by Rosie Bason, Mullumbimby, NSW
I attended a workshop with Chris James yesterday. Chris James is an amazing musician and a student of Universal Medicine. In his workshop “Discovering your true natural voice” I learned so much, I felt so much and I cried – which is great, as I do not find it easy to cry. I would like to share my experience with you.
I learned to feel what it feels like in my body when I speak – I could even feel it when I whispered.
I felt the difference when in a group we practised communicating from our body. When we would go back into our minds and disconnect from our body, by habit, it would feel different, almost empty, but when another spoke from their heart and stayed with their breath, I could feel it coming from their whole body. To describe that feeling; it was like a wave of vibrations coming from their whole body, not just a sound coming out of their mouth. To be able to feel this, I did have to learn how to listen.
I learned how beautiful it is to be with someone and fully listen: to listen without commenting, to listen and be there for someone whilst being fully with me was just such an awesome experience. It exposed how often when I am with someone, but because I am not in my body, because I am not with my breath, that I am often thinking about other things, or thinking about what I should say next, so that I am hardly listening at all. But when I choose to be with me, to breathe gently and to not worry about what to say or control the conversation, and just allow another to speak, it is just simply beautiful. It felt so good and the old habit of thinking, controlling and not being present was completely gone. And when I was listened to, in that same way, I just felt so supported and safe to just express whatever was needed to express.
One of my most revealing moments was when Chris brought awareness of how I talk when not opening my mouth very much, how I am in control and that my jaw is very tight. Whoa! This really hit home. I have always been in control and I can feel that in my upper arms, but I had not felt it in my face. I was not aware at all. I am now learning to open my mouth more, speak with more clarity, and allow my face to relax. I am learning to not try to work out and control everything in my mind before I speak because I felt how awful it feels to listen when someone is not speaking from their heart. I will practise being with me so that I speak from my heart and therefore not have that control and that vibration affecting not only me, but those that I am in contact with.
I also became aware of how fast I speak. This can be an anxiety thing or just because I am speaking from my mind: I can now feel that it’s not a very nice feeling in my body when I speak from my mind. I found it easier to feel it from someone else speaking at first, but then I could easily recognise that same feeling within. When I slowed down, when I checked in with my breath, my whole voice changed – and when I really did not think about what to say before speaking, I felt so much lighter and open and relaxed. It is a clear marker in my body, so that if I catch myself speaking like that, I can just take a moment to reconnect with me and my breath.