This blog post is about my experience with A Song About Finding Peace, created by Jill Rakusen, founder of Giving Voice. I take you through my process, step by step, in a kind of poem. Then I’ve written a bit about the Giving Voice process, unlocking the power of song, and using it to help ourselves through this particular time of global crisis.
By Rachel Healey
Here’s what I experienced...
Old Man, walking, pacing steps of peace …
As I start singing and being with this song, I can feel myself dropping,
Into layer after layer,
Each more peaceful than the last.
I’m breathing more deeply,
My focus is coming in to the present moment,
My emotions of anxiety and fear are subsiding.
Instead I’m noticing feelings of calm and spaciousness.
My physical sensations are of softening,
My face and belly relaxing,
My shoulders dropping,
My spine uncurling.
I’m becoming aware of a peaceful yet enlivened space around my heart.
New thoughts and sensations
Are gently coming in to this space.
The wonderful thing about the thoughts is that I’m less attached to them than usual –
I can feel myself as witness, saying,
Look at that thought, that’s an interesting thought. Is it true? Is it useful?
For example, I’m thinking, how much peace do I want?
Do I want to continue with this practice,
Dropping through more layers,
Letting go of the fear and anxiety I’ve been carrying
Since the start of this coronavirus pandemic?
Or am I quite attached to the fear and anxiety?
Is there a sense of community in participating in it?
If I let go of that, will I be even more isolated –
Who will join me in this non-anxious state of being?
Will I be alone in my semi-peaceful state?
Then I drop into more layers,
Where my anxiety about that subsides,
And I start to experience myself as part of something,
Just by the fact of being human,
It’s such a relief!
I know that I don‘t have to do anything,
I don’t have to be in any particular way –
Just allow the song to be there with me,
For me and the song to be here
Old Man, talking, speaking words of peace …
This is a peace that has eluded me for days now!
Yet it only took a few minutes connecting with this song to find it.
Why on earth have I been depriving myself of this?
Old Man, listening, hearing sounds of peace …
There’s so much around me that I could be enjoying,
The wind outside, the odd bird,
The sounds of my breath and my singing - I could be enjoying them more!
Old Man, watching, seeing signs of peace …
The softness of the daylight,
Colours in my environment,
Spring buds on trees
And in the earth.
The song continues to resonate.
I’m enjoying more.
My mind becomes quiet,
As I unlock the power
Of this song.
I’ve learnt how to do this through something called the Giving Voice Process, developed by Jill Rakusen. I’ve had years of practice developing this skill; at the same time, it reminds me of what it was like the first time I came across it, and many other times in between. I felt present, relaxed, gently focused, enjoying each moment, feeling part of a greater whole. At my first Giving Voice event, I experienced myself as part of an eternal singing community, stretching into the past and into the future. I felt part of a line, a chain, a movement.
This process isn’t all about being with other singers and doing something together in the same room: it’s an inner experience and something I carry within myself, always. It feels as if it’s always been there, I just needed to learn how to unlock it and let it out!
I’m drawing on the power of song so much in this time of crisis. So are other people already involved in Giving Voice, who are engaging with this and other songs in their own lives and homes, like me.
Knowing other people are engaging with this special song at this time adds an extra dimension: it reminds us we are interconnected and part of a greater whole, and that, simply by doing this, we can offer something to others, just through being open to what it offers. And by affecting the ways of being of those who sing or listen to it, in turn this can impact on others around them too.
There’s more information available about this song and how to begin to unlock its power. Do get in touch if you want to know more and get involved.
To learn more about Unlocking the Power of Song, visit our Facebook page, and join our Facebook group. If you are interested in Giving Voice for Peace, take a look at our website. If you want to join our mailing list, in due course we’ll let you know about the launch of our forthcoming book: Unlocking the Power of Song - a Companion for Challenging Times, and any options to order advance copies. We’ll be publishing some advance draft chapters from the book in our Facebook group.
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