I am pleased to announce that my newest book, Soul of My Voice, is now available at Lulu.com. Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. This text was written as a workbook/journal to accompany my first book, Soul of Voice published in 2016. However, Soul of My Voice is just as effective as a stand alone book, chuck full of essays, poems, quotes, photos, writing prompts and mandalas. Happy reading (and writing, and coloring, etc.)!!
Often it is said that people get what they least expect, but I’m not so sure that is true. It’s been my experience that when I expect a certain situation to turn out either poorly or fantastically, I get what I expect. The same is true with my clients for if they expect to not get well, they usually don’t. However, if they expect to feel better, to experience wholeness, and to find some peace of mind, they usually do.
Perhaps the real issue is how can one turn their negative expectations into a positive mindset. Rather than say “I could never do that. Who do I think I am? I’m such a loser!” Instead, “I think I’ll give this a try. I have the courage, determination and discipline to see this through. I am a winner!”
Power resides in expectancy for both good and bad. Our assignment is to expect the best life can offer, to never be satisfied with anything less than just that. Positive expectancy opens the way for success, victory and miracles. It produces an energy that can either build us up or bring us down.
I suggest we meet the challenges of life each day by declaring “I can do that! I can have that! I can be that!” And not be surprised by the changes we see in our lives for the better.
“Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
― John Henry Jowett
Thankfulness has a much different connotation to me than the work gratitude. When one is in the state of being grateful, they are attuning their soul to their innermost thoughts. It is a private, inward experience. A way of Being—analytical and reflective. However, thankfulness or being thankful means that action in the present is being taken. One is purposefully thanking Providence, God or the Universe for any number of things that a person is glad for or joyful about. A person may also be thanking others for their words and services—perhaps their very being.
“Joy is thankfulness, and when we are joyful, that is the best expression of thanks we can offer…” ― Thaddeus of Vitovnica, Our Thoughts Determine Our Lives: The Life and Teachings of Elder Thaddeus of Vitovnica
Thankfulness is a sign something or someone has brought us joy—that our world is that much happier of a place to be in. In other words, we are happier people due to the fact that we have something or someone we are grateful for. Yet, true happiness comes in the act of verbalizing or demonstrating our thankfulness in meaningful ways.
So … it seems fairly clear to me …
If you want to be happy and have a joy-filled life, be grateful for your blessings.
But more importantly, speak out your thankfulness in both word and deed. Make clear to the Infinite Presence as well as those who cross your path that you are thankful for who they are and what they do!
Just as the rest is a crucial aspect of musical notation, silence is important when we speak of the voice. Knowing when and what to say is important, yet counterbalanced with the knowledge of when one should embrace silence. Silence is important in communication for it allows one to listen actively with whom they are communicating with gives the other person the feeling that they are being listened to and in turn valued.
“But the Lord is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.” Habakkuk 2:20
Silence is also important for the individual for it offers the opportunity to be psychically present, to be in a space where words are “poor translation.” Silence is different than merely being quiet. Being silent means that we have turned off the chatter in our minds (at least to the best of our abilities), as well as our mouths. We have instead surrendered to either the offerings of the inner voice or the serene nothingness of the moment.
For me it is all those things and more. Being silent is a gift for it allows me to re-form what it is I want to say and how I want to say it once I do step into my voice. The voice is only as soul-filled as the silence beneath it. So to be a person of my word, I must also be a person of my silence.
“The kingdom of God is within you.” Luke 17: 21
There is an innate holiness to silence. It is an expansive space compared to the often limiting stricture of words. To me it isn’t strange that in contemplative orders silence is not only revered, but part of its policy. It’s standard procedure at Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village, for example, that certain days of the week or month are designated for silence only.
I advise us all to take time out to be silent, if not for a few minutes each day, at least for the greater part of a single day once a week or once a month. It may surprise us all how greatly it will affect our speech when we finally do step into the truth of our Voice.
I am excited to announce the recent publication of my book, Soul of Voice, which is now available in print as well as for electronic readers. Many of you have asked what it is I do in my private practice, and this book culminates my system as well as its application in a concise yet enriching manner. I plan to keep you posted when artists and other voice practitioners are utilizing my book and / or its methodology.