My eyes open to pitch darkness. I lay there for a moment, wondering why I suddenly feel so awake. I breathe in the silence and a kookaburra calls in the distance. He’s answered by his family, loud and clear, just outside of my tent. I take another breath and the chirps of a fantail follow… echoed by a crow’s caw and the chimes of a magpie ringing through the trees. Within moments, I feel as though I’m laying in the center of a pre-dawn opera, where players winged and otherwise rise from the darkness to sing their note with full breath. Their calls are simple, pure and so deeply innate. Each one totally unique, yet somehow woven in with all others… A choir of the highest order.
My own spirit begins to stir. I feel a yearning to somehow join this chorus… to know what it’s like to offer my own unique expression to the whole. Climbing out from my tent feels like stepping onto the main stage… But as I cast my senses to all those around me, who seem to express so purely and naturally who they are, a wave of uncertainty moves through. Where does the voice of my soul reside? What is the sound of my truest song??
This simple question of, ‘How best can we express the true essence of Who We Are?” is one which we each come face to face with at some point in our journey. For some, it becomes a lifelong quest. I recently had the gift of spending a few days with global sound healing pioneer and the founder of the Soul Voice™ program and method, Karina Schelde, where we explored these questions and more on the eve of her last European workshop tour. The following is a doorway into our sharing and Karina’s powerful journey into the very soul of sound …
CR: Ahhhhhhh Karina! I’d love to know where and how your journey into sound began?
KS: Looking back, it seems like I was destined to walk this path from early on… I have always felt there is more to the voice than what the words communicate, and so I was always very creative and experimental with my voice in theatre and acting. But my first real initiation with sounding came while giving a bodywork session to a client in my Denmark Healing Center, in 1988.
I had been working with this client on an intense pain in her abdominal area, but after two sessions I was still unable to relieve any of her pain. In the middle of our third session, out of the blue, sounds started to pour out of me. It was like nothing else I had ever experienced – like an ancient song or calling was moving through me. It felt like the sounds came not only from the Earth, but from everywhere. I had never experienced such primal sounds or energy.
It was as if the sounds did not belong to me, but rather that I was an instrument that Source was using to bring sacred sounds into my client. I was basically in a trance state for about ten minutes and then sound stopped by itself… and my client’s pain was gone!
I knew from that moment this was my true calling. That was 21 years ago, and I’ve been pretty much working with sound in a very intimate way since.
Wow…With such a deep background in breath work, counseling, shamanic healing, body work, dance therapy, acting and theatre (to name a few!), why do you believe that SOUND emerged as the most potent vehicle for your gifts?
KS: Sound is the synergizer. It is the building block of everything. What sound has done for me is to unify all of the healing modalities and work I have done, along with all of my own life experiences, into a vessel that can work with whatever is needed in the moment at a very deep level. A lot of the people who are attracted to the Soul Voice work have traveled far on the spiritual path already and this method seems to provide the synergy to infuse all of their work as individuals, while creating this amazing container of unity and inspired community, which of course ripples out well beyond the group.
CR: That makes total sense, particularly since we are all made up of vibrational and sound frequencies in the first place! It must feel like a real coming home for a lot of people.
KS: Exactly! And now of course it has been scientifically proven that the human voice is the most powerful and effective of all instruments. So my work is really to fine tune this energy and explore the instrument of the voice on all the different levels and layers of experience. To use the voice – with intention – as a healing vessel through all the systems of the body – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
CR: How has your relationship and experience with sound evolved and changed over the past 21 years?
KS: I have discovered that each tone and each sound has a totally unique message and that it is not possible to express a false note or a wrong sound. I also realized that the normal sound barriers of our vocal range are an artificial restriction, including the vocal range divided by gender. Whether you are male or female, you can heal any condition that may hinder you from embodying your true essence through the full range of your vocal scale, seven octaves or more!
In the western world we put so much power outside ourselves – into our computer, our doctor, our boss, etc… So much projection keeping us from turning to the infinite power within. I am continually awed by how sound brings us back into our body and empowers us to make real and profound shifts from the inside out.
