The sound we make is medicine. Whether through primal screams as infants, carefully chosen words, expressive noise or song, we are communicating, sharing and opening awareness through sound. Marya Stark is an intrepid explorer of expressive sound who facilitates others in self-discovery and intimacy through their voices.
On Today's podcast we discuss:
-Her somatic connection to the earth and her continuous somatic discoveries
-The way sound opens portals into new dimensions of self-experience-Intimacy, and the value of "full disclosure" for ourselves and others
-How she uses sound and music to build connections internally and with others
-Her powerful offerings for those ready to fully inhabit their body wisdom through their voice
Join us for this magical conversation and look for Marya's new album "Weightless" coming out in September
Marya Stark is an award-winning vocalist, music producer, performer, multi-instrumentalist and international teacher of expressive arts as a path of transformation. Her body of work is steeped in the arts of music therapy, mythical folklore, energetic medicine and womb awakening.
Her music has seen airplay from NPR and was picked as one of the Top 25 Featured Artists for October on Echos.
This concept album, in collaboration with Joshua Penman of Akara, has been described as
“One of the most inspiring performances I’ve listened to all year. I don’t believe you’ll find another album with the message we so need in these troubled times. A superbly crafted musical adventure that is MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ”- Contemporary Fusion
She is the founder of Temple Of The Muse, where she serves a growing student body in the cultivation of prolific creativity, inner alchemy, womb wisdom, songwriting as soul craft, and vocal empowerment.
She is a chaser of waterfalls, a lover of wonder, and a receiver of songs between the worlds. www.beacons.ai/maryastark
Connect with Marya
Every day there is a forgetting and every moment there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Here is where you free your Soma. Hello everyone, welcome to Free Your Soma, Stories of Somatic Awakening and How to Live from the Inside Out. Today I have a very fun, interesting special guest with me, Mariah Stark. She's a multimedia artist. She's a facilitator of creative empowerment journeys, which we'll talk about a little bit about what that means and the different projects that she has going on. And she has a new album that's out in September as a singer, songwriter, and musician. I'm really excited to connect with you again because it's actually been 12 years or so since I talked to you in person. We saw each other, we met each other at an Ani DeFranco concert in Santa Cruz. At At time we became Facebook friends and I've been following your career ever since and it's been really fun to watch you grow and develop and build such an incredible... Yeah, like you have written so many songs and you have been so prolific and you've done so many different projects and you've been helping all these different kinds of people connect with their voice in all these interesting ways. So yeah, what a pleasure to have you on my podcast.
It's really fun to be here. Amy, thanks for having me. Yeah, and I'm remembering that concert. I'm guessing Anayas Mitchell was also at that show opening for Ani. That was the first time I saw Anayas who became one of my favorite songwriters of all time and biggest influences. And And it's fun to tag back to that moment and really fun to be here and be with this question of the Soma and the influence of Soma on creativity and all of the things. So thank you so much for inviting me to be here.
Yes, yes, wonderful. And usually, like I said, we start with like, what's the... Whether it's an origin story or what's kind of your somatic journey been like. And if there was a specific time in your life that you felt like you really connected to your Soma, you connected to your body and became aware of something in yourself. That's usually what I invite people to share early on in the podcast. You have like a memory, as I say that, that's kind of showing up in your Soma.
You know, it's interesting to feel this question. I I my earliest memories of having experiences of somatic body stuff had to do almost with connecting... I I these memories of being with the trees in my playground as a child and really connecting to their root systems and having an intuition at that time or almost like a visualization of how they were communicating to each other under the ground, under the roots, and that I could tap into their networks of communication if I wanted to through my resting into my body. So that's the first thing that pops off. But I also had some... I've had some challenges with my body and I broke my back when I was 20 and I felt in a lot of ways disconnected from certain aspects of my body. Some ways very connected because I was in theater and we had to do a lot of progressive relaxation exercises and theater to get more in the body and being on stage and just learning how to be on stage in front of other people as a young person and having that experience. So So those ways, getting really physical, doing a lot of physical theater kinds of exercises got me really in and maybe just even awakening to sexuality as a teenager. Those were definitely big body somatic memories come up. It's like, what's the earliest memory? I'm I'm hmm. Probably when arrows started coming on and all those energies of moving inside the body and the winds and connection to someone else, those really come up. But But say that it really started to change for me when I started studying qigong and energetic medicine and having real experiences of energy moving in my body in a deliberate way with working with energetic practices specifically to awaken the subtle body and to become more familiar and connected in attuned to the subtle body. So it's a little bit of my journey. And And since then, I've been recovering from a broken back, doing physical therapy, learning how to feel confident in my wobbly legs. And yeah, those are some things that come to mind. But as a creator, it's been fun actually to experiment with different doors through the body of letting information come from the body forward, like you said.
