The Joy of Singing and Expressing from My Heart

Recently I attended a True Voice Workshop in Wanaka, New Zealand, with Chris James. What I experienced there was the true joy of singing and expressing from my heart.

When I felt I was singing with joy, I absolutely knew that it didn’t matter how the sound came out… if it was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’… if it was too high or too low… I did not even consider what anyone would think of my singing. In fact, I didn’t think at all.

I just felt the absolute joy of being with me and with the music, and feeling the support of everyone there. It wasn’t an emotion I was feeling as I sang – it was simply the feeling of joy and the deep connection with everyone else, the music, and the words we were singing.

There was no emotion in the song to pull me away from myself; rather, it connected me with my real self, with my inner heart, so when I sang I felt it was coming from deep within me and that it was part of me.

I had a heightened sense of my body, the glow and stillness within me, and the bubbling joy – it is almost impossible to express the grandness and glory of it all.

This was such a contrast to previous experiences. I have always loved singing and when I was a child I sang in both the church choir and school choir: I always sang ‘alto’ (low), whereas Chris has encouraged me to sing high and to take risks and not hold back!

I liked singing in the choirs but I never felt such a deep connection with myself or with the others in the choir as I felt in this True Voice Workshop with Chris. Also, there was an expectation from my parents that I would sing in the choirs, or at least I thought there was, and I remember wanting everyone to acknowledge how well I sang.

A few years back I was in a musical, which was something I have always wanted to do. It wasn’t one particular musical – rather, there were many different songs from the musicals that the theatre had put on over the years. The musical director said this was very hard to do as you were constantly changing characters.

Be that as it may, right from the first rehearsal I found I couldn’t sing. My throat would just close up after the first song and I would cough and cough. I was totally perplexed – I didn’t understand what was happening to me, especially as at the audition the musical director was very encouraging and I sang higher than ever before.

I persevered though and eventually made it to the stage on opening night, but the whole experience was not particularly enjoyable! I felt I had to force my voice, to ‘perform’ and I didn’t enjoy not being myself. I was anxious before each part I was in. I remember wanting everyone (friends and family who came along to the show) to acknowledge how well I had done.

I felt this force of performance and anxiety from many of the others in the cast too, as well as comparison and competition and the need for approval and recognition. There was a lack of true camaraderie and connection between us, and I could feel this in my body.

At Chris James’ workshop we all sang together in amazing harmony and unity. It felt like we had sung together like that many times – even though I hadn’t met some of the people there before!

The music we sang was different too from most other music I have heard and sung. This was music composed, performed and produced from the heart. Yes, I cried quite a lot, but the tears were from me releasing my own sadness – they were not emotions I had picked up from the songs. The tears were me feeling the joy of singing from my heart.

This felt so different from other times when I have been affected by music which I have heard or songs I have sung that made me sad or ‘revved up’– and this is perhaps why I couldn’t even sing the songs in the musical (I was choking, literally, on the emotions in them).

It wasn’t simply the joy of singing together at Chris’ workshop – it was the joy of true expression.

We did exercises in groups where one person talked and the others simply listened. I felt like I was really being heard when it was my turn to speak, as no-one interrupted me and no-one ‘wandered off’ while I was speaking – we all connected with each other, through our eyes, the whole time.

This is not often my experience of sharing with others! Also, it felt wonderful to simply listen to another talking without thinking I had to butt in to be nice or to confirm, rescue, sympathise or even empathise, which is how I have often listened in the past. From this connection with the others, I felt safe to speak from my heart rather than my head – in other words, to truly share with others what I was feeling and what I knew to be true.

This is not a common experience for me as I have, in the past, often lived from my mind. The whole time I was talking I felt really aware of my body, and connected to it, whereas when I was in the musical it didn’t feel like ‘me’ at all – my head was full of trying to remember the words and to sing ‘well’.

And so, from this life-changing workshop in Wanaka, I am allowing myself to feel a lot more, to be vulnerable and to connect with my body a lot more and express from there… and I intend to sing a lot more too, from my heart, with joy.

This is pure joy.

I am continually inspired by Chris James – by the man, and by his amazing Music.

By Anne Scott, accredited Yoga Teacher, Exercise Instructor, Mediator and Esoteric Healing Practitioner, Auckland, New Zealand

562 thoughts on “The Joy of Singing and Expressing from My Heart

  1. We are so used to feeling emotions in music and singing that it is such a healing when we start singing or hear music from a connection with our body, our heart or music made from this connection.Like you say, Anne, ‘It wasn’t an emotion I was feeling as I sang – it was simply the feeling of joy and the deep connection with everyone else, the music, and the words we were singing.’

