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  • Writer's pictureAlexandra Mena

The art of disconnecting

When you have a voice studio like mine, while pursuing your own singing, it's very easy to go days without taking any real time for yourself. And real time, meaning: no housework, no errands, no work texts/emails, no looking up rep for students, no looking at any of your own music, either. Just disconnecting completely. There's something incredibly freeing about the art of just 'being', and the benefits from just one day of this are innumerable. But, how realistic is this in today's busy climate? I pride myself in being as meticulous about my work as I can be, and in being all that I need to be to my very talented students. But a few weeks ago, I found myself flying at half-mast and not having the drive that I usually have. That's when I realized that it had been weeks since I'd had a real day off. I happen to love my work and, as a freelancer, I often find myself working seven days a week. But not taking any real time for yourself serves no one well, in the end.

Two months ago, I began a daily ritual that has improved my quality of life immensely: nightly candlelit meditation and light stretching. This is something that anyone on an artist budget, such as mine, can do to improve their quality of life. The only thing it will cost you is the price of a good candle and twenty minutes of your day. Half an hour, if possible, is even better. I have a favorite store in the Mission District called Often Wander, which has a great collection of natural soy wax candles which are long-lasting. These are also refillable. There's nothing like coming home from a busy day, turning off all lights and devices, lighting up a candle, and doing twenty minutes to half an hour of meditation and light stretching. Hope this helps anyone looking for a way to silence the mind and connect with oneself at the end of the day. Happy meditating!

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