Aligning the voice with the Self
Updated: Feb 10
Sometimes our voice and expression are out of alignment; we either push too much and strain or hold back and quietly disappear. We get out of physical alignment, when the spine either arches or curves too far. We also get out of psycho-spiritual alignment when we act or create from the wounded and defended parts of ourselves, not in line with our true potential, i.e. more mature compassionate parts.
I recently worked with a client who finds that she often tries hard in life; her default is to please, and to justify herself when she feels in the wrong. In our voice session we explored how this dynamic shows up in the voice and body. We used the containment of the kinaesthetic sphere* to explore where she positions herself in relation to, for example, a rather critical customer. Firstly there was 'the trying' in the front of the sphere which manifested itself in her stepping forward with quite a pleading expression in her voice and high pitch. There was a sense of losing ground as she was on her tiptoes with the whole body leaning forward. We investigated a possible polarity of this position, which was her standing at the back of the sphere, with deep flexible tones, supported spine and open arm gestures. Finally my client decided to move slightly forward in her space to relate to her predicament, keeping in her body-mind the support and stability she felt earlier, and the awareness of losing her ground when she tries too hard. An assertive and strong 'no' emerged. Her voice projected forward with the clarity and confidence which she longs for. She found the alignment that was needed in this situation, neither fighting to be accepted, nor retreating to a passive stance.
Investigating our acoustic voice and the accompanying movements and gestures can guide us to explore the underlying patterns of our expression in the world. Supported by our imagination we can develop a greater awareness of our vocal qualities, as well as of our habitual movement patterns, both of which can be modified. This fine tuning process brings us and our voice back into alignment, and a more empowered way of being in the world can emerge.
If you want to find out more about this work, please go to : www.yourexpressivevoice.co.uk. *In Voice Movement Therapy kinesthetic sphere is a term that describes an imagined flexible space around ourselves that encompasses our current psycho-physical experience. This multi-sensory field, filled with sensations, emotions, moods, memories and other perceptions, can be explored with the help of the voice, breath, movement and imagination. References: Bill Plotkin, 2013, Wild Mind: A Field Guide to the Human Psyche, New World Library
Paul Newham, 1997, Therapeutic Voicework: Principles and Practice for the Use of Singing as a Therapy, Jessica Kingsley Publishers
Sebastiana Black, 2019, Space for our Voice: Kinesthetic Sphere &VMT, https://voicemovementtherapyiavmt.wordpress.com/2019/04/30/404/