Years ago, during one of my Core Connexion workshops with Eva Vigran (this one of the healing modalities in which I am trained to facilitate), she told us a story.
If you lived in one of the many African tribal cultures, and if you were feeling sick, lost or depressed, you would visit the local shaman.
And the shaman would ask you…
- When was the last time you danced?
- When was the last time you sang?
- When was the last time you told a story?
- When was the last time you sat alone in stillness?
I was reminded of this story during my time spent with the Peruvian shamans last weekend. One of the gifts that they cultivated was being able to heal through music. As their played the flute and sang prayers earnestly to Spirit, I felt my heart open and be healed.
I cried tears of joy while listening to their beautiful music, intimate and beautiful prayers and tributes to Spirit and to nature.
A reminder of how simple it can be.
I feel that as a society, we have lost touch with our creative sides. We don’t dance because “I can’t dance”. We don’t sing because “I can’t sing”. We don’t make music because “I am not a musician”. We don’t tell stories anymore. We don’t sit in silence. We leave it to the musicians and artists to create, and for the most part, we remain disconnected and locked in our left-brained society.
But… If we can remember and reclaim our creative sides, our intuitive sides and we can give these parts of ourselves expression, we can heal ourselves. It is through expression of our creative sides that we connect with the divine.
And we are remembering.
Our children help us to remember. Because they dance, sing and tell stories. Everyday, they dance! Everyday, they sing. Everyday, they tell stories. Our children are in constant connection with the divine through their imagination and their passion. This is how Spirit speaks to us.
Our family loves music
In our family, we very much value music. DH actually is a musician, but when we were going through our difficult times, he stopped playing music. He didn’t have it in him to play. Little did he know that if he had played music, it might have been his lifeline through the challenging times. But… he is playing again. And this very week, a day after I returned from my time with the shamans, he bought a bass, which is HIS instrument. DH was meant to play bass.
All three of us love to sing. I’m not the best singer, but I love to sing. DH sometimes makes light-hearted fun of my off-key singing, but I sing anyway. I love to sing. When I was growing up, my family didn’t sing. I remember going on a roadtrip with a friend’s family. They were a singing family. They all sang to the songs on the radio, and I remember thinking to myself — when I grow up, I want to have a singing family. And now I do!
We all love to dance. When I first met DH, I told him that I was a dancer. Because I am a dancer. I feel that we are all dancers! I am not a classically trained dancer, but my body LOVES to dance. My body was meant to dance, stretch and move. DH told me shyly that he doesn’t dance, which I didn’t buy (since I believe that we are all dancers), and I happily found out later that given the right circumstances, he can be a dancer. And now, in our house, we dance, sing and make music.
While we are making dinner, we often make songs about our day. Silly songs. Songs that are sometimes sang off-key. But we do it anyway.
And we dance and we move and we wiggle our hips as we set the table.
Moses is an amazing dancer! Does that boy have rhythm!
When Moses is sad and upset, we sing him songs. We retell the story of why he is upset in a song, giving verbal acknowledgment of what is going on for him emotionally, and also acknowledging our perspectives as well. We blend all three of our stories into one story, into one song. If he is really upset, he asks us to sing it again and again and again and again until he feels that he has fully expressed has sadness, sorrow and upset and been heard.
Moses has started a new bedtime ritual during which we “play the drums” and make up a song. Sometimes his blankie and stuffed animals join in as well.
Let us create together
All this to say, I think it’s a great idea to dance and sing and tell stories and sit alone in silence. Everyday. As an integrated part of our lives. We don’t need to leave the creating to the musicians and the artists. It’s up to us to bring the music and the song back into our lives.
And if you want to create music with members of your community, you can join a drumming circle, an ecstatic dance circle, or singing circle. I had a beautiful and heart-opening experience at a kirtan (devotional song) led by Amy Thiessen on Thursday. Or even start one up in your community.
How about you? When was the last time you danced? When was the last time you sang? When was the last time you told a story? When was the last time you sat alone in stillness?