Feeling Free to Sing

by Johanna Fredericks

I had an amazing and very empowering experience a couple of weeks ago. I experienced something that I hadn’t done in my life, until now. I sang while driving in my car, with my mum next to me, without any inhibitions. I felt free to sing.

It was so amazing for me to feel this freedom in singing as I had basically lived my life since childhood avoiding any singing, especially in front of people, at school and in groups. The sad thing was – I love to sing.  

Growing up, from a young age I was told by those that I held dear to me that I had a terrible voice. I very quickly identified myself as a bad singer, which greatly suppressed my expression. I was being judged from what they thought a good singer consisted of and because I held them dear I thought that what they said must be true. I was told that I couldn’t sing and I felt my voice become harder as I grew up. I felt that I sang in a hard way (maybe to fit into the label that had been placed on me) and even the way I spoke took on a harsh nature. I was told that I had a terrible voice like my dad and that my mum and brother had good voices. The fact is that my voice and my Dad’s voice were just different; lower and deeper, but not bad.

Recently I participated in a group workshop with Victoria Carter. I felt very safe and supported by all the people at the workshop because I could feel that it was a place to be honest, open and where I would not be judged. It was also very playful and I felt held in love. At this workshop we felt our bodies and our voices. We compared how these changed when we were present with ourselves versus when we weren’t. Basically we felt how our choice to connect with ourselves magnified throughout our body, which then became our expression, when we spoke and sang. After a little bit of sharing, some observations, a few ‘ooo’s and aaahh’s’, we then worked as a group, making sound. Now the amazing thing is, it wasn’t about the sound or achieving a note or being the loudest or most perfect – it was about our connection and how the sound felt. I felt free to sing… and it felt GOLDEN!

I discovered that when I am connected to myself, without letting the beliefs and ideals of ‘how singing should be’, my voice is then free and sweet and strong. When I was younger, part of me played the game of being identified as the one who couldn’t sing. I was told to be quiet and even that I would get paid if I stopped singing. Soon I learned to use this as a manipulation tool where I would say “If you don’t do that, or give me that, I will sing”. So sad, and horrible….. I know. I could even say that I further hardened my voice as I grew up to make sure I fitted this label.

But with my experiences with Chris James’ Sounds Wonderful workshops and Victoria Carter‘s True Expression Workshops, over the years I have learned to slowly let go of theses filters, beliefs and ideals. For me, trust and feeling safe was a big thing. Their gentle and loving approach really supported me to claim my voice as an amazing tool of expression: a tool that expresses from what is already lived in the body. Singing for me now has a playful memory attached to it.

So as you can see, for me to freely sing in the car next to my mum was huge, and the beautiful thing was that because I didn’t allow all the other stuff to be there – it wasn’t even in my thoughts, then there was no room for it – my mum and my daughter (who loves my voice and we love singing together) both sang with me.

Inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine.

204 thoughts on “Feeling Free to Sing

  1. Such a joy to hear you have rid yourself of the curses placed upon you as a child. If we were as widely aware of the consequences of our words on others as we are say of a physical attack, we would be much more careful and loving in our supposed ‘jokey quips’ which are fact cut deep and can cap another’s evolution for lifetimes. Heavy karma indeed.

  2. And how beautiful in your freeing yourself from these beliefs your child is able to grow up singing freely with you and her grandmother. This will support her should she receive criticism at any time.

  3. How gorgeous Johanna that you now feel free to sing and express freely. How inspiring that you feel the power and wisdom of your true voice; thank you.

  4. Crazy how we take on certain comments and let them completely change how we feel about ourselves for the rest of our lives. I remember being told several times how inarticulate I was. I interpreted this to mean that I wasn’t good at expressing myself through words and so have forever made excuses as to why I’m not a good writer, or why my storytelling or my explanations are so bad. Truth is, when I do express and it’s coming from my own lived experience, I’m very clear and make a lot of relatable sense. It’s just a habit to bring myself down so I don’t have to be responsible for me, the vehicle of expression that I am.

  5. When we filter down what we share and express around others they get a watered-down version of us – they may get to see a hint of our potential, but never the full and amazing us.

