We use our voices almost every day, yet it’s a part of us that is often taken for granted. When was the last time you stopped and listened to how you say the messages you want to convey?
Unless you’re in a profession where recording is par for the course, the answer is probably somewhere between “a while ago” and “I don’t remember”. Although it’s not something we would think to do, the way we use our voice can tell us a lot about ourselves.
Through working with Dr Gary Wohlman, I have found that my voice has a huge range, with highs and lows that could very well be limitless if I let them be. There are factors that I feel currently hold me back from reaching this potential. Emotions, beliefs, old pain and past relationships all leave their impression on vocals, so that in certain situations or emotional states, we speak a certain way.
There’s a great example of this in the introduction to Dr Gary’s book Get Up, Stand Up For Your Life. He talks about a client who was doing a presentation in front of over a hundred people. Instead of projecting and clearly conveying what he wanted to say, Dr Gary noticed the client was “shouting at the top of his lungs”.
When Dr Gary brought this up with his client in a session following the presentation, he wasn’t even aware he had been shouting. Through exploring this vocal pattern (and the physical traits that came with it), they both realised there were deep-rooted and unfulfilled desires that were driving him to shout.
Through their work together, Dr Gary says “a new depth of resonance came through the tones in his voice.”
“Speaking from a deeply felt place, he revealed a whole new way of seeing his relationship to speaking.”
Finding a way to speak more clearly
If our voices are flowing rivers, these distracting elements are the rocks and debris that cause different parts of the water to slow down, still and stagnate. These blocks hold parts of our voices back, so that we do not fully express ourselves. In turn, what we hold in can affect outcomes in all areas of our life.
Put another way, what comes out in our voice can be a manifestation of much more. Exploring these undercurrents within ourselves, and finding what is holding us back, brings forth a clearer, freer voice that resonates more deeply within us as well as with the people around us. And whether we’re talking to one person or one thousand, finding that vocal clarity invites more engagement and support. It helps us be seen and heard as we want to be.
With all this in mind, exploring the emotions, beliefs, pain and relationships that have held us back is confronting, and often hard to do on our own. Sometimes I can hear different tonal qualities in my voice, or observe tensions that affect how I speak, but I can’t figure out where they are coming from.
The work I’ve done with Dr Gary has made me realise that it’s important to talk out these observations – and even more important to have someone open, experienced and qualified there to witness it so that we can figure what is really affecting the way I express myself. I’ve also found that the more work I do with Dr Gary, and the more of his techniques I use in day-to-day life, the greater the breakthroughs are – both in and out of sessions.
Dr Gary has developed a way of working with the voice, body and spirit that allows for both guided and independent personal growth. And whether we are speaking to one person, one hundred people (or to ourselves), these strategies give us a way to move towards a more connected form of expression that can lead to greater fulfilment in all areas of our lives.
~ written by Amy Bradney-George, recent client and advocate of this work