Hello dear readers, so I am still here, in this fifth month of May and haven’t migrated over to my new home YET. One of the reasons for this is that I cannot decide whether to be http://www.calliopeGP.com OR Calliopetheguineapig.com. If you have been following me or reading this blog for a while maybe I could ask you to do me the favour of giving me your opinion in the comments. I would really appreciate that. Thank-you in advance.
Now to the task in hand – todays blog. Most of you know that I was diagnosed with breast cancer already in my lymph in April 2004. 13 years ago! Prior to that I had already healed from a hospital diagnosis of an “incurable bowel disease” through using herbs, diet, Reiki, shamanism, visualisation, meditation. I mean it took a year, but it went. And also from asthma.
The one modality I didn’t use consciously as a healer before 2004 with any seriousness was sound – because I thought sound healing was a bit wafty and arbitrary. I mean I had attended workshops in the 90s with Jonathan Goldman (a week in Yorkshire), had the pleasure of attending Chloe Godchild’s the Naked voice 6 week series of workshops. Had been at a day workshop by the amazing Jill Purce, and had avidly been watered and fed by Kay Gardiner’s amazing book on sound healing. I had also run sound baths and sound rituals at various places and had been around as a cultural producer/collaborator as a dj and organiser on the underground rave scene. I had witnessed the transformative affect of sound but also the pain of certain frequencies. Still, sound hadn’t struck me as particularly useful for physical maladies. Pie in the Sky woo!
When I had this cancer diagnosis part of me was like – right I am ready for this – and I rolled up my metaphorical sleeves to work with it in all aspects. But the thing was, all the familiar, tried and tested tools I had used previously either were not available to me or DIDN’T WORK!
I mean I didn’t go near Reiki for ten years -rediscovering the power of that has been amazing- lost and found and all that for reasons I talk about in the blog about Reiki a couple of years back. https://wordpress.com/post/cancerguineapig.com/1408
My diet was already an ideal anti cancer diet – organic and vegan, my lifestyle didn’t really need any tweaks. I already meditated etc etc. Yes I did try many many things alongside all this -juicing, enzymes, enemas, urine fasting, Taoist death retreats, rebounding, flax, but that was something within me that was more than just structural that was responsible for this cancer, and I struggled to access it.
In that first year of working with a cancer diagnosis, 2004, I swatted up on using sound and found Fabien Maman’s work on cancer cells which prompted me to explore using sound in my own body to see what affect it would have. (Can I just add here that I am a classically trained pianist so could make sense of theoretical instructions.) I came across organ detoxing with sound in one of Mantak Chia’s books – which led me to go and train in Taoist techniques with Kris Deva North in London, and Mantak Chia which was a game changer. I felt at home for the first time in my life, both in my body and in the environment of the Tao centre. Learning the sounds to detox my organs and the inner smile meditation helped me immeasurably, and are tools I enjoy using and teaching.
I realised that although I loved electronic sound (especially readers, drum and bass!) as a musician I could use self generated acoustic sound for many more things and for a different purpose. As I progressed through this lengthy healing journey, I started using modes – scales that predated the Church’s colonisation of music – in my body for the different energy centres. This led me to attend a North Indian singing week by a visiting Druphad teacher called Ashoka Dhar, and my life changed and deepened even more! The joy of learning to sing patterns of notes and syllables and vowels simply through watching listening and repeating woke something up in me that had been dormant. I felt totally alive in all my senses and my brain, no more than alive, I felt integrated and whole – like my brain was working with my body to produce sound.
From here I applied to do a degree in Ethnomusicology in order to have some formal study in sound healing. This was not as I envisaged as sound healing was not part of the degree. There was only one specific module on sound in shamanism. Yet there was an aspect of sound healing present in most other courses and I luckily (and with the support of my excellent lecturers) managed to to keep my focus on sound healing even if the things I was learning about other cultures use of sound for social health contradicted held beliefs here in the West about the power of particular frequencies to heal.
During my last year at university, which was quite stressful I decide to do a course at the college of psychic studies to counterbalance and reconnect myself with some woo. It was here that I learnt that Fabien Maman was giving a lecture. It felt like things had come full circle. I delightedly attended his lecture and started training with his Tama Do Uk representative Carrie Mitchell and have attended workshops with him when he is in the country. Sound has been a constant companion for me throughout this journey, and has been the thing that keeps giving and giving.
So I conclude with gratitude dear readers that :
- It is sound and music that has helped me stay alive and stay thriving.
- It is sound and music that has helped me stay connected to my inner source of strength and power.
- It is sound and music that has helped me stay centred when faced with other power systems and knowledge bases that contradict my own knowing.
So now with all this knowledge – both in the body and from the academy of how and why sound can be profoundly healing I know it is my purpose to help others by sharing this. To help others who have had diagnosis’s that are scary or frightening, or who have had emotional upset in their lives, or who need some recentring of their own power. Or who simply need to reconnect to a simple source of joy and pleasure for immune system boosting and blood oxygenation.
I am quietly excited to announce that I am running 6 sound workshops here in London. I am so excited that I have decided to briefly forgo the anonymity that my alter ego affords me so if this interests you in any way please check this website: www.pleasureismedicine.com and read Interval Oracle.
Hope you have a wonderful weekend and do drop me a line on your thoughts of the name of Calliope’s new online home.
Love peace power