Healing Voice

voice

The voice is an ‘instrument’ we carry with us wherever we go. I have chosen to write about the voice for that very reason. The voice doesn’t need batteries, electricity. It is the one tool that is most natural and easiest to learn how to use. It doesn’t cost anything to buy it and it can be used in sound healing in many different t ways. Especially the effects the voice can have with focused intention. Then the physical wave forms of sound become potently charged with the intent of the practitioner. One of the practises which can be used is vocal toning. It simply means to make sustained sounds with the voice for therapeutic and meditative purposes. Toning can be thought of as generating and shaping pure energy in the form of sound via the voice. Using the voice in sound therapy can help reduce tension and relax. The foundation of vocal toning is breath awareness. Breath is the foundation of all life. There is a difference of course between the breath we need for performance singing or sound therapy. Intention and purpose is the difference here.

What I do sometimes as a meditative practise is I make up a song and melody as I go along and put in things that annoy me or I want to express. I am usually more of a writing person, but sometimes emotions and feelings need to be expressed in a quick way, without too much thought. Often when I drive a long and I feel like screaming, I start singing a song with made up words about the things that are happening and I need to vent. This usually cheers me up as it does not stick to a pattern and I can just freely express myself and it is not judged or censored.

For sound therapy there are different ways of using the voice, as mentioned before.

There are humming practises, which can be done with the mouth closed. When the mouth is closed the vibration felt in the body is different to for example a chanting practise where the mouth needs to be open. It can be done loudly or quietly depending one what is needed. Chanting loudly can be a very good way of releasing stress and anger, chanting quietly can be good for focusing the mind and being in the present moment.

When I first starting using my voice for sound therapy I started of with closed mouth humming. Just because my life is so busy and noisy, this helped me to focus on the here and now and just on my voice and the different vibrations. Once I got more confident with that I started ‘playing’ around a bit more with my voice. Just like with every ‘instrument’, it takes practise to get more confident.

The voice can also be used to balance the chakras. Each chakra responds to a certain sound. The vowel for the root chakra for example is uh, as in the word cup. The vowel for the crown chakra is an ee, as in the word me. These toning exercises can be used to balance the chakras.

Using the sound of ones voice can facilitate shift and change inside and out.

Singing Bowls

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I have recently started a course to learn more about sound therapy and I thought I share with you my love for singing bowls. It will be a short summary of the instrument and what it can be used for. Enjoy! x

There are many different size and shapes Singing Bowls. They are all round but the circumference and the depth varies. The thickness and colour of material used to make the bowls varies. The sound the bowl makes is determined by the shape and thickness of material , as well as by the thickness of the rim.

Singing bowls produce their tones in different ways. The first thing that influences the sound is the beater used. The beaters are usually made out of a soft wood or are covered in a felt like material. The size of the beater is also important. This is a matter of trial and error. Some bowls sound better with a softer beater others need a harder beater. In general a larger beater will produce a richer, fuller sound and are usually used with larger bowls, whilst the smaller beaters are used with smaller bowls.

One way of making the bowl ‘sing’ is by hitting it with the beater and listening to the sound and vibrations. Another way is to rub the beater around the rim of the bowl. Is is important to do this clockwise and never anti-clockwise. Rubbing the rim anticlockwise is not in harmony with the energy of our bodies.

One way to use a singing bowl is by listening and holding it in the palm of your hand. Just letting the sound ring and listening in a relaxed manner with your eyes closed. One should start by experiencing the sound as a whole. The singing bowl can also be placed near or on the body to feel the vibrations going through the body. there are some singing bowls that are linked to certain chakras. So if you feel that your solar plexus chakra needs support and help to open you would place the specific singing bowl on your solar plexus to help with clearing any blockage in the body. You can either sit or lie down and put the bowl where it is needed to feel the healing vibrations and hear the sound. It is also possible to touch the bowl with your tongue or lip to feel the vibrations.

Singing bowls have different affects on the body. It can be used in therapeutic workshops. The sound and the vibration can have a calming effect on the body and he mind and help to relax people. As mentioned before it can help clear certain chakra blockages. Singing bowls can help boost mental energy as well as help to clarify thinking. It can give an individual increased physical energy as well as increased concentration. It can help to balance the body and the mind and provide stress relief. It can also help to silence the internal dialogue of negative thinking.