Yeah, yeah. I love that about the trees, like what you started with there. I think that's very fascinating because soma isn't just a human experience. Like Like have soma, dogs and cats have soma. It's like in many ways you could even say the planet itself is a soma. It's this living organism with this perhaps first person experience that's going on, this consciousness that's going on all the time. And And I think that's really beautiful that as a child, there's such an openness that we have in our perception and awareness. It sounds like you were really able to feel into the trees soma and how that was connected to your soma through your feet on the ground, through the air, in the exchange of the atmosphere that you're both experiencing. That's really cool. Yeah. And the other thing you said that I wanted to comment on was that the kind of way that if you've been trained as a dancer, and I recently had a dancer interview on this podcast, which was fascinating, or maybe as an actor or performer of some kind, there are these ways that we can get really acquainted with our soma from a performative place. There's a little bit of a distinction there because we can be in a performative place, but can we also just be in an experiential, non-performative place where we're not imagining ourselves in a third person, but really fully in that first person? So I think that there's sometimes it's like a weaving in and out of can we weave those two experiences together so we're not one or the other?
I love that. It's like the abiding practice, like like present can I be in here and then through presence and embodiment feel like the fullness of my life and then give from that place. And And it's always it's been an interesting journey as a performer and someone who is like topping into these deep parts and exposing them to myself and then sharing them to others. And then how does that feel for me in terms of disclosure and safety? It's wild red. It's getting more integrated though, the longer I go and contemplating and practicing. And And been spending a lot of time in hot springs lately. That's really good for my soul. It's It's so in the body like, now it's hot. Ooh, now it's cold. Now I'm sleeping. Like it's just so body centered. It's really nice.
Yeah, that's a great point. Yeah, like the hot springs are just putting ourselves into different environments that like shift our consciousness because then we can really start to see how our body and our consciousness are just totally immersed and enmeshed all the time. And when we change something physically, we are also changing something energetically, which is kind of what you alluded to before with the different kinds of body based energy movements work that you're also doing alongside your artistry. I think that's really essential, honestly, to longevity as an artist. You have those practices to support. You say a little bit about that, like how body practices support artist artistry.
Yeah, well, I mean, I from what I understand in my own process and a little bit of. Cognitive like our science of the brain and how it works. It's that there's this like frontal cortex, open orientation, flow state, connecting to these like states of wonder and openness. And if I'm in my body, having like a series of accumulated tensions without moving that for long periods of time, that can start to like create crunchiness in how I'm thinking. And like I'm not thinking straight or I'm not in that flow state. And so so changing the body, moving the energy, moving the winds can help to to lubricate the process. And then I get into states of mind that are more conducive to creative process.
Yeah. And I think everybody has different, like, you know, probably probably based on how their brains are, you know, more inclined to work. But like, for example, one creative process that I worked with a vocal coach like two years ago, which was my first time ever working with a vocal coach. And I loved it. It was amazing. And she was really big on morning pages. Right. Right. But she also had us doing like physical movements before we would sing. She would have us doing kind of these, these big kind of somatic kind of movements to open things up in our bodies before we sing, because there's kind of all these different pathways into our creative flow to that creative energy. And the, you know, the morning pages can seem like it's this just writing practice, like a writing thing. And I do think that it helps with, like, you know, if you're a writer, obviously, it'd be a really great tool that is a great tool for creativity in general, because it's just kind of about getting whatever's inside out so that there's that flow between what's happening internally and what you're able to share and express and create. Totally.
Like getting in the practice of putting, putting the stream, the like, yeah, making the connection. I mean, I love morning pages. I've got, I go through processes of doing it. And more active proactively, and it's always really helpful, especially, I mean, I like typing, typing stuff out, it's a different process to type it out, then actually doing like pen to paper and having the like wood of the, of the paper itself drawing out like in Chinese medicine, they say like the wood of a pencil and the wood of the paper actually helps draw the energy out of the liver, which I think is a cool framework for thinking about really like moving stagnation. And, and also having that creative energy, like the wood elements, like creation, new energy, life, imagination, generosity, so it's like moving on. That's if I can get into that flow with the pen in my hand, a pencil in my hand on the paper, then it is it creates a portal for that, the ephemeral world to have a place to come all the way through, which is another really cool part of somatic practice for me from what I can tell in terms of creative vessel work, like, okay, I'm tending a vessel through which I'm burying unseen realities in through my lens and effort. And then if I'm in a process, like what is the actual bridge that gets built? Well, it's the bridge of, you know, deliberate dedicated attention. And what am I doing with my body with these tools? And, and so yeah, morning pages is definitely essential for, for me in priming the pipe.
Well, I love that I didn't know that about the wood. I had periods of time where I like only exclusively wrote in like journals and didn't type. And then more and more, you know, I become inundated to like the phone and I end up using like my little notes, you know, and it's a totally different thing. Would it be the element of metal with that? What you're using when you're it's interesting.
Yeah, and it's an interesting thing. I mean, you can probably consider it as like a metal element or like kind of this like other thing, it's still like it. And with the tools, you know, it's like, I'm at this place with my creative process versus like use whatever tools you've got to keep it moving. But there is something unique, like it does change for me with like the typing it has, it just it has a different exchange than when I'm like writing the words itself or something about the like writing it in the body and the soma that does something magical, it opens up different pathways. But there's something cool to the I love this idea of like what element is the is it the melo? It's a mineral elements like an other like an alternate elemental process. I almost think of it as like kind of an ether element.
