Do you remember the last time you howled after stubbing your toe? Grabbed your belly and moaned because of a stomach ache? Sighed long and loud after a busy day on your feet?
Your voice holds all the frequencies your body needs to heal itself. When you speak or make a sound you bridge your inner world to the outer world. Intentional, intuitive and exploratory sounds speed healing and deepen physical and emotional awareness. Sounding is instinctual and natural. It does not require you to be a singer or to memorize notes or magic words. The more playful and creative you are, the better. You can do it!
Vocal play. Before diving into the sounding techniques, practice making sounds. Go through the alphabet, sounding each letter. Play with the different sounds individually and then experiment by blending them together. While you do this, pay attention to how each sound feels to you.
Listen. The first and most important step is to sit with your pain and let it speak to you. This may be challenging because we typically avoid pain at all costs. Your pain has a message for you. Observe it. Surrender. Drop your awareness into your pain and look at it from the inside out. Ask yourself:
All of these descriptions will help you during the sounding process.
Now take a moment to visualize yourself without the pain. What would you be doing? What would be different? How do you WANT to feel? This will help you visualize the transformation and transmutation of your pain.
Imitate with sound the pain you feel. Is it a sharp pain, like a knife? Make a ‘sharp sound.’ A sharp sound might be short or staccato and high pitched; or hard consonant sounds like a ‘k’ or ‘t’. Chronic, non-generalized pain might be sounded as slow, high-pitched or droning sound with a repetitive rhythm that rises and falls. These are just suggestions. Trust your own expressions and interpretations.
Make a sound that is opposite to your pain. If you are experiencing sharp pain, experiment with softening and smooth sounds. Long vowels and gentle consonants like ‘l’ 'm’ ‘b’ or ‘sh’. Incorporate breath sounds like ‘haaah’ or hooo.
Make an ‘ugly’ sound. Dissonant sounds are ones that are irritating or off-key. When in significant pain, they can help you take control, focus on your breath and vocalize the disharmony you feel in your body.
Every pain tells a story. As you listen and sound at the same time, your sounds evolve. They may speed up, slow down, get louder, softer, change in pitch, change from singing to groaning. Find a sound that feels good and flow with it. Allow it to change naturally, flowing from one sound into another or changing abruptly to something else. You may stay on the same sound for a long time and that is OK, too. Trust yourself and your process.
If you are visualizing a color, describe the color. If it's blue, what kind of blue? Dark, light, sky blue, navy blue, opaque, transparent? What does it remind you of? Liquid, fog, a solid object or a shape? Does it have a texture or quality? Rough, smooth, lumpy, fragile, heavy? Is there an emotion or memory attached to it? Give each of these a sound. Explore and take note of your feelings, using all of your senses. With your sounds, clarify the color or change the texture. You are in control!
Use visualization to guide your sounds. Focus on the transformation of your pain using images or metaphors. For example, if your pain reminds you of a cluttered metal junkyard, sound and visualize clearing a pathway, bulldozing it, covering it with a layer of snow, or digging a tunnel underneath. What does it sound like? Your interpretation is perfect. Keep going, holding to your vision of perfect healing and pain-free living.
When you vocalize the pain you feel, you open your ears at the same time. These sounds are eruptions from the deep, revealing inner thoughts and emotions. As you sound your physical pain, be aware you may encounter deep emotional pain or memories, or have an awareness of what your pain represents. As you give voice to your pain and hear it for the first time, it may be shocking to you. If it brings up past trauma or intense emotions, stop. Use gentle sounds to calm and soothe yourself.
Evolve into silence. Stop when you feel ‘full.’ Be silent. Be present in your body. It is equally important to experience the absence of sound. This balancing allows greater insights and integration.
AFFIRM: I love my body. I trust my body. I make peace with my body. This body is my vehicle, my sacred temple, throughout this lifetime. I honor my body.
Practice as often as you like. Let me know how it works for you!
Pain is an invitation to listen to and acknowledge the compassion and wisdom the body holds. The body is here and now in the present moment. It is intelligent and articulate. It knows me intimately: it houses secrets, suppressed emotions, and dark thoughts. It knows what is needed and it speaks aloud through pain and illness. When ignored, it will speak louder. When ignored, it will magnetize physical world experiences to emphasize its message. The body is a sacred instrument through which the soul speaks. Listen. Listen. Listen.