Finding inner harmony with your voice
It’s so easy to get caught up in the little things. In life, and especially in singing.
Do this. Do that. I should do this. I should do that. I didn’t do this. I can’t do that. They think this. They won’t think that.
There is a mental chatter, what I call the “ticker tape,” of constant, bubbling thoughts. They either guide you, or distract you, or sometimes completely sabotage you.
What’s happening inside when you are singing? Are you plotting the calculus of your next move, or the arrangement of the notes? Are you anticipating something fearful, or worried about your voice? Are you afraid of making a mistake, or worried about how you look or sound?
Thoughts. Thoughts. Thoughts.
But then there are those moments when you have that clearing… that beautiful moment when all is well. All is in harmony, and you think… if only I could feel this way all the time.
What happens in those moments? The ones that keep you coming back for more? Those moments of aliveness, of connection, of sacredness as you are singing, making music, being with others, connected to something bigger and deeper?
Notice, there weren’t any thoughts.
There is a way to access that higher state of connectedness and inner harmony as a regular practice, rather than a hit-or-miss, once-in-a-lifetime kind of miracle. Let me explain.
I want to reveal two secrets I have discovered that have profoundly altered the course of my life and career from a victim of my inner chaos to master teacher.
First: the way in which we are taught to use our voice (I am making a generalization based on my Western classical training) is Mind First.
You are taught to do this with your voice. To think your sound. To make the notes. To shape the vowels. To work your breath. To manipulate your body with your mind, and your voice is under control.
But we are not taught how to distinguish the difference between a willful action, and an intention. So we learn that in order to sing well, we must activate the voice from our conscious mind.
(Cue the mental onslaught.)
Second: we are so focused on the details of our process and the quality of the production that we have completely neglected to include the Number One Most Important Aspect of our being. We have become unconsciously disconnected with the divine source of our voice.
Mental chaos stems from being in a state of thoughts running amok, colored by your emotions and past conditioning, attempting to do all the little things at once.
Inner harmony is accessed from starting at the top, and initiating your connection with source. Your voice outflows from there. It is a state in which the mind is at ease, and your instrument is aligned with mind, body, and spirit. You are functioning at a higher level.
But most importantly (and honestly the greatest lesson I have learned), is that when you quieten the ticker tape, and become aligned with your higher nature, the reward is not just good singing and a capable, trustworthy voice.
The true reward is the recognition that you, and your voice, are a vehicle for Divine Love. And nothing could more harmonious than that.
Guided Prompts for Inner Harmony
Take a moment to breathe, center awareness within the heart space, and enter into a state of stillness. Allow these questions to guide your higher mind into clarity.
Observe your mental state when you are singing. What is the nature of your thoughts?
Do your thoughts serve you, distract you, or sabotage you? Why?
Are you willing to disconnect from the conscious mind, in order to be connected with a higher source when you sing?
How do you allow Spirit to move through you?
Can you allow a more peaceful state of being when you sing?
A Prayer for Inner Harmony
Help me enter into a new state of harmony with my voice.
I pray for inner peace when I sing and express myself.
Help me to become whole as I unite my mind, body, and spirit with my voice.
May I raise my voice in love.
May I raise my voice in service.
May I raise my voice in unadulterated divine joy.
I pray that I may ease the mental tension that obscures my greater purpose.
I pray that I may discover and allow the true nature of my voice.
May I release the thoughts that bind me in fear.
May I release the worries that I will not measure up.
May I release my fear of mistakes and wrongdoing, so that I may rise into my highest potential.
Help me realize the quiet inner space that allows me to be in sacred union with you.
May I be an instrument of Divine Love.
And so it is. Amen.