Austin — I’m noticing this week the workaholic tendencies of the jaw. It takes on the jobs of asserting identity, of staying cheerful, molding the right smile at the right time, of persevering, to name a few.
These are lofty aspirations for a few muscles living high above the base of the body.
If the general guidance to let go has any appeal, then one of the highest-leverage places to do so seems to be the jaw.
As I’m singing in the park today, I keep my focus on my jaw, watching it attempt to keep things together. When I can see this, I try to release it. This is iterative. Two degrees of release, one degree back. After a few minutes, the rest of the body shows up, as if the jaw has been at the front of the work crew, eagerly claiming it can do the job of the whole system.
In the moments when the jaw is off-duty, there’s a sense of greater integrity and freedom in singing.
There is a lot of unlearning to do through this repeated observation and release.