Friday, April 3, 2009

Silence is Golden

While everyone- and everyone's journey- is different, there is one telltale sign that lets me know that a client is coming to a revelation… silence. Not only does the voice stop, the body and nervous energy cease from storytelling. The noise fades. All that remains is a stillness accompanied perhaps by a dancing in the eyes and a look of wonder spreading across the face.

The birth of silence is in my experience not only the surest sign of a person's impending growth, but the most important gateway to their evolution. Certainly there is a place for expression, but so often our 'expressions' are habits on perpetual auto-replay that distract us from what's real, including what's real within ourselves.

We therefore speak before we think, and think before we listen. We shout solutions to problems we've yet to fully consider. We offer advice to people we haven't taken the time to truly get to know. We proclaim truths we’ve yet to think about deeply enough to know whether we fully believe them.

The solution is to begin with silence. I help my singers work toward this vocal sacred space with a technique I call 'diaphragmatic learning', or listening with the diaphragm. Rather than sing through a song in an effort to learn it, I'll ask them to be silent and listen to what the music- whether a recording or on the page- has to say… to first feel how the body hears the song, rather than try to technically presume, name and claim it.

The music is always there waiting to be discovered, in singing and in life. Slow down. Still your mind and yourself. Listen beyond the voices around you and your own. In that silence lives a symphony that's been waiting to rush in. Once you've let it swirl around you in the blissful quiet and hear the wisdom of what it has to say, by all means, open your mouth, heart, body, mind and soul… and sing. That will be music worth listening to.

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Anonymous John said...

Wow, Jennifer. What an amazing thought. So spot on. I really appreciate being here to read this.


April 8, 2009 at 9:39 AM  

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