ME + MOTHERHOOD with Benita Bensch

What Singing Lessons Have Taught Me About Taking Up Space

May 08, 2024 Benita Bensch Episode 28
What Singing Lessons Have Taught Me About Taking Up Space
ME + MOTHERHOOD with Benita Bensch
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ME + MOTHERHOOD with Benita Bensch
What Singing Lessons Have Taught Me About Taking Up Space
May 08, 2024 Episode 28
Benita Bensch

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As a Mum of four, coach and multiple business owner, I spend most of my days listening, nurturing, and getting things done. There's not always a lot of room for, well, me.

This year, I decided to change that. I started thinking about what I could do as a hobby that was purely for myself. It didn’t have to be connected to any particular career aspirations or life goals, it just had to feel like it was just for me. 

The more I thought about it, I decided singing lessons would be something I’d like to try, although the thought of it made my palms sweaty. But I was determined to step out of my comfort zone and discover more about myself as a person.

I’d always enjoyed singing as a young girl (didn’t we all dance and sing into the hairbrush as a teen?) and I signed up for singing lessons with the amazing Jayden who is seriously the most encouraging human ever.

Let me tell you, those first few lessons were rough. My inner critic was having a field day – who did I think I was, belting out tunes in a room, even if it was a soundproof shed. But Jayden kept pushing me to "take up space," to embrace the sound of my own voice, wobbly notes and all.

And guess what? It's been incredible. 

Singing lessons have become more than just learning proper technique and focusing on my breathing. They've become a way to reconnect with my playful side, to let go of control and just have fun making weird noises (yes, weird noises are part of the curriculum).

More importantly, it's shown my kids a different side of me. They see me learning something new, embracing challenges, and maybe even butchering a song or two. I’m not attached to the outcome and I know practice is progress. They’re learning that too. It's a powerful message – that it's okay to pursue your passions, no matter your age or skill level.

This weekend, I'm even doing a performance with Jayden's other students! Nervous? Absolutely. But also excited to step outside my comfort zone and, well, take up some space.

So, I pose a challenge to you: how are you taking up space in your life? Are there dreams you've put on hold? 

Maybe it's time to dust them off and give them a go. You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself.

Find free printable affirmations and affirmation phone wallpaper graphics from RESOURCES at www.benitabensch.com

Let’s meet: Book a discovery call with me

Subscribe: Join my mailing list

Website: http://www.benitabensch.com

Freebie: Affirmation Email Series

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/benitabensch

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/benitabensch

Show Notes Transcript

Send us a Text Message.

As a Mum of four, coach and multiple business owner, I spend most of my days listening, nurturing, and getting things done. There's not always a lot of room for, well, me.

This year, I decided to change that. I started thinking about what I could do as a hobby that was purely for myself. It didn’t have to be connected to any particular career aspirations or life goals, it just had to feel like it was just for me. 

The more I thought about it, I decided singing lessons would be something I’d like to try, although the thought of it made my palms sweaty. But I was determined to step out of my comfort zone and discover more about myself as a person.

I’d always enjoyed singing as a young girl (didn’t we all dance and sing into the hairbrush as a teen?) and I signed up for singing lessons with the amazing Jayden who is seriously the most encouraging human ever.

Let me tell you, those first few lessons were rough. My inner critic was having a field day – who did I think I was, belting out tunes in a room, even if it was a soundproof shed. But Jayden kept pushing me to "take up space," to embrace the sound of my own voice, wobbly notes and all.

And guess what? It's been incredible. 

Singing lessons have become more than just learning proper technique and focusing on my breathing. They've become a way to reconnect with my playful side, to let go of control and just have fun making weird noises (yes, weird noises are part of the curriculum).

More importantly, it's shown my kids a different side of me. They see me learning something new, embracing challenges, and maybe even butchering a song or two. I’m not attached to the outcome and I know practice is progress. They’re learning that too. It's a powerful message – that it's okay to pursue your passions, no matter your age or skill level.

This weekend, I'm even doing a performance with Jayden's other students! Nervous? Absolutely. But also excited to step outside my comfort zone and, well, take up some space.

So, I pose a challenge to you: how are you taking up space in your life? Are there dreams you've put on hold? 

Maybe it's time to dust them off and give them a go. You might be surprised at what you discover about yourself.

