The Truth of the Moment

1024 683 Ann Mortifee

I was beside myself with terror. I had been invited to facilitate a workshop on singing at Hollyhock Farm, a centre of learning, connection and culture on Cortes Island, British Columbia. However, I had never done anything like that before and didn’t know where to even begin.

Ann with the participants of an Everyone Can Sing Workshop, September 2016

When the participants arrived I decided that the best thing to do was to be honest. I told them that I didn’t know why I had accepted the invitation to do the workshop and that I didn’t know how I sang – I just did it – and had absolutely no idea how to teach them to sing. I offered to return their money if they chose to leave. If they stayed, they would have to teach me how to facilitate what they needed.

What happened next was remarkable. No one left, and for 5 days we explored and shared and laughed and wept and sang together. I learned that there is a ‘wisdom in the group’ that goes far beyond anything that I alone could bring. My fear disappeared, my admiration for the courage it takes to find your own voice and step forward grew. We shared a week of joy, amazement, fun, and inspiration together. They were the people who taught me how to let the truth of the moment lead the way. I loved them, and I loved the experience we had of being and discovering together.

Over the years I’ve returned to Hollyhock many times. I have also led workshops at the Esalen Institute, Findhorn in Scotland, and many locations in Canada, the USA and Europe. Some of the topics the workshops have covered are Finding your Voice, Singing for the Joy, Inner Integration, Women’s Mysteries, Death and Dying, Riding through the Wild, and Personal Mythology.

On occasion I have partnered with a remarkable group of people, including Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, Marion Woodman, Bernie Seigel, John Robbins, Jean Houston, John Kehoe, Naomi Moseley and David Feinstein.

Through it all I’ve never forgotten the very first workshop and the group of people who took a chance on me.

Ann Mortifee

Singer Ann Mortifee is a genre unto herself. Blessed with a remarkable four-octave range and a gift for impacting hearts with her music and lyrics, her albums, concerts, full-length musicals, scores (ballet, film, opera, TV), and In Love with the Mystery book have generated national/international distinctions and awards. She is an Order of Canada Member, the country’s highest civilian honour. A world traveller, compelling storyteller, and sought-after keynote speaker for major conferences, Ann creates and facilitates inspiring arts and consciousness workshops and co-founded two foundations - for social innovation and for forestry conservation. Based in BC, Ann is the wife of the late jazz flutist, Paul Horn.

All stories by: Ann Mortifee