The Power of Group Work

by Johanna Fredericks, Perth WA

Recently I attended a True Expression workshop held by Victoria Carter in Perth. A small group of about 8 of us participated. The workshop was open, safe, playful and joyful. The main part I wish to share about is the power of group work.

I know that the words group work and singing don’t seem to have much in common but they actually do! I learned about the true power of group work… it was amazing!

As I have shared in ‘Feeling Free to Sing’, I grew up with issues around singing and purposely decided to stop singing. So it was extra special for me to experience my vocal expression at this workshop. I felt that I had unlocked something very powerful that has always been within me, but somewhat suppressed.

At the workshop I discovered that my presence and my way of being is the expression that my body and my voice magnifies.

We got to play with this and observe each other with some practical daily exercises. Then we were free to make sounds, some ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaahs’ with a partner, with no attached outcome on pitch, rhythm, notes, tune etc. This was extremely freeing for me because I didn’t have to fit myself into a way of singing and I felt safe enough to experiment. I was making sounds that I hadn’t given myself the freedom to make before and it felt great.

I realised that every part of me is communicating and expressing all of the time: and another person receives this communication from my body before I even speak.

I really felt the difference in my communication when I am connected to my stillness, and my body, and when I am not.

In knowing and feeling all of this, we began to make a variety of sounds as a group – at our own pace, in our own rhythm, with our own breath, and when each of us was ready. We sang facing each other in a circle.

This was beautiful, supportive and amazing because as one sound ended, another would start. So there was a continuous flow of ooohhhhs, aaaahhhs, ooooos and eeeeeees that were in perfect harmony. This harmony resulted because we all listened to our bodies, and were in harmony with ourselves. It was a very natural and powerful feeling working together in this way.

Just when I thought that it couldn’t get more heavenly than this, we stepped it up. We stayed in a circle and faced out – singing to humanity. This was awesome because the sound that we made was far greater than the sum of each one of our individual sounds put together. And I could hear and feel that the sound my voice was making within the group was so powerful and divine, but something I had not heard myself do before.

It was like we had a heavenly ‘turbocharge’ to our voices and I cried with joy.

I know that the sound we made was only possible because of the group working as one, in full support of each other.

I wondered…

  • Why don’t we work together like this in life?
  • And why haven’t we been taught this from a young age?

When we are in harmony with ourselves, we can naturally be in harmony with others; and this supports us all.

Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought that such an amazing sound could come from me, but now I know that it is there…

And I ask, if that is possible, then what else is?

On that day we felt the power of true group work – a group of people working together in perfect harmony – and the power of this.

 Inspired by the work of Serge Benhayon and Universal Medicine

273 thoughts on “The Power of Group Work

  1. What a difference is would make to our way of living in the world, if the power of group work was shared and reflected to children from their family working as a group for the benefit of each of its members. This would be a wonderful way of introducing us to the importance of responsibility during our formative years.

    1. Yes, if we were able to show group work without dynamics, taking self out of the equation which is so clearly illustrated here, then that would be such a support to children and young people as part of their education. Thank heaven for Universal Medicine which means we adults also get to continue our education and re-imprint what we have experienced in group work so we can share it with others.

  2. I have never enjoyed singing but singing with Chris James has opened up something in me. I can feel this is an expression I have shut down and when I do allow myself to sing I feel a joy and a power within me. This is a huge support in recognising that I have a lot to say and offer.

  3. Working together in harmony is truly awesome. In times of disasters this is powerfully demonstrated. How bad has it got to get before we stop fighting each other and instead come together to work and live as the one humanity we are?

  4. ‘And I ask, if that is possible, then what else is?’ – anything is possible and everything is possible. The true harmony of holding each other equally in love and living this in our everyday interaction no matter what those interactions may be or how society judges the contribution of these interactions will change the world as we have known it into ‘True Brotherhood’ in action.

  5. I have experienced one of these workshops too Johanna and recall feeling very similarly to you. To create sound with no expectation of it other than it comes from the stillness within, was a very beautiful experience and quite exquisite to hear as a group. To translate this into talking or discussion is a lot harder I suspect, but certainly gives a marker for what true harmony within a group feels like.

  6. Totally beautiful to re-visit this blog a few years down the track Johanna – and feel the power of what was shared in voices united on that day in Perth!
    It continues to blow me away, in my work with people and voices, that we are far more capable of experiencing such unification and the power of it in a group, than we would usually give ourselves credit for.
    Love everything that you’ve shared here, thank-you.

    1. I find the same Victoria. Working with people and their voices and sound and song is an amazingly powerful way to unite everyone, and it happens instantly. The harmony of not just the sounds but the coming together of all for the one purpose is always stunning. How amazing would it be if we were able to do this with our speaking voices as well.

  7. The key then, to true group work, is our willingness to be open and transparent with each other, and let go of that which has been in the way of this – and appreciate in full, every step taken in this regard, for it can surely be felt in our sound. Our sound being merely representational of the quality of our being, movements and relationship with the All in our everyday lives.
    Such amazing potential awaits those willing to go there, doesn’t it…

  8. “I discovered that my presence and my way of being is the expression that my body and my voice magnifies” – this really stood out for me and made me realise how there is something else already going on before an issue manifests itself, and how often what is most obvious is only an outer manifestation and trying to fix that symptom would not change anything really.

