I had an amazing revelation during a lesson with a fantastic singer last week and I really want to share it because it's so worthy of being expressed.
When I run my "You Have A Voice" workshop there are specific "declarations" I teach that help all of us to get our head in the right game, and stay there. I believe very much in the power of the spoken (or sung) word.
The final declaration of YHAV is,
"I am a great friend to myself."
I already KNOW how important it is to live this way - and I work on it. Being a friend to yourself, loving yourself, being kind to yourself...it's the secret of a good life. It's honouring the wonderful creation that you are.
(I have the posters of those YHAV declarations in my bedroom and next to my piano. They are literally life changing.)
Yet the bar lifted a whole lot higher last week.
Let me explain if I may.
My best friend Rachelle is such a massive cheerleader for me. She's always loyal, always generous, always supportive and always in my corner.
She tells the truth, straight, even if it hurts. She has been there for me, totally faithful and unwavering, since we were twelve years old.
She has sacrificed many many times in ways that are superhuman. Just for me.
For instance - her whole wedding was planned for February 1994.
I had written a beautiful ballad especially for her and her husband to be, for me to sing at the ceremony. The "almost impossible to get an available date" church, reception place, flowers, hotel..all the things that make a wedding were all booked. I was a bridesmaid - and I couldn't wait.
Then. My whole life changed. I won over $40,000 of grants, awards and scholarships all at once. How wonderful. All enabling me to attend Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. How fantastic. Yes it was.
However, the semester began in January...which meant I could not be here in Australia for my best friends wedding. It was an utterly devastating thought.
I did not even want to tell her. How could I even say it?
Eventually I had to, and I hated it.
You know what happened? SHE RESCHEDULED THE WEDDING! Yes my friends. So I could attend. They changed and rebooked the whole thing. Incredible. Amazing. Just WOW.
Another example of huge sacrifice was when I was in Japan in intensive care in hospital. It was 2002. I was pregnant with extremely serious complications and it was looking like I would not survive. I was strongly and daily advised by top Japanese surgeons to have an abortion. They said it would be my only chance for them to attempt to save me.
I didn't follow their advice as I couldn't imagine taking the life of my unborn child, even though it may mean that we both died.
My Mum was flying over to Japan on an emergency last minute flight upon hearing the news of how severe the situation was.
Rachelle called Mum the night before the international flight and asked the details of it, because she was coming to my bedside in hospital. She had decided and it wasn't optional.
Her and her husband were financially strapped with a mortgage and no spare cash whatsoever. She still did some kind of miracle and boarded the plane. On top of that she is in high demand as one of the top Art Directors in the country and has worked on many well known magazines. I still don't know how she even got time off to do this emergency travel.
I had no idea she was coming. Mum arrived and said, "I brought a surprise for you " and into my hospital room Rachelle walked. In Japan. Now that is loyalty.
She had no interest in the "sights" of Japan. She was very clear that she came for me. End of story. I was in a very bad state and she spent all her waking moments right there with me in the hospital.
I did survive the horrendous and frightening ordeal and so did my amazing son Jacob. He will be twelve in May. A complete miracle. That's the edited story - it's really a miraculous series of events and a time of my life that never ceases to amaze me.
Jacob knows his "Auntie Shelle" loves him to pieces and she has proven it in a zillion ways to him too.
I actually have many amazing examples of Rachelle and her complete awesomeness. I promise you, if I was 500 kilograms, she would tell me I was gorgeous. For real. And she would mean it. For real.
Last year, she knew I was having a very hard time financially. I didn't have a car. She bought a lovely white Holden Cruze back in 2004 and was ready to upgrade. She called me and said, "I could sell the Cruze or I could give it to you. So, I'm giving it to you."
That's right ladies and gentlemen. She gave me a car. Gave. Me. A. Car. Just like "The Price is Right" on TV.
Only we didn't run around screaming like they do on the show. We should've maybe?
You probably get the idea that I have a best friend who is too good to be true. Except, it's all true.
Rachelle even has lots of beautiful clothes (she has always been on the pulse with fashion/art/design) and culls them frequently. I intercept the culling with swift precision and lots of my wardrobe has the great clothes she has culled - I win again.
The way the bar was lifted for me last week with my new revelation is that I have a real life example of what being a great friend is. Her name is Rachelle. Can I be "that" to me? That's the question. THAT was the revelation.
How about you?
Can you treat yourself as well as that?
Can you honour, care for, respect, applaud, be faithful to and support yourself unwaveringly?
Who in your life resembles Rachelle? Make that your new benchmark!
Don't put yourself down. Rachelle (or substitute your genuine friends name) would never put you down. Be kind to you. Accentuate your positives. Like a best friend does.
The final point is this. She's funny. And fun. And we love love love hanging out. So when you're a great friend to yourself - you should love hanging out with you too!
Don't be confronted by this talk. Healthy self love is cool. It's not about being arrogant. You're a miracle. You're a masterpiece. Start backing yourself. If you already do, raise the bar to Rachelle land and take it to the next level. I hope this message goes in deep. You'll reinvent yourself if you grab this and run with it. I promise.
Just before I sign off - the latest news is that my brand new workshop, "YOUR MUSIC VIDEO" on April 12th is already sold out! It's where you will be filmed and will then have your own video created and edited of you singing. It also includes a professional photo shoot. I'm so pumped for this one. However only people who have attended "Introduction to the Recording Studio" are eligible to attend. We use the track you recorded in the studio to make your video. Yeah baby. How cool is that?
So please click here and book in for an incredible day at the studio. Come and record! Only a few spots left.
I encourage you to grab a poster with the declarations on it. Changing your mindset is one of the best gifts you can give yourself and that is what these declarations help you to do.
The YHAV poster I mentioned above is available in the STORE. Click here and have a look around.
You Have A Voice x
"Self love is so important." - Kerrie Biddell