And the Angels Sang

May 08, 2012

The most amazing thing happened on Sunday – the angels sang through me as me!

This is HUGE.

Here’s why it’s huge not only for me but also for you.

I have had a long held, very deep belief, in yoga known as a samaskara, that I could not sing. I knew this to be true, for what felt like my entire life.

The first real memory I have of being told “You can’t sing” was when I was in junior high, so around 11 or 12 years old. I wanted to join chorus instead of orchestra. I had played the violin since I was in second grade and figured I would learn to sing in chorus like I learned to play the violin in orchestra. Then I would be able to do both!

Instead I was told, you can’t be in chorus because you can’t sing. And just like that the belief was set. You can’t sing and you can’t learn how, that is just how it is.

And so, over the next 30 years this thought and belief manifested into actions – blushing, apologizing, voice cracking, squeaking and shaking, throat tightening – any time singing in a group setting came up.

Grateful to be with Suzanne!

Flash forward 30 years to just a few days ago. An incredibly inspiring yoga teacher, Suzanne Sterling, taught The Art of the Voice as a part of the 300 Hour Professional Yoga Teacher Program I’m taking. After some informative and comforting instruction, we got ready to sing.

Amazing thing number 1: after showing us how to relax our throats and where and how to breathe, we simply sang “Aaaaahhhhhh”. And all 30 of us held this note for so long we couldn’t believe it was coming out of us!! The more I relaxed into it, the easier it was to keep going and going and going…..I finally understood how singers hold those loooooooong notes. And it felt really cool.

Amazing thing number 2: we combined our voices in the sounds of “Ooooohhhh” and “Aaaaaahhhhh” as high and as low as we felt inspired to as Suzanne played the harmonium. It felt safe to play and experiment with my voice inside the beautiful combination of all the other voices. I remembered the relaxed feeling from amazing thing number 1 and just went for it. Up and down, completely calm and at peace.

Within a few moments a delicious feeling spread throughout my body as I realized, “I’m singing!” For real. I knew in that moment and for the first time in my life this is what singing feels like. My own song resonated in my head and body and it was beautiful.

Instantly following that feeling and thought came this, “They were WRONG.” Followed by a brief but intense wave of grief and tears. I had spent the last 30 years living something that wasn’t true. Which was then followed by the most delightful, uplifting and exciting thought of them all, “If they were wrong about this, what else were they wrong about?”

And that is what I’m most excited to live and explore now – “What else were they wrong about?” “What beliefs and samskaras do I have now that I might shed later?” “Where else will life delight and surprise me as truth unfolds?”

How much richer, fuller, more beautiful, blissful and fulfilling can our lives be when we relax into our song instead of resist it?

Gently, kindly and with compassion look at some of your own “cant’s” and consider the wonderful possibility that all along you really could and can.

If you enjoyed or were inspired by what you read, please Like, Share, and Tweet. With Gratitude, Cathy

4 Responses »

  1. GO GIRL! Suzanne is an amazing teacher and has such a gift for opening people to their voice. Way to take the risk and… suddenly find yourself singing!!!

  2. Thanks, Robin! xo

  3. I also took part in a workshop with Suzanne last fall and had a very similar experience. It was as we were all dancing around singing ‘Om namah shivaya’ at the top of our lungs that my emotions hit. I wild moment of sadness, joy, grief, freedom all came bursting out through my tears. Such a healing experience!!

    I was ‘high’ for days after that workshop! I’m so happy that you found your voice. Keep singing, sister! :)

  4. That is awesome, Rachel! I loved that part, too. I’m singing right along with you. xo

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