Well that was a bit of a gap between posts… not sure who’s counting though so I think I have got away with it!
So Cheese, well I do advise my singers to lay off this wonderfully tasting fermented delight as it is not great for the voice. This also applies to those of us who suffer with constant sinus issues, colds and catarrh and have problems with spoken delivery . Cheese, and other dairy products are mucous forming so they swell up the mucous membranes giving us a nasal sound in our voice, coating the vocal folds and forming damp in our breathing apparatus.
Now there are some, only a few, who think this is twoddle ( word from the Beth Ford dictionary) and cheese and other dairy products have no effect on our voice or breathing. I personally notice the difference when I dairy up ( at Christmas and Easter mostly ) and since I switched from dairy overload to just occasional treats, I suffer less colds and have a clearer vocal delivery. Many of my students comment on the same experience and suffer less headaches and fatigue too when they cut out or cut down on dairy. In our Western lifestyle, it can be challenging to avoid dairy as it makes an appearance in most convenience products.
Oh cheese, why do you have to taste so good?
There is another type of cheese that I often like to refer to – a metaphorical cheese – and that is the cheese of life!
If someone asks me how I am feeling then they usually regret it as I don’t tend to give the usual platitude , “Fine thanks”. Rather I tell them about my bits of cheese and how many are in that day.
I’ll explain; I see life like a trivial pursuit board, even though I refuse to play the game due to my lack of general knowledge. My studies are in creative fields and facts on prime ministers and tennis players of the 1990’s are for those with more logical fact recalling minds quite honestly! Anyway, on the board you use a circular counter which you fill with different coloured wedges ( like cheese) and you fill them up to get the centre, your goal. I think that our life is filled with these wedges of cheese, rather like this board and when all our cheeses are out, we feel like lost lambs. It looks a little like a pie chart.
You can say that one piece is your home life, a second your wedge of health, another your finances, the relationship chunk, your family cheese, work life Edam and so on…
On Maslow’s hierarchy of needs it is said that warmth, food, shelter is the basic need, the foundation . However, we have come to expect much more from our lives and these things alone are not enough to fulfil and sustain us, or so we tell ourselves.
Now a person can still be happy with all their bits of cheese out if they are mindfully playing out their life but then if we were all being mindful with every new day, then maybe our bits of cheese would all be in place and stay that way? Hmm…