    1. sure Annelies, that’s why I do not like songs sung from emotions anymore (which are many), these songs try to lure you into this same emotion while we are just pure joy. Iit is actually simply a matter of allowing ourselves to feel that inner joy and from then on we do not need that emotional song anymore but prefer singing from the heart instead.

  2. it is beautiful when we start to open up an express more freely and honestly allowing vulnerability that others can trust enough to open up more also – we don’t realise just how much our guardedness and reaction affects everyone, sending the signal for others to hold on to their own protection also.

  3. I remember my first workshop with Chris James and the feeling of singing from my body. The sound that came from my mouth created ripples in my body that were heavenly. Never before had I sung from deep within, it has always been from high in my throat. This difference is huge.

  4. Chris Jame’s workshops are simply amazing. Who’d have thought feeling God and brotherhood through singing was possible – I didn’t but it is so when I sing from every cell of my body. And it’s something to come back to as I speak and feel the vibration of my voice. It isn’t confined to singing but all expression.

  5. Thank you Anne for your sharing. I agree with you that Singing workshops as presented by the amazing Chris James open ones heart.

  6. What is really lovely now is how, in the community choirs we work with, everyone feels that gorgeous connection with themselves and each other, how the voices unite in harmony and there is such a beautiful sense of common-unity…. Community in connection.

  7. I have experienced one of Chris James’ workshops and it was a very powerful experience of connecting to my body, to my breath, and to expression and listening. With this as a foundation the singing was pure joy, as it was from the essence of me by being so connected to myself. Chris is a lot of fun also.

  8. The difference of being in a choir which is working as one as opposed to a choir that is many voices in competition with desires for recognition and solos is a profound experience.

  9. This is really beautiful to read. The not thinking and expressing from ones inner heart is glorious. To be this way in life is freedom.

  10. Sound is a vibration (a quality) and when we make it about the quality first, the result is guaranteed, however there is no picture of what it must sound like… This is essentially the opposite of trying to make the sound right, or pleasing without connecting to the quality first.

    1. Right at the very core of us all lives a spark of light that is breathed forth from the body of our heavenly Father that is sent to illuminate the darkened existence that has kept us imprisoned for so long. Our job here on Earth is to not hold back the expression of this spark so that all others remember that they also are born from this love and this light.

  11. There is something deeply healing about singing and not caring what others think or ourselves of our performance. I don’t often sing but when I do I often wonder why I don’t do it more, as it feels great to just let the voice out of the box.

  12. At times it can be scary hearing our own voice, especially when we sing – simply because we feel more of what we have allowed ourselves to live. For example, if I have been walking in anger or frustration my singing will come with a push and a hardening in my voice. It is therefore quite a clear marker to feel where you are truly at – if you take the time to notice.

  13. It is a beautiful thing to experience an open heart when we sing. The difference within is amazing and so joyful when we don’t hold back our expression.

  14. It is interesting how in a singing workshop you all practised just speaking in front of eachother, without judgement or need. This to me is the sign of a true workshop that develops presence – because it is just as important to value the voice or the expression of another person as it is to value our own.

  15. And why leave it just to singing to express from our heart? Indeed I am learning that that same joy and openness from singing from deep within our heart is equally something we can share and experience every day in simple talk or expression with anyone. No one is excluded in the heart.

  16. Powerful Anne – noticing how we are feeling with ourselves and the world – simply by our voice ! What a wonderful gift and marker we have – our voice – to start noticing where we are at in relationship with ourselves and others.. And then the more we open up to our ability to feel – the more others will see, hear and feel us in the truth we are. Being clearsentient beings.

  17. I also so appreciate being encouraged to sing higher in workshops with Chris James. I have found a voice within me that I did not realise was possible from within me, a beautiful voice that expressed so much of what I know is me but had not felt so clearly or expressed so freely before. This has allowed me to form a closer relationship with me as a woman which is ongoing and very lovely.

  18. Over the years I have done a few workshops where we had to talk and take our turns in listening, along with connecting to each other, and this feels awesome to give and receive, but unfortunately this is not always what we experience in our day to day. Just the other day I was having a conversation with a family member and the conversation seemed to be jumping very quickly all over the place, a stark difference to the quality mentioned in this blog.

  19. Beautiful Anne, I too have attended a Chris James workshop and have felt the harmony and oneness in the room with us all singing from our heart and not holding back in our expression, this has been a very beautiful, freeing experience and very different from my past experiences of singing where I have been critical of my voice and sung quietly.

