Your friend has just had a death in the family and you’re not sure what to do or say. You have the feeling that they probably want to be left alone and have private time. You worry that if you mention anything about the death, it might provoke more pain.
A client was telling me her life story this week. She was trying to hold back her tears but at one point just let go and sobbed. Afterwards she said she felt lighter and she was surprised that she didn't have a headache as she often does when she talks about her past. I think it was the sobbing that made the difference—crying with voice added.
I have a yoga teacher who encourages us to sigh during class— frequently, deeply and with voice.
I find myself wishing that it was socially acceptable to sigh all the time. It just feels good. Sigh of relief, sigh of tiredness, sigh of pleasure.
I had the good fortune to grow up going to summer camp where we would sing all day long. We had songs to greet the sun, for eating, for getting rowdy, for getting sentimental, for going to bed. Nobody held back—we blasted out our songs with confidence. It was just plain fun.
We humans are born with these incredibly simple built in human applications for staying healthy and whole but we've grown inhibited from using them. I'm feeling less tolerant of my own self censorship these days and want to let my voice out even if it comes out wobbly or too loud. I'm going to get a little help from my friend Anne Schaefer who has been using music as a form of expression all her life. I like getting help and guidance from experts—why not? You can come along too if you like. We can voice ourselves together.