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Humming and the Pursuit of Happiness

29 Jan

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. –Dalai Lama

My mother was a hummer. Not the car, the practice.

My mother, Ethel Irene Kugler Adler, was constantly humming around the house.

I would always marvel at her statement to others when she would say with all modesty “I don’t know where Debby gets her musical ability from – must be her father” (who happened to sing with the New York City Boys Choir as a kid).

But I would tell her that she had provided a rich environment of music for me from the time I was born. There were always records – yes, those old “78’s” – playing in what we referred to as “the middle room” in the house I grew up in. I learned how to sing before I was two by mimicking Perry Como, Kate Smith, Bing Crosby and Harry Belefonte, among the others that we listened to all during the day.

But it was really my mother, who was constantly humming while she worked around that house that I remember so vividly. I’m not even sure that she was humming popular songs – she just hummed.

I’m a hummer, too. In fact, I will become suddenly aware that I’m humming a song, and then laugh to discover what tune I’m humming. It’s become a pretty good barometer of my mood or thought process of the moment.

I’ve noticed that kids are chastised for humming. So if someone is humming because they’re happy, why do we need to cut that off? That’s sort of like trying to keep a cat from purring in my book. What’s the point?

ANY musical appreciation or ability needs to be encouraged. Humans have a rich connection to their culture through music. In the realm of the physical, the vagus or tenth cranial nerve makes a unique connection between the brain, voice and heart. So singing, and even humming, can serve as a healthy function.

Music is the Language of the Heart. Humming is just another dialect. If you are or know a “hummer” – encourage them. Who knows? They might just be the positive influence on the next “rock star’s” career.

Or they might just be that which brings joy to those around them. A noble outcome, for sure. 🙂  -Deborah Adler

“Being creative means trusting your inner calling, ignoring criticism or judgment, and releasing resistance to your natural talents.” -Pa’Ris’Ha Taylor

©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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One Heart Song – the Universal Connection

27 Jan

“Uni” means “one.”
“Verse” means “song.”
Therefore “Uni-verse” means “One Song.”
– Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha

Many years ago in my studies with my spiritual mentor and Elder, Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, I learned about the Vagus Nerve, or the “tenth cranial nerve” which originates in the medulla oblongata, a part of the brain stem, and “supplies nerve fibers to the pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), trachea (windpipe), lungs, heart, esophagus, and the intestinal tract as far as the transverse portion of the colon. The vagus nerve also brings sensory information back to the brain from the ear, tongue, pharynx, and larynx.” *

This wandering marvel connecting to the voice is also the only nerve connecting the heart and brain. Beginning in the left side of the brain, it reaches the top of the heart’s aorta as one of its better known branches, the recurrent laryngeal nerve, which then takes a return loop to connect with the right side of the voice box (larynx).

So there’s an actually physical connection between the brain and heart that can be activated and influenced through song.

Music, a form of sound, is a vibration. All vibration is energy.

If “Universe” means “One Song” and we add our voices to that song, it becomes the “Heart Song,” a song of love influencing all towards harmony.

Music is often called the Universal Language. In my travels I have personally experienced music’s ability to cut across all artificial barriers of “difference” between people – even language differences – to create a unity through singing together, or just simply sharing the enjoyment of a performance.

But to sing together is especially powerful and healing. It’s that Heart Connection. Music is a Bridge to understanding, to acceptance, to sharing joy, sorrow, Love and the full gamut of human emotions and experiences.

“What we’re all striving for is authenticity, a spirit-to-spirit connection.” – Oprah Winfrey

Sound, vibration and various forms of music can also be effective in bringing balance to the physical body, in addition to the mental and emotional state.

Whenever I have traveled with Grandmother Pa’Ris’Ha, we have always begun our programs with singing. Sometimes in the many journeys taken across this grand country, the group of us traveling together would stop at a roadside rest stop or “circle up” in a department store parking lot and pull out the guitars and other instruments and start singing. It refreshed and re-energized us and as others came out of curiosity to see who were these people singing in the parking lot – it entertained and fostered new friendships.
I have many fond memories of what we lovingly referred to as our “blacktop circles.”

Everyone has a Heart Song. Tomorrow I will explore why EVERYONE should sing -even if you think you don’t have a “good voice.”

We all have a voice – and the only “bad” voice is the once that‘s been silenced!

More about that in tomorrow’s post! -Deborah Adler

“I am an old river and I have been here for too long
to know when I began, and that is not what is important.
Here and in this moment I Am here.
I am old, wiser and have found you.
You join me here in our space
and we now run together,
not you and I,
but we.”


from Visits from Wind Voices from Times Past
© 1995 Pa’Ris’Ha All Rights Reserved.


©2011 Deborah Adler. All rights reserved. (NOTE: All quotes remain the sole property of the original authors.)

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