Admittedly it’s been a quiet month, so I do apologise for the lack of updates. Sometimes when my brain has got so much going on it’s almost hard to express what’s going on in there! Haha.
Over a gorgeous lunch the other day in Elsternwick, a beautiful friend said to me, “Acceptance is the ultimate freedom”. I believe those were some of the wisest words I have ever heard. It’s amazing how things start falling into place when you just accept things how they are and also be grateful for the way they are. Even when you are struggling, it’s important to appreciate the struggle because it’s the hardships in life that make you stronger and wiser.
At the moment I’m at a crossroad where I’m struggling to know how much to push my voice and how much rest I need (For those who haven’t read the last blog, I had vocal surgery for the second time at the end of July). It’s just a really precarious time for me. Unfortunately there’s not loads of research that’s been done on vocal surgery and the recovery process so it’s scary to think that there’s a lot of guess work that goes on. Whatever I did last time obviously didn’t work so I basically I decided that thing have got to change.
2013 vocal recovery process:
- On doctor’s instructions I didn’t talk, sing or make any such noise for a whole month. Zip, zilch, nudda, nothing.
- Cancelled gigs for a whole month (only). Then as soon as that month was up I went straight back into the 4-5 gig a week schedule. I can hear you all now… “is she absolutely mad?”. And yes, yes I was. I was 3 years younger than I am today, I had only really started thinking about making music a full time career and therefore I was swept up in the whole idea that if I slowed down or cancelled any gigs it would be the end of me!!!! Wow, stupid girl. Haha.
2016 vocal recovery process:
This time round I took it upon myself to do things very differently. The surgeons instructions where rather different this time too which was interesting to say the least.
- I began vocal rehab a week or so afterwards. Now this was very different. However I still couldn’t speak outside of my rehab times. When I first made a noise I cried! I have no idea whether they were tears of joy or just pure anxiety flooding out of me. When your voice sounds like a chipmunk and you have no idea whether it will return to normal I think your brain just fires emotions all over the place!!
- I didn’t book gigs for 3 months after surgery to be safe. There were two gigs that I had already booked which I thought may have been a nice way to ease back into it all. But after bad sound on the first one I stopped singing after my first few songs as I couldn’t hear myself properly. Fortunately I had the flexibility to do so. After that I lost a bit of confidence and therefore I cancelled my second gig which I felt bad about but I’m so grateful that everyone understood.
- Along with that I also decided that I will now be extremely aware of my sound and if it’s not up to standard don’t sing. As simple as that!? Unfortunately not. When I use my own PA system I have full control as I can EQ the crap out of everything if need be. Meaning I can hear exactly what I need to hear. But as a performer you are so often required to use the sound systems supplied at the venues and this is where you run into trouble. Don’t get me started on that though. Otherwise this will turn into a rant! (Leave that for another time ;)
- Going forward I am being very particular about where and when I sing and talk. So keep that in mind if you’re around me and I may not seem as loud and talkative as usual. It’s quite funny because some people have thought there is something wrong because I’m not my “old” self who you often could never get to shut up ;)
- I started getting acupuncture, meditating each day, eating healthier than I ever have before and reading books. What can I say… I’ve had a lot of time on my hands and I'm starting to find this relaxing thing rather nice.
- No alcohol at this point. *sigh* Red wine, how I miss you.
- I reassessed my goals, my career, what’s important in life and where I want to be in 5 years from now.
Please don’t think that this is some magic formula or that I’ve found some sort of holy-grail answer. I wish it was! I have absolutely no idea whether I’m on the right path. All I can do is research as much as I can and make changes where it seems to make sense and feels right for me. Suggestions and ideas about looking after precious vocal chords are always welcome so please comment below if you have any thoughts. The human body is a marvellous and often mysterious thing and when it’s your instrument you’ve got to do everything in your power to make sure you can have a long, successful career. And I’m almost positive that these challenges and obstacles right now will prove to be the best lessons I will have ever had in my music career. Always learning, always loving.
Much love xxx
PS. There is exciting news about my new album that I will be telling you about mid-October. I will asking for your help and support so keep an eye out on my Facebook to be a part of this very exciting venture I’m undertaking! x
Quote of the month:
- If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always got – Tony Robbins
Random Kayla facts:
- I now have a pet baby chicken! It's a couple of weeks old and it's called penguin. It has the colourings of a penguin of course. It was a lonely chick so I took it home to give it some loving. Unfortunately I didn't realise exactly how much they shit everywhere! It's incredible haha. Justin thinks it's pretty darn cute!