“Her songs are compelling, but I just can’t get past her voice.”

This was the feedback I received when one of my early albums found its way to an A&R person at a major label.

At the time, this comment felt like a punch to the gut.

You might have thought I’d be used to it.  After all, when you put yourself out there, being on the receiving end for negative comments is part of the package.  

Like the time an L.A. voice-coach-to-the-stars invited me to a free lesson with him, appraising my voice as “thin and colorless.”  

Or, worse, that time I stumbled upon a negative review by an audience member for a show I’d played.  “She sounds like a Disney character.”

Ouch.  Not exactly what I was going for.

You might have thought I’d have a thicker skin, putting myself out there as much as I was doing in those days.

In truth, in some areas, I did.   There were some kinds of comments that rolled right off my back.

Negative comments on my appearance didn’t phase me.  

Criticism of my songwriting didn’t phase me.  In songwriting, I felt in my power.  In writing, I was unshakable.  

My singing voice, though…

Now that was different.

After all, my voice was what it was.  The voice I was born with.  

In writing, I could be anyone.  Tom Waits.  Thom Yorke.  Rickie Lee Jones.  In singing I was just, well, me. 

The truth was, I lacked confidence in my voice.

That’s why the comments about my singing hurt.  They hurt because deep down, I agreed with them.

I’m telling you this story because I want you to know that if you’ve ever struggled to accept your voice, you are not alone.

You’re not alone if you’ve ever

– Wished your voice were different than it was
– Felt under-confident in self expression
– Taken on on other’s judgments of your expression

Or, and this is the hardest one of all…

– Felt so overexposed in the face of criticism that you simply shut down and stopped expressing.

AND…  If you’ve ever felt any of these ways, I also want you to know this.

Your relationship to self expression is not set in stone.  Here, as in everything, healing is possible.  

How do I know?

I know because I’ve experienced it first hand.

Today, fifteen years into my own healing journey, I now have a totally different relationship to my voice.

Am I a better singer?  

Probably not.  (As Joan Baez said about singing in middle age and elder-hood, gravity affects everything as we get older, and voices are no exception.  LOL)

What has changed is my mindset.

Today, I love my voice.  Relish it, even.

Today, my voice is an instrument of joy and pleasure. 

I love it in every season.  I love it when it’s clear.  I love it when it’s raspy.  I love it in sickness and in health.   

The more imperfect it is, the more perfectly I love it.

Today, I understand that my voice is a channel.  Like all channels, how it works depends entirely on how I interact with it.

The more I love it, the more it opens for me.

Sometimes my voice sounds beautiful to me.  But most of the time, I don’t much notice how it sounds.  


Because now I am more focused on the felt experience of self expression.  I focus on getting out of the way to let what needs to be expressed come through.

What about you?

Where are you at in the journey of loving and accepting your own voice?

How might it feel to remove the blocks to your own self expression?  To feel more fully expressed in your life, less hampered by doubt and fear? 

If this is something you’re working on, then I’ve got a free resource to share with you today – something I made here in my home studio, drawing on my skills as a recording artist and my experience as a certified hypnotherapist.

It’s a video just added to my new YouTube channel for my healing practice.  It’s a guided meditation to help heal your relationship to your voice.

You can listen, here. 

The track doubles as a sleep hypnosis track, so the idea is, you put this on just before bed and, there you go!  Healing support for your journey off to dreamland.

I hope you’ll enjoy it.

And if these words resonated for you, I’d love to know – what is your relationship like to your own voice?  How do you feel about it for speaking?  Singing?

Have you made friends with it?

Are you still learning?

I always love hearing from you.