Let Go and Let it Rip!

When was the last time you screeched or even screamed at the top of your lungs? Not out of a need to defend yourself, although it is good to know your voice is there if you need it. I’m talking about feeling the power of the full range of your natural voice.

Babies let us know how they feel, expressing their joy and pain in a wide range of vocal sounds. Little girls SCREAM like crazy, escalating up into their high ‘whistle register’, the highest range of the human voice. For many adults, the last time we let loose with the full power of our natural voice was around the age of 5 or 6. Way back before many of us got the message that we were too big or too loud and should quiet down and behave ourselves.

Discovering the power and potential of your voice isn’t only for singers. We all have a voice! As we open into the full potential of our range, we discover familiar but long forgotten, exciting new territory.  To feel the power and energy lying dormant in us, when we let our voices rip without judgement, reconnects us with lost or hidden parts of ourselves.

In service of the whole…

When I open my voice and am willing to share it, it opens the door for a client to step through. It’s taken me years to understand how to empower clients to let go and let it rip. What I know now is that my courage to step into the unknown gives a client the permission to dig deep and go where they need to go.

As their vocal exploration deepens, they claim aspects of themselves that are unique to their journey. They go places that only they can go. I witness them taking hold of the reins of their creative expression and going for it. What could be more satisfying than this?!

For one client, reconnecting with the exuberant scream of the 5 year old, was like plugging back into a long forgotten power source. When she rediscovered this familiar but long lost freedom, it was like reconnecting with a very dear friend.

Tips for trying this on your own:

  • The biggest obstacle is that we’re all so concerned about freaking out the neighbors. You simply need to prioritize this. Find a good time and go for it. Over all the years that I’ve done voice work, I’ve never had anyone complain or freak out about the noise.
  • Experiment with natural sounds not singing sounds: slides are great for this. Go from your low voice up into your high voice. Then, try and expand your range to go a little lower or a little higher!
  • Move your body as you sound: Try the Ragdoll Swing, let your upper body swing down as your voice goes up and swing up as your voice goes down!
  • Have fun and don’t work too hard! Just like “Allowing the breath in”, which I talked about in the last blog post, it’s time to let go and allow the sound to flow out.
  • Please comment and tell me how it goes!

Are You Letting That In?

Breathing is like receiving a compliment. It’s not easy to let it in…

Letting in or allowing in the breath, takes time. It requires that you pause and pay attention, and notice the impact of the breath on your whole body. This is a fundamental way to work with stress and tension, even just for a moment. And it’s the first step to claiming your full voice. Connect with your breath first. Then, you can experience the power of your full voice!
Allow the breath in…don’t take it…
Taking a breath is a lot of effort. Allowing the breath is an act of letting go. It’s a release! It takes awareness and attention to let go of tension.

The body is your vocal tube, because it is the instrument for the voice.  The way that you embody your instrument, from the ground up, impacts the way you use your voice. When it comes to breathing, you want to focus on your “inner tube”. The ribs, muscles, tissues and cells that are flexible, moveable and inflatable, like an inner tube. Try it!

Here’s how:

Place your tongue on the your lower lip, to get it out of the way. Glamorous, I know! Place your awareness behind the tongue, in the back of the throat. Visualize a cave that is the entry way for your inner tube. Now,  send a message to your brain:  “Allow the breath in.”  Then, when you’re ready: “Release the breath out.”   Let the breath come in and out through your mouth. Feel the coolness on the back of your throat. Become mindful and observe your body opening. Take your time and wait for an impulse to breathe in. There may be a natural pause here.

Tips:

  • Do not actively try and calm down or relax your breathing. Simply pay attention to how…you…breathe
  • Relax the eyes into peripheral vision, letting the jaw go slack, and become aware of your back body. Let go for a moment of the speedy, forward moving busy, busy world, and touch into a quiet place of observing and trusting your body’s wisdom..
  • It’s crucial that you release the muscles of the abdomen or belly, and not wear tightly fitting clothes around your middle.
  • You do not need to  take a deep breath. It’s not important at this point to fill up your lungs. Less is more.
  • You can do this at a stop light, on a walk, or in a stressful moment. It’s true, you may need privacy to let your tongue hang out!

Being with the breath is nourishing for the nervous system. It can also open up a reservoir of deep feelings that are held in the body. Our habitual way of breathing, which may be shallow or restricted,  is often due to how we managed feelings in the past that were too painful to experience at the time.

So, these feelings can come to the surface when we turn our awareness towards our breathing. At the minimum, this is an opportunity, to acknowledge that the feelings are there. You may not be ready to address them, but there is relief in taking that first step and acknowledging them. And if you have the opportunity to speak with a friend or therapist, then by all means. It is a gift to unburden yourself of grief or pain that you’ve been carrying for so long.

Let the light in…Allow the breath, don’t take it.