Late last month our meditation leader, Nancy, took us through a guided practice that invited participants to make whatever noise our souls needed to release. I had been through the meditation once before and discovered that my soul needed to release both a fog horn and a dying goose.
I was trying for an OM, but I am completely tone deaf. True story.
This particular meditation was packed - which is unusual for a Saturday morning - and it was packed with quite a few women that were brand-spanking-new to the SheHive. It occurred to me that listening to me sound off like a river freighter in a dense haze was going to be a hell of an introduction to the community. More so, it occurred to me that having to make their own crazy sounds out loud had the potential to be scary as hell for a group of women who did not yet know how safe the SheHive space truly is.
Saying shit out loud first is my mission. And that translates to guttural soul sounds too. I decided that I would let my dying goose / fog horn fly loud and proud so that others would feel free to let go too.
So I started with my dying goose and eventually raised a few octaves to grieving cat. Interestingly, as the pitch of my “soul noises” increased, so did the pressure in my sinuses. (Or my third eye for you woogity-types.) Eventually my head started throbbing and I had an overwhelming sense that the only thing that was going to release the pressure was a big, loud-as-hell, howl.
I thought about it for a few minutes - even started to let it out a few times, but I just couldn’t do it. I had lost my “say shit out loud” bravado. What would all these women think if I let out a howl? Would they run for the hills - or Hilton Road, as the case may be? Would they laugh? Would they politely smile as they left later that morning and then say really mean shit about me on the drive home?
I went quiet. I hummed. I tried the OM thing. I stopped making sound all together for a while and listened to everyone else. Maybe one of them would start howling first.
I fought the fears in my head for a good ten minutes and then decided, “Fuck it, I’m going to howl. If nothing else, it’ll be a hell of a story to share later.”
I started with a teeny, little howl - like a rabid chihuahua. No one laughed, so I tested out something a little louder. Like maybe a Pit Bull. My Pit Bull Fletcher loves to howl and it’s cute as hell, after all. Then I visualized my girlfriends from grad school who call each other The Wolf Pack. I mustered up all their collective strength and love, opened my jaw and let if fly… a full-on wolf howl.
If anyone was laughing I wouldn’t have heard it.
And it wouldn’t have mattered if I could have because when I opened my mouth, and released my fear, I felt the most amazing sensation ever… heat. The actual heat of my voice leaving my mouth. It was one of the strangest things I had ever felt. I could, literally… Feel. My. Voice.
I can’t even possibly imagine what anyone else in the building was experiencing that day - what they must have thought they were hearing coming from the SheHive. I suspect, by this time, they’re rather used to us. Truth is, however, it doesn’t matter. I wouldn’t trade the discovery and experience for anything - particularly not for the approval of anyone else not howling alongside me.
What does it feel like for you when you let go of fear and let your voice be heard? I’d love to hear about your experiences. Drop me an email or leave a comment below.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD