Category: Relationships (page 1 of 11)

This includes posts about romantic relationships, family, friends.

4 Reasons To Sing Daily

If you’re familiar with my story, you know that I did not like to sing for the longest time. I also hated to sing in front of anyone. I was so afraid to be mocked or shamed…

But then, I discovered that one of the attributes of my clan (Maa’ingan Dodem) is to use their voice, in every sense of the word.

And through yoga’s chanting, like Om, Shanti and various other call and response or kirtans, I overcame the block I’d hidden behind. I stopped feeling that song was about performance or having a beautiful voice, and it became an exercise because I used my body’s instrument – the voice. Chanting became an expression of harmony and a way for me to reclaim my health and my confidence.

I know using my voice has improved my physical, mental and emotional health.

Here are 4 reasons to sing daily:

1- Song Activates Your Throat Chakra (5th Chakra)

In the West, we live in a society that is focused on multimedia and online connection, and we’re uncomfortable with silence, but we’re mortified about making noise ourselves… We don’t want to speak in public, we don’t hum to ourselves as we walk down the street, we can’t voice our thoughts and feelings…what if someone hears us?!?

The throat chakra is about sound, whether that is listening or speaking (or singing). By not fulling activating our throat chakras, we suffer from all kinds of physical and emotional ailments.

The result is that we don’t speak up, we don’t express our needs and wants (at work or in relationships), we swallow anger and resentment because we don’t feel heard / that it’s safe to express ourselves. Physically, we develop all kinds of throat, jaw, teeth and hearing problems. We snore and grind our teeth, we have neck pain…

We talk, but we don’t say anything; we hear but we don’t listen.

When we sing or chant, we use a tool in our bodies that activates the throat chakra. The more you use your voice, the more it becomes a habit to express yourself. The more you express yourself and feel heard, the easier it becomes to listen.

2-Song Is Breathwork

Your voice is a vibrational tool, and it’s a built-in part of your body. In order to produce sound, you need to breathe, and if you want to project, you need to use your diaphragm and these nifty things called abominals.

Singing (or chanting), can help you become more aware of your breath, while giving your midsection a bit of a workout.

Breath work is one of the most powerful, and most accessible, stress-relievers; while your core is your power center because without abdominals you couldn’t stand or walk or lift anything. Engaging your core to do something enjoyable like singing is saying to your body; you can achieve great things AND have fun.

Song is an active and fun way to meditate!

3-It Helps You Detach from Ego

Honestly, we’re so focused on productivity and perfection and performance, that we need to stop taking ourselves too seriously. It’s soul crushing! Singing regularly, whether you sing “well” or not, will help you break out of trying to be ‘perfect’. Start slow, by singing on your own, or with the radio, then around people you love and trust (and who’ll sing with you). Before you know it, you’ll be ‘shaking it off’ with Taylor Swift on your ride to the grocery store.

4-Your Perspective Shifts

Sound has an impact on our nervous systems. An uncomfortable repetitive sound can increase our cortisol production (the stress hormone). But a pleasant sound can help us relax and create positive brain chemistry.

When we sing, our energy rises, especially if we sing something upbeat. Have you ever tried to sing with a frown? How about hunched over? It doesn’t work. Sit up or stand tall, look ahead or look inside, but smile and belt it out. Singing helps us shift into gratitude, beauty and harmony.

"When we sing, our energy rises." - Bright Star Mercedes

How do you feel about singing or chanting? Do you have any hangups about it? How do you overcome your fear of being out of tune and just enjoy the music?






Noticing How We Lie – Satya & Truthfulness

In the yoga yamas, Satya is the principle of committing to truthfulness. All the yamas work together to help us eliminate karma (or baggage). That is to say, what we say in truth, we must also do in kindness. When I began observing Satya, I wondered, in what ways am I true and how do I lie?

After a few weeks of mindfulness, I realized I found Satya challenging (near impossible!).

In North America, we hide behind rules of etiquette and political correctness and we’re taught to spare people’s feelings, and we’re encouraged to be diplomatic. If you’re a jerk, no one will like you (shocking!) and if you can’t navigate office politics, you won’t get that promotion (the horror!). We also dread conflict (awkward!) and think we must avoid it at all cost (please, please, please let it not blow up in my face!), and so, we often dance around delicate or difficult subjects. Then, to make matters worse, we ASSUME other people’s thoughts and feelings and create misunderstandings.

So how did this translate into my life?

Being Untrue To Myself

I noticed I often made myself excuses for some of my less admirable behaviours or why I didn’t honour my self-care regimen. I often set myself up to fail in projects that mean so much to me because I’m afraid of being a fraud and being found out. Satya showed me I was untrue to myself.

“Editing” Out of Fear

In my relationships, I heard myself edit my speech to certain people. I too often told half truths, because I was afraid of reproach and judgement, or because I assumed the other person couldn’t handle the complete truth. I’m not as big a fan of white lies because I use them less and most people can see through them (or “feel” through them) but I’ve used them in the past. White lies can be more damaging than the truth. Saying “No, that dress looks great on you!” When really, it looks pretty terrible will result in your friend buying/wearing a dress that won’t suit her and eventually, she’ll figure it out and regret it. (With kindness, you can say “I don’t think this dress flatters you. Maybe try this one instead?”)

Lying by omission (or in my case, “editing”) can hurt someone by giving them an incomplete picture of a situation. Imagine that you’re trying to decide who to bring on holiday with you, you ask your partner for his opinion, and he knows your friend has been spreading rumors behind your back but your sister would love to go with you. If he doesn’t tell you that your friend is a gossip, who know the disaster this trip can be.

Satya WIDE Centre

Courage To Hold Truthful Space

I was on the phone with a loved one and they mentioned not hearing from another family member of mine, and I went in “feelings protection mode” as though it was my job. First of all, I have no idea what this family member is thinking/feeling/doing and second of all, it’s not my responsibility to find an excuse for this family member or an explanation for my loved one on why they aren’t hearing from the former.

I realized I had releasing work to do because I was not responsible for this person’s feelings or the situation at all. And the discomfort of someone’s hurt feelings are not to be brushed away; they need to be felt. Holding space for truth won’t always be comfortable, even if we’re not the ones delivering inconvenient truths. Does that mean we should cast a shadow on it and “make it go away”? No.

It takes courage and commitment to be truthful, both with ourselves and others. Let’s step up to the challenge of speaking truth and allowing it to be revealed without obstructing the process.

In what areas of your life could you be more truthful? Why are you afraid of speaking the truth? How can you speak your truth while being kind?


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