Either wind or like kind of like a more yeah, like mercurial kind of definitely has like a mercury energy like in its map communication. But I almost feel like it's like double edged or something when it's typed out, you you there can be like a real sharpness to it. Whereas like you said, when you're like writing, I feel like there's there's a softer edge to my language, or maybe I'll be a little bit more flowy or poetic and like maybe slightly more clinical when I'm typing, I don't know.
Yeah, it's an interesting thought experiment, you know, and it's an interesting kind of creative experiment for our listeners like to spend a week only writing and you're doing writing with your journal and then spend another week only writing on like a type page and just feel it to the difference what was created in each of the place what were the gifts and limitations of each of each of each method and you know, it's creative process like there everything has its gifts and everything has its limitations and you can benefit from all of the tools in the toolbox. I mean, I'm never going to stop using my computer to type out songs and do a refinement of song process. And it's so useful. And I can get like clinical and maybe certain songs want to be clinical, you know,
there's a yeah, there's there's wisdom there too. In our clinic or clinicism.
Yeah, like whatever whatever whatever it takes to get it out, but but do I have noticed that I don't write as many songs in my journals and they I miss that I want to bring it back. I think there's something in the alchemy that is unique to that method.
Right, I could almost like even imagine just, you know, taking it really bare bones like back to the earth and you like camp out for a couple of days and you don't have any electronics and all you have is like a guitar and a drum or something, you know, and then pieces of paper to get real like tone it way back and then just feel what that's like. And then, you know, of course, I love electronic music and I love all the cool stuff we can do with technology. You You it's just they're just different animals.
They're different animals. And I think it's like, you know, I also again, I trust the creative process and the evolution of the creative process. And I like going I like I like placing specific limitations on creative process. I think that that can be really useful. But I also, yeah, I also am grateful for being able to catch any winds of inspiration at any moment on my phone without having if I don't, you know, it's like, great, thank you. And there's plenty of things that wouldn't have been created. Effectively, had I not had that tool as well.
Yeah, yeah. I'd love to talk with you a little bit more about voice activation, because that's part of what I experienced when I worked with this vocal coach was I'd always love to sing. It had always been a thing that I love to do, but I never felt like I could control my voice very well. Like she had this whole process she took us through with like, bringing the sound into different parts of our face. And like, I don't know, like, there's probably a whole bunch of different techniques out there. But this was really kind of profound for me, because she had us move our voice like up into our nasal area and sing from here, what she called like our mix voice or something like this. And then our head voice was where we could kind of feel the vibration coming out the top of our head. And then our chest voice, which was where like, I was more comfortable singing most of my life was like down here and you could feel the vibration in the chest. And then when she started teaching us how to move it, even over the course of like a single note or like a song that you could really move the vibration in your voice, right. But what I felt happened during that, like, it was an eight week program that I took with her. As I felt that like, there was this sudden deeper connection between like, how it showed up for me how it manifests was like what I want to do for like money in my life and what my creative, like spiritual path is like those things like converged for me. And I felt like they were finally finding like full expression during that time, which was really really rad. And I mean, I told her and I was like, I'm going to leave you a badass testimonial because this was amazing. You know, but I know it was a reflection of like where I was at that time that I and I know voice activation can show up really differently for every person, right, for every school. But I would love to hear a little bit about like, you know, how you kind of think of voice activation and what are some of the things that start shifting for people when they start to move their energy in this specific way in this way of vocalizing.
