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All you need is love (altogether now)...

February 23, 2017

 

Well, loves, A LOT has happened in the last 2 months. It's fitting that I sit to write to you today, as it is exactly the 2 month anniversary of my last day at my corporate job in NYC. And three days later, on December 25, 2016, I was headed back to Southern California. I can't honestly believe that I left L.A. just over 20 years ago. And I can't believe how effortlessly I have transitioned to the laid back energy of the West Coast. But when I DO consider how easy it's been, I can't believe that I survived for nearly 15 years at the comparatively frantic pace of the Big Apple. If I could try to break it down for you, it would be to say this: my life in NYC was all about striving. And my life in L.A. is about THRIVING. New York, for me, was about ego & proving myself. Returning to L.A. is about spirit & connection.  

 

Because here's the thing: I'm an empath. If you feel it, I feel it. If you're stressed out, I'm stressed out. I've had some experiences lately that have shown me just how connected we all are. And as it turns out, environment plays a huge part in my sense of well-being. The vibration, the energy of it, matters. And speaking of matter, the molecules that separate me from you are, well, just molecules. My skin is not a firm barrier that protects me from the world around me. My skin actually feels like more of a window that lets the light in, or a sponge that absorbs the energy around me. I guess some people would say that I'm thin-skinned. Maybe that's why I've been susceptible to criticism as an opera singer. I've been more than a little mystified by thick-skinned individuals, the ones who are singular in their purpose and dismissive of anything in their surroundings or communities that might contradict their purpose. I've even been jealous. Oh, to just be able to ROLL WITH IT for once! What I've learned recently, through sacred soul connections, through reading Gabrielle Bernstein's book Spirit Junkie, through committing to ramp up my freelance work as a voice teacher and a health coach, even through our recent election, is that LOVE must be at the center of all our acts. I've also learned that being an empath is in fact my greatest gift. That I can share your experience, and be affected by your story or even simply by your presence -- AHHHH!!! I used to think that it was such a curse, because I had put myself in a position where I was deflecting stress and negative energy on a daily basis, sometimes minute by minute. But as I connect with other health coaches and other healers, as I learn from heart-driven entrepreneurs, as I come to understand that my voice isn't about me, it's about expressing the hopes and sorrows and loves and losses and dreams of others, I realize that I can be thin-skinned and thrive. It just requires doing EVERYTHING from a place of love. Self-love, neighbor-love, stranger-love, soul-love, taco-love, cactus-love, crystal-love, love, Love, LOVE! 

 

 

With the help of some friends, I've managed to mostly keep up a regular (and still evolving) meditation practice for about a year. The method that has been most useful to me is called METTA. It's a loving-kindness mantra practice, that acknowledges the basic needs of all: my needs, your needs, the needs of acquaintances and antagonists, the needs of strangers, and the utter interconnectedness of us all. (Learn more about metta here.)

 

My favorite blend lately has been: "May I/you/we be safe. May I/you/we be happy. May I/you/we be healthy. My I/you/we live with ease and be at peace. May love expand within and around me/you/us." This mantra has reminded me just how alike we all are. We all want to be safe, happy, healthy, at peace, and loved. Metta has made me more compassionate especially towards people whose beliefs I can't for the life of me understand. I had an experience over the weekend that clarified the gift of my empathy and even opened me to consider new creative ideas. I went to a sound-healing ceremony with a friend -- actually, I went to two separate sound-healing ceremonies within 3 days of one another (man, the pump was primed for this!) -- and was moved in new ways by the music as I metta'ed my way through it. Moved to want to team up with ambient and meditation music composers to create something new. Moved to want to offer workshops on improvised sound-healing, to organize a festival overflowing with healing and music and healthy food and movement and love. Moved to start writing and releasing guided meditation tracks. Moved to use my musical gift honed over 20 years as a professional opera singer to create something dedicated to healing, to creating community, to elevating the vibration of the attendees/participants/recipients -- which, quite frankly, have been my favorite elements of being an opera singer. Working in community with other artists, combining our voices to raise the vibration of those around us, using music as a means to nourish the soul. ​

