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What’s the Rush?  or How Rushing Slows You Down!
Do you ever find yourself in a rush?  Can you describe the feeling of rushing?  Rushing is often confused with speed. Rushing isn’t the feeling of being fast; rushing is the feeling of being ahead of yourself.

Rushing is the feeling of being where you are not! 

The tension and grip of rushing interferes with speed. It also causes the tendency to knock into things and have minor accidents since your attention is somewhere else--out ahead of you. Friday afternoon is the most common time for workplace injury. Moving quickly requires freedom of movement, ease and balance. It isn’t at all what rushing feels like.

People often work with me to address physical concerns. Many times the cause of the symptom has less to do with what they know about the body than how they are going about life. You can be the Master of Body-mechanics and if you are rushing you will move inefficiently. You cannot be physically efficient and rush. It is impossible because your body is always in the coordination of what you are up to with your intention and attention, both of which are ahead of you when you rush.

 It can seem impossible not to rush. Once a you feel the uselessness of rushing and experience the ease that is speed, it can practically change itself. A student described rushing on her way to work. She said, “I noticed I was in a rush and asked myself, “Do I need to rush?” The answer was, ‘no’. I wasn’t even late! So I just stopped.” How often are you rushing erroneously?

The next time you find yourself in a rush:
  • Notice the specific sensations of rushing: tension in your jaw, gripping in your body, being off balance.
  • Notice what your focus is on. Are you ahead of yourself or thinking about what is coming nest: the next bite, already in the car, what you'll do after you read the e-mail...?
  • Ask yourself if you need to go quickly now. If no, then just stop rushing.
  • If yes,  then notice where you physically are and where you want to be. Say to yourself “Here I am and I am on my way there. I am getting closer with each step.” In a demonstration I have people see the distance closing as they walk to the destination. If you are doing a task, like stacking firewood, say to yourself I am loading this piece and this piece and so forth. This isn't about slowing down, it is about being where you are even as you hold the intention to get where you are going.
  • Lighten up to move quickly. Find out how quickly you can move rather than move as fast as you can. The later framework tends to invite a rush.
Do you often have more to do in a day than is possible to get done? Do you even know what is possible? This is a setup for stress and rushing. The stress isn’t the problem. The stress is the sensation of trying to do the impossible.  Your body tension is NOT the problem; it is a wonderful signal alerting you to what your are trying to do. Your idea that you can get so much done in a day is the problem.  As my teacher David Gorman says, “Nice idea, wrong universe.” The sooner you align your idea/desire with reality, the easier life is.

All are welcome to attend the Minnesota National Association for the Teachers of Singing (NATS) Spring Meeting.
Sunday, March 25, 12 – 5:00 p.m. The Opera Center (620 N First Street, Minneapolis 55401)
I will be doing a session called:

* Babette Lightner: Freedom From Fear – Unravel the Roots of Performance Anxiety
This session will deconstruct misconceptions that commonly underlie performance anxiety and tension in singing and other performing arts. It will give teachers tools for investigating, along with their students, tension and anxiety challenges. There are many expressive voices we don't hear because of fear. Ease is possible when the roots of the fear perspective are revealed.  Let's hear all the voices that want to be heard; Let's get singers out of the shower!

For more information on the territory that will be covered in this session I recommend reading an article written by my friend and colleague Elizabeth Garren called Good for Whom. Click the link on the article title and it will take you to the resource page on my webs
ite. Just click on the PDF icon for Elizabeth's great article. I have a recording of a past session on this topic. If you are interested in hearing it please contact me.

There are two other fine sessions being presented:

* Vicky Mountain: “Singprovise” – A creativity stretching session
Improvisation is a great tool for singers of all styles.  It stretches your listening skills, enhances your understanding of harmony, brings new vocabulary for song interpretation, and its creative FUN.  From Baroque ornamentation to Blues storytelling to Jazz scatting to emotional Musical Theater and Pop tunes, singing with improvisation skills opens up a song in a very personal way.  This session includes group exercises and working within a song to show practical ways to approach improvisation for your self and for teaching others.   

* Dr. D. D. Michael: Do You Hear What I Hear?  - When to Refer
Dr. Michael will give a reprise of the presentation she gave at the NATS 2010 National Conference, using her experience as a voice clinician to help teachers understand when a poor voice quality is a technical problem, and when it signifies an organic problem that is beyond the realm of the singing studio.  Dr. Michael will present videos of singers with a disordered voice, and the corresponding video of the laryngeal exam.  Learn the tell-tale sounds of a voice in trouble.

Schedule of Presentations:

12:00 – 1:30        Babette Lightner (Jones Rehearsal Room )
                            Vicky Mountain (Dance Studio)

1:30 – 1:45        Break

1:45 – 3:15        Dr. D.D. Michael (Jones Rehearsal Room)

3:15 – 3:30        Break

3:30 – 5:00        Babette Lightner (Jones Rehearsal Room )
                          Vicky Mountain (Dance Studio)

VoiceCare Network News
We recently upgraded our website. Have a look. It is a good time to register for this year's courses. The BodyMind and Voice course and the continuing course on Personal Voice are in July. The website has all the details.

Our bodies are constantly telling us how to move and think well; most of us no longer understand this body-sensory language. Wholeness in Motion™ and LearningMethods™ give you the alphabet of this miraculous language; soon you’ll find the poetry.

  • Unravel the roots of tension and pain.
  • Reveal the health and freedom built into your body/mind.
  • Gain the knowledge to prevent pain, stress, and strain.

Ways to Learn

You can schedule individual lessons with Babette in the Twin Cities or River Falls, Wisconsin. It is also possible to do lessons over the phone; this is a great way to do LearningMethods™.  I also do workshops and residencies anywhere in the country or abroad. Wholeness in Motion™ in an on-line format is almost ready to launch. If you are interested in discovering more about Wholeness in Motion™ or LearningMethods™ please contact me: 612.729.7127 or
Would you like to get personalized help with pain or stress issues?
Contact Babette Lightner to set up your six week series of individual sessions.  There is a 10% discount when you choose a series of sessions.
Her work brings together Alexander Technique, Anatomy of Wholeness™, LearningMethods™ and 25 years experience helping people change unhealthy habits and movement patterns.

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Stones in Water™ and Wholeness in Motion™ are trademarks of Babette Lightner; LearningMethods™ and Anatomy of Wholeness™ are trademarks of David Gorman, All rights reserved.
Plant and water photos by Suzanne Baker. LM logo used with permission.