By Leslie Blackburn
Welcome to Month #6 of a practice series adapted from my upcoming book, Sacred Sexuality: Listening to Our Bodies. These practices encourage a more fully embodied, conscious, and lovingly connected way of being with ourselves and others. (Find Month #1 and a longer introduction to the practices in the March 2023 issue, p.20, or online here.)
For all these practices, I suggest setting a regular time aside and sticking with it for at least 21 days as you explore and navigate toward a more vibrant way of being in the world.
Title: Exhale with Sound
Time to Allow: 5 seconds – 1 minute (or longer)
Description & Benefits: Make Sound. Vibrations move energy, open space in the body, and invite things to go a new way, both in your body and your daily life.
Essential Ingredients: You and a place where you feel comfortable making Sound.
Exhale with Sound. Sound simple? Great, give it a try. If it’s easy for you, there are worlds for you to explore here. If it’s not easy for you, you are not alone; there are worlds for you to explore here.
Exhale with Sound is an intentional practice where we explore, allow, and experiment with Sound vibrating through our bodies. It may start with the airy sigh of the exhale. Then, in addition to that, invite Sound from a deeper place in your body. Get into the vowels. Experience how different tones, from high to low, feel in different places in the body. Notice the physical and emotional effects of the full range of vocalizations. This is a chance to explore what it feels like to vibrate and tone: “Ahhhh,” “Yeahhhh,” “Ayeeee-ahhh hoooo,” “Whoooo,” “Eeeeeee,” “Oooooo,” “AHHHH.” Let the Sound vibrate and shake free the crusty bits, and let those crusty bits drop away.
Often in working with clients, whether privately or in group settings, I’ve noticed that allowing ourselves to make sounds can be a big challenge. This was certainly true for me at first, and if it describes you, this exercise is likely to be particularly helpful in opening pathways in your body and freeing your spirit.
It is common for us to carry loads of vocal inhibition. These patterns are often traceable to childhood settings where making a sound was discouraged or punished while being quiet or silent was praised and rewarded. Some of my clients have fears they can name around it. Some don’t like doing it themselves, and some don’t like hearing the sounds of others.
Some people have just never considered this before. Wherever you are on this continuum, enormous shifts can occur as we connect with what wants to move within us as Sound and learn to vibrate our bodies in new ways.
Your sounds will be different than anyone else’s. What Sound does your body authentically feel called to make at this moment? What edges do you bump up against around this? Do voices in your head say
things like: “I can’t make a sound.” “It feels silly.” “It feels childish.” Let yourself notice those limiting thoughts and acknowledge them.
Create a safe space, find some privacy, allow yourself to reconnect with your inner child, and make some sound!
After making some sounds…
Simply breathe. What does your body feel like now? What differences do you notice? What has changed? Also, notice if thoughts come in. Some of these thoughts may come from skepticism. Notice any mental resistance. Allow your inner skeptic to be heard, yet also invite it to step aside for a moment and give yourself permission to try something new, even if it’s pushing the edges of your comfort zone.
Then, feel it. What do you notice? What happens when you make a sound?
Leslie is a queer, white, omnisexual, polyamorous, ecosexual, kinky, genderqueer supporter of all beings to be authentically who they are, and uses the pronouns they, them. Their work blends Sacred Sexuality, Ancestral Healing, Grief & Emotional release, and Anti-Racism work to support collective liberation,
self-awareness, vitality, empowerment, and joy. Leslie stewards the land at One Space: a private sanctuary, home, Temple, and community space on four wooded acres in Ann Arbor, Michigan. www.LeslieBlackburn.com