In this episode, we are going to investigate how your throat chakra got domesticated, and what you can do to get your howl back. Watch the video or read the transcript below:
So once upon a time, as a little person you howled with the wolves. (wolf howls) You cried when you wanted to cry, You pooped when you needed to poop, and you laughed like a maniac. And one of the special things that you probably did at that time, is that in adult terms, you made a fool of yourself every day, and you were funny as hell.
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Your voice was free for a time. And then as we know, life happened. So parents begin to teach us when to speak and not to speak. Part of this has to be taught to children and is evolutionary for keeping us safe - imagine 100,000 years ago when we were being hunted by giant saber-toothed tigers. Expressing yourself freely in the jungle was quite a dangerous affair, so you had to know when to shut up. And your parents certainly would have taught you that from when you were little
But we also learn dysfunctional rules about speaking from them. Imagine a home scenario where daddy does most of the speaking and mommy doesn't. So we learn all kinds of rules, mirroring mommy perhaps and we start to shut down. We learn all kinds of things from our parents and families, some beautiful and loving, and some, shut down or even toxic. Unfortunately, they got domesticated when they were kids too.
And so it gets passed down generation to generation.
So in the family home, we learn these rules about expressing emotions, boundaries, our feelings and needs. Is it okay to express anger? Do we directly express love? Can we tell jokes and be foolish? Are we confident to play the fool and laugh at ourselves? Are we allowed to be weird and different or do we have to be composed? And so on. But it gets even more fruity when we go to school.
I want to talk about something really curious that happens there that I don't fully understand. But I'm very curious about it - I invite you to share your experiences of it.
When we leave the embrace of the family home, not physically because we're probably still staying at home, but when we go to school, what happens then?
We enter a weird quasi-tribal culture of fledgling beings who are apparently being mentored by teachers. And it's kind of weird – I've been thinking about the fact that at schools, the teachers are there to teach kids a whole bunch of subjects like science and maths, and all kinds of not very interesting subjects like that - but they don't really teach the children how to be with each other. How to be conscious, kind, authentic, or even to have clear boundaries. We learn the names of all the countries in the world but can barely name our own emotions. We learn the capability to do complex maths but we aren't even taught the tools to regulate our nervous system when we’re anxious.
And all of a sudden, all these kids are hanging out with each other more than they're hanging out with their parents. And in the vacuum of guidance it seems that they make up rudimentary rules of behavior. And there's a semi-tribal thing going on, kids hanging out. And over time that can get pretty weird. And in my experience, and the experience of my clients, there's all kinds of shaming and othering that happens at school. And one of the things that happen within this adolescent human being, is a desperate desire to fit in, and a need to fit in, because otherwise shaming and othering happens. So she or he or they develop the need to defend themselves by fitting in.
And many patterns start to develop. He or she may become withdrawn and disappear in groups, because it may be completely important to their survival to disappear. Or he or she can develop loud, defensive verbal patterns for taking on and taking down enemy opposition. And for the most part, we stop= being our spontaneous, quirky and comical selves and become half the person we were. And most of us lose our crazy, beautiful howl.
And I think a radical amount of our conditioning happens right there from six or eight years old to 18 or 19 years old, and by then we've set in place quite a lot of patterns, behavior patterns that we then have for life. So there's a whole lot of conditioning that happens there – behavioral conditioning – that we didn't necessarily choose, but now is kind of hardwired into us. So that's one level of how we stopped howling with the wolves.
Next step. At that time we start becoming more independent and absorbing youth culture. But adolescent culture is mostly a mirror of our parental culture plus the new input of technology and youth oriented pop culture and music and the kind of things that teens consume.
But the movies have been made for them by adults. So the directors and script writers tend to just translate the programming that they have, and make it teen friendly. And the bands and musicians express for the most part, a combination of a rather vanilla rebellion, with emotional music, about falling in love and getting your heart broken. And on the one hand the music helps teens explore the deep, new emotions that they're going through. But on the other hand, it actually is just more of the same programming inherited from their parents and the larger culture.
Then, of course, we've got this whole other level of domestication which is through society-level programming. Like what men should do. Men should not speak too much. Men should definitely not express their feelings. They should not lose control emotionally. I think a lot of men also carry a program that they need to be positive and rational and to be strong all of the time. And most men are also programmed into not crying. I am definitely one of them. Friends I'm going to speak in very broad strokes - each of us is different of course, but these are some of the ways we get domesticated.
And so women are equally conditioned - taught that they should not speak. There is huge cultural programming about women being too emotional, about women being too much. As in “your emotions are too much”! “Lady please calm down!” And so they begin to bottle emotions and try to hide emotions, and definitely to regret emotions, and to feel shame for emotions because society apparently doesn't like those. So anger is suppressed in both men and women – but especially in women, and so are most of our emotions.
So there's all this programming, starting with childhood and parental programming, then adolescent and school programming, and then our whole culture shutting down and promoting inauthenticity.
And ultimately we are just these sweet little creatures that are terrified of being thrown out of the tribe, terrified of being rejected and judged so we conform and behave. And for much of our lives on a surface level many parts of us are domesticated to submit and suck it up.
And yet, on another level, what made us joyful as a child was dancing, singing, drawing, playing, being an artist – everyone was an artist as a kid. Everyone was a dancer and a singer.
But the culture that we were brought up in, this excellence-focused culture where only dancers really dance and only singers sing, and only artists draw and paint, this mad, insane culture with seemingly outrageous standards of perfection, this culture is set up so that we all give up our voices and all give up our art and all give up our dance moves.
In all of this perfectionism, our playfulness and joy is lost and our delicious goofiness is gone. And of course, we always want more joy, but are we willing to go through the shame of outing how silly and imperfect we are?
The good news is none of that playfulness is lost. None of that joy is lost. One of the best ways we can heal this is every day in our behavior. One of the most profound ways we can change stuckness in the realms of voice is at the behavioral level. So in other words, just to begin to try to expose the voice, to expose the imperfection with playfulness, to sing together or alone, but try and fail and discover that unlike what the programming says, when you are playful and out of tune or goofy, you will not die. If you sing badly no one will throw you out of the tribe and you will not be rejected.
So at the behavioral level, we begin to heal by just doing it and as we try and fail and succeed we learn that playfully but consistently pitching up to our edge is important for overcoming our domestication. So in summary what we can do to recover our wild voices is to liberate them bit by bit, pushing out our edge until we are running wild and free.
For consistency, join a group or a programme and find people to hold you accountable.
So we either shy away from the edge for life and stay small, or we creep toward that edge and let loose!
And through being playful, and having fun, and being light with oneself we might find out that it's okay to not be perfect and not have the perfect voice or the perfect body or the perfect dance moves. And that in the act of trying and moving through the shame, JOY – like a little plant breaking through a concrete sidewalk - that little plant of joy breaks through and we start having lots of little bits of fun again.
And one of the best things is that we are neurologically wired to shine when we do this opening up and singing and dancing together IN GROUPS – or over the internet in community. Our neurophysiology is designed for group interaction like this, designed for group healing and de-traumatization when we come together to be a little bit playful and foolish and expressive together.
So I invite you today to just discover a little bit more playfulness and joy and self expression, and howl with the wolves once more.
(wolf howls, plus jeremy)
Thank you so much for sharing this video. Please let me know what you felt and thought while listening to this. Drop a comment below sharing where you are and how your voice is. Please subscribe for more, and as you can see there are other videos in the series. Please do watch them.
Much love and have a beautiful day wherever you are in this world, may you and your family be healthy