The reason I chose to write about the singing bowl is that I have used them on myself to help with my sacral chakra blockages. I have several singing bowls and I find them very beneficial for myself. It is very relaxing and helps to focus my mind and focus on the sound and vibration and on the here and now and forget the stress of work for a while.

Fat Realisations

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Last night I watched ‘Benefits Brides’. There was a couple that were both hugely overweight. He weight 24 Stone and had already lost 7 previously. Due to their weight the couple was on benefits. Despite them loosing a lot of weight they still appeared quite big. He actually said that it is really hard to find a job when you are overweight.

This made me think. I am actually overweight, and am struggling loosing it. Due to my recent bad health I find exercising very difficult, yet I do realise that is not an excuse for bad eating habits. I was actually getting really worried about this. I do have a job at the moment, but what if I ever have to go for an interview the way I look and feel now?

In the morning I rang my husband to ask if he thought that my weight issue could get in the way of finding another job and he said yes. Well no sugar coating there then ;-(.  He actually said (and he knows that I take pride in my organisational skills): You can be the most organised person in the world, but if you’re fat people judge you by what you look like. And with fat people they always think that she can’t control her over eating!!!

Wow what a blow to the head that was in the morning. My husband has always been very honest, which is good mainly. So I left the hotel this morning feeling utterly shit. My confidence had hit rock bottom and I just want to crawl into a hole. I am not very confident and never have been. I wasn’t always big, but for a few years now it just has got out of control. But until this morning I never actually thought that being overweight would ever stand in my way of getting a job.

A low phase

I have hit a really low phase. I am reluctant to call it depression, as I know why I am low, well at least I think I do. People say ‘pain changes you’ I can tell you it does. Nobody that has ever been in constant pain, I mean physical pain in my case, does actually know what it feels like. I have been in physical pain since the beginning of February. I don’t mean a little twitch of pain either, I am talking about oral morphine worthy pain. I spend 7 days in total in hospital and am waiting for surgery at the moment. To deal with the pain I was given a wide array of pain killers, ranging from paracetamol to oral morphine and then some in between. I am writing this here because I feel nobody gets me at the moment and I feel certain people are pushing me on purpose to see when I actually break. Truth is, I feel already broken. I have no motivation for anything. Absolutely everything is a huge effort for me. And yet whilst I feel like sleeping all day when it comes to the night time I am wide awake. My body starts twitching and I just can’t settle, so it’s a viscous circle. I force myself to stay awake during the day but it doesn’t work. I know that physical exhaustion would help, but I am in too much pain to do exercise.

Lately I just want to be left alone. There are only very few people I can tolerate and that don’t annoy me (Georgina you are one of them ;-)). So my boss tends to push all the wrong buttons. She is like a little happy dog who is constantly biting my ankles and I have lost my cool with her. I have been called for a meeting in London to discuss this and guess what… I feel too exhausted to go. I wished my operation would come up soon. My boss is leaving the end of April and I can’t wait. Today I heard that she has been discussing me with a third party who low and behold rang me to tell me off. This so called friend said: For god’s sake pull yourself together. I think there is something wrong with your bloody hormones. this god damn operation can’t come soon enough. You are really not yourself!

Wow that stopped me in my tracks. Have I really been that unbearable? But trust me the last thing you want to hear when you are dealing with pain at such a level is that you have ‘hormone troubles’. This made me think about how I have changed. Well yes I have but then again is that a surprise? Of course I am not the person I am when I am well. I am still ill. Painkillers don’t cure you. I am trying to manage the best I can in the given circumstances, but today I feel like seeing my GP and asking to be signed off until the operation. Unfortunately I don’t get paid when I am ill so I just have to cry and bare it ;-(

Entrainment

Yes I didn’t spell Entertainment incorrectly I would like to talk about Entrainment.On my recent course about sound therapy I read about Entrainment. It describes the effect of energy being naturally attracted to the strongest energy in the immediate area. It does not matter off the stronger energy is good or bad but we will synchronise with it. I find this quite interesting. I learned recently that absolutely everything is energy, even thoughts. The theory of Entrainment is quite important in this case. That is the reason why some people can drain us of energy if our own energy is drawn to or in this case by the stronger energy. So if we feel that somebody is spreading negative energy and we want to protect our own energy we should really walk away from that person unless we feel that our positive energy is strong enough to be the stronger energy in the area, in that case we could turn the negative energy into positive.

