Three Muses of Inspiration: Elizabeth, Diana & Sonya

November 6, 2012

People sometimes ask me why I do what I do, or how this particular type of voice work came to be.

On the face of it, I choose to do what I do because it’s the most engaging way I’ve discovered to combine my abilities in singing, spoken word, languages, writing and resonant listening with my curiosity in facilitating, wellness, teaching, performance (and making my own schedule)—and somehow help other people in the process.

Digging a little deeper, though, I find the seeds of what I love to do in the wild and wonderful trio of Elizabeth, Diana and Sonya.

Who were these inspirational ladies, you may ask?

In the days before names from Celtic-revival, Sanskrit, and mega-stars came into pop culture to be inflicted on newborns, those were the most exotic names that we—my best friend, my sister, and me—could come up with for our alter egos.

Diana, Sonya and Elizabeth were an uber-modern trio of women. They were entrepreneurs who co-owned a high-end restaurant and club, complete with classy live music. They ran the back end, personally served customers at the front end, and—best of all—they themselves were the song-and-dance act that provided the live entertainment. Kind of like the Andrew Sisters with 1980’s repertoire. They picked the songs, learned them, developed the dance routines and created the costumes (the, er, rather skimpy costumes leading our parents to think we were watching waaayyy too much Solid Gold on TV). Skipping ropes made great microphones, tea sets turned into cocktail mixers, and the latest in high-tech calculators by Canon morphed magically into a cash register, with real receipt books provided by my mom, who would have had a Staples addiction if Staples had existed in our small town at the time.

Hours of a rainy or snowy day would go by unnoticed, as Elizabeth, Diana and Sonya set up, served customers, performed, then cleaned up the place and went home to their alter-ego husbands and babies.

(I did not go on to actually marry “T”, my alter-ego sweetheart, though he lives on in my dreams and memories as a real cutie. But I digress.)

Those lovely women taught me a lot about how time both lengthens and disappears when I am immersed in something I enjoy. Over the years, I’d forgotten the rich imaginary world I’d created with my friends. It was only recently that I remembered, and started connecting the dots about why I enjoyed those timeless afternoons so much, and how they directly relate to the work I do now.

(By the way, those three were also accomplished actors, playwrights, spies and super-heroes, but that’s a post for another day).

The unique elements of my imaginary world as a child–the entrepreneurship, service, collaboration; the musical performance; the lifestyle of blending work and family life with ease—these were the seeds of passion for what I do now. It took a few detours through varied landscapes to get here (and I had to pull out my inner spy/super-hero to fight a few monsters along the way) but the delightful passing of time in play was a direct clue to finding and engaging my most authentic voice as an offering of service.

What did you used to play or imagine as a child? Or what other clues have helped you identify your authentic voice or inspired service? Drop me a line and let me know!

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