From a career in an educational institution for nearly 30 years, I have come to this: from a singer to sound therapist, from healing facilitator to meditation teacher and from blogger to web designer, I have reached the second act.
In a digital world such as ours, we entrepreneurs need to keep up with the networking, get creative with our content, be fearless and bold with what we put out there, otherwise, we will fall into the heap of yesterday’s news. Whether we specialize or diversify, if clients can’t find us, we don’t have a business. I consider myself extremely blessed and lucky that I have the drive and desire to succeed, a never-give-up attitude, creativity in spades, a business sense that works, and skills that yield results. My story is your story. We all have dreams and desires but without a hand up, sometimes they just sit in the back seat. I want to put you in the driver’s seat. Here is my story to inspire you to take charge!
FIRST, THE MUSIC
As a child of 3 or 4, I learned old war tunes and drinking songs while I sat on my father’s lap! He was in the Italian army during WWII and had the bullet wounds to prove it! His voice was very strong and held a particular resonance that I can still remember, long after his death in 1981. Fast forward to my early 20s when by pure happenstance or Divine intervention, I joined a local wedding band and so began my more formal music performances.
To be sure that I knew what I was doing – because that was always important to me, I trained in classical singing. You see, I suffered from performance anxiety and at the very least wanted to learn the best techniques to help me deal in moments of panic, as well as strengthen and build on my natural abilities. Additionally, the 80s were a very hot time for women vocalists like Madonna, Heart, and Whitney Houston, and what I feared most was that comparisons would be drawn when I sang their tunes. I happily pushed through for over 10 years while I shared my love of music with thousands of people in both public events and “intimate” 500-people wedding receptions.
The next leg of my musical journey led me to a recording career compiling and recording over 300 songs and stories for children in English, French, and Spanish. I had found a new passion – a particularly heartfelt endeavour as it coincided with the birth of my son. After 7 years of hard work, dedication and lots of hope, that dream along with others came to an end.
Following the break-up of my marriage, I hung up my microphone – I thought for good. At the time I saw nothing worthwhile about singing or what it reminded me of so, for almost 15 years my singing voice fell silent. Although I received constant nudges from God and His loving – and sometimes funny Universe to resurrect my vocal abilities, it took a book titled “Don’t Die with Your Music Still In You” by Wayner Dyer’s daughter Serena to ignite the spark in 2014 and a slow and steady fire began to grow.
FINDING MY INNER “HIPPIE”
Back in the 1970s, when I was a young teenager, I knew a little something about energy and how it affects us from watching metaphysical programs and reading books – not knowing then where this interest would lead to. I enjoyed Tarot and Astrology and all things unexplainable, at a young age! I wore my hair long and my dresses longer. There was a time I believed I was a Native American who had special abilities. One of my brothers encouraged me, and bought me peace and love-themed posters – probably because it was the times we lived in but, I loved them just the same. I listened to music by Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell, Shawn Phillips and James Taylor with a little Babs in there too. I was finding my way in this world through music.
So, back to the re-awakening of my voice, I began lots of energetic work on my Throat Chakra which clearly had been adversely affected during the break-up and, as a Taurus, it is our soft spot, so extra work was required. Much to my surprise, I slowly began to hear a different sound emanating from the depths of my being. It was other-worldly, something I could not explain in words. Although I recorded sweet tunes for babies and toddlers for many years, there was something different about this sound. It had a strength and particular resonance that reminded me of my childhood. I was still unconvinced and pressed pause.
THEN CAME REIKI
Alternative healing techniques were always my go to when I would lose patience with conventional medicine. I always resonated better with healing naturally using yoga, meditation, and exercise. So, as nothing is random in this here Universe, I began my Reiki journey in 2012 at AnandaOm in Montreal and continued to learn advanced techniques until 2015.
During my time there, I was asked to perform a kirtan, which is a singing mantra or prayer at the Academy’s monthly healing day event. It was there that I discovered that my vocal abilities carried a healing quality. “Your voice affected me at the cellular level” was the reaction from one of the attendees who was suffering from a chronic illness. As I never had such a response to my singing before, I thought perhaps I would look into sound therapy as a healing tool.
