GV's potential for universal appeal
Many people have revealed how GV offers a profound experience, regardless of religious or spiritual conviction. Each person tends to draw on GV to a level they're comfortable with; often people are surprised at the depth to which it takes them.
GV participants alienated from religion and spirituality
“GV is the only thing that connects with my soul and my being.” Judith
“I felt at one with the Universe.” (following a day event) anon
GV can provide a refuge for those of us who feel challenged by aspects of religion or its interpretation; likewise if we carry some cynicism or distrust of organised religion, or its adherents, or indeed towards anything ‘spiritual’. For a short while this may sometimes cloud how we perceive our experiences with GV (as indeed was the case for Jill to some extent). However, our perceptions can quickly change. Sandra, found, for example:
“GV has made me closer to ‘god’. Normally I don’t ‘do’ god!”*
GV was enabling Sandra to claim, or reclaim, her spirituality. Others have found this too. For example –
“I used to find lots of ‘spiritual’ stuff difficult, but GV helped me address my needs in a ‘wholesome’ and inclusive way.”
“Deep sacredness is hard for me to experience … [yet] I felt this deeply.”
“GV provided me with a ‘holding space’ – something I realised I’d only rarely experienced through church, and not for a long time.”
This kind of experience often starts with the recognition that we’ve “come home”. This was the case, for example, for Robina –
“…[the song] helped me realise that as a small child, I’d wished I’d died. It would have been the end to all my pain and suffering. I’ve been looking for a way to ‘get back home to the universe’ all my life. I could have chosen extreme sports and finished the job off! Thank God for GV. It enables me to be at home here in the world with my family and friends. Hopefully now I won't have to create any more illnesses in order to ‘come home’.”**
Participants who follow a religion
We may find GV deepens our relationship with a religion we follow –
“Following the residential I’m able to connect with my prayers more than I’ve ever done before. And now in the [Sikh] Temple I can actually listen!” Danni
“I wouldn’t have thought anything other than what I was doing at church could influence how I feel about church. I am so much more connected and involved, + giving better lessons. People have commented … I’ve always imagined myself as a spiritual person, but through GV I’ve found a way of actually being spiritual (I now realise I hadn’t actually been connecting with my spirituality before). GV is totally to do with my Christianity. I think it’s compatible with spirituality of all kinds, which is one of its incredible strengths”.
“GV is re-birthing me – healing me alongside and entwined with my Christian faith and daily work, bringing a new joy, peace and creativity …” Abbie
"It's like reading my holy book [the Quran], except when I do that I feel sleepy. With Giving Voice it makes me feel refreshed.” Rehana
GV’s role in strengthening or clarifying our convictions
While GV can help us gain greater clarity and depth of awareness, it can do much more than that. Engaged with regularly, it can help us increasingly expand our awareness – of our interconnectedness with all nature, for instance. In this way, it has the potential to inform and enhance our entire lives, including our political activities – eg through engaging in GV for Peace and Building the world we want, or exploring ‘Applied Giving Voice’ and ‘Beyond Personal Empowerment’ as described in our book.
“That song is so special to me. After singing it I wrote the following affirmation from my heart: ‘My life is now ruled by love, not by power or by might of others. Love that is within my soul – both for me and radiating from me. I am letting go of all need to control or be controlled. I am letting go with love.’ The song also brought healing and resolving love to an issue I’d been struggling with.’” Denny
"For the first half of my life I was always searching for Truth. This seemed the most important thing: my truth, others’ truth, truth in the world at large. Some time in my mid-forties, I experienced a change. I found myself more interested in love, and in kindness. Love is the new foundation for the second half of my life. This is my intention and my commitment. Truth is still needed, not as an end in itself, only in service to love. GV is helping me to consolidate that and live by it." Rachel
** Robina too had attended a course that focused on exploring GV in daily life. For more about this please our above-mentioned book.