So continuing on from yesterday's post: After my birthday lunch with “Erin”** and Kathy, I headed over to Erin's house to give her a vocal lesson. (Erin is one of the few students that I teach in-home, mostly because she is my longest-running student, starting with me back in the summer of 2002!)
Erin was experiencing a lot of fatigue, both physical and vocal, with the physical symptoms including a lack of awareness of her lower body (especially in the lower abdominal area) and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. As a vocal teacher, I have always had an intuitive ability to tap into what my students are producing and feeling vocally (although the extent to which I use this ability, frankly, varies, depending on the amount of my own "presence"). In other words, if I close my eyes, I can "see" and "feel" the sound that my students are producing in my own body. Then, I can use this information to help them make vocal adjustments in how they are producing, visualizing and "placing" their own sound.
In addition, I will occasionally get some intuitive information about which exercise to do with the student next, which modifications/explanations might be helpful, how they could breath more effectively, etc.
Today, this ability seemed majorly augmented and expanded--almost as though I was "downloading", or channeling, intuitive information to a much higher degree. The stream of commentary about what to visualize, how to adjust sound/breath, etc. was just flowing right through me. And then, at one point, near the end of the first exercise, I had Erin switch to the vowel "oh" and I intuitively told her to drop the sound down to her lower belly (which seemed, at the time, like an odd instruction to my rational mind).
Not only did her sound "open up", become more full and resonant, but emotionally, this seemed to “wake up” something inside of her. She realized that she had been “numbing out” this part of her body, in which often felt discomfort during her period. Physically and emotionally, Erin had other reasons to numb the discomfort she felt in this area. As an incredibly feeling and nurturing person, Erin had always wanted to be a mother, a dream which became dashed when, with midlife at her doorstep, her husband informed her that he did not wish to have children. Most recently, last September, Erin needed to have surgery to remove over a pound(!) worth of tumorous growth from the same area.
But the this area—which is, in energetic language, home of the second chakra—is not only the womb of the fetus, it is also the womb of self-acceptance and creativity! Recognizing this immediately, I asked Erin if she realized that, by numbing her awareness here, she was also shutting down her creativity. She agreed, stating that it was during this “time of month” that, in addition to numbing out to her body, she often felt unmotivated musically and questioned her choice of career. Wow.
We continued on with our exercises. My eyes closed, I began “seeing” and feeling (a correspondence in my own body) energy rising up from the stomach, through the torso and shoulders and down the arms. Almost immediately after, Erin spontaneously commented that her neck and shoulder pain had disappeared.
Wow again. I was stopped in my tracks by this. I consider myself intuitive, but this was beyond normal, and I wondered aloud where this the source of this energy and information was coming from. Erin, a devout Christian (and therefore generally, and understably, suspicious of my “New Age” ideas), offered: “Jen, it must have something to do with the reiki. When you engage in a spiritual practice that deeply, it's bound to have an effect.”
And, after my incredible experience of the distance healing visualization the previous night, I could see the direct effect and correspondence. Not only had I been powerfully personally affected, but I had been marveling at my teacher/friend Greg's ability to guide us, improvisationally, through such a profound visulization experience! He commented that his gift was dependent on us being there, because he was psychically (not his word) sensing where we were at, how each of us was responding to the visualization, in order to know how deeply to go into each part of the process, where to go next, how to segue. (I know he was also “feeling/seeing” this because he was the only one of us to utter a word.) Amazing.
So, it occurred to me, that perhaps my ability to work with people's voices is a similar intuitive ability, and one that I can deepen through my own meditation and energy work. I will be interested to see if I can continue this kind of vocal “healing” in the future, as it would be a beautiful bridge between my vocal teaching and my energy work. I would love to be able to expand in this direction professionally—what a unique and blessed calling that would be. But that remains to be seen. At any rate, to have the experience even once was quite a blessing.
**A pseudonym is being used to protect the privacy of my close friend/student.**