It wasn’t until I was studying at another spiritual centre when the final nudge came to me. As was customary, students were regularly asked to lead the meditation circles and that day, it happened upon me. I was nervous and very anxious as it brought me back to my performance days. Nevertheless, I bit the bullet and carried on. What happened next astonished not only the participants but me as well.
As I progressed with the initial elements of breath work and relaxation, rather than words to illustrate the journey we were taking, I broke into vocalizations. I mean, I just started hitting notes and sustaining them until it felt right to release them. I continued striking the notes as one would strike a drum, a bell or a crystal bowl. I felt as though I had little control over the sounds I was producing. They just came. At the end of it all, my eyes were wet and the room fell silent. Those in the circle all shared how the vibrations affected them as the sounds floated and vibrated around them and through them – all differently but equally impactful. And so began Healing Song Guided Meditation with Reiki.
COMING AROUND TO MEDITATION AND SOUND
Meditation does not come very easily to many, including me. The constant mind chatter, or for me, tinnitus, yielding to the constant distractions, or just finding a space of your own can keep you from getting those few precious moments to connect to your breath. It is then of no wonder how my meditation journey evolved into a sound therapy of sorts.
As I don’t remember the sound of silence – as my tinnitus struck when I was 8, I have always enjoyed guided or musical meditations. I am unable to sit in complete silence lest I go mad from the hissing in my head! As I embraced this new fork in the road regarding the singing voice and healing combo, I introduced my Healing Song Guided Meditation sessions to my community where I would also share Reiki energy with the participants.
What is clear, and indisputable, is that music carries the power to evoke emotions from subtle to foot stomping. It can be a gentle or strong vibration capable of altering your mood, stirring an old memory, or lulling you into a total state of relaxation. I wrote a blog about the power of meditation that appears on this website called the Benefits of Meditation.
WRITING OUT OF THE BLUE!
Like many teenagers, I would wallow in tears and sad lyrics at the time of a break-up. Who hasn’t? Where I found refuge at times, was expressing myself in various forms of poetry or song lyrics. I never followed up with that but got my BA in French Language and Literature with a Minor in English where I did a fair amount of reading and writing.
We never know why we do the things we do until sometimes, much later on life. What I have realized along the way is that I am still compelled to write but only when there are strong emotions guiding me. Like this blog for instance where I have been feeling a strong desire to put myself out there to highlight my particular journey. Why? I think there are 2 reasons. I rely on social media, for now, to connect with people as the tinnitus I suffer from has transformed into something that prevents me from participating in networking activities. These events are potentially noisy and that can cause some unwanted side effects. Secondly, I am a true believer that in each of our stories are little nuggets of hope and wisdom that can be applied to our particular circumstances.
It is important for me, in my practice, that clients know that I am not much different from them. I have endured heartache in many forms, obstacles of all sizes and I’d like to think that I learned and continue to evolve through the healing. This is what I think my clients come for. Specifically, the tools I have gathered for my own personal healing to offer them hope – the methods, and techniques that brought me to clarity. This is what I bring to everything I do.
As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my personal stories, thoughts of the day, or spiritual musings with an audience that is looking for information, a kindred spirit, or perhaps some clarity. My style preference is to keep the content light and to take a sometimes humorous, approach. As a content writer, for my clients, I simply love helping them cast a wider net so that a bigger audience can find them. Additionally, helping them find their unique voice and putting it “out there” is one of my favourite things to do! Most recently after I created my website on WordPress, – with lots of help from their awesome “Happiness Engineers”, I discovered how much I would enjoy designing the perfect website that highlights the special gifts my clients wish to share with the world. I am lucky to have found such a client and more are already in the queue.
Indeed, I wear many hats that are not as varied as you may think. All of the roles I play on this particular part of my journey all have these in common: that is, my desire to uplift those who need a hand up, inspire dreamers and creators to manifest their visions, soothe and encourage broken hearts and souls to become whole again, and to ultimately make a small difference in the life and journey of a soul sister and brother.
Forever in service, Blessings ❤