Well, I like to think of the body as primed for making sound, you know, where we do it. And anything that we do without kind of organically when we bring extra attention to it, it becomes this whole other way of engaging with our reality. So just even breathing, we breathe kind of non like it's, we don't think about it. It's happening spontaneously. It's happening as part of our life. We don't really think about what we talk, although there's like some will involved, we like can choose to do it or not, you know, but we're like, we're just talking, we're we're thinking about it. We're making sound, we drop something, we're we're yeah, you know, it's reactive, it's reflexive. And but when we bring extra attention to our breath, you know, we take that slowing down, all of a sudden, whoa, our whole state can start to change. And same with bringing our extra attention to making sound, oh, wow, all of our, our state starts to bring this like, oh, what is the vibration? Oh, how am I sharing something that's inside of me now I'm bridging it out through sound and breath and meaning and the shape of my mouth and the shape that my body's the posture I'm taking as I express it my facial expression, there's like so many things that we've set that for me, I become aware of and attuned to in terms of my relationship with the reality I'm creating, the relationship I'm having with the person who's on the other side of my communication, or the relationship I'm having with myself and divinity with how much sound I'm just willing to let move through my body in a moment. And And can be very, very confronting for, at least for me in ways that I have made myself small self silenced, contorted my my posture in order to be safe contorted my like sound in order to be palatable, there's all of these constructs all of a sudden that become lit up just in bringing the awareness of my deliberate attention and deliberate action to what what sound am I making, where is it coming from in my body, where is it coming from in my preparation, what's my intention, what's the sensation like, what am I imagining as it's happening, what am I wanting as it's happening, all of these things that suddenly like then this spatial awareness starts to pop out like oh wow I'm having like a whole spherical embodied experience of my of congruence of my mind stream, my my voice, my body, my breath, my instrument, my relationship to all that is, my collaboration with the design and like all of that for me is really lit up in somatic practice with the voice, voice as a vehicle for transformation for evolution of the soul for evolution of our identity for growing up for unfolding our gifts in the world and it's very vulnerable and it's very it's connected to so much emotion because once we start moving through sound into the body especially if there have been habits of closure, habits of collapse, subtly unknown to us, maybe intuitive but we can't find like quite finding there, we start inviting sound and breath into our body, all of that shit starts to really reveal exactly where it is like big pockets of emotions, memories, trauma, traumatic traumatic is not being received in our vulnerable sharing of our sound, the time when it was too much or we couldn't control it and we were embarrassed, all this stuff happens it starts to swirl around and I know for myself when I'm when I'm in a cycle of actively moving through any kind of threshold of expansion and I'm letting my voice be a vehicle through which I'm interacting with that threshold and assimilating the entities come lots of big pockets of emotions will come up like as if they're just bubbling up for my organs as if my organs are like holding on for a dear life to these tensions and just the sound itself is vibrating and they're all just like I can't hold on, it comes up to say goodbye and this is like oh my gosh all these bubbles from from the subterranean realms of my psyche is like holy shit and it's so somatically unfolding can release so much that has story that doesn't have story that just feels chronic, chronic, untended grief pockets will bubble up with sound like that and and I think that that's why it's one of my favorite practices because it doesn't have to have meaning for it to be useful like I don't have to have some idea of of what happened for me to have an impact like for it to have an impact on my life of feeling more flow like that stuff can happen but it doesn't have to it's just it feels like the body from my perspective it needs to discharge energy and culturally we live in a way where we're kind of conditioned to not discharge the energies to hold it all in to endure to kind of collapse and so any opportunity I think for a body vessel to have an experience to discharge energy it can be completely just change your whole state can change your whole self-concept it can release tensions that have been backlogged for months or years or decades and then all of this new energy is available the winds move more and in my yoga practices some of the concepts is that the body just wants to sing when the winds are flowing well but if we have any kind of like grasping or aversion or collapsing in any way to settle like tensions then these winds get choked off and then the winds aren't like the singing voice has more obstacles and so anytime we like okay rest into a biding breathing letting the sound move then the winds of the body flow more as they're meant to and their effect can just I think create a little bit more homeostasis and the body more peace more relaxation more creative thought more relaxed dreaming and and at the very least it can be just pleasurable to feel the sound moving through your body you're just like oh holy shit I'm a I'm an instrument so I make sounds yeah this is super trippy
yeah it's amazing you know the one of the first times that I felt like kind of those obstacles in my voice that you're talking about like really connected with that was actually when I was in India and it's funny because it's like one of my first podcast episode is actually about this somatic experience in India well part of it to place in India but like I was in this class and I had never been in a class like this where they actually asked us to vocalize in class and they had us do Brahma Mari which is the honey bee breath where you press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and you go and you make this humming sound like a bee and it creates this vibration in your head and they had us doing that in different yoga positions to feel how that vibration started you know in our nasal kind of head area that then depending if you were like in child's pose or if you were in a back bend or wherever you were positioned how it vibrated a little bit differently down into different areas of your body but I was like not fully picking up on all of that back then I was just sort of like overcome with this idea that I was like gonna make noise and other people are gonna hear me and like a yoga class and I remember the first couple times I did it I was horrified because I was like I sound so pained there was so much pain that I heard in my expression it did not sound free it sounded like kind of like choked and it sounded like a groan somewhere between like a groan and a moan you know that was there was this pain that I had been pulling in my body you know and at this time I was living in chronic pain and so it was like really kind of intense to hear that to like hear myself and those obstacles like you said those contractions and those beliefs and that patterning that was in the way of like my voice ringing through and that was you know kind of years later in this voice activation course that I took like I kind of felt like at this point I had done a lot of somatic work and there were less obstacles in the way so like when those obstacles kind of appeared like in the tone of what my voice when I was like making a sound and there was like these little shaky spaces or you know it wasn't quite a clear tone and all this stuff it was like more manageable like I was able to like relax and like hear that and it didn't it didn't sound as upsetting to me as it did back then which is kind of it's telling about like how many obstacles I kind of had in my body at that time versus now when I tried it and there were still these little obstacles but they were just like little wrinkles that kind of got like smoothed out like the more that I practiced
