‘Healing Voice Workshop’ Reflection By Michelle Brennan

‘Howya! I’ve signed you up for a 6 week workshop in DCU….are you in?’

I hesitated a second before replying with a questioning…‘Yes?’

‘Great. It’s called Healing Voices. Enjoy!’

It was my good friend Seán. Surely he wouldn’t lead me too far astray? Anything with the word Healing in it couldn’t really be a bad thing …could it? The Voices part? … I wasn’t so sure about that. I’m well known to bop around the kitchen to the latest Beyoncé alright, but singing in public? NOT my thing.

That said, I was prepared to give it a go! So in I walked through the double doors of the Recovery Centre on that sunny July afternoon, becoming increasingly aware of a growing uneasiness in my gut. What had I gotten myself into?

A six week transformation, that’s what.

Connection. Insight. Curiosity. Hope. Understanding. Energy. Fun. And a safe space to be me.

Those two hours on a Tuesday afternoon became the highlight of my week for the duration of the course and the tools I learned have become the foundations of my newly established reflective practices.

Yes it was daunting. Opening up on front of a room of ten complete strangers brought about enormous bouts of anxiety for me, but the ice-breakers, warm-ups, poetry verses, chants and chakra activation exercises we practiced weekly are now my ‘go-to’ tools in easing the anxiety I experience on a daily basis. Two hours in, I was no longer surrounded by strangers but friends. Through vulnerability came connection and a shared understanding. The entire experience taught me how to tune into and connect to my body on a level much deeper than I have ever experienced before. I can now read my bodies signals and respond to them with intent. Without realising it, I learned the value of Self-Care through my engagement in this Healing Voices Workshop. In the words of our wonderful facilitator Emer; ‘The Healing Voice provides you with a map to nourish yourself through song and movement.’ – a map that lies within each and every one of us, only waiting for a safe space to reveal itself. Within the safe confines of that bright, aromatic cocoon of a room, Emer and her co-facilitators Marian and Caroline  instilled in each of us a genuine sense of belief. Belief in our innate worth, in our ability to Recover and a belief in the immense beauty and wonder of the world around us.

I’m sure you’re all wondering if I could now give Beyoncé a run for her money? Well….No.

But I did discover something far more valuable. I found my sound. I learned how to connect to my inner self and ground myself through simple chakra activation exercises and the communal voice. I became aware of the power of silence. Of the use of movement and rhythm to channel inner energies in healing the soul, and I gained confidence in expressing and developing my naked voice.  No music. No background noise. Just me and my sound.

Inner peace is possible.

One component. One Voice. One small leap of faith.  By no means is my journey is complete – not by a long shot. But participating in ‘The Healing Voice’ course opened up a number of avenues of exploration for me that I never would have dreamed of venturing down before, and for that I am eternally grateful. This really is only the beginning…

I’m finding my voice and so can you.

Take that leap and continue to ‘Get out of your own way’