. Yet Mom reminded me years later that I cried when it ended.

Of course, I did.

This is how music, performance…voices…can touch us. Reach us. Transform us.

Yet, somehow, after high school, I let my music leave me. Other than one college performance and playing piano and singing to myself when I could, I didn’t get on stage again, or seek vocal training, until my 40’s. I found acting teacher Jo Dodge at the Pentacle Theatre in Salem, Oregon. And then, in Portland, I was introduced to the founder of Transformational Voice®, Linda Brice, and eventually became a certified Transformational Voice® teacher.

It’s never too late, or too early, to learn to express your inner voice in the outer world.  How would you like to do that now? Let us know on the blog!

A new student graced my voice studio earlier this week; here’s what the talented and creative 18-year-old Levi had to say:

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.

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

Authentically Yours, Laura