The fact that everything is energy is very important when it comes to the ‘Law of attraction’. This mean that whatever we think of, good or bad, we attract. I have a huge problem with anger lately and I find the angrier I get the more situations I attract to make me angry. It is quite hard work to change a thought pattern, but I guess in the long run it will be better for me and my sanity 😉

An other thing I have noticed lately is that dark energy is always at work! I feel I just made a positive step in the direction I would like to go in and then …bang…something bad happens and plans have to be thrown overboard. A friend says we have to try and stay with the light energy even though we are being called to the dark side 😉 It makes sense now in a way. Because if we let the dark energy be stronger it will take over that’s why we have to always stay with the light energy. In that case my friends and readers: Go forth and be light xxx

Mental Health

I read a book a couple of years back it was in German and it was called “Soul attack”. It is basically like a heart attack, but of the soul. It talks about burn out syndrome and feeling completely at the end. A family member of mine has been signed off with ‘burn out’ since October. I have to say that the health system in Germany is managing illnesses like that much better than over here. They do take it seriously and offer a lot of support, because after all they want you back at work. In Germany you can apply for something called a ‘Kur’. depending on your illness you get send to a kind of Spa place for a maximum of six weeks and you receive different treatments, depending on your illness. This is a fantastic thing in my opinion. After those six weeks or so the doctor decides whether yo are fit for a phased return to work or not. Now this distant family member of mine has been has been offered such a ‘Kur’ (cure). After a long wait for a place he had a letter last week asking him to start treatment next week on the 23rd March. But guess what…he refused to go. This now has huge consequences for him, because your health care insurance does not supply you with endless sick pay. And in their eyes he refused to get better and declined treatment. He has now been asked to return to work full time on Monday or he will lose his job with no unemployment benefit either, as he refused help. This seems really harsh in a way, because he has been at home for over 6 months not coping with his illness and all for sudden he has to go back to work full time or else…

Even though I thought the system is better in Germany it is still lacking the empathy and the background knowledge of what ‘burn out’ does to you. Has his therapist actually asked him why he refused to go? On the other hand if you have a heart attack you go and see a doctor immediately, infact you get taken to hospital and treatment starts straight away to safe your life. But when your soul suffers an attack nobody seems to care? Your on your own. And if you are so low that you can’t face leaving the house and seek help yourself you could basically end up losing everything. And if you didn’t already feel depressed enough this could actually push you over the edge.

A few years ago I fell into a deep hole myself and it is so hard to actually carry on it physically hurts. If it hadn’t been for really caring friends I would have lost my job too. Seeking help was hard for me. I hated going and explaining why I felt like I did to strangers. I also came across a few counsellors were I was wondering why they actually did the job they did. I had CBT and after 3 sessions she pronounced me cured. Really? I saw a grief counsellor who cried when I told her my story and left me feeling that my life must be pretty shit if I make her cry.

Over the years I have learned that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Body and mind are one and they are working together. if one is broken, the other one suffers too. I hope that in time there will be far greater awareness of this fact.

Breakfast with Buddha

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I just finished reading this book and I enjoyed it very much. It is written by an American and the landscape he is describing and the hotels they are staying in are all quite American. That is kind of the purpose of the book anyway. Otto Ringling was kind of tricked by his sister to take her ‘guru’ on a road trip across America in order to sell their late parents house and land.

The book shows this change in Otto from a complete dislike for the ‘guru’ Rinpoche, to great respect respect at the end. The book shows great inside into alternative beliefs. Not just Buddhism but various beliefs and religions. It certainly makes you think about your own values and what’s really important in life. I recommend this book!!!

Cultural Gestures

Last week I saw the doctor that is going to perform my surgery. An appointment usually lasts ten minutes. But this doctor really took his time. He thought of several outcomes and it took a while to come up with a plan we both could agree to. He moved my operation from ‘routine’ to ‘urgent’ and promised he would get it sorted as soon as possible. The nurse took some swaps and I had to sign a form to agree to further surgery if what he had planned wasn’t going to work.

In Germany we shake hands a lot. It is a gesture of closing a deal, or a welcome gesture or a gesture to say thank you. In my case I got up to shake the doctors hand to say thank you for taking your time with me and for moving things forward. As I was holding my hand out to him he responded with a kind of high five gesture. That felt really awkward. Why is he high five-ing me? If we were in America it may have been more culturally acceptable. It just felt weird. A friend of mine said: Maybe he thinks you are so cool 🙂 Not really??? That teaches me to shake hands as a gesture of thanks hey?