I welcome the first day of summer by attending a yoga and music workshop with musician and yoga teacher Jack Harrison.
We lie down and begin with some breathing exercises. Jack strums his guitar, recites poetry and sings.
Then he takes us through a powerful yoga sequence. No music plays now. All we can hear are Jack’s instructions and our breath.
My breathing deepens. I feel strong, present and peaceful.
Afterwards, we sit in a circle and sing. For the most part, I close my eyes and really get into it.
Occasionally, I open my eyes and appreciate what’s in front of me. The fantastic Jack Harrison playing guitar. And a group of people joyously opening their hearts together in song.
Next, Jack suggests that we sing any tune we feel like.
“Dissonance is beautiful,” he insists.
“Some of us were told as children that we weren’t good singers. I was kicked out of the school choir when I was a boy,” he laughs.
“But singing is easy,” he says with a smile.
Many of us spend our lives trying to fit in and appear normal. We’re told how to live and what’s expected of us.
But today for a change, we’re being encouraged to be different. We’ve been given licence to sing our own song in a way that’s right for us in this special moment.
We start quietly and self-consciously. But before long, we become louder and more confident.
I realise that it’s much easier to sing in unison. It’s actually harder to be different. But I’m determined to find my own song.
I go with the feeling. I put judgment aside. I allow myself to be me.
Somewhere between dissonance, unison and harmony, I hear my own voice. Tears prickle behind my eyes. Jack’s right, it is beautiful.