Chloe Goodchild: Awakening Through Sound
Singing is a metaphor for living. Each person ‘sings’ their unique way through life. For some, this means being a gardener, a poet, a parent, a banker, a baker, a body-worker, a builder, a politician, a painter, a physician, a social worker, a tree surgeon, a story-teller, a teacher etc. My natural way of being is to sing. Sounding always brings me back to the ground of my human-being-ness, silence.
Silence, for me, is an anchor from which I can simply practice being nowhere. Being nowhere means doing absolutely nothing, not thinking, moving, not doing anything at all. This simply being is a way to undo old habits and as such, is a very enjoyable practice. Also, it has much to offer our crazy lives, obsessed with doing, living as we do, in this doership-identified world. Being, or non-doing, is an invisible process that exists within, between and beyond all our conceptual thoughts. In Japan, the awareness of ‘pure being’ or the essence of all things, is called ‘Ma’, which relates to: mother, mater, matter, matrix. So in truth, Being is the realm of the feminine, of Mother Nature, Mary, Gaia, Sophia, Mamas. She is mother of the world, the universal protector, the heart of the rose. Her transforming energy births, integrates and energises our capacity to receive, to absorb, to relate, to interconnect, to embrace, to love beyond any understanding of it, and to include everything in that Love whatever it takes. ‘She’ is also the goddess Vac of sound, speech and the human voice. So, to be a conscious human being means to embrace and express everything that you are, unconditionally, yes, that means without condition or compromise. This one hundred per cent acceptance, wedded with the masculine sword of your true authority and presence, is what creates the naked voice of your authentic Self. This is what I have learnt so far, in exploring how we can each sound our way home into our true Being - our authentic Self.
With Being there are no maps. Being still inside and self-aware means we are awake in such a way as we are no longer identified with our fleeting rational thoughts and feelings. Rather, we are simply receptive to what is moment by moment. Being still inside we are at home, in harmony with a wondrous invisible power that connects every beautiful cell in our body-heart-mind. This power moves like a fine gossamer of pure being, seamlessly flowing through every in-and-out breath, every thought, every decision and action.
So much contemporary music and singing is little more than the expression of the reactionary mind - of our needing, desiring, fearing, grasping responses to life. We have forgotten the original wisdom from which all true sound arises, the Song of the Earth. Remembering this original song once again, and learning to communicate consciously with our authentic voice gives birth to our own sound evolution. Sound evolution is the process by which our consciousness can wake up to its unique calling and purpose, as inspired, guided and informed by our personal and planetary voice.
This quickening process, catalysed by our naked voice and sound, awakens a whole new way of living and being in the world that is effortless, energising, and positively contagious. Sharing this understanding of the power of sound, direct from the source, in as many ways as I possibly can, at a personal and planetary level, is what life is about for me.
Our Naked Voice redeems and shares the generous gift of sound and voice to transform our heart and to listen non-judgementally, once again, to the voice of our truth. It is a homecoming. It re-awakens a direct experience and embodiment of our authentic voice, and with that, the capacity for emotional honesty and a courageous depth of communication that we never imagined ourselves capable of. If we really want to absorb and embody the profound simplicity of being, and realise the sheer uncompromising delight of it, then we must be willing to receive its magic, breathe it in, drop the jaw, open the mouth and let rip with your voice, allowing the full spectrum of your sound to pour out in all its fullness from the raw primordial non-verbal utterance of your instinctual body, up through the transforming heart centre, and into the wide open sky of ecstatic joy.
Sounding out naturally, spontaneously, with sincerity, beyond the boundaries of self-consciousness offers us all a way to listen to ourselves, and each other, with a compassion that prepares us for a new journey in consciousness on planet Earth, a journey that takes us from ‘self-consciousness’ to ‘sound consciousness’. By learning to listen to our naked resonant voice, by learning to understand, to honour, accept and express its deepest message, we can then begin to share this inner-outer freedom with the world around us.
The deeper our self-awareness, the more seamlessly we can travel between our inner and our outer vocal expression. Our self-awareness derives from a rooted and embodied relationship between the earth and the sky. It is our relationship with our breath, and the way in which we inhale and exhale, every moment that enables us to integrate our earthy-instinctual with our heavenly-ethereal vocal experience. This capacity to watch and to listen or witness oneself or another without judging is the key to building a healthy body-mind-soul. Such listening is the role of what is called the ‘witness consciousness’. This witnessing skill simply observes what is going on in a spirit of total acceptance. It neither judges, analyses, interprets, categorises, inhibits or rationalises what it hears or sees, in any way. This deep listening process is at the heart of the naked voice journey, and it has demonstrated time and time again, the transforming impact that shared, collective sound and voice has in the awakening of full spectrum consciousness.
My own deep listening search led me in the 70s, 80s and 90s to extensive travels in Africa and India; through marriage, motherhood and separation; through an epiphanal ‘no-mind’ encounter with the sacred feminine in India; through my work as a sound healer, music educator, spiritual teacher; as a professional singer and writer; and in the co-creation of the ‘Singing Field’, which is a world-wide community of singers, musicians, poets and artists dedicated to the spiritual practice of sound and song, sourced from the perennial wisdom traditions. Singing Fields are unique meeting places, where every voice is heard, beyond the boundaries of politics and religion, culture and creed. This singing empowers everyone - singers and non-singers alike - to express themselves open-heartedly, courageously and harmoniously.
Finding sounds for the inaudible, images for the invisible, and words for the indescribable is an almost impossible task. Yet the more challenging the task, the louder the soul cries out for a creative response from the heart. If this work can open the door wider, for the increasing numbers of people who are wakening on the planet, and who are committed to embodying the full spectrum and beauty of consciousness in a life that is joyously and sensuously lived, then it has been worthwhile.
Chloë Goodchild is an international singer, educator and founder of The Naked Voice and has been working regularly in Ireland for over 20 years. The Naked Voice was founded in 1990, as an international training programme for self-awareness, sound healing, and compassionate communication. Chloë uses the power of voice as a vehicle for non-judgemental listening and creative conflict-resolution, empowering individuals to re-connect with their authentic sound as it arises from the well-spring of silence.
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