Sometimes through life’s journey you meet people unexpectedly, not knowing exactly why. Yet afterwards, you realize that it was meant to be, and are so grateful to have met them. This happened to me when I met Laur Fugere. Laur is probably one of the most elegant women I have ever met, who moved me to tears with her angelic voice. Not only is she an accomplished vocalist, but she is a beautiful soul whose life mission has now become to help others find their own voice.
Her story of reinvention is intriguing, and in many ways, parallels mine. Laur reached the peak of her career as a vocalist, singing for Cirque du Soleil for over 25 years. From the outside, it seemed like she had it all – as thousands of girls would have wanted her spotlight – yet, from the inside, a need for change in her started building.
Ironically, though Laur has an outer voice which is larger than life, it took her several years to find her inner voice and determine what her true gifts are. We can all learn from Laur’s story of incredible success, falling down and rising again to help others regain their own self-worth, inner clarity, and, of course, their own voice.
PPP: Laur, thank you so much for your time today in sharing your story! Please tell our audience where your story begins, and were there any defining moments which signalled you needed to make a change?
Thank you for the opportunity to tell my story – it warms my heart to have this discussion. As a vocalist, I have been so privileged to be active in my field all my life. I certainly didn’t expect this as a young teenager. Then, I just knew I wanted to connect with people. I thought maybe I’d go into public relations – not even sure what that was! But my heart was always in my voice, and my heart was in my singing. It was a mystery to me then how I would bring this out to the world, but the universe heard me, I suppose. I was really graced with amazing opportunities. In my late 20’s I was introduced to Cirque du Soleil and for over 25 years I collaborated with them!
PPP: That’s amazing. What a wonderful opportunity! Tell me more about your experience with them.
As a singer with Cirque du Soleil, you are not a star on the stage, but rather, there to support the acrobats. So if you have an ego you’re not going to be happy! But I loved it because it gave me the opportunity to be audacious and to try new things. It made me grow as an artist. We had to be vocally “on our toes” because, for example, if the acrobat missed a beat, we had to make up for it and adjust. Eventually I was hired as a vocal coach with them, and travelled the world looking for singers to fill the roles. It was exhilarating, yet exhausting. I was never in the same place, it was difficult to have an ongoing relationship – it just became too much.
Very silently at first, I was wishing for something else. A need for change in me started building. Of course, I would never admit this to anyone, as I was in such a coveted position. How dare I not be happy or content with what I was doing! But my desire was profound; I knew there was something more personal and important that I needed to do.
PPP: What did you envision yourself doing, Laur?
I had a huge vision of being on a stage by myself! Nothing else! With a big beautiful dress, of course!
PPP: Of course, an extremely elegant dress, I’m sure! What do you think that vision represented?
I think it meant that I wanted to have the freedom to offer my voice without compromise. Without adapting to what other people wanted me to do or how others wanted me to do it. I did that all my life! I had led my life according to everyone else’s perception of me. I knew that. I think it stems from my history, and how I was raised, and when my core beliefs were being formed. I was brought up in Montreal, one of six sisters. My father was a huge figure of authority – we had to obey. There was always a bit of fear there, maybe that led me to not “step out of the stage on my own.”
DREAMING TO BE ENOUGH
There is something I once said to a friend quite spontaneously. I said my biggest dream was to be enough. To be enough! I already had an awareness that we are all rich with something very fundamental, and if we just align with this, we can contribute so much to other people’s lives.
PPP: What did you do then? Did you follow your vision?
That vision was very scary, Kavita. I had no idea how to possibly get there. Yet you know what they say – be careful with what you wish for because it eventually comes true! As fate would have it, the direction of Cirque du Soleil changed – they became a larger corporation and found a formula which worked and stuck to it. Everything became big, and I felt I lost the subtlety and warmth of the connection. They subsequently let me and others, and I suddenly found myself at home. It was wonderful at first! It was amazing to find myself and to connect with my own rhythm.
Eventually it was like – what am I going to do now? I had up to this point developed this very specific expertise, and I had no idea where to apply it or what I would be able to do. In the process I exhausted all my resources. Looking back, I’m grateful to have been in this position because I didn’t have a choice. When you have a necessity, you have to do something!
This is when I fell into a spiral of anxiety and fear. I didn’t know how to get out of it. When you are in that place you can’t think or imagine or be creative at all.
PPP: It sounds like you went from such a high to a very low point in your life, Laur. What were your obstacles, and how did you overcome them?
I was extremely fearful. I felt stuck. I was losing sleep, and also physically going through menopause. It was a very dark time. I don’t think it was a breakdown, but I was very anxious all the time.
CHOOSING A LIFE OF GRATITUDE
One morning, I remember distinctly, I got up and I made a choice. You know, we are all responsible for the choices we make, and I realized that being anxious was a choice I made. It was unconscious, but my own doing. I was responsible for that state, so I started taking ownership of it. I really caught myself in that moment being able to choose. Then I chose to see things differently and see all the reasons I had to be grateful. It’s a practice, and one step in this practice is remembering all the little things in this life which are beautiful and alive, and feeding me in so many different ways. As I started to take count of all these different things, they multiplied, and I started having the energy to take action!