you know yeah and it's like it's funny when you when you kind of contemplate I like contemplate it all kind of mythically holographically like what's happening on a kind of somatic level on a like gross level what's happening on a subtle level what's happening on a causal level how does it actually change the kinds of thoughts we have the the parts of our character that we have more access to the kinds that the like places in our story that are more lit up at any moment and how does that and then moving from those places transform the kinds of conversations then we're involved in or the kinds of people that we are drawn to interact with and then what bubbles up in those interactions based on the kinds of things we're sharing because something else like it like all kinds of realities can change in that way like the dream totally it's almost like a total valence shift into as I think people who get into like a thinking oh you can do work with the voice to change you know like on a kind of funny level you can go to different dimensions your whole reality can change and it's like oh that sounds interesting but like let's think about that like what why would a reality change like what would what's involved in your in being in a different paradigm of and a different valence of your lived experience based on again what's opening and what what kinds of things are arising naturally as a result of how you feel in your body like all of it and when I started really playing with a voice from a somatic place like I've been a singer my whole life but when I really started considering it as like a a vehicle for transformation for consciousness spelunking soul spelunking exploration of my mind exploration of my imagination exploration of my relationship to to the divine and to how I was observing reality it really changed a lot because different things were perceivable to me through the lens of exploring my own vessel with this extra attention in my soma and then other things just lit up on the game board like other people's fields look differently that I was tuned into different things that people were saying I was tuned into tones of conversations differently I wanted different things out of my experiences you know and and that really shifted how much of myself I was willing to bring to the table how much of myself I was willing to disclose in relationship to having more clarity about what I want
Right, because it's like a little bit more of that like discernment developed or awareness of like how, like at any given moment we are dancing with our environment and part of that dance is whatever we're expressing and we're expressing, obviously the facial expressions with our movement with our body language, but that is also tied in with our voice. It's in with our tone, like you said, just the vibration of somebody speaking is going to give you a lot of information about where they're at and where they're at in relation to the thing or the concept or the person that they are, you know, connecting with. Yeah, it's all this sort of, as you said, like holographic interconnected thing and I can totally imagine that it would shift your timeline to go like for me from thinking, you know, I had this identity back then in 2015 is like, oh, I'm a yoga teacher and I'm good at public speaking and da da da da da da and then I'm in this yoga class I'm asked to vocalize and I'm like, my whole paradigm started to shift because I'm like, why do I sound so miserable and so scared. That's not the self that I like outwardly identify with but that's what I'm holding that's what's inside right now. You know, and so it kind of did it like it was part of a paradigm shift that was already going on on a bunch of different levels. You know, and I think that it can work you know that's kind of like a way where I'm like seen into, you know, seen into some dark closets where there's some stuff hanging out there I didn't know was there right but it could work the other way to where it kind of opens you up to this expansiveness. Of what's possible, right all the different timelines that are possible for our consciousness to be tuned into, and that through engaging and interacting and playing with our voice, we can start to as you kind of said like open these different portals to different kinds of experience that's all available now. All available right now is about whether we're having having access to it. And I can totally see how the the plane with your voice and the dancing with it would start to stimulate these different possibilities in the environment that makes sense to person.
Yeah, yeah I mean I definitely like felt like recently with the you know not necessarily. Well it was kind of like there were parts of me that were in the closet or like hiding or like under the bed, and then they came to the surface right like 2015 and then more recently I was like things that were dormant energies that I didn't have access to suddenly got connected to like the larger framework of like my body and myself and I was like, oh you know this this is moving now this is exciting like now I feel that there's an actual way to express you know my individual creativity my individual message my voice you know my my thoughts and feelings are more accessible because I've connected at these channels to like move it out. You know, and so many spiritual and religious practices around the world, all have singing, you know the call to prayer, or like, you know, different vocalizations that people do, right whether it's chanting, you know, or hymns, or, you know, all kinds of vocalizations that are about what you're talking about about connecting us to the divine and I feel like there's so many such different language that people can use to talk about this, like I not super versed on it but I do know that, you know when we hum when we sing when we chant, it's connecting us to our Vegas nerve stimulating all of that like down into our bodies and helping our nervous systems to regulate right to release stress right and that's part of the reason, obviously there's a lot more to it the reason that you know some of the first thing that we do. Once we're born as we scream and we make noise and our little tiny bodies, you know and we're waking up our nervous system to respond to the life around us and to ask for help and to get our needs met and all of those things that we're doing, you know sound is so incredibly innate to us as human beings. And, you know, as an explorer of that, what I found really interesting about like how watching your career develop is like, not only is it just beautiful and exciting and fun to see what you're up to and the different collaborations that you have but how you really have created, not only like obviously your internal relationship with sound and music that you create relationships in your life with other collaborators. And then now you're starting to share and talk about, you know, intimacy and the way that being being expressed and being connected to your voice can improve your intimate relationships. Did you say anything about that?
