Monday, February 4, 2013
When did you first start practicing mindfulness and why were you motivated to do so?
I started really practicing about 10 years ago, when I was 18 years old. But my first exposure to energetic awareness in general was when my mother had taken me to a natural practitioner when I was 15, because the doctors couldn’t stop my reoccurring throat problems, and wanting to become a singer, I was willing to do ANYTHING.
It was a huge turning point for me, because it worked! I was given insight that made me feel more like myself, behave more according to what I wanted in life, and I was not getting sick. I was taught a few practical tools of handling stress and lack of focus. This was empowering.
Did you take a class? If so, what sort of a class did you take?
After many months of staring at a poster that said: “meditation and yoga class” in that dark and cold little city way up north in Northeren Norway, I finally decided to offer myself some warmth, so I went. All by myself!
The yoga part was familiar to me, sort of, so it was easier to go because of that. After a bunch of “open nights” focusing on different topics every Wednesday, I finally got the courage to go to a full weekend seminar and have continued to do courses over the past 7-8 years.
I was basically having so much fun exploring my self, finding peace, finding motion, becoming aware of stagnation and discovering forgotten talents within my self, discarding totalitarian ideas like good and bad, and becoming more aware, more equipped with REAL tools that ACTUALLY worked! Not demonizing certain emotions or thoughts, which was important for me, since I was always one of those kids who could actually tell shit from shinola, and demonizing is never very intelligent nor correct. That I knew.
How has mindfulness made a difference in your life?
I felt like this was my saving grace. I was a semi-dark teenager, meaning I was NOT buying it. I did not want to grow up, marry, have kids and then die. I was rather seeing the problems in the world as MY problem too. I felt overwhelmed, ashamed and embarrassed by the state of the planet. And I felt a lot of responsibility. Being an artist in my heart, I knew I had to find my voice—it felt like a situation of do or die. So I did.
I LOVED getting to know my dreams/visions/feelings etc, merely observing and learning how to really choose what I want, building and co-creating my life the way I wanted it. All of this has given me so much freedom, happiness, strength, NEW TALENTS and abilities that I had totally forgotten about. It’s also non-religious, which as a big part of why it worked so well for me as a teenager.
What do you do for your livelihood (e.g., homemaker, teacher, firefighter) and does your practice of mindfulness affect that?
I’m a musician in my heart, and that will always be how I communicate best. To protect my artistic self I have taken on other jobs to make a living, like being an assistant, cleaning apartments, etc.
I learned through this work how not to become a victim of my ideas about what I have to do. This liberated me a lot. Having to do music purely for money would’ve destroyed me, so I made the choice of building my art on the side, while making a living in other ways. But this year, I will complete my degree to become a certified life coach/meditation teacher, and by then I hope to have started a meditation group in NYC where I live now, teaching voice and self-development and meditation. My goal is to make my livelihood derive from 50% life coaching and 50% as an artist doing what I want to do. It’s scary how close I am to my goal. A fear that is both thrilling and terrifying.
Is there anything else you would want people to know about mindfulness and you?
I call my little company “Voice and Self Love" (www.voiceandselflove.com). My own method is all about voice and meditation. I’m an educated voice teacher, and I just love the power of self healing which lies in the act of singing or sharing and honoring our true sound. This is where my passion is, as well as performing and creating music and art with myself truly present.