A Song for Self-Care

Using a creative arts system called InterPlay, which includes dancing, storytelling, singing, and stillness, I’ve discovered that if speaking our truth is important, singing it can be an even more powerful self-caring vehicle. As Bernice Johnson Reagon, one of the founders of Sweet Honey and the Rock put it, “You can’t sing a song and not change your condition.” Here are several ways to play with this way of nourishing and nurturing yourself with song.

The Lullaby

Lie down on your back and cup your hands over your mouth. Begin humming softly into your hands as though singing a lullaby to a baby, only in this version; you are both singer and baby. Allow the tune to go in whatever direction it wants.

If it feels right, add words of support and encouragement, and
allow the words and the musical theme to repeat again and again
as in a chant.

Notice how your body feels as you take in to your body the
melody and words of the lullaby.

A Ranting Chant

Being grown up and mature can become too much sometimes. As listeners of the blues can attest, the power of singing to alter one’s emotional state is well documented. And the direction of the change is always from the negative mood to a more positive one.

Begin by creating a line that expresses something that aggravates or annoys you.

Begin to chant this line, with whatever energy, volume and
rhythm seems to belong to it. (for maximum privacy a good
place to practice this is in the shower.)  

Keep repeating the line as a chant and allow it to change.

Follow the song as it moves and transforms, clearing the energy from your body.

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