The soul demands its full expression. Couple that principle with Roy Hart’s infamous quote, the soul is the muscle of the soul,” and what you have then is an invitation to fully express yourself emotionally, cognitively and psychically (body, mind and spirit). Yet, as well we know from holding ourselves back from full expression, the safety to do so often eludes us.
The desire to appear smart, witty, “together,” and spiritually “with it” gives us a kind of false courage to vocally venture forth. More often, however, it is more the desire to avoid public humiliation at all costs which controls us from giving ourselves completely over to the compulsions of the soul. In fact, it is usually when we feel “out of control” that we allow ourselves to vocally effervesce and allow soul its moment in the sun.
However, when we are invited to feel safe, nurtured, and supported, amazing results can occur with regard to vocal expression. We can speak, sing, sob, chant, pray, wail, intone, laugh and hiccup ourselves into a state of deeper recognition of who we are as sentient and sacred beings. When the soul is full, it begs to overflow. Damming it only causes us to either spew forth uncontrollably or bury our desires deep within the abyss of our shadow selves, perhaps never to be encouraged to come forth again.
Thus, we seek those containers of security or tell ourselves they cannot be found, and thus we suffer. In my own life these communities/containers built upon mutual respect and encouragement have been found primarily in the theatre, in group therapy, in small groups of like-minded women, and in effective ritual. I have both led and participated in such rituals and have found them to be liberating in every sense of the word.
My prayer is that each of us finds those avenues of community where our soul will be encouraged to give forth its full vocal expression so that we all may find more joy, more meaning, and more understating in both our individual and collective soul-enriched lives.