I hope this post finds you safe and well in the midst of this bloody [insert other profanities here] pandemic! Delta is in town; Brisbane is in lockdown, and as such, it’s creating so much uncertainty and anxiety.
You have every right to be feeling all the feels associated with this.
So, I sincerely hope you don’t find what I am about to put on the table - ‘Singing Your Way Out of a Funk’ - as a cheesy ‘stay positive’ memo. Even though my persona may sometimes come across this way, I am a big proponent of ‘sit with and feel your feelings.’ Honestly, I am so sensitive that if I was inauthentically positive all the time, I’m pretty sure I’d develop a hernia.
On the same note, this is NOT professional medical advice, so please don’t use this as such. I am a big believer in conventional medicine as much as I’m into the esoteric, so please see this as only a supplementary tool.
So, without further ado, let me introduce you to a way of getting into a clearer headspace, which involves singing your heart out.
An Emotional Guidance Scale:
It’s not always possible or healthy to go from ‘depression and despair’ thinking to feelings of ‘elation and joy.’ A guidance framework comes in handy to name these emotions and know where you are on a scale. I learned this concept via Abraham Hicks.
They speak in terms of low/high vibration thoughts/feelings. They teach that wherever we are on this emotional scale that ranges from joy to powerlessness, we can find a better feeling thought that leads us to a better reality.
So, if we feel hopeless and powerless over a situation, finding a thought that leads us to anger will be an improvement. And from there, we work our way, or should I say, think our way up the scale by reaching for these ‘better feeling’ thoughts.
The only issue I have with the Abraham Hicks emotional scale is they have a list of 21 emotions, and most of them, for me, presents the same feelings or energy. So, I have created my own reduced list based on theirs’s. And if my list doesn’t resonate, I encourage you to create your own.
- Joy, Elation, Freedom, Love
- Passion, Enthusiasm, Eagerness, Happiness
- Boredom, Pessimism
- Frustration, Irritation
- Disappointment, doubt, worry
- Anger, Blame
- Hatred, Rage
- Jealousy, Insecurity, Guilt, Unworthiness
- Fear, Grief, Despair, Desperation, Powerlessness
SING YOUR WAY UP THE SCALE (‘SCUSE THE PUN)
Look, I’m no stranger to the feelings of despair and desperation, and I know first-hand how challenging it is, when in this state, to think of a better feeling thought. So, this is where we can use the most powerful tool we have at our disposal. Our voice!
Now you may not even be up to singing a song when you are at number 12. In fact, even the idea of this scale, when feeling like this, would be painfully reductive. Even what I am about to suggest may come across as such. But here it is… Hum. Put your hand on your chest and feel into the vibrations. Make weird sounds. YOU DO NOT NEED TO SOUND MUSICAL! You may sound downright primal. And this is perfect.
When you feel a little relief from that, try singing a song that will take you to number 11 on the scale. Then when you feel relief from that, sing a song that will take you to number 10. Then when you feel a little relief… you see where I’m going with this.
LET ME BE REAL FOR A HOT SECOND
I’m going to be completely transparent and tell you that currently, I’m a mix of 9 to 5 (how ironic!). I am a schoolteacher and am going into school tomorrow unvaccinated (because I am hanging out for the Pfizer vaccine for personal reasons) and will be amongst people, therefore potentially the Delta strain.
Also, I’m a musician and belong to a community of other musicians, art workers, and creatives who have lost gigs due to the lockdown. There is very little governmental financial support or empathy, for that matter, for my industry.
I feel that our government does not value what we do and doesn’t give a crap about our lives. And then checking in with my privilege, I understand marginal groups have it much worse. This makes me desperately sad.
When I’m feeling disillusioned like this, I draw inspiration from the great jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter. I read an interview he did with Downbeat magazine years ago and will remember what he said about how we can change the world. This isn’t the exact quote, but it goes along the lines of this: when you play [music], play what you want to see in the world. So, when you sing, see it like a prayer. Set the intention that you want to release your pain and the pain and suffering of others.
One of my dear students is in the process of mastering 4 Non-Blonde’s ‘What’s Up.’ So that’s exactly what I will sing after writing this because I know it will give me some relief. And from there, I am going to find a song about hope.
CREATE A PLAYLIST FOR YOUR EMOTIONAL SCALE
Now I’m not going to lie; I haven’t even done this yet. The idea only just came to me! How awesome would it be to have a playlist (on your preferred streaming platform) that you can turn to to help you up the emotional scale? A song or maybe more that matches the emotion of each number of the scale. I’ll make a Spotify playlist this week and post it on my website for you to see.
My intention for this blog post is that it brings some relief for you this week! Have fun with your playlist. If you feel open to it, please share it; I would love to see what you create.
Lots of love,