Monthly Archives: November 2011
Our voices are unique, like a signature or fingerprint. Are you using yours to its fullest potential? Not likely. We have only begun to understand the creative, healing, and expressive power of the voice. The only way to discover its true potential is to keep exploring what it’s capable of. But not many people walk this path of voice. Most people are terribly uncomfortable in this arena. They hate the way they sound when recorded or they don’t think they can sing, and they often don’t know how to speak up for themselves enough to simply ask for what they want or say how they really feel. But in taking one small risk, to speak up about something, to show up at a workshop or to buy a toning CD, to take that first step, they find that their greatest fears evaporate and are replaced with the joy of self-discovery, “Wow, that’s me!” The relationship with our voice is a pure reflection of just how alive we are. The voice is not only a tool for authenticity and healing, it is a tool for creative manifestation. When we tap into the frequencies of our biggest dreams, we can sing them into being by aligning with their vibration. We can energize our visions with the resonating characteristics of our voices. So never underestimate the treasure awaiting you in your throat center.
In school, we are taught many things that we just assume represent reality. We learn that the Sun is the stationary center of the Universe. We learn that Columbus discovered America. We learn that Edison invented the light bulb. And, we learn that sound moves in waves. By adopting these beliefs, we also believe that we “know” how something outside of personal experience went down and “understand” how the Universe works. But…
It’s crazy how literally we take concepts, like “soundwave,” until the concept itself narrows the reality…like partial truths that skew everything. In truth, sound forms bubbles, not waves. Check out this cymasope research that explains how sound moves spherically.
The idea of sound bubbles makes so much sense in terms of why toning with a group is so whole-bodily transforming, and for some, even levitating and teleporting. And it makes sense why reciting mantras is so powerful and known to protect the individual…it literally surrounds us in a protective bubble.
But before I get all celebratory about this new theory, I must take into consideration the fact that I have also seen with my own eyes the energetic tendrils of music coming out of a stereo in the dark. They were more like dancing filaments of light, stretching up and out into space, combing it like long graceful fingers.
Waves, bubbles or…both? So many layers, so many dimensions! So much yet to discover!
I recently met a woman who near broke into tears just speaking with me about what I do. Just talking about singing and expressing herself freely was enough to ignite her deepest fears underneath which hid her deepest longings.
Why are we so frightened by our own voices? Why do we judge the way we sound on an answering machine? What is that fear that keeps our mouths so tightly closed when we really, really want to speak? Why do we deny ourselves the joy of singing along? Maybe you don’t. Maybe you’ve managed to break through the myriad inhibiting beliefs, and you’ve set your voice free. But if you haven’t been one of the lucky ones, then what?
At some point in our lives, we have experienced “the clamp”. It is a defining moment or moments when we learned it simply wasn’t safe to open our mouths. Either we were yelled at or physically abused, ostracized, or humiliated for something we said. Regardless of the details of the situation, we realized that we could instantly lose love by something as simple as making a sound.
And then, along the way, we come to realize that we can also use our voice to stir a bit of trouble. We can speak words that trigger others…sometimes hurting those we love most. We learn that we have a rather interesting power at our disposal. Yield it one way, and it becomes a deadly weapon. Yield it another, and it is a fine tool. Either way, it is something over which we must exert the utmost control. Or so we believe.
And hence, the fear we have today…one so complex and intertwined with so many of our root beliefs that it is quite a challenge to free ourselves from our self-imposed prisons. But we can free ourselves. We must free ourselves! Because our voice is our power to create and express Life!
So the first step in overcoming our fear is an assessment of where we stand now. Do you like the sound of your voice? If not, why not? Do you allow yourself to speak up? In what kinds of situations do you “clamp it”. Do you sing? Where and how? And if not, why not? What do you believe about how you sound? Is it true? Who says? Do you want your freedom?
Once you answer “yes” to that last question, you can take the next step of watching yourself. This is a period in which you know you want to change, but you don’t hold unrealistic expectations for yourself. You simply watch yourself repeating old habits. You are learning the lay of the land, so to speak, so you can figure out where to take action in the next step.
