Today I went to a Mind Body Music and Sound Workshop at the Virginia Thurston Healing Garden in Harvard, Massachusetts.
It was a completely new experience for me.
And pure peace.
The Healing Garden itself is beautiful, calming, and welcoming. The workshop room – with it’s floor to ceiling windows and soothing eucalyptus colored walls – was artfully set up. Different colored yoga mats, thickly woven blankets, and earth-toned supportive pillows laid out in a mandala of sorts.
The Musician and Healing Arts Practitioner leading the session was Bernadette Yao. An exceptional artist, producer, and overall human being.
(I’ve had the privilege of working with Bernadette on various television and live event productions in the past, but this was my first time seeing her lead a healing workshop.)
I didn’t quite know what to expect, but I felt at ease from the moment I arrived. The workshop was a series of songs, chants, guided meditation, and the playing of crystal singing bowls.
(Until this morning, I’d never seen crystal bowls played and didn’t quite understand how it worked. If you haven’t either, here’s a short video that will demonstrate how the bowls are played and the tones and vibrations they bring to life.)
I’m usually pretty timid about singing in front of anyone that I’m not related to. It’s been a running gag for most of my life that I can talk with the best of them, but couldn’t carry a tune even if you Ziploced it for me.
But, at the workshop I decide to be guided by my quantity not quality rule. My part was simply enough to be present and participate – the quality I would leave to the Divine.
After joining the group in singing “In the Bleak MidWinter” and some ancient chants that I learned while in the workshop, I did feel, what Bernadette referred to as, “tuned.”
I felt centered. Grounded and free at the same time. Completely comfortable in me – and yet, expansive and open…to everything.
I left happy. And well. And full of wonderful, meaningful intentions for the New Year.
Later, while sitting next to Briggs enjoying a meal with my colleagues at our annual holiday gathering, my boss suggested singing a round of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.
Many of my colleagues have children and tonight we had a crew of six all under the age of six. The response to Rudolph was a resounding, “yes!”
The room broke out in song. Me, included.
Halfway through the first verse, Ken walked in and happily joined in.
And after closing out with the line about going down in history, one of the other Moms looked right at me and said:
“You have an absolutely gorgeous voice.”
I managed not to cry, and thanked her for the truly remarkable compliment.
For my entire life I’ve been telling myself that I can’t sing. But today, just by finding the courage to participate, I learned that’s just not true.
So, whether it’s Rudolph or just a low, loving Om, I whole-heartedly recommend finding your voice. Your tune. Your good vibration. And when you do, I promise you’ll love how it sounds.
Happy Winter Solstice.