Photo from the amazing boardwalk murals in Asbury Park, NJ.
The last few weeks Christine and I have been traveling, we’ve actually both gone to visit our families in the States. I’ve returned to London now and I’ve been thinking about the idea of home, and beyond that what it means to be at home in a metaphorical way. At home in the voice and in the body.
Being in my childhood home was so comforting, especially with my family and friends around me. I notice sometimes that my voice feels louder there, although now I get teased for using British expressions. In the midst of all that comfort though, I missed my life and home in London too. Since returning I’ve been thinking of all the ways I carry my original home with me, my accent and various attitudes and beliefs, my love of diners. Of course while I was there I couldn’t help but contemplate the traces of my more recent home. Especially in the airport/subway where I longed for the passive aggressive civilization and efficiency of British queuing attitudes. This new blend of my sense of authenticity is interesting to me, at times it feels odd but overall I’ve grown to enjoy it. On the plane back to London I watched Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s film Sisters, which I have to say really did make me laugh. At one of the more poignant (cheesy) moments Amy Poehler’s love interest shares this pearl of wisdom: “Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.” It’s not exactly a fresh concept but given my recent travels it resonated. Then I started thinking about it in relation to Christine’s post last week.
For me a lot of voicework is about coming home to ourselves, not, as Christine so eloquently discussed, trying to meet aesthetic standards that we may feel no connection to. We come home to our bodies to find support, in breath, posture, thought and our voice. Sometimes home is elusive and shifting or surprises us with its presence, but the feeling is clear.
After a long journey or stressful day I like to take some time to come home. This is a simple exercise that can be done on its own or at the end of a yoga sequence, however you’d like to try it. There’s no audio so you can go over the instructions and make them your own.
- Find a place you can rest comfortably on your back. Get a mat, towel, or whatever will make you comfortable and place it down. You may also want a cushion or two for under your knees or the back of your head.
- Create some ambiance, whether that’s lighting a favorite candle, selecting the right music or getting a cool cloth with a drop of an essential oil to place wherever you need it. Do something to make the space particular to you.
- Take time to become comfortable on your back. If you need cushions or other props, grab them. Move between supine and semi-supine to establish what feels best for your body today. Go through a few gentle stretches to get comfortable.
- Allow yourself to find stillness in the body and focus on the movement of the breath. Don’t worry about controlling it, but be aware of how it’s moving through your body.
- Notice where your thoughts are going and try not to judge them. Without judgement, allow yourself to think about anything you associate with home in each passing moment. Return to this anchor as often as you wish to.
- Stay on your back as long as is comfortable. When you decide to get up, ease yourself there. Take some gentle stretches on the floor and mindfully return to standing. Note anything interesting that occurred and carry on with your day.
I hope you enjoy this. As always please feel free to send us your thoughts and questions.
Take Good Care,