Archives for August 2009

Can’t Sing? Can’t Dance?

We’re still working on Principle Two, Deep Hum Dancers.

So many people have told me that they “can’t sing” or “can’t dance”!  How do they know this?  Some parent, sibling or third grade teacher told them so.

Not true!  Everyone can sing, and everyone can dance!  If you are alive, your heart is drumming and dancing your blood through your veins.  If you can move your eyes you can dance.  If you can move one finger you can dance.  If you can make a sound you can sing.  Sometimes I even sing inside my head and it still works to give me joy!

You may not be a candidate for the professional opera or ballet company (certainly I’m not!),  but who cares?  The singing and dancing that we need to be doing is for our own well-being, and in turn the well-being of the universe.

If you are one of those people who has been told they can’t dance or can’t sing, how do you go about beginning to dance and sing?  One way is to join a group like InterPlay (www.interplay.org) where it is clear that the dancing and singing is for fun and the environment is non-judgmental.  There are organizations for non-judgmental group dance springing up like mushrooms all over the world.  There probably is one near you.

For me, singing and dancing in a group situation is the most healing, but if you are still uncomfortable about doing this in a group you might start by singing in the shower, dancing alone in the living room or, if that still seems difficult, try having your hands dance with each other.  Try dancing with one finger with a child.  Children love to dance and sing.  They know they can!

Still too hard?  Then do as the late great Doug Adams suggested.  Wiggle your toes in your shoes!

Improvisational dancing and singing? Oh! My!  Read about it in my next blog!

I have more suggestions in my book, Dancing the Deep Hum.  You can learn more about the book and my other writings at www.deephum.com.  You can purchase Dancing the Deep Hum online at Lulu.com, Amazon, or Powells, or order it from your local bookstore.

Dance and sing, be in harmony with our dancing, singing universe!

Principle Two, Deep Hum Dancers

Superstring theory says that everything in the universe is made up of “vibrating strings of particles”.  Today scientists think there might be other shapes, not just strings, but whatever form the smallest particles of the universe take, they vibrate.

Vibration is the basic quality of sound.  Vibration is movement.  Sound and movement, singing and dancing.  Our universe is singing and dancing!

Every Friday morning I go to InterPlayce in Oakland, CA to dance and sing with a lovely diverse group of men and women.  In this very safe place I can allow my body and voice their full expression.  In return I receive many gifts.

On a personal level, singing and dancing are both great therapy for releasing my distresses, expressing my disappointments and joys, and for healing my emotional wounds.

On a spiritual level, singing and dancing in some inexplicable way brings me to connection with each of the other people in the room, the earth, and the rest of the universe.

When I leave I find myself greeting the people I pass on the street and receiving friendly smiles and greetings in return.

I’m ready to face the week, the sometimes distressing world, and all I meet with joy and courage.

Think you can’t dance or you can’t sing?  Find out that, “Yes, you can!” in next week’s blog!

Read more about this in my book, Dancing the Deep Hum.  You can learn more about the book and my other writings at www.deephum.com.  You can purchase Dancing the Deep Hum online at Lulu.com, Amazon, or Powells, or order it from your local bookstore.

Moments That Hum

The Starling… cocked his head on one side and gazed at [the new baby] Annabel, with his round bright eye. “I hope,” he remarked politely, “you are not too tired after your journey.”…

“Where has she come from – out of an egg?” cheeped the Fledgling….

Annabel moved her hands inside the blanket. “I am earth and air and fire and water,” she said softly. “I come from the Dark where all things have their beginning… I come from the sea and its tides… I come from the sky and its stars, I come from the sun and its brightness… Slowly I moved at first, … always sleeping and dreaming. I remembered all I had been and I thought of all I shall be. And when I had dreamed my dream I awoke and came swiftly… I heard the stars singing as I came…”
(Travers, Mary Poppins Comes Back, 140-142)

When writing my book, Dancing the Deep Hum, One woman’s ideas about how to live in a dancing, singing universe! I came up with eleven principles that I thought were important to hold to in living my life.

The first is, “To keep a listening ear open for the moments that hum.” (The whole list can be found at Deep_Hum_Dancers)

As children we come across “deep hum moments” quite easily.  We don’t have the words to define them, but we know they’re special.  Why did my childhood friend and I set up an altar on a rock at the top of a little hill in the nearby woods?  We both went to church, albeit different churches, so we understood that altars were to be built at places where we felt – something.  (In Dancing the Deep Hum I say, “something so still and so deep in pitch you couldn’t hear it.” p. 7)  We recognized it as a place to listen.

As adults we can become so embroiled in our daily lives that often the places and moments that “hum” go flying by without our noticing them.  We often feel we need to get away somewhere in the wilderness to find these moments, and surely that works!  But these moments are all around us if we keep our eyes and ears, and our kinesthetic selves, open to them.

How about smiling and saying hello to a homeless man as we walk down the street.  The “humming” moment comes when he looks up, smiles back, and says, “Have a blessed day.”  Or noticing the squirrel crossing the street in front of you, a prize “find” stuffed in his mouth.  The wagging tail of a little dog who’s glad to see you.

I often find deep hum moments on facebook!

The daily, almost hourly messages, from a friend who’s mother is dying, telling her feelings, her anguish, her love, and connecting to all of us who are listening.  And the caring responses.

A beautiful sunset picture posted by a friend.

The delight expressed by a musician who is having such a good time sharing his music.

Another friend’s plea for rain.

The heated political discussion about health care.

Why are these deep hum moments?  I think that the important factor in each deep hum moment is “connection”.   We are connecting with something or someone.  All those somethings and someones are part of the universe, and so are we!

To be open to the moments of connection, to keep ourselves from withdrawing back behind whatever barriers we build to protect ourselves from the pain that sometimes comes with connection, that is real joy!  That is the experience of the “deep hum moment”.