Finding Our Authentic Voice

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"We learn that as we change the way we use our voices, so we change ourselves." - Anne Nelligan

The morning of my father’s fatal car accident, he and I got into an argument. I had been taking voice lessons for a couple of months and was feeling nervous about an upcoming recital. Ironically or not, my throat started to hurt, and that morning I told my dad I didn’t want to sing. He was sincerely disappointed.

When I was in kindergarten, I sang "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music alone on a stage in front of my elementary school. I don’t remember the performance, but I have heard my mother talk about the tears rolling down my father’s face as he listened to his little girl sing her heart out.

I love to sing, but the minute I know people are listening, the fun falls to the wayside, and I quickly become preoccupied with how my voice sounds.

It’s unfortunate because it really doesn’t matter whether our voices are good or not. So often we may say, “I can’t sing,” but if we are fortunate to have a voice, we indeed can sing.

When we root down, feeling our feet planted on the earth, and begin to breathe from the heart of our belly, we tap into our most empowered sense of self. And there lays our authentic voice. Whether it is speaking, singing, or even writing, when we use our authentic voice, a great energetic spark moves through us.

We become a vessel, a container for our souls to reconnect with the great universal energy pulsating all around us. This is much like the water from a water fountain as it reaches a crescendo and then cascades down reaching to reconnect with the pool of water it came from.  Whether it’s the rhythm of rain dripping into a puddle, the sweet ripple of water gracefully rolling over smooth rocks, or the sound of ocean waves lapping up on the shore, these sounds are soothing because they connect us to our essence.

These voices of nature are a reminder that we are not separate from one another. In fact, we yearn to be together so we can rejoice as one in the celebration of life. At the end of our days here, we return to this source, this wellspring of beauty, peace and infinite love in an everlasting cycle of reconnection and renewal.

Our voices are all part of the song of the universe (uni – verse meaning "one song,") and each one of us contributes our own unique imprint in this beautiful and mysterious tapestry of sound.

I was seventeen the day of my dad's accident. I didn't understand then the importance of saying goodbye to the people we love no matter what. I also didn't know then that my voice was not about me nor did it belong to me.

Now I know It’s about something much greater moving through me.

As I practice sharing my truest voice, the fear and sadness dissipates and this is when I feel my dad’s tears falling all around me filling up the silence with a most glorious melody.