2019 Artist Year in Review

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Featured Enlighten Your Lives Artists

2019 was a great year for performers at EnlightenYourLives.com. These artists reached out of their comfort zones and decided to share their passions with the world. As an artist, one of the scariest thing to do is actually share your passion. One can work on their passion for months and years and still not share it. Why don’t they share it? Most likely it’s fear. Why should an artist be afraid to share of themselves? It can be a fear of the response they will receive but also fear of rejection or being ridiculed. It’s an uncomfortable feeling to perform in front of others. But after a while, one does get used to it. When the joy of expression overcomes the fear to perform, then one is ready to share of themselves. Meet these brave Princess Warriors who have risen above the fear.

Meet Varia Strix from Washington DC

The mysterious Varia Strix

Our first featured artist is Varia Strix. Varia has a real passion for life and has many hobbies such as being an awesome photographer and a beautiful dancer. If you say, Belly Dance Workshop, she comes running. She is a pleasure to know and she gets a lot of credit for being courageous enough to be the first featured dancer to be interviewed in 2019. We wish Varia continued success in 2020. To learn more about Varia you may read the full article here.https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/08/18/meet-washington-dc-bellydancer-varia-strix/

Valeria Star Singing in French

Performing in June 2019

Valeria Star sings an emotional rendition of Les Feuilles Mortes/Autumn Leaves. During a live performance, like life, you never know what’s going to happen. She practiced, she sang, she cried and went home. Valeria Star has been singing since a child but she started training and studying voice in 2014. Valeria hopes to sing and dance for the rest of her life. Let’s wish her continued success in 2020. https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/06/23/valerie-estrella-didnt-think-she-would-break-down-an-emotional-rendition-of-autumn-leaves-les-feuilles-mortes/

Meet Beautiful Vanessa Montoya from Texas

Vanessa Montoya

Vanessa is a talented and beautiful yoga teacher and dancer that is active in her Texas community teaching dance and yoga. A real princess warrior that is also a healer. We want to thank Vanessa for sharing her passion and joy with the world. We also wish Vanessa continued in 2020 and beyond. Here is the full article.

Meet Nor Cal Dancer Valeria Star

Hanging with her favorite Trees

Valeria Star from Nor Cal loves to dance and sing. In this article Valeria shares her passion for dance. She’s been dancing over 40 years and doesn’t intend to stop anytime soon. She encourages everyone to follow their passions whatever they might be. Click here for full article.

Here’s Shilly from United Kingdom

A captivating creative artist

Shilly is talented on multiple levels. She’s a fashion designer, dancer and also makes some delicious cacao drinks that one day will be tasted in UK. Shilly directed this captivating video that is highly recommend for everyone to watch. Shilly also teaches belly dance in her community and she gets extra credit for getting kicked out of ballet. We want to wish Shilly much success in 2020 and want to thank her for sharing her passion with us. Full article is https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/11/10/meet-dancer-shilly-nakedmoon/.

Anna Puts Hungary on the Map

A Beautiful Dancer, Annamaria

Finally meet Annamaria from Hungary. She is such a talented dancer. She really knows how to draw in an audience and keep their attention. It’s obvious she knows how to dance and really commands the stage. It’s not an easy thing as a soloist to keep the audience engaged. But her athleticism and beautiful flowing movements are superb. Bravo to Anna and we wish her a successful future in all she does. Don’t miss this one or well, you’ll miss out. https://enlightenyourlives.com/2019/11/18/meet-dancer-annamaria-benko-fothy/

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Thank you again to all the beautiful people that contributed to this article. Keep it up in 2020 because the world needs more of your passion, joy and light. Here’s to an awesome and safe New Year!!

Singing About Trees

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In December 2019 the opportunity to perform at a local Christmas Tree Lighting resulted in this performance. Trees are so lovely and a Christmas Tree magnifies their beauty. Singing about trees can make you feel glorious!

This song was rehearsed for about three weeks. It was originally not going to be published because of the artists dislike for the performance but after a musician friend gave it the thumbs up, Valeria decided to release it.

Accompanied by the talented Alina Adams

Hopefully we can find the time to enjoy the beautiful lights this holiday season.

Valeria in Nor Cal Wishing everyone a Happy Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas!!

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, A Challenging Vocal Arrangement

In 2019 I got caught in a vortex of singing sad songs. From January to June 2019 it was Autumn Leaves which as you may know is a song about lost love. It’s a beautiful song but I had a big of a melt down in my performance but hey, life goes on.