  6. Beautiful to feel the freedom in which you were able to express yourself through singing without holding back, when we express from our own connection our expression has a beautiful flow, and sound.

  7. It feels awesome when we can let go and bust through something that we have held back on. I had the same experience with dancing- always feeling awkward and totally uncomfortable in my body. It has taken time but now I feel more free to let go and have fun in my movements. I can still feel constrictions but am more able to observe them and not give myself a hard time.

  8. “At this workshop we felt our bodies and our voices. We compared how these changed when we were present with ourselves versus when we weren’t.” Wow, I’ve never thought to do that before. That would be a great experiment. How many singers are truly present in their voice?

  9. “a tool that expresses from what is already lived in the body.” I love this description of true expression. It sounds and feels awesome. I would love to experience this workshop. What a revelation.

  10. This just shows how damaging ideals and beliefs can be on our natural ability to express who we are. We are all completely unique, so having an image of what a picture perfect look is, or sound is, can not be true to everyone. Our uniqueness is an asset and something that should never be restrained or held back out of fear of not fitting into the current trend or what people think is it.

  11. It is horrible what we do to ourselves, how we cement comments that are made to us, how we insist on being tough enough to put ourselves down and act like we think its funny but deep down it hurts. It is such a blessing for your daughter that you were able to turn this around, as it means she will will grow up with a freedom around her voice. It was also very touching that you have healed any past hurt with your mother. The last line brought a tear to my eye, it was just so sweet.

  12. I love what you shared Johanna, “I discovered that when I am connected to myself, without letting the beliefs and ideals of ‘how singing should be’, my voice is then free and sweet and strong.” I love singing to myself in the car or shower but not in front of anybody on my own, recently I attended a group session where we chose a song and prepared it to sing in front of the group, this was quite daunting at the start , but as I came to realise that it was not about getting it right but about being in my body and expressing the song from there, so when the time came to sing in front of the group I was amazed at how easy and joyful it was and can be to sing with all of me no holding back.

  13. Inhibitions are not things that just happen to us. They are clear signs of lack of self-worth we buy into. And then we move in that which confirms our reason to be inhibited. Until we cease to play this game.

  14. “Basically we felt how our choice to connect with ourselves magnified throughout our body, which then became our expression, when we spoke and sang.” How important is it to connect? If we do not we are open to dis-ease being magnified in the body.

    1. So true Rik and yet sadly so little known, understood or accepted. However the only way this will change is if those who do know and accept this as the absolute truth it is, live it to the best of their ability and in doing so offer a glorious reflection to those yet to catch on.

  15. “Singing for me now has a playful memory attached to it.” Absolutely wonderful. If feel so much joy when I sing from my body (as opposed to my head) that it’s even more joyful when I hear of another who has reconnected to this joy too.

  16. Often contraction can be a reaction to being judged. We feel well before that if we say something we are going to be judged but we have to be prepared to look at our behaviours of when we can go into judging and learn from the reflections that are on offer.

  17. It is such a beautiful experience when we can stand in our power and sing without any holding back, it is such a gift to ourselves and reflects to others the joy and expansion felt when we express in this way.

  18. Johanna, what I feel is how when we let go those ideals and beliefs we’ve taken on and just express in our own flavour, it’s magic and then others get to see they can do the same and join in too. I can see the 3 of you singing together in your car and it has me smiling.

  19. I found this article interesting this morning because who decides who owns singing? I mean was there a person that created singing and so through their lineage they now own the rights to singing and the ultimate decision on who can sing and who can’t? I know these aren’t real questions but how can anyone say that someone can’t sing or their voice is not up to scratch. I see the music world littered with drugs, suicide and some very unhappy people to put it mildly and so I don’t trust the music world with what they define as singing or singing voices because it’s very obviously not it despite the money and so called fame. What if we have it wrong, what if there’s more to singing and music then we are currently seeing? For me who cares what it sounds like in our opinion, everyone should sing and we all should stand back and learn to feel what the music does rather then get hooked by a tune or a look. I’ve watched people around me, me included redevelop their voice through singing. It’s not singing to be heard but singing to how it feels and that is an amazing experience.

  20. “my mum and my daughter (who loves my voice and we love singing together) both sang with me.” The freedom of expression when we feel the freedom to sing from our heart.

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