  9. Sounds amazing, pun intended! – hahaha – but seriously you have reminded me of the joy that come from singing with others. As a group we are far more powerful than as individuals so it’s no wonder the world is set up to keep us separate from ourselves and each other. Imagine if we came together in all areas of life in the way that your group came together to sing, now that would be something, big industry and greed wouldn’t stand a chance against that type of power.

  10. Thank you Johanna for sharing your amazing experience with opening up to your voice through true group work. I have experienced these courses and they are extremely powerful as not only the voices harmonise but our whole bodies come into harmony with each other, it is indeed heavenly to feel the power of true Brotherhood through singing.

  11. In understanding the fact that we are expressing all the time, not just when we speak, but rather through our every movement, we realise that the quality of presence and connection the we hold is what we are magnifying. There is no doubt that when we bring this awareness when working together as a group, that the quality we are magnifying is heightened. The power of one is mighty, however the power of many united is far mightier.

  12. Deeply inspired Johanna. I wish I was there in Australie to join in. The true group work, it sounds amazing when you share.

  13. How many groups and group dynamics leave you the space to be yourself and to express freely? Universal Medicine (and of course its student body) promotes our true expression in every way.Pretty special organization!!!

  14. A true singing group is indeed very powerfull. With no one singing for competition with another or to sound better but to contribute a sound to the whole – wow that’s inspirational.

  15. Oh yum, I can feel through your blog the power of the foundation of working in a group and taking that out to humanity, how the togetherness is such a strong connection that it reminds us we are actually never alone, we simply disconnect from the all we are from. I am coming back to this blog, it is going to be a reminder for me and part of my reminder tool kit 🙂

  16. Group work and harmony, one doesn’t work without the other. And what’s important to note is that harmony isn’t about keeping the peace to avoid conflict, it’s about calling out what isn’t needed, and clearing any blocks that might be stunting the opportunity to go to the next level.

  17. This was really joy-full to read. When we all connect to where we come from, we can’t help but feel we are all one brining sounds of harmony with every unique expression we breath forth.

  18. In a world that is so far from being harmonious, it’s easy to forget that this is our innately known, natural way to be. We know it inside out. All we have to do to get back to that state of natural harmony is to pay attention to how our bodies feel, and whether what we’re saying is a true reflection of what we’re actually feeling.

  19. When we feel we have taken something deeper we either settle for that or we allow ourselves to go even more deeper… there is always more but once I have gone deeper a behaviour of mine can choose to sit in comfort which is nothing but delay instead of saying ‘What’s next?’

  20. Could what is shared here be the missing link in our world working, not for each of us to find out for ourselves, but as a one unified group of humanity? Imagine the quality of how each of us would express if our foundation was true harmony first within and then with all others.

  21. Once you get to feel something like that, it stays with you forever. It becomes a ‘marker’ in your body of what true group can feel like. From there, it can deepen and expand as well, and even if you don’t feel it again, or group work feels tedious, the marker is still there, a deep knowing of what it truly is.

  22. Great blog Johanna and thank you for sharing your experience. It makes me wonder why we don’t choose to be this way with each other in general life. One thing I note with group work like this is the sense of no identification as an individual but recognising and feeling the responsibility of bringing your all to the whole. I am wondering whether the feeling of this and hence the realisation that we cannot just do what we like without affecting the whole is what we avoid in general life.

  23. With the music we have around on the radio and anywhere we go really the focus has so much become on the words and nice catchy melodies but no one wonders what the quality of the music is and this is actually so much more important.

  24. I have been delaying in sharing myself in the area of singing and so I commit to giving myself some time each day to sing. Heaven has given us so much that and how can we hold it back for ourselves? It is the most inspiring to see that when I do not hold myself back that it is reflected back to me in the choices of others.

  25. Years ago I went to an evening of singing with Chris James in London, and what struck me was although we did not know each other, within a very short time everyone sounded as though they had sung together for years. It was an amazing experience to feel so connected to myself and everyone else in the room.

  26. If we are in harmony with ourselves we are in harmony with others, very true Johanna, and there is such a depth and power to us and when we come together it’s magic, we really can move mountains when we work together in the truth of who we are.

  27. “At the workshop I discovered that my presence and my way of being is the expression that my body and my voice magnifies.” This is profound. I had to read this over and over to get it deeply, as it resonates for me on many levels.

  28. Johanna your blog highlights how beautiful and harmonious true group work can be when we get the ‘self’ out of the way and connect deeply to others, we feel the power we all bring when we unify in this way.

  29. Having experienced this type of group work quite some time ago with a singing group run by Victoria you have reminded me of just how gorgeous our voices sounded together as one. And individually too.

  30. Thank you Johanna. Group work with true purpose is brotherhood. It is the letting go of self and allowing your expression to be for the group and brotherhood. As long as the group knows the purpose and sticks to it it is a beautiful holding we feel. If the group or you don’t know purpose it is worth the time understanding what the purpose is.

  31. Group work is a reminder that we are one in essence and eventually, no matter how long it will take – and that timing being totally up to us, we will get back to this one-unified way of being.

  32. There is so much out there in the world doing its best to entice us and draw us away from the steadying connection we have with our inner heart. In Group work we have the opportunity to support each other not only to confirm that connection but to also deepen, constantly clearing old ways of being, of expressing and communicating.

  33. Singing as a group seems to be used a lot in primary school and then everything gets serious and it gets phased out… unless you go formal and join the choir. What you’re describing here Johanna reminds me of the fun we used to have in junior school – the joy that is possible in group work. Singing would be a great way to bring harmony into the workplace and any environment in which people work or live.

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