Find free printable affirmations and affirmation phone wallpaper graphics from RESOURCES at www.benitabensch.com

Let’s meet: Book a discovery call with me

Subscribe: Join my mailing list

Website: http://www.benitabensch.com

Freebie: Affirmation Email Series

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/benitabensch

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/benitabensch

Hello and welcome back to season four of Me Plus Motherhood, a podcast where we focus on the mother and we talk about things including maternal health and well being, stories of motherhood, matrescence and social constructs of motherhood and about returning to you, reconnecting with who you are, what you want and how to get it. I am super excited to be back with you in the podcast after several months break. I've got an exciting array of episodes planned right through till the end of 2024 and beyond. Can't wait to dive into lots of different topics, episodes, speakers and supports you as we go throughout the year. Today's episode is maybe a little bit abstract. But I wanted to share it with you because of the impact that this particular topic has had on me in 2024. So I'm going to share with you a little bit about my singing lessons that I'm having, why I started them, and what I've learnt and the impact it's had on me, and then leave you with a couple of questions at the end for you to reflect on for yourself. So at the end of 2023, and I was doing some reflection on the year that had been and what I wanted the year to look like this year. thinking about my hobbies or how I spend my time outside of my work, which I absolutely love, and outside of family. Um, so domestic commitments, family admin, children, mothering. as you might know, this year we have At the end of last year, end of 2023, we, we moved away from the farm we have lived on for the last nine or so years. So we're living in town in 2024. And I think it was also very apt that I thought, Oh, I've got so much more access to thing, to facilities and, a broader scope of options of things that I can do in my spare time. So, um, I was thinking, okay, what, what could I learn or what could I play with? What can I experiment with? What can I challenge myself with in 2024? And during the end of 2023, I became aware of a relatively new lady to town who was offering singing lessons. Her name is Jayden and she is the most incredible human. When I first thought of the idea, I thought, Oh gosh, I can't do that. I'm not going to do that. And put the idea out of my mind, like, I don't have time for that. Or, you know, why would I do that? but it kept sort of nagging at me and I reached out to Jaden just before Christmas thinking, Oh, she won't have any slots or, you know, maybe she only does lessons with children. but she replied straight away and said, I do have availability. I'd love to meet you. I'd love to work with you. So then I was kind of like, Oh, geez, now I've got, now I've got to do this. To give you some context. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a singer and a dancer. ask my parents. I used to perform into a hairbrush to lots of Roxette and Whitney Houston songs. I think I knew the Whitney Houston, cassette back to front, did all the dances, knew all the words. Always had music on and was singing. And now I didn't have, I didn't pursue that as a child. I didn't ever have any singing lessons. Wasn't even in a choir or a band at any point. The closest I got was singing to the cows. I used to ride my horse on my motor or the motorbike down, down the farm. and would stand on top of a hill or be it in amongst the cattle down on the flat end. and out in the open air. So I think that, you know, finding solace and connecting with my true self out in nature was always something, that comes naturally. And I think when you get to this age, you reflect back on what it is that you, sort out when you were younger or what you were drawn to, what pulled you. it can give you clues as you come to middle age or as you come to motherhood and you're feeling a little bit lost or disconnected. It gives you clues about what once was your thing before you got busy in the world. So that was my thing. So I reached out to the singing teacher and I said, I've never done any formal singing. I've never been in a band, a choir, nothing. I sang on stage once at our college talent night because it was sort of on my bucket list to perform on stage at some stage. and it went okay. I sang Wind Beneath My Wings. It felt amazing. I achieved the goal. It felt good. so when I reached out to Jayden, I said to her, I've always wanted to sing, but I have no experience. I don't have any plans to sort of take this anywhere. I don't really have any aspirations around it. It's simply, I just want to be able to sing better. And just to enjoy it for the pure love of it. So, and, and to sort of have another creative outlet because, um, I love to write as a creative outlet, I also love to cook, I love to read, but they're all sort of in the home and, or at the computer and I wanted something quite different. So anyway, I started my lessons in January once, once we got back, you know, after the school holidays. And I have a lesson once a week now for one hour with Jayden and we do some vocal warmups and focus on the technicalities of singing. And then I've been learning a couple of songs, My gosh, it has been a wake up call to the technical skills of singing and Who knew singing was so technical? And as Jayden says, it's people think, Oh yeah, you can sing. You just sit out there and sing, but your voice is actually an instrument. So some of you listening will, will know this better than me. and it has been the most wonderful thing that I've undertaken this year. I was. Shit scared. The first time I was so nervous. I'd nearly bailed out numerous times, and I kept hoping that Jaden would message me and say that the lesson was canceled , so that I wouldn't have to do it because