PPP: That’s wonderful that you were able to overcome this through the practice of gratitude. What happened next?
Step by step, the universe just responded. I enrolled in a course to start a business, and it helped me target what I wanted to do. Just writing about it clarified my vision for me. I met amazing people who helped me – created my website – kicked my butt! I was invited by a friend in Toronto to support people with my voice. Angela Greco is an amazing osteopath and healer. I did my sound work while she was treating her clients – it was amazing! She was able to feel the body respond to what I was doing vocally. I was so excited by this.
I slowly developed a network of clients in Toronto. I was already a polarity therapy practitioner since early 2000, got a biofield tuning certificate, and began my sound therapy practice slowly and surely, combining my voice with various practices and modalities I integrated over the years. I am now hosting voice workshops and meditations in-person and online, and doing concerts as well! Amongst other collaborations, I do completely improvised concerts with an amazing bass player musician in Toronto (Justin Gray) and we do concerts together practically without rehearsing. It’s magical! I think this corresponds with my vision of being on stage, to offer my voice without compromise. What my voice has done for me has been so transformative. And now it is my mission to teach people that they do have a voice!
FINDING A NEW PURPOSE
PPP: How incredible that you are able to channel your own voice into helping others find theirs. Where are you now, on your journey of reinvention?
I’m still expanding! You know, when I was with Cirque du Soleil, I was afraid to miss the boat. That’s a big fear we all have. We are living our life, and at the end of it, you don’t want to say that you’ve missed the boat. It’s an ongoing process, but I am in the right direction, and I’m doing it and now I am just expanding.
Two weeks ago I cut my hair. It was a big shock. I was ready for it and I anticipated it, but I didn’t realize what was going to come with it. The day after I got it cut I was assailed with deep confusion, anxiety, fears and tears. I knew I was required to embrace freedom, to embrace being non-compromising, to live totally in integrity.
PPP: What did that haircut represent to you?
It was not just esthetic. It was a totally different energy and dynamic. I think I have always been a good representative of femininity. But this blunt change is like being naked. It’s bold! It’s like my next stage, and it makes me excited. I feel it in my thought process; my thinking is different, my perspective has changed. More confidence was ready to emerge, and it manifested in the haircut.
PPP: Your transformation is beautiful and bold. What would you tell people, Laur, about other lessons you have learned along the way? If people feel stuck in their decisions or are not sure what to do moving forward, what would you advise them?
I would say find something that makes you feel good. Start moving your body. I started yoga, jogging and now doing body groove. Moving gets you breathing and makes your brain function differently. Another is to incorporate into your daily practice writing ten things you are grateful for, then answer the question – why? Why are you grateful for it? It shifts your mind and perspective when you think this way.
Tune into the frequency of the universe with your thoughts. Our thoughts have a frequency which travels and we are sending this out and it will merge with the same type of frequency that will reinforce each other. You will receive more of what you send out into the universe. Know that you are responsible for your life – no one else! Nobody else can make you feel the way you feel. You are not a victim. Stop buying into blaming others for your situation, and once you stop, you become empowered. Seek help! I consulted with others so I could hear myself talk and think, and it made a difference. I have always done well seeking resources when I needed them, and everyone should. There are so many wonderful resources available.
PPP: Thank you for those lessons. What are you most proud of?
I am proud – so proud – to know today that I am enough! And to be helping people find their own voice. I don’t think I even realize the scope of importance of working with the voice, how creative it is and how it contributes to really fulfilling one’s life.
The ability to find the gift within yourself is so powerful. I would invite anyone to find a quiet place and find some time – it can be a retreat or it can be a little time everyday. Don’t feel like you need to get into meditation or you need to write – but just BE and let this little voice inside emerge! There is a lot that wants to be heard and wants to be acknowledged. It doesn’t take much more than that to let it come to the surface.
PPP: My wish is for everyone to find their own gifts, because if everyone did, can you imagine how much greater this world would be?
Absolutely. And be bold! I’d certainly encourage people to be bold and say what it is they know they need to say, even if it comes with consequences. We just need to own that. If embracing your truth makes something fall apart, then – well?
I find myself standing strong within myself. For years, I would hope for others to change, but no – it was ME who needed to change. When I realized that, my environment changed. Everything shifted around me.
PPP: You are making a huge difference by helping people find their inner and outer voice – you should be very proud of yourself!
Thank you, Kavita. People are welcome to connect with me for voice work and therapy. I can be found at firstname.lastname@example.org or on my website and the usual social networks – Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. I also love hearing from people who have experienced the power of their own voice and how transformative this has been in their life!
I’m so thrilled with what you are doing, Kavita. I think it is so important for women to have this source to tap into. It’s very precious.
Note from Kavita: Hear Laur treat us to a spontaneous musical performance, and read the full interview with an amazing woman who has finally come to terms with being enough.