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December 1, 2003

Primal Singing

I have always liked to sing, but until about six years ago I didn't have enough confidence to do it much. When I tried to sing, inner tension would constrict my breathing and cause my voice to be small and tight. It didn't feel good and it didn't sound that great, either.

Doing primal has changed all that. Releasing traumas can also release tension, and the support we receive in this process can help us regain our innate confidence. After a couple years of primal work, I could breathe deeper—and express far more sound! I also cared less about what other people thought and more about what I like to do. I liked singing, so I sang a lot. Now I can sing well enough to please myself, and I get out there, do it—and enjoy it.

I used to think that all primal people would naturally become strong singers and was surprised that this is often not the case. Doing primal work certainly frees people up to express their feelings, but singing is another matter. Even to many primal people, singing still remains a frightening prospect. I came to see that the shame heaped upon children for their expressions—especially singing and dancing—is enormous in western culture.

Humans are meant to sing, just as birds are. I believe everyone can sing, and that it's just a matter of confidence, relaxation, and experience. To do this we need to work on the tensions and feelings that get in the way. We need to sing in a private, safe place where we will not be teased or ridiculed. We need to find the fun and pleasure of making sound and feeling it in our ears and bodies. And eventually we need to sing with others who are completely supportive and totally non-judgmental. Then we will experience that our voices are okay—that we are okay.

There is a great deal of talk about finding our own real self. To me that also means finding our own real voice—and it's a singing voice!

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