Music as a Self-Love and Care Practice: Healing the Emotional, Mental, Physical and Sacred Self through Harp and Song
|FH34 Walnut Dusty Strings Harp|
Once not so long ago I believed I understood the true meaning of self-love and care. Only over time and lots of practice did I awake to the truth I was once naive about what real self-love felt like and how it impacted my daily routines, emotions, mental health, personal and professional relationships, my family, friends and my own a true sense of self worth. When I awoke to this realization, I became aware I had been a pretender just doing my best to get by because I didn't know anything different. I thought I was loving and caring of myself, until I encountered the real truth.
Real empowerment as a self-love and care practice began for me in an authentic way during a women’s empowerment group session for survivors of domestic violence, rape, incest, physical, emotional and mental abuse.
The group leader and one of my mentors spelled out for me and the group what is real unconditional love, self-worth, internal intimacy vs. conditional love, self-esteem, external affection, acquired skills and talents that build self-esteem.
What I learned about self-love is it is unconditional. It's true intimacy, a practice which creates a safe space to be vulnerable, supports and builds self-worth, respect, dignity and unconditional love is internal. Self-esteem is conditional, external and happens when one uses goal setting, and skill building to feel good through an external stimulus.
Self-esteem and self-worth are separate. Self-worth and self-esteem are not interchangeable and cannot replace each other. One is internal and the other external.
Shock and surprised, at that moment I awoke to my pattern of living in a toxic waste land of leaning too much on my external self-esteem skill building practices to fill the empty hole and dark void of my lack of self-worth within myself.
Since my earliest memory as a child and my family dynamic, for whatever survival reason, I had collapsed my heart and mind (My mental and emotional needs) into one vs. two separate spaces within me that required tender loving care.
Unconsciously I thought I could think my way out of heart break, trauma and sorrow. Sound absurd? It is. When I finally met someone (A group leader for women's empowerment) who compassionately spelled out for me the real essence of self-love I understood in a responsible way I am the only person who can truly love myself unconditionally. Sounds simple enough however the responsible trick, hook or magical piece to the self-worth puzzle manifests in an empowered way when I take daily steps through an assessment process (Self check-ins) and have an authentic daily self-care practice I turn to each day to stay on track with my personal values, hopes, dreams and wishes for health and prosperity.
In order for me to experience and create the depth of love, joy, safety and more feel good events in my life, I needed healthy practices to heal my wounded emotional, mental, physical and sacred community self within me. Somehow I needed to find the courage to face my fears and take a positive risk for change.
When the big "Aha" moment happened it felt like a light bulb finally went on in my mind and heart. I understood in a real way how to begin laying down a foundational daily practice of self-love and care. What I mean by self-love is, it's a conscious practice to wake up everyday and prioritize what's important, why it's important and how I can be of service to heal the wounds within me so the real joy of who I am is present. Just going out to get my finger nails done or hair colored is not enough to create true self-worth and experience feelings of joy, hope, love, calm, beauty, balance and so much more on a regular basis. True self-worth is so much more and really worth the effort.
The need to care for myself in an unconditional loving way would take practice and require constant focus to heal myself in order to truly feel safe and empowered. My new found awakening began in December 2011. I was 52 years old, today I’m 62 and in a few weeks I turn 63.
I am forever grateful and appreciative with all my heart for the loving, compassionate women who dedicate themselves to helping women like me in desperate need of authentic understanding of true unconditional love. I've experienced and continue to experience the blessing of and benefits from the kindness and compassion of women who share information to help other women grow into their empowered selves and stand in their true strength as a woman.
Slowly over time with hard work at staying focused on my daily self care practice steps, lots of reading, writing, singing, walking, journaling and adventure into learning more about the human psyche, I built a safety net of how to lovingly care for myself when I’m challenged and the obstacles in my world seem insurmountable.
Through it all I am able to find clarity and freedom each day to feel the fear and take positive risks for change in my life. Now after 10 years, I understand self-love practices are a daily adventure and a truly rewarding practice which feels good.
Music as medicine to heal the wounded spaces within my heart is an action step I take when my emotional needs are triggered.
This year 2021 when I wrote out what I wanted to focus on over the next 12 months for personal growth, I decided to use three goals taken from one of my favorite books called, “Words Can Change Your Brain,” by Andrew Newberg, M.D., and Mark Robert Waldman. (Click on the title to purchase the book)
These three areas of need and focus are 1. resolve conflict, 2. build trust and 3. increase intimacy. Intimacy meaning I am able to create a safe space for myself and others to be vulnerable.
Each day I do a self-assessment where I go through my physical, emotional, mental and sacred community needs and I decide what steps I will take to lovingly care for me. Since, I've been doing this for a while now it doesn't take me long however I still review a checklist and I must consciously choose what's important for my health. Empowerment happens when I am 100% responsible for what I'm experiencing in my life. I embrace my challenges and obstacles with courage.
As a therapeutic musician and sound healer it's important I always attend to my internal and external needs first, so I am able to be artfully present when in service to others in need.
Music on the checklist is an emotional self-love and care step. Singing, playing the harp and guitar heal my emotional wounds, provide unlimited joy, happiness, balance, harmony and bliss. Basically, music feels good and I want to feel good each and every day.
As my practice deepened, I ventured out into new areas of music and sound healing which lead me to find a sound healer from Denmark, her name is Githa Ben-David.
Githa Ben-David has written many books about her experience as a musician, singer and sound healer. I first encountered Githa through my work with hospice and inservice events.
For more about Githa Ben-David click this link to an in-depth article about her sound healing discovery and book called, "Heal The Pineal: Detox with Hung Song," by Githa Ben-David.
To purchase and read Githa's first book click on the title, "Note From Heaven," by Githa Ben-David. Please let me know how I can be of service to you dear gentle reader though song, harp and guitar. Thank you with all my heart for stopping by and I welcome your questions, thoughts and comments.
P.s. Click this link for a quick Hung Song demonstration by Githa on Youtube. Hung Song is super exciting, enjoy.