Small talk, deep talk, chit chat, white lies, subversion, “elephants in the room,” exuberance, speaking your truth, singing, clearing your throat — when it comes to living “authentically” it’s all about your voice. And well beyond words, it’s about finding your truth and expressing it.
The 5th chakra is called the Visuddha chakra, located at the throat and basking in the color blue. In my last four blog posts I’ve been veering towards the self-help, self-reflection section of the book store rather than music business tips + news. In my other life I’m a yoga instructor and have been teaching a series on the chakras to child and family therapists at a community health center. Chakras, to those of you wondering WTF, are energy centers/wheels in our emotional/spiritual bodies and according to yogic, buddhist and new age belief, hold keys to our attitudes, imbalances, and spiritual growth. You might find it total BS, but maybe you’re into self reflection and some of the following may ring true.
From the first chakra (root) where we built a strong foundation and focused on our basic needs, to our sacral chakra where we had some fun and dug into our passion + playfulness, to our solar plexus where we tapped into personal power + confidence, to our hearts where we dug deep for compassion, we are now coming into a big one – our truth, our personal, private-to-public truth.
Where are you hiding? Where are you lying? Where can you not speak up? Do you have dreams where you can’t scream or are mute? Is there something you’ve been wanting to say but you just can’t say it? This is where that imbalance lies. This energy is about finding and accepting your originality and uniqueness, and finding your truth beyond social and cultural expectations and conditioning. The challenge here is self-doubt and negative thinking. Doubting that what you have to say means anything. Worrying that anyone will care. Talking bad about yourself. Talking yourself down.
The beauty of this is expression. And it doesn’t have to be audible as in singing or being the next spoken word sensation – it is about creativity. Expression through art, through writing, of course through music with or without words. It is also about standing up for what you believe in. This is the chakra of communication and it also means being a good listener – allowing others to be heard and not speaking over them.
Remember when Ariel gave her voice to Ursula in “The Little Mermaid?” This was my favorite movie as a child and I wanted so badly to be Ariel. I still can’t believe that she got duped by the sea witch but she was overcome by desire and wanted something so badly that she gave up her most important asset … for love, yes, but still.[Just for fun, one of the most bad-ass Minnesota-based musicians out there Dessa had a mouthpiece light created that shines when she sings, similar to Ariel’s voice! See video and read Dessa’s post here]:
We have all had times where we’ve held back our highest truth. Whether to protect someone from hurt, or protect ourselves from change. When we are rooted in the lessons from all the other chakras, especially connected to our hearts, our speech can be TRUE but also compassionate. If we are hiding, we are also blocking others from their growth. If we are holding back, keeping small, we are also making it okay for others to do so.
Have you had a lump in your throat? Or if you’ve been repressing your anger, has your throat become sore or maybe you developed laryngitis? I’m not one of those people that believes that we create our own illnesses, but I wouldn’t discount it either. I’ve heard Marianne Williamson describe it that if someone becomes sick, it is because of lack of love – not necessarily their fault but someone along the way (for example, malnourished children are suffering from lack of love and neglect … cancer caused by radiation or chemicals in the air or water or food caused by lack of love by some corporation’s practices, etc). This might sound whack to you and you might get angry at me, but it’s something to consider.
Another part of this chakra is to take responsibility for our own needs and actions. Saying what we need. Whether a need for space, or good food, or love, or listening.
Finally – some things to do!
SPEAKING:[This is an excerpt from www.chopra.com]: “Dr. David Simon often refers to the following ancient wisdom. He says that there are three gateways you should cross before speaking.
- First, ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say true?”
- If so, proceed to the second gateway and ask, “Is what I am about to say necessary?”
- If the answer is yes, go to the third gateway and ask yourself, “Is what I am about to say kind?”
Ujjiyi breath – victorious breath or oceanic breath. Stimulates the throat and makes a calming, sighing, ocean wave type sound. This helps to make the breath smooth and long. My teacher Tracy Weber says it reminds her of “Darth Vader breath.”
Put away your phone / ipad / ipod! Turn off the TV! Let your friend/lover/mother/sister TALK. And when they are done talking, wait 3 seconds and see if there is more. See if you can repeat back to them what they just said. Another thing to do, to get really close is to sit back to back and let each other talk. That’s a super cute thing to do, and very connecting.
I wish for you all to get super connected to your truth! And speak, sing, make, create, write it out. Here’s a song to send you on your way by one of my favorite bands from the 90’s Belly called “Super-Connected” … (warning, it’s slightly disturbing but the chorus is PERFECT for this subject matter: “Are there heart strings connected to the wings you’ve got strapped to your back? … Are there heart strings connected to the poison coming out of your mouth?” Speak with heart, yo! XO, Mary