This blog was shot in my bungalow in Thailand - I'm here for 2 weeks running workshops, private sessions and sharing music.
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Today we're going to be investigating some mindset shifts around our voices that are worth exploring .
And the first one goes like this:
"I can heal my social engagement system, I can feel safe in front of and around a lot of people."
So here's the thing, we have this amazing thing called our ventral vagal nervous system and it's said to be one of the most developed parts of our nervous system. One of the things that it regulates is our relationships with other people and our feelings of safety around other humans. It's an amazing set of nerves that descends out of the brain, visits our voice-box, has plenty of contact with our heart and then even more with our gut, tummy and abdomen.
So it's really important for regulating how we feel at any given moment but most specifically, for those of us who are standing up in front of a lot of people, either singing or dancing or speaking, or in social environments too.
We start feeling a sense of locking up in the throat, potentially spreading into the chest and with a whole whirlwind in the tummy too.
The way out of this feeling is to begin to really free the voice and tone and soothe the ventral vagal nervous system; the social engagement nervous system. By bringing it back into health when we're around other humans, we can feel safe and comfortable and not under threat.
Really we just sit in our skin.
Another upside of this is even being able to pitch up on the internet and just be who you are. And obviously this is really important at work and in relationships and in your friendships, to just be able to be confident and comfortable in your own skin.
The second one, which is really allied to the first... (I'm have to pause now to look at my piece of paper - It's pretty low-tech here.) and which I think, a beautiful affirmation if you like, which is:
"My voice brings me confidence and joy."
So, for those us who have an ambivalent relationship with our voices, not quire sure, we love it sometimes, it's inconsistent. It is possible to develop an enormous amount of confidence and joy in our voices. I think part of it, and one of the ways of doing it, is through learning to sing again. So really, learning how to free up the voice - I'll say it's like a pyramid. There may be three legs to this pot or pyramid, there are three points to this thing.
On the one hand with the voice, we need to develop beautiful strength to be able to sing and speak with confidence, so we can really know that our voice is consistent. A second aspect, is to develop dexterity, so that it's fluid and knows how to move and is loose and free. And the third part is really undoing all of the tension in the voice.
Yes, we're aiming to undo all of this tension that ends up closing up a voice. And in this practice of learning how to sing and freeing our voices, we develop a more melodic more intuitive voice that's not our kind of rational, 'in control' voice. And as I've probably mentioned before, it seems modern science says that the left-hand side of our brain is really (low droning sound in background -- I don't know if you can hear that boat there but it sounds awesome.) ...the left-hand side of our brain regulates speech, for the most part.
So that's our logical side, that's our analytical side, it deals with the known. And this other side of our brain, which deals with the intuitive, the unknown the more creative side, also regulates singing. So I like to think that, if we're going to express completely, that we want to do both hemispheres and teach our body and being to sing and move between speaking and making sense, and then making no sense and singing and being lyrical and beautiful and emotional and all the things.
"My voice brings me confidence and joy."
So the last thing is really a mindshit-- a mind-shit (erk, let's try that again). So the last thing is a beautiful mindset shift for those of you who are not sure, which is:
"I can sing beautifully in tune."
I have yet to experience a single person who can't learn how to sing in tune. The amazing thing is is that you can learn how to sing in tune and you can learn how to do it consistently. I always refer to those people who got thrown out of the birthday party at age six, or 12 or whenever they stopped singing. Someone told them that they can't or shouldn't sing, and it's actually a lie. In the private sessions that I do, usually within 10 minutes, people start singing and they start experiencing their voices in a way that is, "oh actually it's just my voice and it's beautiful just the way it is." And to that end, the best thing that you can do is go to my humming video or start humming every morning, so you have some time with your voice where it's expressing, it's being 'not logical'. It's exercising itself, it's a five minute humming practice every morning and it's just a time for your voice to be able to come out without judgment.
Yeah, so a little bit of magical one-on-one time with your voice. And then in these private sessions, within half an hour... (and I'm not saying you need to have private sessions with me), I'm just saying, that every single person that I work with, within in half an hour, will be singing in tune.
Your natural ability, whatever in your body says "I don't know if I'm singing right", that bit that says, "ooh this feels weird", is actually your tuning sense telling you that, "ooh, we need to move somewhere else."
And what you to learn how to do, is to move with that feeling, move your voice to the right place and bam, you're a singer and you have a beautiful voice. So I'd love you to just do that shift if you are, what you consider to be, a non-singer. To shift it just even today to say, "you know what? I actually can sing in tune, I'm gonna work out how later but for the moment I totally believe I can and it's just a matter of time and within this lifetime I'm gonna join the big circle of friends who are all singing and we're gonna have a good time together."
I forget to say all of the things that I'm supposed to say like please subscribe to this channel. Please do subscribe to the channel and leave a comment down at the bottom. Let me know how any of this landed and how you're feeling about your voice today. I'd love you to join in the journey, also there's a link in the description below to a pdf which is called The Vocal Freedom Guide. So if you're looking for some tips about how to up-level and free your voice, do download that.
And I look forward to meeting you.
Thank you very much for sharing this time together.
Much love, bye!