Once you become aware, then you can begin to take steps to change your habits. Take baby steps if necessary. Hum along to the songs that play while you grocery shop. Sing along to your music collection as loud as you dare. Allow yourself to say “ouch!” when you bump your elbow. Keep saying it until the pain goes away. Keep moving into your fear, and you’ll find it evaporating like fog. The light of your voice will lead you to the other side.
And what’s there? You’ll find immense joy and pleasure. You’ll find a liberty and strength within you you never knew existed. You’ll find that you are a creative being with a beautiful voice!
Mantras are sacred syllables repeated over and over by practitioners in order to both alter their energetic fields to the frequency of the mantra (for prosperity, equanimity, or compassion for example) and to quiet the mind. Two well known mantras are AUM or OM. There is a reason this practice has persisted throughout the ages and why it is one adopted by so many of today’s self-help educators. Mantras work.
But for some, the foreign language or even religious roots of certain mantras can be hindrances to adopting a practice. Here, I offer a modern mantra practice which can be used in your modern life…one that does not require a knowledge of ancient languages. This practice, when done correctly, will have the same effect as an ancient mantra but it will also begin to build your awareness of the vibrational signatures of the words in our own language.
When you feel the mind turning to worry or have had a challenging day, call forth the symbols that you wish to activate. Spend 10 minutes saying words like “triumph, peace, love, happiness, release, letting go, stillness, courage, joy, compassion, steadiness, tranquility, friendship, miracles…”. Try to choose words directly counter to your present state. For example, if you are feeling impatient, try words like “patience, plenty, relaxation, stillness, calm, ease.” It’s okay to repeat words. Follow each word with a nice inhalation of clean, fresh air. As you do so, allow the mind to freely associate with your life experiences of the words. Allow the feeeling states to arise. Notice how your energy field begins to change. You will feel happier, more at peace and much better than you did before.
Words hold energy. We can use this energy for better or worse. This modern mantra practice can train one to “cast spells” skillfully, with intent.
Have an experience using Mantras that you care to share?
Many people know of and have tried using affirmations or positive statements designed to change a negative thought pattern. I myself, having been exposed to the wonderful teachings of Louise Hay and others have tried them. Sometimes, they work and sometimes, well…they don’t do much. Sometimes our conflicting beliefs are just too strong.
I began a new practice with affirmations awhile back when I started to understand more of the ‘secret’ relationship between our words, our thoughts, and sound and the hidden power and interplay of each. The practice arose spontaneously during a meditation, and it has had a much greater impact than any affirmation practice I have had.
It’s very easy but does take effort and a willingness to sound and feel ridiculous at first. Take any affirmation. Examples include, “I am centered and peaceful” or “My life is filled with abundance.” The cool thing with this particular practice is that you really don’t have to pretend to believe something you don’t. You don’t have to think yourself through it either. All you have to do is be willing to say it. The ‘secret’ aspects of word, thought, and sound will take care of the rest.
Now, sit yourself down in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. If you can be in front of a mirror to witness yourself, all the better. Now begin to say your chosen affirmation. If it sounds phony to you, then say it that way, with all the sarcasm you can muster. If you want to sing it, sing it. If nothing comes up but a gurgle, that’s perfect too. The idea is to say it in as many ways as possible feeeling for the moments of resonance when parts or all of the statement ring true. Keep at it. It may not happen right away. Persist. Play. Get your body involved. Shake. Wiggle. Get up and stomp. Allow the practice to reveal to you just where your blocks are. It will happen. You may even have a release as you move through resistance and longing into the place where you can sense the truth of your statement that was really there all along.
You will come to the point where all the resistance drops away. And there, you will find yourself hearing the words of your affirmation as if for the first time. You will start to state the affirmation without the theatrics, drama, and playfulness. Go slowly here. You will begin to speak each word with its own weight and sincerity. Again, tears may flow. You will begin to feel the truth of the statement in different areas of your body. You will sense joy arising. And you will empower yourself.
Making the Most of Your Name
There is a well known practice within toning circles of chanting names. This can be done in all manner of ways, with each person chanting their name into the group and the others echoing this back, or everyone chanting just the vowel sounds within their names all at once, or even one person in the center of a circle receiving their name as it is chanted by everyone else. There is a soothing and healing gift within this practice.
