Why am I interested in empowerment? I focus my work with groups and individuals on the somatic and emotional connection to the voice, on the expression and manifestation of our visceral empowerment. Why?
I want to help you fall in love with your Self.
The voice is such a powerful tool for self-knowledge and self-discovery. Our bodies are rhythmic beings, and we are primed to make melodic sounds. We are energetic tuning forks: we know when something “resonates” with us, when it “sounds right”, when we feel “in tune” with our surroundings. But at some point, someone else’s voice may have become louder to us than our own. This was likely a survival mechanism when we were small and depended on others for our wellbeing. But we may have come to give more priority and importance to others’ voices than to our own and integrated the message that our own voice does not matter.
The only way to live a life that is truly yours is to come into your full self
We often must learn how to come back into our own after being socialized into passivity and ceding to others our own authority – the leadership of our own lives. We can become very accustomed to outsourcing our own responsibility (ability to respond) and acting mechanically or codependently. And there are some people who actively seek out power over others for their own gain, using various tactics (conscious or otherwise) like cult dynamics or manipulation (including emotional influence, playing on insecurities, passive-aggression, keeping others small, fostering dependence, etc). All of this can lead to a fragmented sense of self, which we may not even be aware of.
We can come home to ourselves through the empowerment
cultivated through voice work.
WHAT IS EMPOWERMENT?
Empowerment is about freeing yourself from that which has power over you.
It has nothing to do with gaining more power or having power over others: it is simply about freedom from being under the yoke of another.
My work focuses on guiding people to discover –for themselves, in their own lived experience– tools for cultivating a more honest, integrated, and connected relationship to Self. From your true center, with an understanding of and familiarity with who you really are and what you want, it’s possible to map a route to greater empowerment.
When you own your voice, you own your power.
Empowerment cannot be given by another: it must be cultivated by oneself. This process can be facilitated and supported from outside. This is my work: to help you uncover and reside in your Self and maximize the quality of your life through embodying your innate power.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO OWN MY VOICE?
An empowered person uses their whole body to communicate—the body is the instrument. This means acquiring a basic understanding of how the voice is created within the body; the confident and fluid use of eye contact and appropriate gestures to accompany vocal (or non-vocal) communication; the felt sense of ownership of your voice, your expression, and your message; knowing that your voice matters and has the power to make a positive impact on yourself and others (both sonically and in terms of content); using your voice to speak truth to power; using your voice with both responsibility and courage.
For all this to come together, sometimes we have to work through blockages, traumas, or misaligned values:
Do you trust that your voice is worth hearing?
Were you taught to feel shame about your voice, or about expressing your needs—or your Self?
Have you been able to cultivate discernment in using your voice for good, for honesty, for closeness, for bringing intentions to life through action?
Are you willing to (continue to) engage in the process of gaining mastery over your own life?
There is nothing mechanical or passive about empowerment. If you are locked in passive behavioral or communication patterns or in a victim mindset, the first step is to realize this and work to shift it. Learning nonviolent communication, engaging in embodied practices, and connecting with a good therapist can help immensely with this. It’s possible to cultivate within yourself the awareness and confidence to create reasonable goals and make consistent progress on your path—wherever you want to go.
Empowerment –fully embodying your expressed truth– is made possible by different skills, including confidence, responsibility, discernment, active engagement, persistence, and resilience. We can cultivate these skills through different means, using self-knowledge, self-awareness, and self-expression. Voice and body work are fundamental tools to help you inhabit your center, your power, your Self.
HOW DOES MY VOICE HELP ME EMBODY EMPOWERMENT?
The voice is a bridge between the mind and the heart
Your voice is your most primary instrument. As an integral part of your body, your voice is a vitally important expressive tool for connection and communication—not just with others, but with yourself. The voice reflects what the body knows: do you speak with a calm, strong voice, or does your voice tremble and barely rise above a whisper? Do you find that your throat feels tight and tense before, during, or after speaking your mind, or that singing for more than a few minutes wears you out? When we express ourselves from a place of alignment, the voice and the body are more available and the energy flows more readily—in contrast to expressing ourselves from shame, doubt, fear, timidity, etc. (these are essential emotional elements to address). And, it’s easy to forget that vocal work is body work, and it requires significant physical, mental, and emotional energy to carry it out effectively.
Through vocal and somatic practice, I help guide people to recognize their patterns so they are better able to align the use of their energy and attention with their values and goals. When your energy and attention are aligned in accordance with your goals and values, you have greater autonomy, greater agency, greater authority over your own life.