Yeah. Disclosure. Disclosure and willingness to be, I mean first and foremost just in touch with having a literacy of our own emotions and our needs and our values and and then the courage to feel willing to disclose that to another and create a feel to be able be able be And then the then the then the then the that can contain disclosure and I mean I'm very passionate about compassion and communication and relationship studies. I know how painful it can be when it doesn't go go well. And how much loss can come from not having coherent and ways to share in and world build and have create shared reality and shared understanding and disclose the vulnerable truths of having bodies and minds that that put stories together that may or may not be based in truth but needing to share them with someone else in order to not be alone in that. And find pathways together if we can for harmony and for continued relation and so I, you know, I would say that working with sound as a method of meditation and embodiment has absolutely supported me and deepening in my relationships because I feel more connected to what my body wants and doesn't want at any moment. Whereas maybe in other times of my life I was overriding that more often in order to stay like create a false sense of security and safety with people. But then I like there wasn't full disclosure on my side, not because I was hiding as much as I wasn't in contact, necessarily with the truth of my body was overriding and where I was self abandoning in order to maintain kind of like a sense of, of homeostasis and I think that we do that and I think that it's part of like a culture of co dependency and kind of like of like of like of like of working out family dynamics and those are things I'm studying and curious about maybe it's not all of that but I think there's a natural desire for many of us at least for me to like make sure everyone's okay and happy and I think to be the one to the be willing to be a voice to disrupt the status quo and to challenge what has become a symbiotic or stagnant dynamic between people can be very scary. And I think that singing and toning has created a sense of increased safety in my own body regardless of what the outcome is of disclosing vulnerable experiences, while at the same time, in partnership, having collaborative methods of sharing the voice like knowing that there's going to, for me is essential like knowing that there's that we have a way to create a container around what gets said and what unfolds knowing it's not going to be perfect or it's going to land weird maybe we're going to have emotions like creating as much of a blanket of safety around that. I think is optimal for, for having the best possible outcome of the outcome desired is to sustain healthy relationship if the outcome desired is just to share whatever is on your heart and have it be heard then that doesn't matter. But I think for me, I still cherish like I desire for the relationship field to be tended and and then and still have disclosure within that that's that tells the truth so that there is a maintained sense of integrity within the room. And I think all of that takes time to discover it's not automatic. We don't, we don't come up knowing this stuff I think it's part of the unfolding of these bodies and again like coming back to the summit there's so much information like for me for a lot of people fear someone who grew up depressed, or you had different things like you might have a kind of a frozen like nervous system state that kind of goes into this like dorsal you might not feel everything that's true for yourself and that certainly has been the case for me and I've been learning like, Oh, how do I feel more of what's alive in my body and make space for these feelings and not immediately project them all on the person that's stimulating these sensations in my body but also include them in my experience. So I don't have to, you know, push them away or alone or bring weird energy into the interaction, you know, it's like, it's so vulnerable and yeah with collaboration all of that is really the playground for exploring that and hopefully you have partner partners in the gym of all of that who are compassionate towards the human unfolding of that we're learning this together. One of my teachers mentors she talks about like we're all human being. We're all unpacking these dynamics together slowly find generations of self silencing and self abandonment for the sake of maintaining like surviving within this within the cultural status and like that, you know, we're every new generation has an opportunity to unpack some of out the outdated survival patterns and grow into greater self trust and then greater collaborative, like collaboration, like I feel like the more I trust myself the great the deeper my collaborations can be because I'm bringing someone who's very trustable to the container and that and voice has been an absolute anchor in helping me develop that over time.
Yeah, it's it. When you were saying before about the culture of co dependence and like the way that we will, you know, self abandon unconsciously. A lot of times like we said we don't even have access to what we're really feeling and we're just going to go along with play Kate or do whatever, you know is the first in the first layer of like our consciousness and our abilities whatever the first programming is that says like this is what you do in this situation a reaction or whatever it is. And how that kind of is a sort of an analogy for like having a bias towards like harmony, or thinking that there's only like a certain way to sing that sounds good. And when I hear you unpacking a lot in your language is that we can like actually be more neutral than that about sound, for example, we can recognize that like well, you know, there may be like a certain body response that we have when we hear a harmony, and there may be a certain body response we have only we hear dissonance. It doesn't mean that dissonance is wrong and it doesn't mean that dissonance dissonance doesn't have a place and a function in the world of sound, right, even over like the course of a song or something like that there could be an absolute perfect place for this dissonance to live for a moment and be for a moment. And the way I think about it too is kind of with this, you know, these ways that were like, I don't know turning away from sometimes like oh I don't want to sound bad I want to sound like dissonance I don't want to have this miscommunication happening this argument right in my, my relationship. You know how do I, you know, because I'm a Libra Moon, we're going to get like astrological with it so I'm always like oh harmony at all costs and it becomes this like tyrant of like, no actually the fight is good that you know, you don't want to stay ugly you don't want to stay dissonance the entire time, you know, maybe we do sometimes but like, you want to get back to maybe that place of harmony, you know, but that dissonance is going to actually like show you what harmony is it's going to actually bring the pathway back