There is a great deal of power within a name. First of all, the name itself as it sounds carries a certain frequency. Then there is the power within the sound of each present vowel. And then there is the traditional meaning of the name, and finally, there is the personal meaning and associations. Chanting your name to yourself can help you uncover the secret energy treasures within your name.
What if you have always disliked your name or just feel energetically detached from it? Well, if you dislike your name, chanting may help you cultivate an appreciation for it. And often, hearing others chant it can restore it to its original power template free of any negative associations you may have.
But what if you just do not resonate with your name?
I believe that names should help us remember who we are and where we are going. Names should reflect our service to the world. But often our given names just do not fulfill this purpose.
When I had just turned was 38, I was in a near-fatal car incident. I was driving home late at night when two coyotes crossed in front of me on the freeway. I slammed by brakes and spun out of control as my life really did flash before my eyes. It was a strange time-space suspension experience. When I finally stopped spinning, I was facing oncoming traffic on the freeway. By miraculous protection, I was able to right myself and pull over. The odd thing was, I had no fear. As I was pulled over on the shoulder, I heard myself say, “Just take your time. Relax.” But I already was relaxed. My heart wasn’t even racing. When I woke up the next morning, I had a knowing that I had to change my name.
About this same time, I was reading The Fifth Mountain by Paulo Coelho. In it the prophet Elijah experiences a death of sorts of his old life and so chooses a new name to reflect his new life. His purpose becomes his name. Whatever name I received, I wanted it to reflect my purpose.
So, I spent the next couple of months nameless. I shook off the trappings and energy of my old name and awaited the revealing of my new name. I had been reading Being and Vibration by Joseph Rael in which he writes that the name of humanity is Drinking the Light. I liked that phrase. It spoke to me of my truth. But I was not about to go around calling myself Drinking the Light. So I waited some more.
About this same time, my job contract ended, my lease was up, and I was freshly divorced. So I packed up what I could fit in my car and drove away following a call into my new life. Somewhere on the road between Ohio and Pennsylania, I heard a voice say “Giselle.” My reaction was, “You have got to be kidding me.” But the voice was insistent, so I just sat with it for awhile. Giselle turned out to be a hint. The rhyming Dielle was the answer, a derivative of Drinking the Light. Only later did I learn that Dielle held additional meaning that pointed to the service I am here to provide.
Not everybody wants or needs to change their name of course. But I encourage you to consider the symbol of your name and whether or not and in what ways it serves your life…or maybe even limits you. And if you find your current name somehow lacking in energy for you at his time in your life, ask to receive a new one, one that will remind you of your truth. It will be given. It is up to you whether or not you use that name secretly or publicly or at all.
In the post What Vocal Toning is Not, I mentioned that the syllable of OM was one that a majority of people are at least familiar with even if they don’t understand what it means or why people chant it. They at least know it has something to do with spirituality and/or meditation. I thought I’d take a moment to share a little more about OM.
OM is considered to be the spontaneously arising Sound of the Universe, the primal sound from which all other sound originates. While there is no translation or meaning to the syllable of OM, we can say that it relates to Supreme Consciousness. So when one utters OM, one is sounding the name of God.
Sounding OM can purify the environment or help the mind release whatever it is holding, relaxing us. It can also lend us strength and courage. It is said to improve the quality of the voice and bring light to the eyes as well.
OM is comprised of three sounds: A, U, M. Each sound represents a different level of consciousness. The A is the waking state, U is the dream state, and M is deep sleep. Together, they represent the totality of consciousness.
Want to try toning OM?
Sit in a quiet place where you will not be disturbed. Close your eyes and breathe deeply and evenly. Relax and bring to mind the sound of OM. On the next exhalation, repeat the sound externally. You can do this in little pulses on one breath: OM, OM, OM. Or you can do one long OM on each full exhalation. Bring the feeling from the vibration of OM into your heart. Do this for at least a few minutes and for as long as you want to. Then meditate in the silence. Allow the qualities generated by the sound of OM to penetrate your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual self. You can do this practice upon waking, before bed, or anytime you want to stop the world and get off for a few minutes.