Recently one of my clients, a singer who came to me with vocal nodules, was making breakthroughs with her voice. She was discovering how allowing her natural voice to arise created a beautiful yet unfamiliar sound that was so abundantly powerful it caught her by surprise. Instead of forcing her voice with tension, she began relaxing and through the use of breath, she released her voice. This created an ease in which volume, pitch, and resonance were effortlessly synchronized resulting in such an amazingly beautiful sound she asked: “Whose voice is this?”
Your voice is a combination of genetics and beliefs you have formed through experience. If you have developed a belief that you are small and limited you may suppress your voice by remaining silent or speaking quietly. Or you may demand to be heard and force your voice becoming loud and boisterous. In my client’s case, she felt the only way to be “heard” was by speaking loudly which she did by overly tensing resulting in vocal nodules, a condition that threatened her livelihood. To be sure, as a rock singer in a band she was often speaking in loud environments and mistakenly believed that the “edginess’ of her genre required extreme effort. The problem being she never adjusted her voice to match her changing speaking environment. When in a quiet one on one environment, she appeared to be yelling at her communication partner.
Through voice therapy, my client discovered her authentic voice had so much more depth and range than her habitual, contrived voice she admittedly found “it” somewhat frightening. The discovery that she could effortlessly produce this beautifully flexible voice that was so naturally attractive she did not have to be demanding caused her to question her identity.
Are you ready to reveal your true power? There is a readiness factor in honoring your voice. In my client’s case, this was prompted by a medical condition which turned out to be the proverbial blessing in disguise. Your voice is tied deeply to your identity. Uncovering your authentic voice helps reveal who you really are. And the opposite is equally true: the journey of self-discovery leads you to uncover your authentic voice.
Can you accept the limitless depth and range of your true self and allow that to be naturally expressed through your voice? Oh, It will change things guaranteed but aren’t you tired of playing small? I know it’s hard to believe but it requires much more effort to play small. Why waste your precious energy when you can create a more expansive and easier life by honoring your voice?
Kristina Kelly is a speech therapist in Asheville, NC who specializes in voice therapy and voice coaching.