When I was a little girl I wanted to grow up to be one of two things: a jockey or a singer.

My dad squashed my dreams of horse racing when he laughed, Well that’ll never happen… you’re already too tall.

And it was my brother who dashed my hopes of singing. I used to sit in front of the stereo speaker and sing along (probably loudly) to the 8 Track of choice.

In one of his impatient teenage moods he yelled at me to stop because I was ruining the song.

And that was the turning point that took my very clear life path into never-to-be-shared far fetched dreams. After that I didn’t know what I wanted to be, even through college. (Chapter two will have to cover the winding journey from post-college to yoga studio.)

Just the thought of singing and playing guitar with Kim Wagaman at the It’s All Yoga 5th Anniversary Party this weekend makes me feel a little nauseous. And embarrassed. Kind of like I felt when my brother said I was ruining the song.

(This is no fault of my dad or brother’s. I have never been one to meet a challenge with the Oh I’ll show you attitude.)


Enter: guitar

Bubby got me a guitar several years ago for Christmas. He has a flair for wonderful and surprising gift giving. I took lessons for a few months from J. (Just J.) His technique is to teach simple songs rather than notes or individual cords. So in a day you can pretty easily be fumbling your fingers around the basics of a song.

One day during my lesson, J said, You have a great voice. I thought it was very sweet, but honestly, I figured he was high. That would not have been out of character.

Enter: Kim

Kim and I discovered our mutual obsession with love for Patty Griffin maybe a year ago. We would later have secret meetings in my living room with our guitars and sing to my heart’s content.

Kim sings beautifully and is amazing on the guitar. She’s like Hendrix to me.

Enter: It’s All Yoga’s got TALENT

And we do… undeniably. Bands, musicians, singers, dancers, actors, writers.

And all I keep thinking is I’m going to ruin the song.

But here’s the deal. For all the times I’ve been afraid to do something for fear of looking stupid, or failing, or falling… for all the people who would never try something like yoga because they think the are too fat/skinny/weak/good/bad/ugly… and for Kim, whose encouragement, teaching and love have opened a whole new universe in my heart…

I will be there Saturday night. I may sound shaky, I may fake-play my guitar, I may throw up afterward. But I’ll be there and I’ll show my brother


What is it that you’re afraid to do? What would make you do it?


11 Responses to “Enter”

  1. 1 Kelly Parkinson June 9, 2010 at 5:59 am

    I could totally see this becoming a thing. “Ruin That Song.” You know, like “Wreck That Journal,” except with yoga and karaoke. And maybe when it gets big, you could come and do a special performance in San Francisco? There are plenty of songs I would love to ruin in public, but no one ever asks me to sing…

  2. 2 tami June 9, 2010 at 12:50 pm

    oooohhhh…i think kelly is on to something here! i love the idea of ruin that song/fall out of that arm balance workshop. i’ll totally sign up!

    right now, i’m sticking to singing in public. i decided to do it because i know i’d regret not trying it after.

  3. 3 Amy --- Just A Titch June 9, 2010 at 4:22 pm

    I am so excited for you! I’m sure you’re going to be amazing. It’s funny that Kim mentioned artist Keri Smith, because one of my favorite stories of hers is that she’d always wanted to sing in public, and on her 30th birthday, she did it. She wrote that few things have affected her confidence as positively as that. I hope that Saturday is the same for you. Also: Patty Griffin is amazing, one of those musicians that I love with all my heart.

  4. 4 Shannon June 9, 2010 at 5:29 pm

    Oh man… I’m afraid to dance! And I know I can, so it’s pretty silly. And yet.

    Thankfully I have a lovely husband who loves to salsa. I’m more brave with other people, I think.

  5. 5 Bob June 9, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    One of the most heart-warming things I’ve experienced in recent months was seeing you and Kim sing and play when we were all in Ukiah. That moment will stay with me for a very long time.

  6. 6 JennaFrancisco June 9, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    Who ever said that having a great voice is a requirement to sing? We all sing, and it’s so fun to share it with others. I’m sure you do have a great voice, but even if you didn’t have a great voice, so what?! Joao has taught me that a love of music does not need to be accompanied by musical talent. I now sing much more than I ever did, even though I really don’t have a good voice at all, and have found that there’s joy in just being yourself and enjoying music. We Americans are too focused on the level of achievement or standards– there is none when you are among friends. I hope to see you sing and play on Saturday, and I have a great related essay on stepping outside one’s comfort zone to share with you sometime. :-)

  7. 7 yogaquest June 9, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    I am so humbled ~ shaking my head (with smile emergent on face) as I read your offering. This cowgirl guitarist (who with you knows only enough chords to fumble around a handful of songs) relates wholeheartedly to your experience and am awed by your perceptions of my own capacities…of course. I recall Nelson Mandela quoting Marianne Williamson – “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” Michelle, your passion, vulnerability, tenderness, and courage inspires me on. It would seem that we have each given the other permission to shine. Thank you for that. I am awake to the artfulness and beauty of music after being sleepy in it for so long. It feels so good. Liberation. ~ Kim

  8. 8 Liz June 9, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Oh, how I wish I was going to be in town for this treat! You’ll be fine and I promise you won’t ruin the song. I hope it will be recorded so you can post it on here later, yes? :)

  9. 9 JennaFrancisco June 10, 2010 at 1:49 am

    Wow, those are some powerful words from Kim. And so very true.

  10. 10 blogasana June 10, 2010 at 4:03 am

    @kelly -“ruin that song” is the next big thing. i can feel it. and… pressure’s off! btw, i TOTALLY want to hear you sing.

    @tami – that’s the other reason i’m doing it. i’d kick myself later.

    @amy – oh, yay for keri – that’s a good story! you know patty? most people don’t… isn’t she amazing??

    @shannon – salsa! yes! there is something about having the cushion of others, huh. like they can help shield or carry the weight of our nerves. i know that’s helping in my scenario, too. glad you have a salsa partner!

    @bob – thank you. truly. your presence that night in ukiah was so gentle it felt like being with old friends (which we were… but it was also the first time i’d ever sang in front of people!).

    @jenna – YES – this is what i needed to hear/remember. i mean, wtf am i so worried about? i’m not trying out for american idol (can’t think of anything more valid…). this is for fun, it is in celebration, and *who cares* if i sound like a rat!? thank you thank you.

    @kim – you sweet thing… those words ring through my brain often… i look forward to saturday, friend!!

    @liz – i have promised a recording… we’ll see!!

  11. 11 Elizabeth June 11, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    There are lots of songs I could ruin. *happy sigh*

    I’m afraid to dance. Not having done so when I was young, I figure it’s way too late to try/learn. Hey, I admitted it. It’s a good first start.

    I’ll be there in spirit, cheering you on! I suspect you have a great voice, but even if you don’t, who cares! You will rock regardless. :)

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