This year has brought many of new discoveries for me in my world of teaching and facilitating singing and sound, and I have been introduced to lots of lovely new students and clients through my school, private and music centre teaching, as well as whilst running some fun workshop days at the Virginia Water Community Centre on "Discovering Your Voice for Health and Wellbeing" and whilst dropping in and out of Wellbeing Centres for both Spelthorne and Epsom and Ewell Borough Councils. The Sound Meditation evenings that started back in April again at the community centre, has seen many new faces, and led me to further my work in the field of Sound Meditation.
My summer project, whilst having the summer break from schools, was to produce a couple of new CDs, and I am happy to say, that finally after, what seems like hours of focus, my first meditation CD, will be available towards the end of this year. It will give you a live sound bath very like what you would experience on a Wednesday evening class, but will also incorporate some daily quick fix meditations, for those of you that have trouble sleeping, and those that feel stressed as soon as you open your eyes in the morning! There's also something for during the day as well which you'll be able to download for free from my website as a taster, so you'll be able to plug yourself in to 10 minutes of stress free time on the train or in the office.....
.....stress eh? What's it all about? Whether I'm working with little ones, teenagers, mums and dads or even the elderly....someone is suffering. So many creative people in jobs that are, to put it simply, not creative! Creative minds bound by time and deadline....slaves to the mortgage, or whatever else we've created in this society that we think we must have...in order to be "seen" to be doing ok. The problem is though, many of us are not ok, and we're so tightly wound in this web of what we "think" we "should" do, we are so conditioned to follow a certain way of living, that breaking free from the rigidity of thinking that way, would cause too many problems, upset too many people.....Maybe. Yes. Maybe. No. Maybe, it would change everything for the better, ultimately, and happiness would start to creep back into our more simpler lives.....
I am lucky enough to see so many life journeys in my job. People come to me and we start working, whether it's unlocking the breath, or the breath and the voice, and at first it's really scary for people. In some cases deeply upsetting, for they realise how blocked they are, and how they keep themselves held in that state.
Their journey and the hard work is done, in between the sessions with me. People start to observe themselves a little bit everyday, like a bird's eye view, of themselves. They realise they are holding their body in a certain way, feeling a certain way, saying something that's not true. When they start checking in with these habits and patterns, they have to ask WHY they are feeling that way, and gradually they realise they are not living in the present moment, they are a result of past conditioning.
"What does this have to do with the voice, and singing, I hear you cry?" Everything!! Would be my answer. Why is it we vocalise freely up to a certain age, shouting, screaming, giggling, randomly sounding, and then, it just stops and we learn not to make noise anymore? That is exactly the question. Why on earth do we stop sounding? In order to sound we have to be connected to our body and emotions. In order to sound, our body needs to be an open channel for the sound to be released. In order to free our emotions to prevent illness and stress, we need to resist the urge and conditioning to push feelings down, but instead be allowed to let them out through sound and not feel judged for it.
I guess for me, in some ways, after years of opera singing both auditions and performances, I felt that to truly discover my voice, I had to be free to let it out and develop it in a profession where sound was accepted as sound and not judged conventionally.
We live in a very judgmental society. Everyone has something to say about someone and how they do what they do. Very often the saddest situation is when our loved ones judge us...for if we can't truly relax and allow our true selves and sounds with our loved ones, then how can we be free?
Judgement is a funny thing. People get very upset when they experience judgement from someone else, but in the next moment, they switch on the TV or radio and criticise the sound, appearance, or performance of whoever they are listening to. Judgement and criticism are fuelled from the same place within us, whether it's someone we know or a stranger on the telly. So think about it the next time you find yourself criticising someone. How would you feel if it was directed at you.....I actually mean that....HOW would you feel? Probably not relaxed, or stress free that's for sure, and that's where most people start when they come to develop their voice. It's about getting over the fear of judgement. Feeling free to sound your sound whatever that might be, and knowing that in doing so, YOU are better off, and closer to feeling stronger and more like the person you always thought you would be.
An interesting study was done by Fabien Mamman, a French musician, acupuncturist, scientist and sound healer. He observed under a microscope and using Kirlian Photography, (a method of photographing the electromagnetic field or "aura" around living cells) that when certain sounds and music were played to human blood cells, the cell's electromagnetic field would change colour and shape in all manner of ways, from small changes to magnificent colours and designs. The most impressive of all the experiments was when the human voice was played to the human blood cells, in particular when the the voice and the cells were from the same human. In this experiment the cells were brighter and more radiant than ever, showing radiant health and vitality. Fabien Maman also proved that cancer cells could be destroyed by applying certain frequencies to them, even something as simple as the melodic scale. Of his books, these experiments can be seen in "The Tao of Sound".
I mention the work of Fabien Mamman, because I have also found that developing the human voice leads to great healing, both physically and psychologically, and we hear in the media all the time now about the wonderful benefits of singing. Fabien takes it to a whole new level, showing us that the cells in our body appear to show super levels of health and vitality when we sing.
We can feel the vibration surging through our body when we allow our voices to truly sound, by just letting go...relinquishing control of what ever it is we "think" we need to hold on to and in turn releasing the stress of it all. Being happy. Enjoying life....realising that actually it's all very simple, we just "choose" to make it complicated.
We can open our mouth to sound and see what happens....or we can open our mouth to sound, think about it, complicate it, add a few theories, worry what someone else might say or think.....and then wonder why the sound doesn't come out, or if it does, wonder why we don't like what we hear!!!!!! (and probably end up stressed about it). Until the next time.....Happy Sounding :-)