Updated: Mar 24
When you think about your grandmother what do you remember?
I remember the softness of her satin hands & her surefire temper, how she would swing her cane at my grandpa's ridiculousness well into her nineties. At 8 years old I remember that I was taller than her 4 foot something frame, yet somehow she stood the ground of a giant.
Most stories of my grandmother came not from her but from my mom. She passed when I was I in my early twenties & I never had the chance to know her in her prime. From what I hear she was incredible! She arrived to Canada in her youth, an immigrant from Czechoslovakia. My grandpa & her fell in love while she worked for his family. This was not appreciated by his family & they hid aspects of their relationship until he was done university & they could move on without his family's approval.
My grandmother stood as an equal & did not abide to the gender norms or expectations of the time. When a peer complained of sexual harassment at work my grandmother organized a walk out to protest such behaviour. When a shopkeeper asked to 'speak to her husband' before a large purchase my grandma threatened to take her purchase elsewhere. This women exemplified not just courage but an unbreakable sovereignty and connection to her person & her values.
I know that I am not my grandmother, but I also recognize that her voice lives inside of me. All of us contain a myriad of voices & experiences ~ from the unapologetic cries of our infancy to the wisdom teachings of our ancestry.
Discover Your Voice(s)
The discovery of our voice is about more then technique, it’s about calling back the voices we lost, celebrating the voices we know, & uncovering the voices that live within us.
When we sing we often get stuck in the grooves of our mind & body. It may be a comfortable rut, like singing with an impressive voice, or uncomfortable like second guessing every note or worrying about being judged. In either scenario the real challenge is getting caught on how we might sound or look to others, including our own ideas of how we ‘should’ be. Yet, if we shift our attention to the inner landscape, listen, & allow voices within us to emerge free from constraint, we might just discover an expression of spirit, nature, & humanity.
There are two voices within each of us that directly connect us to the nature of self; the ancient (or grandmother) & the innocent (or child). These voices reflect the dichotomy of life poised between the unknown & known, the possible & experienced, the tender & the strong. When you quiet yourself & listen you may hear both of these voices living within you at once. The little one inside seeking comfort or play & the grandmother keeping her safe with steady presence.
(a.k.a the child, the little one)
Our Innocence is deeply personal ~ it exists before guilt, agenda, or posture. In innocence we are raw ~ our fears, our hurt, our awe & wonder are free from judgement, analysis, or circumvention.
To sing from the innocent is to allow the little one inside the space & time to express when & as she is ready. It may come in whispers, whimpers, or sweet melody, but always it comes from within. Through the innocent we express the essential nature of our hearts & to sing to receive one of the sweetest & most tender gifts of this life.
Download 'Attend' music ~ to use for this practice.
Begin with a connection practice of your choice (meditation, walk, breath work).
Tune into that most tender place within you.
Place a hand delicately on your heart, as though touching a newborn.
Feel your breath.
Listen to the innocence & give her space.
When she is ready allow her to express herself, it may be a chant, a song, or simply follow the melodies in the music provided (vowel sounds of ahhhh, ooooo, & ehhhhh I work well)