Trust Your Voice - Trust Your Feelings
Feelings can be overwhelming, unexplainable and confusing, to the point where words are not enough to tell their story.
I sang out my feelings from a very early age which led me to develop a trusting relationship with my voice. I knew it was there to help me express what was going on inside. I knew that if I gave my whole self to it that I would experience soothe at the end of an outpouring.
This trusting relationship with my voice helped me in turn to trust my feelings, to believe that they were valid and potentially healing, because I knew that no matter how difficult they were they had somewhere to go - through my throat and up into my noise maker (!) and out into the world ; be that my room, the shower, the stage or the woods !
Don’t get me wrong, there will be times where there is a self-judging part of me that likes to adjust the tone, improve the timbre, accentuate the vibrato, but that is the working musician side of me. When I need to call on my voice to work with me as a friend, as a helping hand, a mother, a father, I am not interested in judging the musical options or approaches, I am wild, an animal, perfect as I am, pure expression. I am entitled to the sounds I make ! The creaking throat, the long, high-pitched wail, that’s me - in noise form, in the moment !
I’ve found, speaking more now as a song-writer, that there is often a cyclical process ; first the body cries through the mouth, releasing the music of the emotions, then an ensuing sense of relief leads to a softening and a quiet contemplation, and thought begins. This is where I might begin to think about what I just experienced. Then we might have the beginnings of a song.
The medium of language is not everybody’s comfort zone, but I do believe that sounds are everyone’s original way of communicating. This is true in the history of human language development (check out The Singing Neanderthals by Steven Mithen) and it is so in babies. The music of our voices is something that we all respond to whether consciously or not. Have you ever heard someone use the words “I’m fine!” but not quite believe them ?! Their music is plain to hear.
As a counsellor, whilst not dismissing the hugely important element of language in therapy, it is the music behind the words that I try to tune into. I think it’s funny and telling that I used that phrase “tune into” without thinking about it, but it does denote a musical response, which is more right-brained than the thinking left side of language.
I am passionate about the cathartic effect of voice expression. As a trained counsellor reflecting on my lived experience of the benefits of it, I feel compelled to encourage everyone who is suffering with difficult feelings to find somewhere to make your noise. You don’t have to primal scream. You can do the opposite and softly hum as you breathe out. Don’t judge the note, don’t even think of it as a note, it’s a noise, unique to you. If you don’t know where to start, how about a sigh ? Everyone can breathe in and breathe out with a sigh. Do it again. Make the sigh last longer. Then you are off !
Enjoy your adventure into sounds !
I’m excited for you !