The Power of Singing To

A tender lullaby. Singing to a loved one. The connection of singing in nature. One of the best ways I know to get out of the way is to sing to someone or something that you love.

     Ten years ago my friends asked me to sing for a ritual performance in Seattle.  “I don’t know what I’m doing, “ I said. “Yes you do.  Just sing from your heart,” they said as they handed me a microphone.  I was both honored and scared.  I had recently moved to Seattle, and my brother, actually my whole family, were in the midst of a crisis. They were on the East coast.  In the midst of my fear I thought, I’ll sing to my brother. It’s the only thing I can do. 

        As soon as I did this, something else took over. The sound coming from me felt tangible, like it was touching my brother and my family, bathing them in love.  It was my first experience of letting go in singing, of allowing sound to flow through me. The experience was surprising, expansive, and easy.  All of the fears I had of being judged, not sounding right, vanished in the light of “singing to.”

       Directing loving kindness with sound to another, or to a part of ourselves, is a beautiful and nurturing practice. Sound carries emotion and spirit.  Even when we are hurting, there is always a part of us that is untouched, that is whole. And “singing to” awakens this part of us and gives it a job to do. In myself and others, I have never seen someone not know how to sing to a part of themselves that needs attention. The mind might not know, but as soon as we let that go, a part of us knows exactly what to do. It’s a gift waiting to be given.