Music has always played an important role in my life. I started regularly writing songs when I was in my early teens, but I was very self-conscious about my voice so I rarely sang my songs to anybody else.
It wasn’t until I was in my early twenties when I was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and depression that I really discovered how important music and song writing was to me. Song writing was my ‘safe place’ where I could say my thoughts out loud and say how I really felt about things without fear of judgement. It remained a very private part of my life, I didn’t share my songs with others as it was purely for me and my own therapy.
I would put on this brave face for the world, and smile and say I was okay. Then I would go home and pour out how lost, scared and hopeless I really felt. Song writing really helped me though, simply knowing I had an outlet and a safe place to express myself.
I struggled a lot with sleep, and would spend hours and hours late at night in the church hall, next door to our house, playing the piano and literally crying out the anxious thoughts that were keeping me awake. I would keep going until I had nothing left in me, when my brain had slowed down enough so I could go home and finally sleep. It felt like I had done something ‘productive’ with all the thoughts and fears I had, I didn’t need to keep going over them in my head, they were out, and often down on paper.
A few years later I married and my husband and I started a family. I was completely swept up in our son’s world and couldn’t have been happier. But I got to a point where I was feeling completely burnt out and I didn’t understand why. All I ever wanted was to be a wife and mum – why was I feeling this emptiness? I thought I had risen above my valleys! I spent some time with my guitar and wrote a song called “Recharge”, and realised what was missing was my music. There is nothing else I do that can recharge me like song writing does.
Slowly I started saying yes to opportunities to share my music, I started connecting with other musicians and even formed a band. I decided that I really wanted to pursue a music career. I knew that meant getting over my insecurities about my voice. I connected with a great mentor and a vocal teacher who both really helped me to develop confidence in myself and work on the areas I struggled with.
The more I shared my music, the more I experienced others connecting with my story and thanking me for my honesty and vulnerability. I decided that I was really going to go for it. My background is in community services, disability work, school chaplaincy, so I really wanted to knuckle down and find a way to combine my passion for people and music to make a positive impact on others. Particularly for young women and mothers.
As well as performing my music, I am now running creative expression and song writing workshops; leading sessions for parents on the importance of music on children’s development; and making guest artist and speaker appearances at self-care and mental wellness events.
I had previously thought my song writing was a gift given just to me to help me through some tough times and never expected anything more to come from it. However, I discovered that not only does my music uplift others, it is actually an important part of my own journey and healing. When I can connect my story with others through music I better understand myself, my past, my present and my future. It really is a gift that keeps on giving.
I was really excited about being part of the Uniting Women Conference where I presented a song writing workshop. The theme of the conference was“Sharing Stories of Hope” so I shared my story through anxiety; depression; self-care and motherhood and the vital role that song writing and creativity has had, and continues to have on my well-being.
We explored the art of story-telling through song and I shared tips on ways to connect our stories through the creative spirit of music. I really wanted to encourage women to value themselves and the unique gifts each of us have to offer and to learn sustainable ways to be generous to ourselves and others.
My debut EP is called “Broken and Beautiful”. The theme and image I have worked around is that of “Kintsugi” the Japanese art form of repairing pottery with liquid gold. The piece is believed to be more beautiful having been broken. The songs I have written and recorded on the EP reflect my heart of being honest about my brokenness and not letting my weaknesses stop me from living the beautiful life I’ve been given and called to live. I openly share my journey in the hope that others will have the courage to embrace and share their own. Life can come from darkness and beauty can come from brokenness.
To find out more about Kylie’s music, download free audio or order your copy of ‘Broken and Beautiful’ go to kyliebricemusic.com