I honestly was so frightened. She had asked me to, sing a song for her on the, in the first, the first one. So I sang when Beneath My Wings because it felt comfortable belted it out and got through the lesson. and pretty much every week since there's been a part of me that's felt like, Oh, I can't go back again. It's just too scary. But there's also this other part of me that has been unleashed as a result of doing it. what I've learned, there's three main things that I wanted to share with you. I am. and fearful of taking up space and using my voice. We sing in, a shed basically at the back of a building here in Gundawindi, but it's been renovated and it's a, it's a beautiful room. It's a beautiful space. no one can hear you. And it's, it's a gorgeous feeling space that's light and it's, um, clean and it's, It just feels really nice. And so there's no sort of worry about anyone hearing you. And Jayden is the most encouraging, gorgeous human that there is too, in terms of supportive and encouragement. So there is nothing to be afraid of yet. When she says to me, take up the space, I feel myself falter. And it has been a real wake up call of like, wow. I have nothing to lose here. There is no judgment. There is no one watching. Yet I'm afraid to really feel the space and to allow myself to let go and to just go wild, for want of another word, to like, to be free to express myself however I want, with any sound. So we play this game where Jayden makes a crazy noise and and does some hand signals and I have to copy her. And then I have to do a, a noise. It doesn't matter what the noise in the light, it could be ba ba bing, or woo, or some out there noise. and I have to do a hand signal, then she copies it and we, we go back and some forwards. I'm slowly getting better at it, but, but in the beginning, I was like a stiff robot and I, and she's like, come on, just let it out. And I was like, ah, I just don't know. I can't let the sound out. And so those first few lessons, it was like reconnecting with my ability to make sound. So that was a learning because I think in my profession I do a lot of listening of course and then as a mother of four very noisy boys I do a lot of listening as well and a lot of processing and taking things in. I certainly do a lot of talking as well don't worry, but it just made me think wow I don't express myself a great deal and what I actually want to say. and also there's this real element of not being able to let go of control for fear of being too much this or too much that, or being too noisy or disturbing someone or sounding weird, not getting it right. And that brought up for me, this whole theme of being able to play and simply just being able to have fun. with something. Sometimes Jaden and I, we will walk around the room and we make, you know, we use our arms and just make weird sounds. Like Jaden calls them ugly sounds. And I struggle with the ugly sound part because the perfectionist, the recovering perfectionist part of me wants to get it right. I want to make beautiful sounds, not ugly sounds. So who would have thought that learning to sing would show me some things about myself. The other thing that's been interesting is how it's challenged my kids to see me in a different light. To see me learning a new skill and to see them watch me as a person learning something new, getting it wrong, having a go, showing up differently. in our relationship, showing up differently in our house. So I, um, will often like practice my singing, walking around the house and they go, mom, stop it, mom. And you know, a few times I've had to say, guys, I'm, I'm allowed to make this noise. You guys make noise all the time. Mommy is allowed to do this and whether you like it or not, I'm going to do it. So them seeing me pursuing something that I want to achieve or that I enjoy. It's not perfect. I'm learning. I feel is a really important lesson for them as well. because they otherwise can see me mostly at my computer, in the kitchen, doing things around the house or taking them to things. Of course, they see me socially as well, but most of the time it's me in the mothering role. or they see me at my computer doing what they, you know, mummy's working, but they don't completely know what I do or what, sort of forms most of that. so for them to see me in that way is, is important to me that I'm a real person who has her own interests. we have a performance this weekend, which is just a casual performance. in the, in the yard of the place where, where I sing with Jade and, her other students and their families are coming along. I'm so nervous about it, but I'm going to get up there and I'm going to give it a go. it's really great to stretch in a different way after the last decade being about stretching in motherhood and then stretching in my business. and the two combined to stretch in a different way feels really good. And so I wanted to ask you, how are you taking up space? How can you take up more space? How can you give yourself permission to take up as much space as you like? I'm still getting comfortable with taking up all the space in that, in that room where we sing and feeling okay about it. being okay with filling the room right to the corners. That where every little molecule in that room is filled by my voice and that I'm, and that I'm okay with it. That I don't have to worry about being too much or too little or this or that or not good enough. That I'm just doing it simply for the joy of it. And I don't have to win any gold medals or impress anyone. It's simply to express myself because it feels so good. and it's good for me to bust outside of the, the little box of how I define myself as a mother or, or as a business owner or as a this or a that just to, just to break out of it and do something different. So I invite you to think about that question. How are you taking up space? How can you allow yourself to take up more of it? I hope this was helpful. Lots of love.