  20. You have shared so much here Anne, about the impact music can have upon our body and being – how destructive it can be when used and expressed for acknowledgement and recognition, and how truly expansive musical expression can be, when not only does the music give you permission to be all that you are, it actually offers expansion…

  21. I come from a background of musical training, performance… singing and playing (as a piano accompanist in particular) a huge array of musical styles and genres. I absolutely concur with what you’ve shared here Anne – the competition, the comparison, the striving to be more and the sheer impact of the music I played and sang for many years did not allow ‘me to be me’. Rather it brought tensions to my body, being and psyche that have taken years to unravel…
    Music is sacred to us all – and we have allowed an abuse of this art form, based upon striving/attaining and recognition-seeking, to dominate our globe. And yet, as you and I have both experienced, we today have music written, sung and played from soulful connection. Music that holds all equally, and never, ever would have us be less than who we are.

  22. Very beautiful blog to read Anne, thank you for sharing your experiences and your wisdom. There is no doubt that their is pure joy when expressing in full, love and truth.

  23. A beautiful and truthful sharing Anne. I love what you share and the great outcome from Chris James workshop that you attended and were inspired by.

  24. I never used to like singing but now I find it is something that supports me to bring more joy into my body and helps to shift any density I may be holding onto when I sing songs that I find are inspired from the heart and are an expression of love or truth. The vibration that goes through my body helps to reconfigure things I may have been holding onto.

  25. Singing and speaking freely, without the need for any outcome, a belief or ideal is a blessing for our Souls and is very much needed in order to restore human integrity and decency in our societies once again.

  26. My life was a musical growing up, I made everything into a song while I was doing chores around the house. So naturally I thought musical theatre was the path for me, I started young and although I loved it, there was also lots of pressure and comparison going on through the long and tedious lead up to the end performance. There was much more focus on the end result being perfect and very little on joy or connection. It’s great that Chris James offers the whole package in his workshops; it’s beautiful to hear your feed back.

  27. Anne, thank you for sharing your experience of the Chris James workshops; ‘At Chris James’ workshop we all sang together in amazing harmony and unity. It felt like we had sung together like that many times’, I had a similar experience, this experience was absolutely beautiful – so unifying and joyful, I felt the deep connection with myself and others.

  28. Sound can be very powerful or it can be very destructive…with the difference being defined by its vibrational quality and definitely not by what it ‘sounds’ like.

  29. yes one’s own true expression , it is such a wonder to come back to one’s true voice the vibration that is connected to the heart and resonates with the whole body what a joyous and loving feeling that will allow one to cry tears of release and freedom .

  30. Thank you Anne for sharing how amazing your experience was at Chris’s workshop, I too have attended the workshops over the years and got to experience my true voice coming from my body and not my head, it was a beautiful and joyful experience of expressing through my body with others.

  31. A gorgeous blog – that shares with us the depth of voice and music we can produce , simply by singing from our hearts.. And that we need no make-over or professional crew to actually make truly amazing music (sounds & sing).

  32. Where do we sing from? What is it that we sing? Do we sing a song, or do we sing joy? What is it that we connect to when we sing? Emotions or feelings? What these questions reveal is that we may have more than one way of relating to singing, and that singing may be seen as an activity in itself or part of our expression.

  33. This is beautiful, thanks for sharing. The beauty of speaking and singing from our heart is, that when this is connected the wisdom of the rest of the entire body can begin to express, and a heart with legs, stomach, spleen, liver and arms etc in fiery expression is wonderful!

  34. A powerful sharing Anne, I also performed when I was younger as an actress and can really relate to your experiences. Very little focus is put on being in deep connection with yourself it was more about the recognition and being seen as a ‘good’ actress, this ends up taking you further and further away from your true self.

  35. “Yes, I cried quite a lot, but the tears were from me releasing my own sadness – they were not emotions I had picked up from the songs. The tears were me feeling the joy of singing from my heart” – yes re non-emotional tears, i can very much relate to what you’re sharing here Anne. And I’ve often found myself welling up with tears singing along when Chris James plays his music live… feeling the unity of the people there, feeling our togetherness, the expressions of those there, and the expression of myself being released too… it is so moving and completely healing.

  36. I paused when I read ‘I absolutely knew that it didn’t matter how the sound came out… if it was ‘right’ or ‘wrong’…’ cause I feel when we go into this energy of what is right or wrong we loose the connection with what feels true, the connection with our own body and like you say, there is such a joy in singing and expressing from our hearts.

  37. “It wasn’t simply the joy of singing together at Chris’ workshop – it was the joy of true expression.” I can absolutely concur with this Anne. Allowing ourselves to express in this way, by connecting to who we are through singing and the joy that is felt when we let go of any need of ‘getting it right’, encourages and supports us to hold this beuatiful connection we have when we speak as well. Doing a workshop with Chris James is always a revelation as to how much more is possible.

  38. Understanding the power of true expression allows us to feel the level of responsibility we have any moment we express from our bodies, as in connection our voice carries the energetic imprint to heal and offer true evolution to another.

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