Is It Really Empowering to Be a Critic?

These Kids on American Idol really have a lot of pressure on them tosuddenly take singing, which they love to do so much to a whole newlevel - A GLOBAL ONE. Not only are many of them learning as they go,but they get to be watched, by millions of people at the same time.

Afterwatching tonight's episode, I just had an even deeper feeling ofcompassion for all of the singers - even the crazy ones like NickMitchell, aka, Norman Gentle (who is actually quite a smart fellow).

Iknow there are a zillion people out there blogging and vlogging aboutIdol, making judgements on everything from their voice to what kind ofpants they were wearing. There's a part of me that just cringes,because I do feel this can be so destructive in building and nurturingthe most humanly divine instrument there is. Our voice is connected toour Mind, Heart and Body, and because of this, it's the most vulnerablething on earth to sing. Keep in mind too, that the way we judge othersalways reflects back on ourselves. How do you think and feel about yourown voice?

I've been working with singers and teaching since themid 80's, when I was a kid, and I think I have been in just about everyposition imaginable - from feeling completely humiliated on stage tofeeling like an empowered, connected diva. It's taken me a long time tofigure out how to build my own voice and even though I was born with anatural talent, I learned that owning my self esteem played a HUGE rolein how effectively I sang. The more I learned how to connect to what I liked about myself, and accept where I was at in that moment, the moreI was able to grow. My 6 years of Higher Education and 4 Degrees didn'tteach me that. Neither did the 20 plus years of teaching. Actuallyhaving to endure and overcome pain, trauma and conflict in my own lifedid. I know if it were not for the people who reached out in compassionthat believed in me, I would not be where I am today.

Imention these things because we all suffer and have to endure pain. Andwe all know it's how we choose to use the "stuff" we go through, thatwill make or break us. We can use our experiences to have morecompassion and love for others.

How does this become music?Take a look at Danny Gokey. He's the perfect example of channeling hisexperiences into his vocal expression. Danny's wife just passed away 7months ago and it left him traumatized. Taking the ENERGY of what hefelt, connecting his heart to it and using it to move forward in apositive, passionate way inspired many. That takes courage, will power,and confidence. Through it, we heal. Now he says he's on a mission. I'mexcited for him because that boy, along with many of the othercontestants, can saaaaang!

Have you ever wondered why you areaddicted to American Idol? Or why you're not? Interesting thing tothink about - isn't it? Some people can't stand the show - I used tonever watch it myself because I couldn't stand the criticism... but nowI know I have a way to reach out to the contestants, and I'm so gladabout this!

We never know what others have endured in life orwhat brought them to where they are now. Whether we have a "HollywoodStory" or not, we're all humans, and humans grow from love and respect.Beautiful voices come from a passionate, connected heart. So, mymessage today is - the next time you watch American Idol, or listen toanyone sing, for that matter, try and hear more of where they're comingfrom. Listen to their energy and find something you like about it. Thiswill help that person to grow if they are receptive. See how it feelsto come from a deeper place from within yourself as you listen, andknow that they are opening up themselves on some level. Appreciate that- because some day, it just might be you, and wouldn't you want thesame?

To Read Dot's current Notes & Advice from the latest episode of American Idol, CLICK HERE