Since the release of my album 시음 /si-úm/ on April 24 I have been taking time to calm down from the pressure of the project which took more than two years to realize. The CD release concert at the Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center in La Jolla, CA was a beautiful start of the project - something beyond my wildest dream in every aspect. You would think now that I have started my concert tour, I am on a roll of doing it. Yet I find that the constant balancing act of preparing for a concert and coming down after a concert requires daily maintenance of the mind and an art in itself.
One of the most frequently asked questions after a big concert is do you get nervous?
I always wished that one day my answer would be ‘No, not any more’. Even after 15 years of performing that day has not come, and I know it never will.
One of the wisdoms I’ve gained from every stage is that I am always secure and grounded regardless of how I feel. I sometimes feel like I am standing on a bungee jumping dock, wondering whether the rope attached to my body won’t grab me in the act of falling. I’ve learned that the feeling of butterflies in the stomach is rather a healthy and good sign that I am fully alive and open to receiving what life gives me at that very moment. That vulnerability allows me to connect deeper with myself, music and audiences.
As we all do, I have experienced many levels of vulnerability onstage and elsewhere in life; a moment before a difficult conversation, the first talk to a stranger in a conference room, fear of losing people I love, losing a job, admitting that I made a mistake, fear of others’ judgement, waiting for a doctor’s call… Whenever I face anything that seems bigger than I can grasp, I try to take a deep breath, and find my inner voice, which is seated deeply inside me, guiding me wisely.
A moment before I went on the stage at my last concert I recited these sentences to myself.
“I am a vessel of love, and I am loved. I am transparent and free from negativity. I am grounded and safe. What a joy to give and receive music. The only thing I need to do right now is be here in this very moment. Let it go. Let everything go, including wishes. Just courageously be yourself. Trust that you are enough.“
Whenever you feel vulnerable, I hope that you also believe that vulnerability is a positive sign that we are alive. It presents an opportunity to grow and learn how to let it go. I find that courage is nothing fancy, just being able to sit with a sense of vulnerability and quietly seek the wisdom within.