How Humming My Consonants Made Me Get Clear with Myself
Here I was: 36 years old, absolutely in love with my baby girl, and depleted in every way physically and spiritually. I had sacrificed everything to give her all I had. I nursed her on demand around the clock and got a shockingly little amount of sleep for months. I made meals out of snack foods I could eat with one hand. I was hungry and dehydrated all the time. I felt pinned up in the house because I was too exhausted to safely drive a car. I read books to her all the time, played toy musical instruments, laid on my tummy to be on her level, and snuggled with her whenever I could. I kept the TV off all day long so she wouldn’t zone out at the flashing pixels, but instead focus her energy on me and the trees outside our windows. I subscribed to the attachment parenting model and did my best to give it everything.
I completely lost myself in the process.
Thankfully, my embodied voice certification mentor called me out on it. We spoke on the phone and within minutes she asked what had happened to my vocal life. The voice is a mirror for one’s spiritual life. If one is stressed out, the voice becomes high and tight. Once they learn to breathe, they learn to cope with life’s stressors and the voice regains its vitality. My voice had retreated to the back of my throat and became wiry. It was just like a mouse hiding in the shadows, which is how I felt. I was so exhausted I just wanted to make myself small, stop giving myself to people, and lay back away from it all.
She reminded me that I had what I needed to regain my vocal life. I was a certified trainer and knew exactly what I needed to do. My journey to self-restoration began then and there.
I began to hum musically to feel my breath. I felt vocal vibration on my lips and inside my mouth. The freedom of my breath gave space to my throat and optimized the vibrations in my mouth. It felt wonderful. I felt the Y Buzz massage my vocal folds and give warmth to my voice. I felt it return to the forward placement I had known before having my daughter. I felt myself again. I hummed on consonants every time I read a book to my daughter, which was every day and often. I sustained N, M, V, Z, TH, L, ZH, and NG as they appeared in stories. I tapped and felt jazzy rhythm with B, P, D, T, G, and K. I relished the gentle friction of CH, TSH, DZ, and TS. I felt light and crisp as I enjoyed the tap of DL and TL (as in “waddle” and “bottle”). All of a sudden, I was making music with my speech again and my voice had regained its dynamics and vitality. My spirit had brightened as well.
I began to prioritize eating more balanced meals with lots of protein and vegetables. I kept a pitcher of water on the kitchen counter ready for me each day and I continued to nurse my daughter on demand. I attended a Saturday yoga class when my husband could watch our daughter. Some days I had the energy to keep up with the class. Other days I laid on my mat with a yoga blanket in the back of the studio in deep rest with tears streaming out of my eyes. Just to have a place to let it out safely was exactly what I needed. I met up with friends for playdates and regained my social connections. These friends became my tribe and I still cherish them to this day. All of this self-care started with humming.
When I began to feel myself through my consonants, I not only clarified my speech, but I also got clear with myself.
I carried over my awareness of consonants to my everyday speaking. I hummed and tapped the consonants to my daughter as she gazed at me on our stroller walks. I enjoyed feeling my voice and getting to know myself as a woman and mother in my new stage of life.
Looking back, I do not regret my parenting choices. I would still nurse on demand, follow guidelines to attachment parenting, and tend to my daughter whenever she was awake. But, I would hum throughout the day to keep hold of myself.
You can restore your vitality by getting in tune with your voice. You can check out “Embodied Voice: Get Clear” and “Embodied Voice: Feel Dynamic” to get clear on who you are while also developing your voice and speech. Bring a journal. It’s about to get real.