“We often underestimate the power of giving voice, but it is real and sustaining. It is the basis of all song. It is why prisoners break into song. It is why the blues are sung, even when no one is listening. It is the heart of all hymns and mantras.”
Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening, p. 115)
There was a little clip on the news last night about the benefits of talking and singing to a baby in utero. The sound of the mother's voice is calming, and the baby is developmentally stronger in its first year outside the womb. Something about singing, even when we are sad, raises us up to life. One of my favorite film clips ever is of the Masai tribesmen singing, dancing and jumping—you can see it on You Tube. There is so much color, so much vigor, and deep resonate spirit in their call and answers songs.
A friend of mine is learning Bollywood dancing. Full body, full range of movement, lots of almost yodeled lyrics in the vocals. No matter how sad the Bollywood film may be, there is always dancing and singing that is full of life. And, there are gospels and hymns that have sustained people in peril, on battlefields, and in servitude for eons. The rhythms giving strength and endurance; the words, comfort. The U.S. National Anthem (“Star Spangled Banner”) is such a song; written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812. It's hard to give up hope when you are singing.
Singing unifies and equalizes. It moves positive energy through the body. Giving voice to one's joys and sorrows through song is energetic healing on a cosmic scale. If you're sad today, if you're happy, if you need a pick-me-up, turn on some of your favorite music and sing along. Dance, too. Get your whole body involved in the music. Your energy—and your spirit—will soar.
In the Spirit,