CR: So what is the first step for us to begin to get to know this instrument and our own ‘sound language’?
KS: The first real step is to create a space of acceptance… it is vital for us to feel comfortable and willing to explore our own sound energy. We have to learn to accept all that comes out us, because our trained tendency is to say, “Oh this can’t be right, This doesn’t sound good. I’m awful.” But the truth is, the more you can accept and allow the sounds that come, the more things really open up in magical ways.
The key is awaking our emotional body. We know whenever we sing or cry or sigh, there is an expression of emotional release, and this is a vital element for getting in touch with the essence of sound. The emotional body is the most suffering body in the planet. So when people start to experience and work with their feelings through sound it can be totally life changing. I am continually amazed at the case studies that students and members of the Soul Voice sound community (the ‘Sound Tribe’) send to me.
Every genuine release of sound awakens our emotional body. With this awakening comes our direct communion with higher consciousness. As we let ourselves really go into the feeling of our sounds, and allow them to guide us, we start to unravel the layers of our own subconscious where genuine healing can really take place.
CR: With the Soul Voice book now going out in seven languages, full workshops and certificate training in Europe and an extensive New Zealand and Australia schedule for 2010/2011, you’re obviously not the only one who has heard the ‘CALL’ to express the deep and true voice within – both literally and metaphorically in life. What can people expect when they embark on a Soul Voice journey…
KS: It really is a method that nourishes our soul from the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual body, into all parts of our being and nervous system. There are so many people that are not really alive. So this is about coming into our aliveness and the embodiment of everything we came here for. This is a work where you really come into your passion for life.
Some people want specifically to use it as a tool and go on to become a Soul Voice™ practitioners. For others it is simply a transformational personal growth process. Either way, the exercises in the work bring us so much back to the clear essence of who we are, clear and honest communication, self esteem and self worth to find our true voice… and to know that we really do have a voice, and there is nothing to be afraid of or to hide form.
4:53am – Australian rainforest
As the sun’s pre-rise glow builds beneath the horizon, the bird chorus rises to deafening complexity around me. I take a deep breath, so keen to share my voice in this sacred morning song… but as I exhale, self-consciousness moves in and nothing comes. Another inhale and the yearning grows. It calls to me like the ocean, but still I doubt… “Who am I to sing out in this way? I’ll probably scare them all away.”
Overwhelmed, I exhale with a sigh. “Ahhhhhhh.” Strangely, I feel instantly more open, more in my body and connected. I breathe in again, and this time I let the sigh come through me louder and longer. I’m amazed at how good this feels. It’s like turning on a faucet for the first time… The pipes creak, but water flows! My third breath and this time I let go completely, allowing the sound to rise from deep within. It feels like I’m tapping into a spring at the core of my being. The sound moves through me like a river – clearing and centering my body, igniting my energy centers. I don’t even know what it sounds like but it feels real and true, and I bathe in its currents. For a brief moment I become aware again of the symphony around me, but in a different way… As though I am hearing it from the inside out. All sound and songs – including my own – weave together as one great melody.
The morning light seems to grow in response to this symphony and for a moment I imagine this possibility: What if the rising light were actually being caused by this morning song – not visa versa? What if the turning of the earth and the dawn of each day actually depended on those who – like the birds – were devoted to offering their unique voice to ‘sing it into being’?
In this moment, the sun peeks over the hills. The first rays of light hit the treetops and birds take flight. A new day has begun. Everything feels alive and I am part of it… I cannot help imagining how bright the day may be, when ALL beings learn once again to rise and share in Soul Voice with this precious living planet.
In the sounding resonance of Karina Schelde,
“Each day is a new song and a new sound healing journey…
So LIVE IT!
Sing it out
Sound out your song of freedom
Cry and despair
Sing it out
Sound it out
To be heard
And be free!”
(Soul Voice p.21)
Chip Richards is an author, spiritual life coach and co-founder of New Earth Creations (www.newearthcreations.com), a creative foundation devoted to raising planetary consciousness through film, music, written word and visual art. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on Soul Voice , visit www.soulvoice.net or email: email@example.com. Namaste..