Friday, June 1, 2012

In review--Sensitives grow roots

I'm posting the following book review here because people with accute sensitivities respond well to music therapy and sound healing.  In addition, musicians are also sensitive and can benefit from the wisdom presented in this book.

Dr. Judith Blackstone
Belonging Here
A Guide for the Spiritually Sensitive Person
Sounds True

Where was Dr. Judith Blackstone and Dr. Judith Orloff (who also writes about sensitivities), back in the 1990s when I began experiencing acute sensitivities? Back in the 1990s the concept of sensitivities, especially environmental sensitivities were seen as a neurosis of hysterical housewives.  This did not help me in employment where my employers saw me more as a troublemaker than a sensitive person with talents and useful skills.  I did not enjoy living in my body due to the abuse I suffered daily because of my sensitivities and it wasn’t until I took a workshop at the Women of Wisdom conference in Seattle that I learned about the gifts attached to sensitivities.

Fast forward to 2012 where spiritual intuitive practitioners proudly acknowledge their sensitivities and my sensitive colleagues have bridged the gap between cultural freak and master healer, in some cases.  With the emergence of full indigo and crystal children, we as an abusive society (no wonder we feel sick), need to honor sensitive people but not just as canaries in coalmines.  Dr. Judith Blackstone, a sensitive spiritual person herself, honors sensitive people in her book, Belonging Here (A Guide for the Spiritually Sensitive Person).  Her work, both psychological and shamanic in nature, involves bringing the spirit or soul of her clients back into their bodies.  The scenario of a sensitive person living in an abusive world usually involves fragments of the soul fleeing the body because the soul feels unsafe.  These people in turn, lose their grounding to the earth, never feel at home in their bodies, and shun the mundane world, with the belief that they only came here to save the planet.  They have trouble making friends, getting along with family members, and sometimes earning a living.  Yet, each of these people has spiritual gifts that can help heal the planet and evolve humanity.

I’ve been there, done that.  My soul also left my body in fragments after dealing with abusive job situations, emotionally abusive relationships, and just residing in an abrasive world with harsh sounds at every corner, and violence portrayed in the media.  Therefore, I find Dr. Blackstone’s guide book for sensitive people a godsend. The author provides examples of sensitive clients she facilitated healing, meditations that bring the soul back to inhabit the body fully, and her own life insights.  She breaks her work down into bite-size chapters and includes meditations with most chapters.  The text flows gently while offering an insightful read, not just for spiritually-sensitive people, but for their relations, partners, friends, and spouses.  Finally, an expert in the medical profession gives ultra-sensitivity a name other than “freak” or “hysterical housewife” and this comes as a real comfort to me. Sensitive people come bearing gifts and a message of healing the planet.  Quiet your minds, look inside, and heed the messages from the sensitives around you.

Monday, May 28, 2012

In review--Love for all relations

Cheevers Toppah
True Melodies
Harmonized Songs from the Heart of Native America
Canyon Records

Native American traditional singer Cheevers Toppah (Kiowa/Navajo), captured my attention several years ago with his solo and collaborative efforts with Alex E. White and Nitanis Landry (Harmony Nights, Canyon Records).  Similar to other Native American men vocalists, Toppah’s voice glides effortlessly between bass and baritone, while bringing soothing timbre to his harmonized songs.  As any singer will tell you singing a cappella and harmonizing with their self provides challenges, especially in the area of intonation.  Toppah’s training as a choral singer along with his years of honing Native American vocal traditions brings us a confident singer with a powerfully healing voice.  There are no shortages of healing voices on Canyon Records or among Native American musicians in general, Toppah joins the cream of the crop while also bringing his integrity, connections to the earth, and family along with him.

The soothing songs on True Melodies, mostly sung in a Native American dialect (does not specify in the CD liner notes), provide a backdrop for meditation or contemplative journaling.  You could even listen to the harmonized songs outdoors and the natural world would enjoy the vibrations too.  The singer composed the songs for his relations including the hearty Diamond Gal which I’m guessing Toppah composed for his wife.  Toppah also includes two Native American Church (peyote) songs for those of you readers following my Native American Church article on this blog.

When I review CDs, the first listen is through headphones and the second listen includes the ambience of the room and outdoors.  Right now, a songbird sings loudly outside my window, almost drowning out Toppah’s voice. Perhaps this comes as a compliment from the birds. While scientists might not agree with me, I believe that birds and animals enjoy the music of indigenous people, especially traditional vocal music.  In that case, those resident songbirds give Toppah five stars.