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Drumming with the Four Elements of Nature

When we live in harmony with nature, the Four Elements of Earth, Water, Fire and Air nourish and support us on a physical, emotional, mental and spiritual level. Drumming is a great way to balance the elements and I’ll be chatting a bit about this today.

These four elements are present all around us and are essential to life. They are all inter-related: we need water to quench a fire that is out of control, we need air for fire to burn in the first place and earth can ground us when we have too much air (if we’re in our heads too much).

Each Astrological Star sign is linked to one of the elements. I am Taurus and an Earth sign so I feel happy when I’m out in Nature and connected to the Earth. We also have shamanic elements. Here I am Water and just love anything to do with water – being on a beach, being on or in the sea through swimming or a boat trip.

While I have lots of Earth and Water in my life, there are other elements I tend to neglect like Fire so I need to make a conscious effort to bring more Fire into my life. Sometimes I can lack that spark of creativity and struggle with motivation.

What about you? What elements are you naturally drawn to and which do you feel are lacking?

Here’s a quick summary of how you can use your drum to balance the elements.

Fire
In the next drumming circle/yoga nidra session with Susie and me, we will be connecting to our Inner Fire. Fire represents the solar plexus chakra – our energy, our spark, our motivation, our confidence and our personal power (in the positive sense of the word). It’s also about joy, laughter, warmth and love.

The drum is a great way to increase our energy levels and to feel empowered.

Try some simple upbeat rhythms with your drum, dance round the room with it and you will feel your energy rise. Fire chants like the one I recorded for you (see video link below) are also a great way to create that spark of motivation.

Earth
Earth is about being grounded in our bodies. Drumming outdoors is a great way to connect to the earth – ideally barefoot so that you can really feel the coolness of the Earth.  When we spend too much time at the computer or lost in our thoughts we can become disconnected from our bodies and drumming can help bring us back.

Water
All life needs water to survive, plants wilt when they are too dry, our bodies can only live a couple of days without water. Blood is made up of about 50% water and this is what transports essential nutrients through our body. Water is also linked to our emotions. Drumming is excellent for helping us get in touch with our emotions and allowing our tears and our anger to flow.

Air
Air is the commonest and most essential of the elements. We can only survive for about 5 minutes without oxygen. To bring more air into our lives we can really focus on our breathing, take yourself to a hill top or a windswept beach and take some deep breaths. Air is also linked to our mental level of being and our thoughts. We can have too much air and be stuck in our heads or we can feel brain fog and struggle to think. Smoothing our hand over our drum is a lovely way to connect with the air element. Singing is also a joyful way to open your lungs and allow more air into your body.

Have a think about where your life is out of balance and which element you need more of. If it’s fire, come and join us on Sunday 9th June for an uplifting and relaxing afternoon.

Booking details here. 

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The Healing Power of Your Own Voice

Did you know that your own voice is one of the most powerful sound healing tools available to you?

  • We carry it around with us all the time
  • It carries our own unique frequency
  • It carries our heart energy and our emotions,
  • We can use it to soothe and nurture our clients
  • It can be comforting and nourishing
  • It is self empowering and we can use it for personal healing.

Let’s start with using our voice for our own well-being. Did you know that when you hum, the sound vibrates through your sinuses? Your body produces nitric oxide which dilates blood vessels and encourages blood flow in the body. Try it in the shower in the morning. It’s so simple. Try it in the car when you feel stressed in a traffic jam. Choose a pitch that’s comfortable without straining.

We can also use vowel sounds to balance different chakras in our body. A deep Uh sound with bring energy lower in the body to the root chakra while an aaah sound is very heart opening.

Mantras

You can also develop your own daily mantra practice or attend organised Kirtan events.

Mantras are single words or phrases that you repeat or sing during meditation. They are often written in sanskrit which is a vibrational language. Thomas Ashley-Farrand describes them as “energy-based sounds that create thought-energy waves.”

When we chant them, mantras create vibrations in our bodies which can move stuck energy. The action of focusing on the one phrase can still our monkey minds and create a sense of peace and inner calm.

This is my own recording of The Green Tara Mantra. The Green Tara represents compassion in action.

