Sunday, January 30, 2011

Essay: Vibration Series Pt. 3--Tuning into Your Music Needs

Vibration Series: PT Three—Tuning in to Your Musical Self

The way it works with Whole Music is that I need to experience concepts of music in my life before presenting them on the blog. I also wait for information to either crop up in my subconscious (including nightly dreams), or through synchronicity (I receive an album in the mail, or find the information I need on the internet). The latest information for this 3-part series focuses on tuning into yourself and asking yourself what your musical needs are at any given moment.

Lately, I’ve been feeling a lot of anger and powerlessness. I realize I’m not alone in feeling this way, but anger, especially the kind that rumble like a volcano ready to erupt, frightens me. Here I am talking about spiritual concepts to others and going on about world peace, when I feel this darkness inside my body. I have felt bombarded with bad news from every front which has also left me with a feeling of hopelessness.

So having felt this way, I decided that I’m going to walk my talk and apply music to every aspect of my life. I learned about tuning in and listening to not just my heart, but my soul. Yesterday when I felt angry about another workshop cancellation, when I felt helpless and so frustrated that I almost started banging my head against a wall (I was slipping on the rail metaphorically speaking), I had this intuition to put on some West African music and dance.

I did that. I played Habib Koite and Bamada’s “Afriki” and I danced my heart out. By the second song, I didn’t feel anger, and in fact, I just felt ecstatic. So I kept dancing. Then I thought that I would get my guitar out and practice some of my songs, (which is rare these days). And that felt good too. And then after that, I listened to more African music. I could see the light at the end of the tunnel and I felt better. My appetite came back and I didn’t feel that rush of energy ready to explode. In fact I felt at peace.

You might wonder why I’m sharing all of this vulnerable stuff with you. Since we’re all human and we all respond to sound vibrations, I think my experiences promote the healing power of music. I don’t have a music therapist here telling me to listen to a certain kind of music or in a certain way. I’m simply following the flow of my intuitive thoughts. I’m listening to that deeper part of myself and asking it what its musical needs are and then fulfilling those needs. And this is something that anyone on this planet can do, from humming, drumming, dancing, or joining with others in song. And I believe that is why we have had this relationship with music from the get-go because without music, we have nothing to calm that wild beast inside us. Music pacifies us, music nourishes our cells, and music has the power (when used correctly) to heal this entire planet.

But that healing starts with you. You are responsible for your audio environment. You are responsible for your journey into music consciousness. You are responsible for the words, thoughts, and sounds you send out into the world which ripple out to either spread love or destruction. Just like I was responsible for my anger and frustration and turned to music to cleanse those emotions from my mind and body. And I’m not someone who has never fought with depression, despair, hatred, hostility or fear. I’ve battled with those emotions just as anyone has, and I’m not in denial that I feel those things. I lived in the dark night of the soul for most of my life, not just one period. And for me music is not just entertainment, but my soul reason for existing on this planet. Yeah, it’s that powerful. The spiritual experience, the real kind, involves every emotion, and the balancing of forces. A spiritual path isn’t for the timid, but warriors who carry swords of truth. I’ve known darkness, but I have learned to appreciate the light because of my experiences.

When I was in my twenties I identified with the Greek legendary figure Persephone (the maiden abducted by Pluto and taken to Hades). I also identified with the Indian Goddess Kali because you can’t have creation without destruction. When you live close to the seasons and observe the natural world the way I do, you see the cycle of destruction and creation (I also have transiting Pluto conjunct my rising sign and opposite my natal Sun at this time).

While I eventually returned to a peaceful state of mind, my anger led me to make some important changes in my life. When I tuned into those African poly rhythms and let my body follow them in the form of dance, I realized that every emotion has a purpose, but staying in a place of anger for a long period of time is going to cause major health problems. But judging emotions is going to cause health problems too.

I don’t believe that taking anger to music itself is a healthy practice and I think ranting musically just spreads bad vibes in the world. Some people tell me this is a cathartic experience, but as a former rock musician (who did her share of ranting), I disagree. I’m paying off my karmic debt for those performances. I didn’t feel better after ranting, I felt worse and suffered from depression during that entire time I performed rock music. (Why pass negative energy around like a contagious virus?)

However, I think dancing to more uplifting music, singing more uplifting music, or just listening to it, balance emotions and clears the thoughts. When we reach a place of clarity then we can make whatever changes we need to make in our lives. Focus on the solution and not the problems, like I have done. And don’t let all the bad news of the world derail you like it did for me yesterday and on other days.

This is about tuning into your own consciousness and listening to your inner needs. How do you achieve this? Musicians already know how to do this and are gifted with this talent, and that’s how they are able to compose music. But non-musicians might not have experience with this level of sensitivity, not yet anyway. So in that regard when you find yourself overwhelmed with emotions, ask yourself this series of questions and then follow the instructions you receive, even if they make you feel self-conscious.

Why am I feeling these emotions?

What am I feeling exactly?

What action would help me release these emotions in a healthy way?

(This could include going for a jog, or walk, dancing or yoga).

What type of music do I crave at the moment that I know would bring me peace of mind?

(This is where it comes in handy to have a set of recordings that you know uplift or relaxes your mind).

Then the next step is to experiment.

Maybe dancing to African music works on one day and on another day you need to listen to an Indian raga and still on another day you need to listen to a favorite jazz record in which you can sing along or maybe you feel like connecting to the earth through indigenous chants. There might be some days where nothing seems to work and in that case you might need to employ energy healing (if you know how to do self-healing) or seek professional help.

There’s no doubt about it, we are living in a time of intense polarities. When you reach a place of love and light, you need to anchor these experiences in your center. We are bombarded with dark forces on a regular basis and it’s not a bad idea to avoid violent movies, television, the news, and other media that can throw you off center. Meditating is good for finding peace, but that peace will only last so long through the day and anything can throw you off course. So tune into your music needs and satisfy them as often as possible. Nourish your soul with music that possesses loving intent. Think of it as a hug from a loving mother, and think of it as giving love back to Mother Earth. Raise your vibration and raise awareness in the world. John Lennon was right, “All you need is love…”

List of Activities that Release Stuck Emotions:

Singing, chanting, toning
Walking while listening to music (on a portable player with low volume)
Listening to the blues, fados, flamenco, tango, and other cathartic music (not listening to screaming, screaching guitars etc which are just hard on the nerves)

Types of Music that Provide Comfort:

Kora (griot) music
Harp music
Chopin (nocturnes)
Mozart (slower pieces, usually in a minor key)
Classical guitar or chamber music
Sound healing recordings


  1. Nice blog . I like the first photo of whale in the sea. Thanks for sharing this blog with us.

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  2. Thanks. I didn't find this comment until three years after it was posted. Orcas are wonderful and a symbol of the Salish Sea.