London-based singer songwriter Sian Cross is originally from the West Country, and has a mind-blowing voice. Having paid her dues in the music industry, providing backing vocals for the likes of Stevie Wonder, Jessie J, and Daniel Beddingfield, among others, nowadays she’s forging her own path as a solo artist, and has recorded at Abbey Road Studios, sung in the Royal Albert Hall, appeared on national TV and recorded sessions for BBC Radio.
Apart from her music, Sian has a blog, where she writes about her life, and keeps her fans and followers up to date. Sian is our guest contributor today.
What does it mean to you? Some of the many definitions I have found are:
- Aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings, etc.
- Fully aware of or sensitive to something.
- Having the mental faculties fully active.
- Known to oneself; felt.
- Aware of what one is doing.
- Aware of oneself: self-conscious.
- Deliberate; intentional.
‘Conscious’, very simply put means awake, which is technically the time we spend not sleeping right? But if we look at the definitions they are so much deeper than that:
“Aware of one’s own existence, sensations, thoughts, surroundings.”
How many of us can honestly say that we are fully aware? I am sure if we think about it we can all pin point that part of our day that we just hit the auto-pilot button and go through the motions! ‘Conscious’, to me means happiness. Finding my fullest state of consciousness and continuing to explore it on a daily basis is what keeps me smiling. Being fully aware and in the moment of whatever I am doing whether it be the washing my clothes or singing on stage in front of thousands of people is the only way I can feel true happiness every day. I wholeheartedly believe that as human beings we are capable of so much. We have the capacity to experience real trauma and come out stronger. Whilst it is not a straight line from trauma to stronger, it is a journey and I for one am grateful for every moment of it so far and every moment to come.
I decided to explore this concept for the EP. I wanted to find other people that had been through something and come out the other side with a renewed sense of life. Now I am not saying that you must experience trauma to be able to be conscious in your life but as Steve Jobs said the simple task of,
“Remembering you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose.”
I live my life by the cliché, ‘live each day as if it’s your last’ and I am constantly being told that I need to be realistic and that it is not possible. Going back to that same Steve Jobs speech he tells us that:
“each day I looks in the mirror and asks myself, ‘if today were the last day of my life would I be happy to do what I am about to do?’ And if the answer is no for too many days in a row then I know I need to change something.”
It’s really that simple; living each day as if it’s your last doesn’t mean throwing yourself out of a plane everyday it just means be honest with yourself. Be true to who you are. When I embarked on this journey with my EP I didn’t know what I might uncover. My goal was to write something real and share this musical outlet I have with others. Little did I know that I was about to embark on one of the most inspirational journeys I’ve had…The overwhelming lesson I learnt is best explained by Jim Carrey:
“Your need for acceptance can make you invisible in this world. Risk being seen in all of your glory.”
These people sat down in front of me and bared their soul, some of their darkest moments and biggest fears spoke out loud often to a perfect stranger. They were able to own their past and speak proudly of it without shame or fear of judgment and that is something I admire greatly!
‘Stare At Me’, is track 2 on my EP and it speaks about accepting your physical appearance in its most honest form. The lyrics are drawn from my experience of body image, in particular coming to terms with having several scars on my chest; one the entire length of my sternum, left there from having a tumour removed at the age of 20. However, the song itself was inspired by Katie Piper’s story and her subsequent documentary, ‘My Beautiful Friends’. I feel this song really capture the essence of what this EP is all about. You can read more about the story behind ‘Stare At Me’ here but let me just say, it was a huge part of my journey and who I am today and I am now truly proud of my scars and grateful for them for they gave me my life! When I was choosing a title for the EP ‘Conscious’ jumped out at me like a jack in the box! There was never anything else that would hold the weight of these stories other than that word, for each and every person I spoke to is wholeheartedly awake both inside and out! They know first hand how lucky they are to be alive and they are grateful every day for the opportunity to live. Gratitude for me is the only road that leads to happiness.