Giving Voice to the Heart

Heart Connection AlbumIt’s hilarious to me and I love that I can now, technically, say I’m a “recording artist”. It makes my heart smile and laugh a little bit.

Me.

The shy and quiet girl who got a C in public speaking in third grade. I still remember, my head bowed, speaking down to the tiny 3×5 cue card in my hands and shifting my weight back and forth from foot to foot. Unbeknownst to me, my legs moved further and further apart for the unbearable couple of minutes I was up there in front of the class until I was nearly in the splits.

Trying to gain ground and losing it at the same time. If I just make myself wider, more solid. More connected. Unconsciously of course.

I was terrified.

I think of the young adult who got so sick with a candida overgrowth that my throat actually closed up. I lost my voice. Over and over again.

On repeat.

I laugh at the memory of the first time I tried to lead or offer a friend in the simple chant of “Om”. We sat on the floor of my apartment facing one another.

“Okay, I’m ready,” I said. I took a deep breath in and then at the moment when the sound of Om was meant to escape from my lungs and throat and mouth. I quickly snapped my mouth shut. And we both laughed.

“I can’t,” I said.

Supportively and patiently, she waited until the sound emerged.

I think of these moments and a pattern of not giving voice to. Of not giving voice to emotion or experience. Of turning it all inward. I think of the moments of fear and now, I can send love to that former me.

Maybe I wasn’t ready.

When I started offering yoga and yoga nidra I wasn’t as afraid. Sometimes, yes. And yet, the words always seemed to flow. Even if my throat felt constricted.

A while ago I thought of the fifth chakra in relation to all the others. How whatever we give voice to – the vibration of voice – comes from so much more than the act of opening a mouth and emitting sound. That vibration and tone and quality of sound is moving through the entire physical body, energetic body, and spiritual body. What we say is as wrapped up in our psychology as how we act. For the communication channel to become more clear, the other centers need to heal too.

I can feel the reverberation of my own words through my body now. Right down into my legs (or up from them into my throat?). I notice it when I feel in resonance the most in my heart, my voice feels more soothing. Not constricted.

When I get worked up, my voice tightens. The pitch changes. Words might fly out that are more harmful than healing. That happened a lot as I was starting to learn how to not internalize so much. How to have a healthy outward expression.

About a year ago I worked up the confidence to start posting yoga nidra recordings to YouTube. I had hidden in fear for a couple years there too. Fear of having what I put out into the world not liked. That same old fear of persecution which I’m trying to let go of flaring up. Holding back any potential success or goodness because of the fear of being liked oar disliked. Dislike actually feeling tantamount to death. People with torches and pitchforks coming after me.

A tad dramatic?

Perhaps.

It was a strong enough fear to limit me and what I did. To limit my voice in the world.

When I started putting those recordings up I decided to put them up no matter what happened. They didn’t have to be “perfect”. I put them up as practice. I needed to speak and create even if I was afraid to. To share.

I needed to be okay with rejection. There has been some, yes. More often than not, people have said they find them helpful.

This Heart Connection album came through as a workshop at first and that workshop wanted to be repeated. So I started offering it over and over. In Brooklyn, New York, in Dublin, Ireland and at home in Georgetown, Ontario. Every time there was such deep transformation in the room. It was truly a privilege to witness. The heart is powerful.

I wanted to provide something to allow the people who came to the workshop the practices we worked with to do at home. That’s where the birth of this album appeared.

It came through my heart and body and soul and wanted to emerge. It needed it to emerge through my voice and so, after months of wondering how to produce a recording that would be better quality than my YouTube posts, I asked for help and guidance. A friend and my brother taught me how to build a sound booth.

I got to go back to my fort-building skills as a kid. I took all of the couch cushions and pillows from my parent’s house and built a for in the laundry room. I put my mic on the edge of a hat, downloaded some sound editing software and away I went.

I’ve never had so much focus as I did that day – recording the whole album. Some other energy took over and just kept me working until it was done. There was a passion and a drive fueled by a deep heart knowing.

So, here I am. The one who couldn’t speak up or out. The one who chose not to. The one who lost her voice completely because of dis-ease within now with an album out all over the world! And I haven’t had fear lead the charge. This Heart Connection album did come from the heart. It came from a place of resonance on so many levels and of breaking out into the world in a new, supported, way.

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