to that you would have no idea. You know that this, this, you know, song that you're singing is outdated or that it's no longer like quite relevant to this situation. If you didn't have some kind of break where somebody was, like you said disruptive or off key and then we need to start over and find how our voices mesh together now because things are maybe different than they were a couple of generations ago right they're different now. They're different in this relationship than they were in my last relationship or in this moment, then they were three weeks ago when we were having the same conversation. You know, and those are the places with singing and communication that I feel like it is a practice. It's an ongoing practice that's never really finished. You know, like even in a long term relationship with somebody whether it's like a lover or, you know, a family member or something. Like there may be issues in the relationship that you talk about over and over and over that same situation that same story comes up again for review. And you have the same or slightly different variations of feelings come up about that topic. But if you work with that creatively, like, and you know I'm speaking from like, kind of an experience in my marriage of like us working through these things creatively over time, things that would have normally, you know, if we kind of just imagine like someone telling us about like a situation be like, oh yeah that's a deal breaker that would have just destroyed your relationship. You know that doesn't that doesn't sound good in a song, whatever the judgment is. It's like, oh, but actually when we work with it creatively. And each time we're like practicing something new shows up and we like recognize that it's a little bit different than the last time. You know, it's getting a little bit, the harmony is getting a little bit clearer, it's getting a little bit tighter. Oh, there was dissonant again and how does that work or not work with this, you know, thing that we're practicing with this thing that we're moving through. What I've seen is that it's part of the evolution, like of the relationship over time to repeat those same stories, until they actually sound very different than whatever they sounded like when we first started talking about it whenever it first happened. Right. Because our layers of our experience in communication are growing. Right. And I mean obviously that's like, you know, this is what coming from a growth mindset versus, you know what you mentioned which was like, you know, sometimes we just want to say our truth and like speak our piece and like we don't really care if it just blows everything up. Right. But there's another way to do it to where it's a collaboration over time that's building something that's building a better communication model that's building like a lifelong relationship that is bountiful, you know, and again not to say that
burning it to the ground like could sometimes they got it, you know. It's funny.
Yeah. But I do I love this kind of like metaphor of like removing the judgment of it, you know, should be this way we should sound this way and seeing what opens up in our communication in our relationship, when we're just connecting more to that like authenticity of expression. You know, what is the word you use that was great for it like the disclosure like fully disclosure full disclosure. But as you said like we can't even really do that until we have the knowing within ourselves until we access it ourselves how can we even tell someone else until we know it. Right. And I don't think that there's even a linear timeline on that I feel like sometimes like as I'm expressing myself I'm like hearing myself I'm going oh that's how I feel apparently.
Right and then it's like well what is that how I and then and then it's always changing to you might say it all out loud and then feel really differently about it. As soon as you say it. And that's again I think like purge the purgatite like the power of sound to help us purge things in our system is like I just need to say like this right now and then it like goes away like oh that was interesting. I don't feel that way.
Yeah, I changed my mind I changed my heart my I don't feel that way anymore I think that's, that was a really wonderful lesson to you know I have like a five year old son and so it kind of like. He changes so much, but then I can see like him starting to like hold on to like no if I felt this way I should keep feeling this way. And in a way I see that like in him I see that in myself like the stubbornness of like, you know holding on to feeling because, because I like why is it that I'm so ready to harbor that experience and not just like let it flow, you know what what is that blockage or that like clinging that's there and what what's purpose did it serve at one point to
Hmm. Right like I think yeah the it does serve a purpose to hold on to it sometimes I think it like can I think about this a lot with my body when I'm like holding on to resentment. It's almost like a little like shield, like it helps me like for a little I'm like cool this thing I'm mad about I'm like yeah look at that look at your little look at your little protector. Oh, they're just get to hold on to this thing that they're mad about instead of like letting it go and having to like feel this whole thing we're like I don't want to feel all that. So I'm going to stay mad over here about this thing right here it's going to protect me.
Right. Oh yeah no I feel you because like whenever there are those moments where like, I feel you know like I've been feeling resentful about something and then there's something that occurs and it drops away like I feel so very vulnerable. I feel so very exposed or something and so yeah I totally feel you on like the resentment being this useful shield that maybe sometimes I'm not ready to to bring it down and feel all the fields that are there. Yeah, this is amazing I really, I really think that connecting with my voice was a huge part of becoming an entrepreneur that has a podcast. Nice. Like, obviously, you know, but I you know before like the voice activation Nick was like I said I still loved to sing. I was, you know, standing up in front of people teaching yoga I was always using my voice but there was like a shift. And I was I was I was I something kind of got activated at a deeper level when you said like I kind of connected it to like something more, more than just the things my voice could do but that it was like an expression of something that was going on internally and that was more was more that it had like a purpose beyond just my own, you know, communication or my own, like, personal journey that it could be a vehicle for for connecting with everybody else for connecting my individual journey with the journeys of other people. And I know that you have a few different ways that you teach and that you share your gifts with people. Maybe you could tell us a little bit about the different kind of journeys these and how creative empowerment journeys that you take people on.
