Interview with Chris James by Stefanie Konig | July 2019
Stefanie: Chris, can you talk about the healing power of the voice?
Chris: The healing power of the voice starts with people understanding that they do have a voice that resonates and vibrates and actually has an impact on the body. That sounds simplistic on one level and yet it’s not, because many people actually don’t relate to their own voice. Many people also feel that they are not heard. And so, the very foundation of coming back to your own voice is to start to let go of all those things, the stresses and outside influences, that we have taken on. In every workshop I give, people say that they have been given so many negative messages about their voice; when they were kids, in their relationships, at home and at work. This is very disempowering for people.
As a consequence of this our expression is disempowered – and therefore, our true expression is not able to be embodied. We have figured out that the way to communicate is to plan or calculate everything – to say only what we know is safe. So that, when we do express, it’s very much coming out of a configuration, that has in a sense being planned for safety.
Building a platform of expression through feeling our voice.
The very first step for connecting with the healing quality of our own voice, is to start to claim back our own unique expression and being able to say ‘no’ to everything that you feel is not true. It is not a matter of asserting yourself ‘this is my voice’, it’s a matter of coming back and actually feeling your voice. Feeling that you have a place inside of you, a vibration and rhythm, that, when you tune into, is incredibly supportive and very, very powerful. This then builds the foundation for the beginning of our re-discovering our true expression.
There is a whole journey of reconnection that can be made around the voice.
Then we can go much deeper. What happens then, is we actually start to feel our voice in our body, which is very powerful. It’s like most people are not aware, that their voice is literally resonating through their whole being. We talk to people and they may say at first, “oh no I don’t feel anything” – and then they might go “oh I can feel this tiny little feeling, maybe in my fingers” and their mind goes: “Oh no, maybe you are imagining it.”
The reality is, that our whole body is literally vibrating with the resonance of our voice. So, if for most people it’s actually a reality that they don’t feel it at all, what does that reveal? It reveals to us that there is a whole journey of reconnection that can be made around the voice. Once you start this path of return to yourself, what happens is you really start to observe the connection with your own voice and your body. So instead of continually looking outside of yourself for confirmation, going out and seeking approval from others, and much more, we come to a point where we start to deepen and drop inside ourselves and our body more and more and we start to be able to observe ourselves with more sensitivity. And all of a sudden, “hey, I can actually feel my voice in my body”. Once this happens it is like a doorway opens to a deeper part of us and our ability to express with our true power and authority starts to develop.
Stefanie: It’s so beautiful that we can get to know our voice and begin to heal ourselves with our own expression. We can bring healing in our relationships through the way we express with our voice. But it’s – like you said – for most of us it is unconscious. But we do have a voice – it’s a beautiful healing tool we have with us every day.
Chris: Yes, it can be a very beautiful vibration. What is possible is to be so present with our body and the way we express our voice that we can become fully aware of the connection between the two. We can even feel the effect that our voice is having on others. And once we realise that, another doorway opens through which we start to feel the enormous responsibility we have for our own expression, because we realise that what we say has a profound effect on people.
Speaking from our head or our body – there is an enormous difference
Going through this doorway, one of the first things that we address is being able to speak from our whole body and then to recognise what it feels like when we speak or communicate from just our head. The difference is enormous. And that’s a really big thing to start to realise, because it does not feel good!
I demonstrate this whenever it’s needed in courses, and for most people it’s a shocking revelation, when they feel the imposition of this voice. It’s so interesting what people say they feel: that it is arrogant, they get bored really quickly, they don’t want to listen, they feel talked down to, they feel that they are also lifted into their heads and away from the lovely feeling in the body. This brings about an uncomfortable disconnection with their body.
And of course, what is revealed here is . . . how many of us actually speak from that full body connection or ‘whole-body intelligence’? This is a resonance that brings a presence that allows a re-connection to that which is naturally inside of us all – bringing a beautiful sense of completeness, settlement and oneness.
Stefanie: What you’re also saying is, that we – from letting our voice come from the head – are cutting off from the wisdom we have naturally within us. So, I feel that your description of what people say about your example of talking from the head is a perfect reflection of how our society mainly functions. But, we don’t know anything else, or what it feels like to speak from our whole body. So, if this is the case, there is so much more wisdom we can bring to our relationships and our societal systems – and this is very much related to our expression.
Yes, and that’s the thing you see, it is almost like we don’t have a reference point for what a ‘true’ voice is. A voice, that is not imposing and yet powerful, that can be felt and is not configured from a ‘mental’ construction and is allowed to flow from the innate wisdom of the whole-body intelligence – which of course we can really know and trust. What I am saying here is that you can actually allow your expression to flow, that you don’t have to plan, plot and calculate your expression, that you can actually let go, know and deeply trust that what will be expressed is everything that is needed. This just takes getting used to – and for me this is one of the most healing aspects of our expression – getting used to this vibration and getting used to the quality of this vibration in our body.
Stefanie: I am a bit speechless now, because what you are revealing here about the voice is so big. It touches on a much bigger picture . . . on our potential to connect to ourselves, our inner essence and sacred space – and what we can do to bring that connection into our lives.
The doorway leads us deeper to the vibration of stillness that is always there.
Yes, once you become attuned to the resonance and vibration of spoken and sung expression it is so magnificent and has many benefits. But this is just another doorway that leads on to the next. And we are in that stronger feeling of presence and vibration that is there when there is no sound. The vibration of the presence and the stillness in the body is more powerful than that denser physical vibration of our voice. And we can actually stay in this place, we can stay connected with the vibration and presence that is always there within us. When we are speaking or singing we are amplifying that deeper vibration and when we stop, we are left with that inner sense of presence.
What this means is that we have the option to continually surrender and then as we deepen our understanding and awareness we can let go of that which we have been controlled by since childhood and that has been directing our thoughts and actions – the way we are and feel about ourselves. Because we have deepened our foundation with our observation, connection and presence, when those old imposing thoughts; energies; criticisms, negative beliefs, come towards us, it’s like we can see them and literally say ‘no, you don’t belong here anymore’.
We actually develop the ability to catch these negative attitudes before they enter us and take us back to our old habits. Because every-time the self-doubt, the criticism, the negativity, the jealousy, the drive, the ambition come, and we engage those thoughts and emotions, we create a disharmony within our body. So, when we talk about the healing power of our voice, it is just a doorway into this reconnecting, into this deep and abiding sense of presence. When you go through that doorway, we become aware that our whole being is always vibrating, and this sense of presence actually expands beyond the body. When we feel that sense of something that is so deep and abiding with us, we feel the presence of space, connection, truth and love, and well, of course – that is God, that’s the Divine.
Stephanie: That is so beautiful Chris, when we go on the path of healing we surrender to the vibration that is already there, that we are naturally from and that we are naturally connected to. So many things that we are doing – like speaking from our head – are just going against that natural vibration and our voice is a way to come back… it is not hard, it is easy, it’s flowing, it’s natural, and that our voice is a doorway to this, is very, very beautiful.
Chris: Yes, everyone is born with a true and beautiful voice, and it is just opening that doorway to be able to feel the resonance, where we start to reconnect and allow ourselves to build a foundation of trust and knowing again. Because that’s been lost – the natural knowing – on so many levels. A client who works in a University and had been plagued by anxiousness their whole life said recently, ‘Oh my gosh, when you feel this presence there is literally no room for anxiousness’. And of course, we know that anxiousness is the plague of the world.
So, here we have it, our own presence as you say: simple, powerful, extremely beautiful, and within us all.