Music and Movement
For almost twenty years I spent most of my days facilitating workshops for youth development professionals across the United States. Even with all that time and experience, I still felt slightly nervous when it was time to begin a training. Part of the angst I felt was because the participants were often required by funders or leaders in their organizations to attend these training sessions without full clarity about what they were getting into. Naturally, many of them assumed it would be dreadful based on previous experiences where the professional development experience that they attended was boring or left them without practical or relevant information and tools they could use for their daily work. So, imagine their surprise when they entered the room and were greeted by Motown hits, sports jams, or playlists with songs and artists that reminded them of some of the best times of their life. Where there is music, movement is often not far behind. To this day I incorporate music and movement into my group coaching sessions and keynote speeches. As I continue my deep dive into research about mental health and trauma it all makes sense now. These are healing modalities that our elders and ancestors have used for decades and centuries. They are readily available to us now, but they are rarely used in traditional treatment. Here are a few strategies you can access quickly for your own healing, or when you are facilitating experiences for those in your care. Rhythm Regulation. Think about the act of rocking. We rock crying babies to soothe them, and some of us rock ourselves back and forth when we need to be soothed. In the book, What Happened to You?, the authors talk about how rhythm is regulating. The next time you find yourself feeling overwhelmed or emotionally activated, place your hand on your chest and feel the rhythm of your heart. Sing, rap, play, or listen to your favorite music and let the rhythm permeate and soothe your soul. Movement Medicine. As a child I loved playing hand games like Zing Zing Zing Like a Washing Machine, Slide, and Hands Up to 85. If none of these sound familiar to you, picture very complex versions of the game Patty Cake that is often played with babies and toddlers. In the book Black Joy, the author writes about how enslaved Africans might have played similar hand dances as a safe way to experience compassionate touch and not be punished for it. The repetitiveness and focus that these hand games and dances require remind me of meditation. The author says, “…movement and meditation can shift the nervous system back to a healing state.” This is a message that is consistent throughout all the books and bodies of work that I’ve studied on healing for those who’ve experienced trauma, grief, and loss. Music Magic. When I played music at the trainings I facilitated, it always shifted the mood and set the tone. I could see people’s perceptions about what they thought they were walking into change for the better the moment they crossed the threshold. It also really helped me. Arriving early and playing music while I set up for the day supported me in feeling grounded in the space. It also reduced my anxiety and got me hyped up and ready to give my all. This week I challenge you to find your rhythm. Identify the movement and music that speaks to your soul and use them as tools for healing, confidence, and joy.
Manifestation Affirmations I am rocking to the rhythm of my heart. I am practicing healing movements as a form of meditation. I am creating and enjoying music as medicine for my soul.
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide