Many of us have probably taken sound for granted for most of our lives. We all seem to have sounds that grate upon our nerves, such as the scraping noise of a metal shovel on concrete, and we all acknowledge sounds that make us feel good, but how often have you really taken notice of the ways in which sound benefits you? When you harness the power of sound, whether through the use of your own voice, playing an instrument, listening to music or through a visit to a sound healer, positive benefits begin to occur both physically and emotionally.
Sound and the Human
Almost every creation myth you care to explore references sound in some way. This cannot be a co-incidence. Sound waves are produced by vibration, and every single thing in existence is vibrating at its own rate. This is true of our thoughts as well as our physical and material existence. Modern science refers to the creation of the Universe as The Big Bang. In Yogic tradition the first sound, which gave birth to the whole of creation was the “Aum” or “OM”, while Native American myth asks the question “What was the first sound?” The answer is the sound of the human heart and we call it our “Heart-Beat”. In Christian tradition the book of Genesis states “In the beginning was the word”. Sound is universally seen as being the beginning of creation and as humans we are very susceptible to its effects. These days, we are ever more conscious of the need for everyone to have a “voice” and to be heard, especially those members of society who have traditionally been overlooked. There is now a global organization calling themselves “Avaaz”, meaning “voice of all” that seeks to protect and preserve the planet. References to the power of words and voices abound; we just need to start looking for them.
Stories and Human Communication
We communicate with each other by way of stories every day. The narratives we construct to explain our world, or experiences, our desires and thoughts, hold their own vibrational frequency and this is also true of the narrative you tell yourself. Is your self-talk mainly positive or negative? The frequency of sound carries the intent behind our words as well as the literal or surface meaning and if you can take note of these messages to yourself you begin to understand how you impact and create your world.
Conscious Words and Thoughts
Try this short exercise for lifting your mood: Seek out a sound that brings you pleasure in some way. This may be the sound of birdsong, the ocean, a child’s laughter, or it may be the powerful beat of drums. As you mindfully listen to the sound, take your awareness into your physical body and identify exactly where it is, where the tension is easing, or the tingling of pleasure beginning, then hold your attention there for a few seconds. In this way you can “stretch the tingle” and bring another layer of well-being into your consciousness.
If that all seems a little too much, try a really simple exercise with your own voice. You do not need to be musical in order to do this. Repeat the sound “Ahhh” at different pitches, low to high and back again, pausing to note the sounds that seem to resonate in different parts of your body. This is a fun exercise to do either alone or with others as you assign different tones to various areas or parts of your body. End with a really loud and deliberate outbreath then notice how your mind and body might release and soften.
Be Like A Child
Notice the way children act around sounds: Children will sing (sometimes tunelessly) without a shred of self-conscious embarrassment simply for their own amusement. They will react in definite, emphatic ways to noises that disturb them, and they will delight in playing with rhyme and rhythm just for the joy of hearing the sound. Be like a child and connect with your own voice, with the sounds you can make anywhere at home or outside with nature’s tools as instruments, and you will feel yourself uplifted just like a child in playful wonder.