Well! It’s been a while since I posted about anything having to do with PATH of Authentic Voice. Just over… three months?!?!? My, how time flies in the midst of, as they say, that ‘only constant’… CHANGE!
Back in early April, I was highlighting the import of nervous system regulation and of the use of the ‘PATH Protocol‘ as a way to effectively navigate our, just developing, Turbulent Times, via regenerating and honing our relationship with the Four PATH Personhood Pillars — Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart. I’ve been vigorously walking that PATH ever since.
Then, at the end of April, I asked the mother of all questions, ‘Who Are You?‘, the point of which was to deliberately conjure a personal reckoning with the Value and Meaning of Life… to, in turn, fan the flames of a Guiding Light by which one can steadfastly steer towards a Desired Direction, while being yanked around by forces beyond our control. Brick House, baby.
Since then and next up has been an internally emergent and rigorous exploration of ‘Voice’. Capital ‘v’ intended. What is the Voice in PATH of Authentic Voice?
Contrary to such superficial attributes as (on one end of the spectrum) being a utilitarian word delivery device to (on the other end of the spectrum) being an entertainment delivery device, to stoke with accolades or shut down with criticism, to enter into competitions to ‘win’ and receive awards that stroke eggshell esteems and insatiable egos…
Nooooo! Voice is sooooo much more than that!
Voice is your Essential Expression… unique and incomparable… potent… the Vibration and Sound through which one can actually shape their world, and one’s connection, or lack thereof, with the Four PATH Personhood Pillars — Power, Acceptance, Truth, Heart — is nakedly revealed.
It is by this definition, especially in our current, cathartic times, that what one gives their Voice to is starkly and utterly consequential.
What comes out of my mouth matters to me. I mean what I say. I say what I mean. I choose my words, with great care. My Voice is not just the aforementioned superficial qualifiers. My Voice is an expression of what I am aligned with, what is meaningful to me, what is true for me, what I stand for and, even, what I’m willing to, yes, die for. My Voice is the instrument through which I assert my Heart and Soul… what I Value… to such a weighty degree that I have become mercilessly mindful of what I Give my Voice to.
I’ll use a chapter of my own singing journey as an example…
Several years ago, I was offered the opportunity to teach students who were studying vocal jazz. Accepting the job required me to work with the literature from the well-known Great American Songbook. I gleefully accepted the position and thought it appropriate and necessary to become more acquainted with the songs from said era than I already was. I was surprised to discover that as much as I loved the music itself — the form, the melodies, the harmonies — I could not, ultimately, stomach… the lyrics.
So many tunes from the GAS (surpressing giggle) are what I call ‘pain body’ or ‘old story’ songs. What I mean by that is that most of them are about love and relationships of the unrequited, tragic, sad, victimy, and dysfunctional kind…. all wrapped up in a blanket of intoxicating romance.
Since I initially referenced our constant companion, ‘change’, I’ll continue the trend and pull up the song You’ve Changed as an example.
The music itself? Gorgeous, yes? The words, though, well… I’ll pull no punches. The narrator of this worn out story seems to dramatically bemoan and argue against the reality of the changing of a ‘cared for’ person… as if change is a bad thing! The lyrics seem (to me) virtually accusatory in tone. Clearly, the narrator of this sad story did not get the memo about ‘I’ statements and the much needed support to process what was, understandably, painful. There’s plenty more to mine from the depths of the text. However, I’ll put it to rest.
Now, if someone had sent that message my direction I’d be inclined to respond. Aaaaand, maybe I’d actually sing my own response using my Voice, ideally calling upon the energies of Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart, ‘cuz I am that PATH chick, after all. Supposing I did, it might look something like…
I ultimately stepped away from that teaching position, with a whole lot of gratitude for the opportunity to serve, for the learning and growing that came from it, the wonderful people I met and collaborated with along the way, and with an ample supply of respect and admiration for those who so meticulously and masterfully deliver their vocal gifts through such a particular and stringently complex genre of music.
But Not for Me, when all was said and done. Joke intended. Click on the blue link at the top of this paragraph to enjoy yet another greatest of the Great American Songbook! Doesn’t Judy make suffering seem so elegant? Poignant, actually. Given her tragic life and death.
Speaking of life and death matters… as the echoes of the past die away, as we face an onslaught of censorship not seen since the McCarthy years, and as we forge ahead as Creators of a Whole New World, we will change. Everything is changing, whether we want it to or not. The quality of that change is dependent on how we choose to respond. It is through Power, Acceptance, Truth and Heart and our Raised-Out-Loud Voices that we will carry ourselves into a future we all cherish being a part of…
With you. For you.