Is there an untapped power in your voice? Did you know that you can increase your energy, become more calm and focused, and release pain and tension – all with the sound of your own voice?
The other day, I was all revved up…I mean really revved. After going non-stop for several hours, I got that wired & tired feeling, my mind was reeling and I felt exhausted. I remember that feeling well from my days working for an agency as a mobile therapist. There were times that two-thirds of the way through my day, I couldn’t imagine getting through the rest of it. But, I had a secret weapon.
The way to keep going is to stop. (Sometimes you have to stop and get your bearings.) Then I take a breath and let my voice make sound – not pretty sounds, not singing sounds, but any sounds that come out without my thinking about them. That’s how the process starts and by the end of it, I feel recharged, calm and able to focus.
Freeing Your Voice
In 1980, a little book brought big changes into my life. I found Toning: The Creative Power of the Voice by Laurel Elizabeth Keyes and it sent me on an exciting journey. She talked about the need to allow the “body-voice” to express itself, without the mind directing things. So, step one of freeing your voice is to give yourself permission to make sound and for some of us, that’s not as easy as it sounds.
As infants, we came into the world wailing and then spent years learning to be quiet – how to behave at home, at school and in public. Sometimes, those lessons were less than ideal.
How many times in your life was there a command to be quiet? How well did you learn to stuff your feelings? How often did you hold your tongue because it wasn’t safe or because no one would pay attention anyway? And, were you someone who was told you can’t or shouldn’t sing?
The Feelings in Your Voice
Most vocal sound is used to communicate our thoughts. Also, we know that emotion is carried in the voice, even though we usually don’t think about it. That emotion thing…that’s important, because it can be how and why we get blocked. But, that’s a discussion for another time.
Your voice is directly tied to your emotional center. There are three cranial nerves involved in producing vocal sound. Think about it – 3 of the 12 nerves that deal with movement and sensation, in your whole body, are involved with a simple hum. And, those three nerves extend their fibers into the limbic system of the brain before they reach the thinking cortex.
The limbic system is the part of the brain that deals with emotions and behavior. So, this means we feel, and even act, before we can think about it. The voice is a tool to express feeling.
What happens when you stub your toe? Do you think to yourself, “I’ve stubbed my toe and it really hurts; I think I will say ouch,” or does that “ouch,” or something stronger, come out before you get a chance to think about it? Does the intensity of your reaction match the level of pain and surprise you feel? Of course it does; the sound emerges as a reflex. We are wired to make vocal sound and the voice is wired to express thoughts and feelings. Is that all, or is there more?
The Voice of the Soul
I remember the first day, as a young student of psychology, that I made the connection between psyche and soul. It’s simple, I know, but I missed it if my psychology classes mentioned soul or any of my early spiritual teachings talked about psychology.
Soul – that mysterious activating force within.
Psyche – the thoughts, feelings and behaviors, both conscious and unconscious, that determine how we walk through life.
Can we clear through the clutter of our busy lives, our programmed reactions to things and those stuck places to reach deeper levels of ourselves? Can we reach the soul? This brings us to another untapped power in your voice.
With your voice you can come into deeper communication with yourself – contact that quiet, deep place of knowing. As my young friend Anni Powell says, “You are the rogue explorer of your own soul’s journey.” Anni and I have created a workshop to help you free your voice, clear the clutter, become more playful and contact your deeper, joyful self. Learn more here→ Opening to Your Soul’s Purpose.
Be well, Meg