 

So my question is this: how can YOU invite more love into your life? How can you raise your own vibration? Maybe it's something as simple as swapping out crackers for broccoli. (That's an act of great self-love.) Maybe it's holding the door open for a stranger. Maybe it's accepting (or pouncing on) an invitation from an acquaintance to catch up over green juice & to end up bonding over new entrepreneurial endeavors. Maybe it's buying a crystal and burning some incense to clear your personal and home energies. Maybe it's learning a song in a language you don't understand in order to communicate with a group of strangers. Maybe it's lying on the floor with a bunch of hipsters to have your soul washed by the digital soundbath stylings of a successful tv composer. Maybe it's asking your massage therapist friend whose music she was playing during your session because it inspired you. Maybe it's offering gratitude for your meals, your home, your friendships. Maybe it's watching a webinar presented by a perky stylist whose business model speaks to you because your professional life needs some love. Maybe it's sending up a prayer for a friend's loved one who's in pain. Maybe it's standing in the desert with your face upturned to be blessed by the rain. (These are all things that I've done in the last 9 days. I feel reborn. And so very blessed.)

 

Maybe it's just a good, old-fashioned singalong..."All you need is love..." 

 

 

But seriously, what can YOU do? What have YOU done? I invite your comments!  

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The Diva Digests

an opera singer's thoughts on music, food, and the meaning of life

about The Diva

I’m a California native, recently returned to the L.A. area after 15 years as an opera singer in the Big Apple. Singing has always been my favorite means of communication and self-expression. I’m a self-conscious self-editor, so singing someone else’s words and music has given me the freedom over the years to express what I couldn’t figure out how to say. Well, I’m tired of editing, so here I am, writing my own words (for better or worse). Welcome to my blog! I’ll write mostly about singing and eating, and how the two have intersected in my life.

 

My overall health is pretty good (and it’s a lot better than it used to be). Thank God, I’ve never had major illnesses. But repeat sinus infections for an opera singer is pretty bad news. When I realized I was making myself sick with what I was eating (hello coffee, fried food, and refined sugar!), it was a huge wake-up call. I could likely have saved myself an invasive surgery if I had known that my fibroids were growing because of my highly inflammatory diet. I thought surgery was my best option, because it was what my doctor recommended! (By the way, I have kept my fibroids in check and improved my sinus health – and lost 25 pounds – by engaging in new food habits that reduce inflammation.)

 

We have become a magic pill culture. Sit in front of the TV for 5 minutes, and you’re bombarded by direct-to-consumer pharmaceutical marketing. “Do you suffer from heartburn so bad it makes you vomit? Never fear. Go ahead and eat that plateful of atomic buffalo wings, wash it down with a bottle of red wine, and take this little pill. You’ll be right as rain.” UGH. (I paraphrase, but you get the idea.) Actually, you’ll end up with chronic inflammation, which can lead to serious illness. (Cancer, anyone?) Have you ever considered that the bloating and discomfort you feel after a meal is NOT normal? Do you want to get off of your OTC (and possibly even your prescription) meds? Do you want to quit your daily Advil habit? You can do it by making a few, simple changes to your diet. (Countless people have even reversed their diabetes by changing what and how they eat. Diabetes!!) Food can change the world — and YOUR LIFE.

 

If you have struggled with sugar or other food addiction, poor sleep, intense stress, brain fog, blocked creativity, with the feeling that you haven’t reached your potential, and you are looking for an ally to help achieve your best health, unlock your super powers, and live a dynamic life, please contact me at thedivadigests@gmail.com to set up a FREE 1-hour consultation and learn more about one-on-one and group coaching options… The Diva will help you Digest, too, and live an authentic, dynamic life. ;)

 

Thanks for stopping by. Make today your best day yet!! Remember: Life does not have to be perfect to be wonderful. (-Anonymous) It just has to be authentic. (-Me)

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