Yeah, thank you for asking. Well, and I love that you've gotten to have an experience of what it was like to go on a journey with a mentor and have a dedicated container for really work on it. I've never ever backgrounded music therapy and so I love specific containers to unpack certain different processes and I create. I have a place called Temple of the Muse, which is an online learning space for artists or people who want to explore artistically themselves more. We mostly work with the voice and songwriting as our mediums but certainly artists of many mediums can come and take the different rides that are presented. I have a nine month Muse devotion that begins in October for women. And this is a space for working with the voice and songwriting as a as a method for personal growth and for healing with the womb and we go on a nine month journey exploring the womb gates. And the pathways of initiation that women go through people who are born with wounds or socialized women that are welcome I want to go through the feminine rites of passage through the blood gates and so we look at women's rights, and it really the rites of passage in that container are a map of just self knowledge and exploration of different stages of development different aspects of growth. And so we so we how we're socialized in these different thresholds of our journey of of maturing, and the whole time we'll do vocal activation processes, I'll inner alchemy with the voice and work with writing and our writing process to get that stuff that's inside out and we'll work with songwriting as a way to have these bundles of song but I have noticed that women who go through this journey. Really, they get all kinds of things out of it. A lot of them will unpack their path of giving their bigger gifts in the world whether they're continue to choose to cultivate song as part of their vocation or not that just having a space to work on song dedicated to their own journey of the womb becomes this really cool womb incubation for rebirbing themselves in a new way into the world. And so that journey I love I've been doing that for many years, we're going to be going to Greece in April for those who want to go to Greece it's not. They don't have to but you can do the nine months journey about going to Greece but we are going to take a trip to Greece to go to the land of the oracles and Delphi and to go spend seven days on the beautiful island of the Galeas and and do some really fun in person somatic vocal, alchemical expression, Mary processes as well as super fun. And so that's one of the journeys that I do that's coming up and then I do some other short form songwriting courses Muse courses, vocal empowerment classes, but the one that's coming up is this one in October the voice of my womb the rose puddle path.
That sounds absolutely transformational and amazing. I can't imagine nine months of really opening up your voice and exploring that inner realm and also you know, the womb space like this is part of our somatic center as like my mentors put it like this space of convergence of all these muscles but also all these energies you know right in that creative, safe role chakra place and you know stimulating opening that up from an energetic perspective I can imagine just there's incredible outpouring of creativity and individual personalized creativity that that people must experience that sounds Yeah, it's a super juicy wonderful space.
I love it. It's so wonderful.
You also have a new album coming out. Can you tell us about your new album and what it's like.
I'm a new album it's called waitlist that comes out September 1. And this is a one of my lockdown babies, so I started recording in at the end of 2020. I knew I wasn't going to go on tour for a while so we went back into the studio and this album is all. It's very lush it's got a lot of vocals and cello. It's mostly like vocals guitar and washing cello I wanted to make an album that was just a mood, a mood of, of lush of lushness and so it's coming out there's some singles that have come out already. And we're having a big album release extravaganza September 16 in grass valley so if you want to come make the track to grass valley and come visit the Yuba river and come to this big immersive theater show that we're putting on is going to be super fun. And then we're going to do an in person vocal alchemy sanctuary workshop the next day on the 17th so that'll be an opportunity to come in person and have a three hour experience of the voice and some of these creative ways that we've been talking about so that's, that's all coming up next month.
Oh wow yeah that sounds awesome. And just such a beautiful part that's where you just kind of the area where you live right
I'm currently living in grass valley yeah.
Yeah, it's such a really beautiful part of California I've been up there a number of times and yeah. Yeah, it sounds all sounds really wonderful. Well if our listeners would like to connect with you they'd like to find you I know your music is on a bunch of different platforms
Absolutely wonderful. Well thank you so much do you have any kind of last thoughts or, you know, kind of, you know, leave our listeners with about singing about voice activation about relationships anything that kind of flows into your mind.
Yeah, I'd say that the voices are first medicine voices original medicine, and I always want to encourage people to ally with your sound as a way to connect in any moment to the that quality that makes life really juicy that you have access in any moment if you're just regulated or you just went through something really weird you can't seem to locate yourself. Just take a minute to tone home to yourself and help help yourself locate yourself in your in your body in the moment and reconnect and as a as a first medicine it's my favorite first medicine.
Beautiful. On that note, could you make a sound for us.
Yeah, absolutely. Check out Maria's new album and her juicy incredible offerings. And thank you so much for being on the show and sharing your beautiful expression and such really powerful ideas with everyone today. Thank you again.
Yeah, my pleasure. Thanks for having me have a wonderful day.
Hello everyone, I'm Amy Tecaya and I have an exciting announcement. At the end of September, I will be hosting my first full length retreat. Somatic Awakening will take place in the San Gabriel Mountains. This three day transformational experience will include. Hannah somatic movement hands on somatic body work by my father William Davis, my cousin, Seiji Oshenza and myself. We will also explore somatic yoga and Moudre practice, as well as an end of the day sound healing to deepen your calm and release. Only nine spaces are available for full time participants. Day passes will be available for the Saturday activities. Right now, you can get $200 off the full price of the retreat. So if you're feeling called into freedom and ease of movement, a peaceful, relaxed nervous system, delicious plant based meals and a fresh and enlivened way of being go to free your soma.com and hold your space. Payment plans are available by request and feel free to reach out to me with questions or comments at free your soma at gmail.com. Thanks again for listening and supporting this self healing revolution.