Voice, Breath, Songs

Creativity and Spirituality, my life upside down

I am reading the book “Big Magic” written by Elizabeth Gilbert.

I am a fan of creativity, it is my passion, my life. I believe we are spiritual creative beings and that’s it. Everyone can express their creativity differently and any job can be creative. It just depends how you look at it.

Way back, 15 years ago, September 2000, I was at the JFK airport with my 6 suitcases… I worked for 5 months for Swissport at the Geneva (Switzerland) airport, registering passengers to many destinations. Serving passengers at the airport when I was not teaching music privately or at the conservatory. I saved all the money I could so I could move to New York city without worrying too much about my finances, at least for the first few months. Ok, so I was at the JFK airport in New York and I did not know I was going to stay 10 years in this country. Who knows exactly where they will be in a year or two or three? Personally I don’t.

I had planned to stay one year, one sabbatical year from teaching music to children. The director of the conservatory in Geneva, Roland Vuataz gave me the possibility to leave for one year, than another, having the promise of getting my job back upon my return, which was very generous. I am forever grateful for the chance he gave me, because knowing I could come back to my music teaching job was reassuring and comforting. But did I at one point really believed I was going back? No! Never! I actually knew in my heart I was in for the long run, and that if I wanted to build something in the USA I had to give myself more than one or two years.

So, I was standing with my 6 suitcases, waiting for a large enough yellow cab to get me to the address of my high school friend & singer songwriter (Sandrine). I had made that decision a year before (in 1999) to move to New York, after spending the summer at NYU in a performing arts program. So I took a detour in my career, to try it out, to take a chance. I embarked in the small yet comfortable apartment of my friend in Astoria, Queens. I felt embarrassed to  invade her space this way, she was so  kind to let me stay until I found my own place. I did not unpack much, I just took out a few clothes and piled my stuff in a corner, hoping no one would notice.

I had moved to New York on a student’s visa, it was a bold move, it was a life changing turn and I knew I was going to stay. How I would make it? I did not know, but I knew in my heart I was at the right place.

Let me picture you what I was leaving: a fabulous apartment in the center of Geneva, a permanent teaching position at the conservatory, my great boyfriend, my friends, my family, having everything I needed and more.

What for?

To live a creative life, to explore my boundaries, to challenge myself, to see if I could make it in a stranger’s world and particularly to get the best vocal education I could possibly dream of, I was accepted to work with one teacher I admired very much (William Riley, Céline Dion’s vocal coach).

I had taken that leap of faith in the name of my inspiration, my muse, my urge to create and to study! I wanted so bad to live a life filled with adventures, concerts, songs, collaborations that I gave up on all that I built so far.

I started over, in Geneva I was established, in New York I was one in 10 million people.

My emotions were all over the places, I was happy at night, crying like a baby in the morning, calling for help in Switzerland, then again happy, sad, overwhelmed, doubting, resisting my choices, wanting to come back home, then proud of myself, then calling myself names. The truth is I was courageous, I was breaking out of my comfort zone and I was hitting all kinds of obstacles in myself, in my mind that were telling me I was crazy. My thoughts were constantly saying to me to go back to Switzerland, to lead a comfortable life, to stop the challenge, to give up. I DID NOT.

I had the chance to get a job opportunity as a nanny immediately, but it was out of the city, and I came to stay in New York, not live upstate New York, so I declined it.

I found a studio within a week, just across the street from my friend Sandrine’s apartment, it had a little backyard, fabulous luxury in New York. I could move in October and so began my american adventure…

Bringing oneself on the edge, breaking the bubbles we construct, growing out of our habits, that’s how I got to know myself much better, that’s how I met many beautiful artists, worked with the bests and became a stronger calmer peaceful person. When you encounter or decide on a change that drastic and go through it successfully, you know nothing can harm you.

If you have a dream, go for it, plan it, work at it, and take actions, we are creative and spiritual beings, so create your life in a spiritual way, with challenges and dreams coming true. That is what I call spiritual, when you evolve, move and create.

(to be continued)


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