We have many many voices. There's the voice we use when we teach, when we parent, or when we present ourselves at work. Often, we learn and adopt those'voices' that are most acceptable, safe, or easy. Habituated, these voices may define our personality and even create rigidity in our ability to express or even feel the fullness of who we are.
Years ago, my mentor at the time told me - "Amy, you have a beautiful voice, you could make the phone book sound good, but you hide behind it"
What did he mean?
He meant that I cared too much about how I sounded and in that, gave disservice to my voice by not conveying what I truly felt. He taught me to see the beauty in the vulnerable voice - the one that conveys emotion even at the expense of aesthetic.
When we sing we have an opportunity to excavate the glory and multitude of voices that live within us. Yet, in this raw and naked place of expression we may once again find ourselves locked into an ideal of how we 'should' sound. Maybe you feel like yours is not a voice for singing and have deemed it unworthy. Or perhaps you limit your voice to only that which is pleasing or 'pretty.' Yet, if you truly wish to encounter the magnitude of your voice then I invite to sing with all the voice(s) inside you.
When You Sing, Sing with the Voice You Have.
There is beauty in truth. When you sing with the voice that is in you, you open yourself to hearing and acknowledging parts of yourself that may have been denied before.
In times of tenderness & grief allow the voice of pain to release - untainted by the expectation that it 'should' sound certain way - but naked in its truth.
In times of joy let your voice sing like a child enthused and enlivened by the possibilities of this life. Let it be loud, proud, and exuberant, unabashedly gleeful.
In times of prayer let your voice profess it's greatest truths in awkward groans or hallowed yearning. Even in numb confusion let your voice be in it's nakedness - stark or unflattering.
And Discover Who You Are...
As you allow yourself the freedom to sing with the voices that are in you - from the innocent and wounded, to the proud and bold you will discover that your voice is as you are - a dance of experience, feeling, and possibility. By allowing yourself to sing with the voices you may rediscover pieces of yourself you have tucked away along the journey - the vulnerable voice you were told was too 'weak', the bold voice, you were told was 'arrogant', or the joyful playful voice you hid when you were told you couldn't or should't sing. To sing in these voices in an act of soulful rebellion - an inner revolution that states unequivocally that you in all your voices, your joys & sorrow are worthy.
So please from the meekest whisper to the most harrowing bellow, sing with the voice you have.
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About the Author Amy Thiessen is a coach, writer, and musician who focuses on helping others find and express a their voice with resonance. Her unique approach works with the wholistic mechanism of voice utilizing somatic awareness, psychology, mindfulness, spiritual practice, and vocal techniques of toning and song.