In Tibet Om tare tuttare ture soha is an ancient mantra that is related to Tara, the “Mother of all Buddhas,” and especially to her manifestation as Green Tara. She is usually depicted as a compassionate being ready to step down from her lotus throne to offer comfort and protection from all of the sufferings we experience in the world.

There are so many resources on YouTube if you would like to research specific mantras and develop a daily practice.

When working with others, we can also use our own voice just like any sound healing instruments. We can focus on a specific chakra, we can use it for nourishing or releasing blocked energy.

One thing I love about running sound healing courses is seeing people gain confidence in using their voice. Our voice is an amazing tool for healing.

I am planning some voice workshops later this year which will be suitable for anyone who struggles with using their voice not just to sing but to express themselves in their daily lives. When we free our voice, we free our expression.

Here’s some of the things we’ll cover:

  • Freeing the voice – using exercises to challenge life programming and beliefs, which affect our ability to speak our truth
  • Balancing the chakras with vowel sounds
  • Mantras / words of power for healing
  • 5 stages of chant and techniques
  • Benefits of sound healing with your voice
  • Vocal health & warm-up exercises
  • How to develop natural harmonics / overtones
  • 5 phases of sound healing with vocal toning
  • Grounding techniques
  • Practice giving and receiving vocal sound healing
  • Balancing the chakras with Bija sounds
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Happy Imbolc: a time to cleanse your home with sound

The 1st of February is Imbolc, the ancient Celtic Festival which celebrates the end of winter and the forthcoming spring – moving from darkness to light. It was celebrated when the hardships of winter were over – the cold, the bad weather, the long dark nights which people used to feel more keenly when they weren’t sheltered in houses with central heating. Perhaps we’ve felt the hardships of winter more keenly this year as the cost of heating our homes has risen.

Imbolc involved a host of unique customs and rituals to welcome the spring, say farewell to the winter, ward against evil and promote health and wellbeing. Imbolc is also St Bridget’s Day. She is a Goddess of healing, poetry and smithcraft. She is a Goddess of Fire, of the Sun and of the Hearth. She brings fertility to the land and its people and is closely connected to midwives and new-born babies.

New beginnings
For me, February always feels like a time of hope: the days are longer, the bulbs are poking their shoots above the ground, the birds are twitter-pated and the sun begins to shine again; hope of renewal, hope for the future.

So it feels like a good time to focus on our hopes for the future whether it be for ourselves, our families, our country or humanity as a whole. What sort of world do we want to create as we leave the stress of the past few years behind?

In many ways Imbolc is the time to let go of the past and to look to the future, clearing out the old, making both outer and inner space for new beginnings. This can be done in numerous ways, from spring cleaning your home to clearing the mind and heart to allow inspiration to enter for the new cycle.

In February I often have the urge to open the windows wide even though it’s still cold outside – to let in fresh new air. It’s also a great time to cleanse your home energetically. You can use palo santo, white sage or a favourite herb. But it’s also possible to cleanse your home with sound. I love to do sound clearings in people’s homes and am always amazed at the results.

Cleansing with sound
So if you’d like to cleanse your home with sound, it’s really simple:

Start with sending out an intention to clear the energy in the room of anything that no longer serves you.

Next use a drum, a shaker, even chopsticks or two wooden spoons to break up old dense energies; go into all the corners, nooks and crannies, even cupboards. You can also clap your hands. Drum quite vigorously.

Once you’ve broken up the old energies, you might want to smudge the room with white sage to clear the energy you’ve broken up.

Now open the windows to let the old energy out. As you do this remember to hold the vision of a clearing happening.

You can now create fresh energy. It’s a lovely idea to set a positive intention for your home like “My home is filled with love, joy.” “My home is a harmonious restful place.” Repeat it as you go round the room with tingshaws (the little bells on a leather string).

You can also use a Tibetan singing bowl again going into all the corners of the room then standing in the centre of the room, tapping the bowl gently and allow the sound time to travel out to the room

If you have studied reiki, you can draw reiki symbols in the corners; or visualise a violet flame coming out of your heart and filling the room.

Koshi chimes and crystal bowls are also great for creating new fresh energy, or if you don’t have these, use your voice. You can chant a mantra like this one for a sweet home. Your home will feel lighter and airier afterwards.