Then I went to Oregon and picked up some music from Phantom of the Opera. My voice teacher recommended, Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again. A song about a woman’s dead father and how she wished he was still here. Another song that was a bit of a downer. Some of the lyrics include: “Too many years fighting back tears, why can’t the past just die.” And “No more memories, no more silent tears, no more gazing across the wasted years. Help me say goodbye.” Another tear jerker of a song. I did record it but the music was a little too high for my range and my teacher wanted to adjust it and re-record. I said, no thanks. I never want to sing that song again.

This song will make anyone sad.

Then my teacher suggested, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and I said OK. So we started to work on it. I had been feeling a little tired lately so I stopped doing scheduled cardio. I kind of wanted to see what it felt like to just have my daily living activities be my cardio. So I backed off on the cardio. I’m not going to say that was a good idea. But hey I can’t go back now. Life is all an experiment anyway. Also I’m not going to say my water intake was real good either. OK that’s all I’m going to say about that. I wish I was perfect but I’m not. I’m human and LIVE AND LEARN BABY!!

So I sang the song and it’s allegro which means very fast. It’s also a tongue twister in some parts and it has some advanced vocal arrangements. I was able to finish the song but it was not perfect. OK what can I say other than I know I need to breathe more and drink more warm beverages.

So here I am singing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. How do I know how to spell the song without looking it up? Well if you listen to the song you will hear me spell it out VERY FAST.

I wish everyone a lot of courage and bravery to do whatever it is you want. I’ve been told that I have “Big Balls” multiple times. By my mom’s friend, Tony and by my friend, Ferrah. So I guess it’s true. I’m going ahead and saying it’s not perfect so you will know but that doesn’t mean I need to hear negative comments. It’s like, I can say it, but you can’t sort of thing. But as far as effort goes, I get an A PLUS.

I wish you a Happy November. Have fun!! Do what you want. Relax and breathe. If you need help, ask for it. You deserve whatever you want. But you gotta go for it.

Bye for now Sweetie Pie.

Valeria is a Health and Wellness Coach in Northern California. She’s sharing her journey and dreams and encourages everyone to do the same. May as well have fun with the time we’re here.

Valeria Star Didn’t Think She would Break Down…An emotional Rendition of Autumn Leaves/Les Feuilles Mortes

Valeria Star began preparation for this performance in August 2018. Alina, her Maestra presented it to her and she instantly liked it. At first she only worked on the English version but then later decided to add the French version to the beginning of the song.

The event was the 15th anniversary of Alina’s Music Studio and Alina had put so much time and thought into her event. It was a fundraiser and it was called Classics and Super Heros. Alina who is a violinist and actually a multi-media artist because she can, sing, dance, play violin, conduct and she did the media displays. You know the back drop behind all the singers. She did that too.

Valeria does not speak French so she relied on YouTube videos and then she found out that she did not have the correct pronunciation after all . So it turned out that her friend Farrah who coincidentally was a French Major at University of Hawaii was able to coach her and this was the end result. Alina also provided correct pronunciation but you know friends always come through for you in the end.

Thanks for watching and it would make me happy if you share this video and subscribe to my YouTube Channel. Thank You… Special thanks to Camille for the accompaniment.

People asked Valeria how she rehearsed the crying. “It was not rehearsed at all.” Valeria said, “I wasn’t nervous to perform until I went out on stage. As soon as walked out it was pitch black in the audience and then I started to feel nervous and I could feel my stomach start shaking. Camille, the Pianist was getting set up and I instantly engaged my entire core and I knew I had to make it through the song. My legs were literally trembling. Towards the end, I just lost it. I thought about my brother, Chris who passed away in 2006. When I sang, “Since you went away, the days grew long” I thought of Chris and by the time I got to “But I miss you most of all, that’s when I couldn’t hold it together anymore.”

As soon as she came off stage her fellow singers and musicians ran to meet her and hug her and give Valeria a lot of support. One violinist just said, “I was so nervous I couldn’t feel my hands. They were numb.” And they hugged her. It really made Valeria feel so much better. “These teenage musicians were so kind and supportive of me during a scary time. It’s not everyday you cry in front of people. And how people treat you after you cry is even more important.” These musicians had such compassion. It was really beautiful to see and it gives me much hope about humanity.”

When Valeria saw Alina she said, “I wasn’t able to finish the song.” Alina said without blinking an eye. The woman who literally does not miss a beat or a breath or a timing, said, “You felt the passion of the music and expressed it.” And then she ran off to take a picture with DeadPoole. Valeria knew it would be OK…

Valerie is a Health Coach that lives in Northern California. She’s sharing her passion for music in June 2019. She’s also a Health Coach and encourages everyone to follow their dreams.

Sing Like Nobody is Watching

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Recently I did a performance and many people were telling me that they admired my courage to sing in front of people.  I told them that I just decided that I was going to be brave and not worry about what other people think.

I read a really good book which I highly recommend for anyone that wants to pursue their dreams or goals.  The main thing I got from this book was that you have to do what makes you happy and forget about what everyone else thinks or says.  Also if someone criticizes you, then tell them to come and do a better job.  So that attitude really resonated with me.  The name of that book is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert.  

big magic

Just to be clear that I am a student.  I am not a professional.  My preparation to sing this song began about 11 months prior when I first started listening to this song by Lindsey Stirling called Shatter Me and I just really fell in  love with that song.  I listened to that song over and over on a road trip.

I wasn’t sure I would be able to sing that song because it seemed like a difficult song to me.  I spoke to my voice teacher and she said, “Let’s do it in G Minor.”  So I got the music and we started working on it in December 2017.  It was very brutal at first.  Just painful to listen to.  But I just kept working on it.

After a while I asked my music teacher if maybe someone could accompany me on the violin.  So she was able to find an advanced student to accompany me.  (Please note that she did not want to be videotaped.  We had to actually edit her out because she did not want to have her images on the web.  But Rebekah is beautiful and an amazing violinist.)  The first time we rehearsed together was brutal.  Imagine trying to sing with someone banging drums right in your ear.  I couldn’t believe how thrown off I was.  My music teacher said it’s completely normal.  When the violin accompanies me, I was listening to her play and my timing was off and it was way more difficult than I thought.  It’s like I am distracting her by singing and she was distracting me by playing the violin.  The thing is we had to be in sync with our timing.

wood music classic sound

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In any event this is the results of the preparation.  I watched numerous George Michael Videos.  I became a bit obsessed with him (which is a completely different story.) In any case this is the result.  Thanks for watching and any kind words are appreciated.  Also remember I am a student.  Think of your kid that’s been singing for a couple of years.  T

Valerie is a Health and Wellness Coach. She has a passion for singing, dancing and following her heart. She encourages everyone to do the same.  Please subscribe to her Youtube channel and Follow Enlighten Your Lives to support everyone’s dreams.  Namaste

Merry Christmas Darling

Can you believe it’s Christmas again?  Isn’t that what everyone always says.  There are two types of people around Christmas time.  Those that get all into the Christmas spirit with the decorations, presents, holiday parties etc and there are the other folks who bide their time until December 26.  I’ll let you guess what type of category I fit into.

This year is my first Christmas with my puppy, Amber.  So needless to say I’ve been spending quite a bit of time with her house training and getting her on a schedule.  It’s really like having a baby all over again.  I think I could have new parents hire Amber to puppy proof their house.  She will find every piece of plastic, glass, rock or choking hazard.  So needless to say, I am constantly catching her with stuff in her mouth.

So long story short is, I didn’t decorate a whole lot this year.  I wasn’t sure where I was going to put the tree and so I just got a really small tree and didn’t do a whole lot of shopping either (except for Amber).  I made quite a few gifts: bath bombs, granola and actually one of my gifts is the song: Merry Christmas Darling.

This is my fantasy Christmas decorations.  It’s nice to Dream

I sang this song at Merriment on Main.   I started working on this in October (you have to prepare way in advance).  Christmas songs in October just isn’t my favorite thing.  I mean that’s even way before Thanksgiving.  But I have always loved Karen Carpenter from the Carpenter’s and I really enjoyed rehearsing this song.

When you sing live, you just never know how it’s going to turn out.  Maybe you’ll forget the words or won’t hit the right notes.  But it’s always a thrill.

So here’s my rendition of Merry Christmas Darling.  Wishing you all a Merry Christmas Darling

Valerie is a Yoga Instructor, Health and wellness Coach.  Her hobbies include singing and dancing.  She lives in Northern California with her daughter and puppy. You can contact her at enlightenyourlives.com/contact.