Happy Easter and happy spring! Spring is here and with it comes greater warmth, longer days and more light. It’s a joy to see nature awaken!
With every change in season comes a change in the sounds around us. Birdsong is a definite feature in spring! As a musician, I am acutely aware that every season has a particular sound palette. Not only do I witness this change externally in my environment, but as a singer, I also experience this change internally. This spring, I find my voice more open and bursting with new life as I am in the studio again finishing new compositions for you to hear. As such, I was happy when I learned that April 16 is World Voice Day, a day very close to my heart.
It is my great love to give voice to insights that arise from meditation and life-changing events such as singing at the North Pole, and a miraculous spinal healing. All of my work, whether it is music, yoga, words or activism, is about being a surrendered instrument.
For that reason, I would like to share this week about what it means to give voice and how it is key to your health, happiness and wholeness.
Much of our developmental information happens in our early years. By the age of one, we have established biodynamic patterns in our body and psyche that set the stage for our adult life. Before we are able to articulate words, we are sputtering, gurgling and making all sorts of sounds. During infancy, our bodies are fresh and unencumbered by cerebral tensions. Expression, as a means of feeling connected to raw life force, flows through us as toddlers.
As we grow, we learn to form ideas and put them into sentences. In that process, we begin to place a filter over our impulses as we interact and socialize. We discover what we must and must not do in order to get the support from our surroundings that we need to survive. By the time we grow up, we may have lost touch with our inner impulse, our soul voice and our connection to the primal force of “being” versus controlled thinking.
Finding your authentic voice can be challenging if you have become disconnected from your natural impulses. Growing up, you may have heard phrases like “hold your tongue!” or “shut your mouth!” or “tighten your lip!”
You may have been told either to be quiet at a time you were enjoying giving voice, or to speak up at a time you were enjoying silence. Listening to conflicting signals, you may end up unsure when to express or when to listen. You can become out of touch with your internal compass, and feel trapped in indecision and fear of disapproval.
I believe that the more we allow ourselves to deeply relax and subsequently open, the more we access our truest source of power, which is beyond our limited ego or will. I have found this to be true as well in exploring the power of the voice, whether through singing or through authentic communication.
Authentic communication is expressed through your whole being. Your mind becomes quiet and alert. Your heart is “two-way open”, that is, open to another and to yourself. Your personality is in service to the impulses of your soul. Your soul is connected to the divine.
Connection to your soul voice, expressed through your body, happens most easily when you are relaxed. When you are at ease, you tend to settle and root. When you root, just like all things in nature, you grow and arise. When you are rooted and vital, expansion happens. In an expansion experience, you are living a soul-directed moment. When your life is soul-directed, you are in alignment with your highest good, and the good of all beings.
WHEN TO VOICE, WHEN TO BE SILENT
Every day of your life, you are faced with many choices, whether to flee or to face, whether to voice or to remain silent. There is no easy answer as to how to find your authentic voice. It is an unfolding process, because it is part of growing, maturing, becoming wise. There have been times that I have given voice when in hindsight, it would have been wiser for me to remain quiet. And the opposite has also been true, when silence weakened me and I allowed it to hold me captive.
In the process of learning to give voice, you will stumble and fall. You risk appearing silly and feeling hurt when you put yourself out there in any way. The greater the perceived risk, the greater the perceived fall. But I have found when I challenge the fear of falling that there was never anything to fall from in the first place.
What other people think of you does not matter. At the end of your life, when your body turns to dust, it will be your own choices that you will have to face. You will be left with questions like, “Did I love well? Did I live fully?” My sense is that when you are standing at death’s door, the times you held yourself back in fear will seem as though you allowed a cloud to convince you that the sun does not exist.
In order to find the courage to speak your truth or be silent according to your own soul rhythm, you must manage the part of you that does not want to grow, because it will create all sorts of reasons not to be true to who you are. It will say, “Stay small. Hide. Don’t do it. I may get hurt.”
Someone whose approval you wanted may laugh and ridicule you. You may feel embarrassed. You may judge yourself as being stupid for what you feel and for your desire to express. But it hurts far more not to do what you need to do or say what you need to say, and remain frozen in fear.
When you feel you must act, you must. In hindsight, you may prefer to have done it differently somehow, but you will not know until you try. And if you are humble and willing to learn, there is no better teacher than life itself. By trying, you will know for next time what works best for you and you will discover how to better attune yourself to your inner voice and your natural, authentic expression.
These key signs from your body/being indicate when you are authentically aligned with your highest good:
When you feel rooted, vital and expansive speaking, speak.
When you feel rooted, vital and expansive being silent, be silent.
Knowing whether you feel rooted, vital and expansive will only come with practice. Check in with yourself as often as you can so that your awareness shifts to encourage that state of being.
I sometimes imagine myself in the future after either having spoken up or remained quiet. How would I feel? Would I regret not speaking, if I chose to remain silent, or would I feel peaceful and warmly joyful? Would I feel remorse if I did speak up or would I feel free, vibrant and relaxed? Consider this for yourself, then go with the choice that brings you the greatest amount of rooted, vital expansion.
You can do this imagined test when you are undecided about anything. Rooting comes from the contact your feet have with the ground, how your energy travels down to connect with the Earth. Vitality comes from an arising, once you are rooted, with an uplifting movement that travels through your spine. Expansion happens when you are rooted and vital, so that there is a feeling of openness, surrender, and receptivity to this moment. When you are rooted, vital and expansive, you feel balanced rightness, neither too high and light, nor too heavy and stuck; neither too quiet nor too loud, but just right, perfectly you, in balance with who you are.
Until next week, remember:
Love our world.
We are one Earth family.