One of the most powerful habits I know? Practicing Gratitude. Even more powerful than that? Singing your Gratitude.
What is a Gratitude Practice and Why Would I Start One?
Ok, so we'll weave in singing in a moment. First, lets start with gratitude and why it's an excellent thing to practice, like, every day.
When I think about gratitude, it helps me to know that you can't hold two conflicting thoughts at once. This means that if you're feeling grateful for something, your attention is on the goodness and not the problems in your life. This is great, because as Einstein so wisely put it, we can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking that we used when we created them. To rise above the problems and see a new solution, it's imperative to realize that were not the victims of our feelings. We can choose different ones. Mold them. Shift them. Redirect them towards more of what we desire. Gratitude helps us do just that.
As quantum physics and other sciences are discovering, we are so much more than physical and mental beings. We are energy. Thus, it's becoming more obvious to science that as you place your attention on the positive aspects of your life, you feel better, become healthier, and open up to many great ideas and circumstances that will help you to move beyond your problems. Voila. Suddenly, you're attracting more goodness into your life!
Combining Singing With Your Gratitude Practice
So where does the singing come in? Well, first of all, both singing and gratitude are literally about tuning our frequencies to match what we want.
With singing, tuning is one of the main components of sounding good. If you're not matching pitch, it means you're singing out of tune. Ouch! It hurts our ears.
With gratitude, tuning is one of the main components of living good. If you're not matching up with the frequencies of goodness all around you, it means you're living out of tune. Ouch! It hurts our hearts.
Learning to sing in tune helps you to express yourself and to feel better. Learning to practice gratitude helps you to choose the radio channel you want to listen to and live by. Do we want to sound better? Great. We train our voices to sing in tune. Do we want to live better? Great. We train our minds to think in tune. Just like anything, these skills take regular practice.
Singing also ties in here because adding positive intentions to your singing makes both your singing and your gratitude practice more effective. When you sing, you're literally raising your frequency by causing more vibration in your body (which totally equals mo' betta). And when you add positive intention to your singing, you're raising your frequency AND the frequency of the world around you even more (which equals even mo' betta)!
I'll explain this in a minute, but first, here's a simple exercise to get you on your way.
Gratitude Meditation Exercise: Toning (i.e. Singing One Note Repeatedly)
Step 1: Set a positive intention for yourself. It works well to choose one word that really resonates with you at the moment (peace, happiness, joy, alignment, grace, faith, trust, well-being. You could also say something like I allow, or I let go).
Step 2: Find a note in a comfortable part of your range. It should feel easy to sing.
Step 3: On this comfortable note, sing either your word of intention or a simple vowel sound (ah, oh, ee, or oo are good choices). Hold it out as long as is comfortable. Then pause, breathe, and sing it again. This is called vocal toning. Keep repeating the note over and over, refreshing your intention as you do.
Let this be a meditation. Feel the vibration of both the sound and the intention moving through your body. Notice how they resonate through you, how they calm you, how good they feel. Ease in and enjoy.
Do this for several minutes. I've gotten so lost in this practice that time bends and warps in very cool ways. It's different every time you do it, so don't worry about doing it right. Just have fun and explore.
Once you feel complete, sit in silence for a few minutes and feel into the shift that you've created in your body and mind.
What's Happening During This Toning Meditation
While you're toning, your blood pressure goes down, your heart rate slows, your breathing deepens, your healthy hormones levels increase, your thought process becomes more relaxed, and on and on. You'll be experiencing many benefits too numerous to name here (a topic for another blog post!).
Plus, as you'll probably notice (you'll definitely notice with enough practice), your voice is vibrating not just your body but also your physical environment. And THIS is where sound begins to literally impact your reality on a physical level. Vocal toning has an organizing principle. This means that the sound waves you're creating will organize matter.
What?!?! What are you saying Kimberly?
I'm saying that your sound will travel out in waves, touching the molecules of the physical world and basically organizing them into beautiful, crystalline, geometric structures. I'm saying that your sound is creating crystalline molecular structures in your reality, people!
Ok, so I just took some creative license with that description. But yeah, in a nutshell, your sound IS changing your physical reality.
The mere thought of it blows me away. I mean, who knows what this actually means? There's really no telling where the effects begin and end!
Amazing Resonance Experiment: Watch as Sound Moves Matter (Oh Yes It Does!)
Skeptical? Let me show you something... Here's a very awesome visual representation of this phenomenon. Check this video out. It shows how different tones cause salt to reorganize into beautiful geometric patterns.
Just as a prep for what you'll see here, it will help to know that the speed of sound waves is measured in hertz (Hz). So in the video, that's what 345 Hz, or 1033 Hz, means. Also, the person conducting this demonstration keeps increasing the speed of the sound waves, which consequently means that the tones keep getting higher and higher (faster sound waves = higher tones).
Amazing Resonance Experiment
A tone generator is used to vibrate salt sprinkled on a metal plate. The different frequencies (sound waves) cause the salt to move into beautiful geometric patterns.
Ok, so did you watch the video? Pretty wonderful, right?! Now, just think of it: your voice does that in the world in ways that you can't see as vividly, but are still happening nevertheless. Freakin' amazing!
So have I convinced you that singing your gratitude is a very sweet thing? I certainly hope so!
Gratitude + Singing. Just Do It! And now, do tell... what are some of your favorite ways of practicing gratitude? Have you thought of adding singing to your gratitude practice? If not, are you going to try it?! If you do, let us know how it goes!
Please share your ideas with us in the comments below, and allow me to express my gratitude by saying, Thank You!