As I envision stress, in the mind I see thoughts behaving as a choppy ocean. Winds strong and powerful, whipping the water in all directions, reaching deep below the surface creating a current of chaos. A chaos that pulls in every direction. Stirring confusion and fear. Drowning one in overwhelm and panic. Eliciting anger, anxiety and hopelessness. It takes all one has to try to stay above the surface, to survive.
With an average of 60 000 thoughts in a day, it is estimated that 80% of those thoughts are negative and 95% are repetitive, its safe to say that the thought current within our minds is strong. Add trauma to that statistic, creating hypervigilance that permeates every swirl of thought that flows through the mind, the concept of calm seems an impossibility.
I recall a time in my own life, when the layers of events, impressions and life circumstances compounded and compounded, keeping my mind whipping around, feeling lost and incoherent. I often felt as though I was drowning in an ocean of fear, confusion and indecision, little within my reach to keep from being swallowed by the chaotic depths. It was a continual state that felt so familiar to me, I believed it was 'normal'. Accustomed to my thoughts racing, my heart beating too quickly, feeling anger boiling just barely beneath the surface, erupting on occasion to then feel guilty for allowing myself to feel it 'out loud'. It also, simultaneously felt like numbness, complacency, self-doubt... like giving up. I lived in a fear of those around me seeing the internal disintegration... and disintegration was exactly what it felt like. It was as though I was dissolving into a blackness. My life was in chaos. I had left a very toxic, long term relationship, which led me to a divorce that compounded the toxicity and trauma. I was deep in counselling for PTSD and witnessing any financial stability that I may have imagined I had, freely flow into the hands of my lawyer. There were events happening my life that left me concerned for the safety of myself and those I love. I felt the need to continually look over my shoulder. I was being told what to do and what not to do by this expert and that expert. My feelings and concerns invalidated. My voice was continually silenced. I was witnessing the pain of those I love, in what felt like a mandated reticence. I had little desire to get up in the mornings only to experience the loop of bullshit I felt I was drowning in. I was experiencing people exiting my life to the point that I felt like a stranger in the city that had been my home for almost 20 years. I had a complete loss of my bearings, no sense of safety, no trust. Living in fear that my future would be the same as my past. I had, what felt like no control in my life, no faith in myself. Trauma, my puppeteer. At the same time, I had met the love of my life. He came into my world so unexpectedly during the chaos. A reunification of our souls on a level so profound, it has no words. He held me. He listened. He cried with me. He stayed in all the darkness. He created safe space so I could wrestle myself, learn and remember who I am. He was my lighthouse. His love, unconditional. My kids. My 4 glorious children. Beacons of light and life. They were there, my reason for breath.
When the Alchemy Bowls entered my life you could safely say I was amidst a storm. So many highs and lows. In many ways I felt battered, beaten and broken. Simultaneously, the biggest blessings of my life were also present, steady and unwavering, giving me glimpses of my true self. Being within the soundscape of the bowls felt like an opportunity to bring together the winds of the storm into a central vortex. The Eye within the storm, where I could find clarity. It was calm within that Eye.
Stepping into a Sound Temple for the first time and absorbing the beauty within its space, was nearly indescribable. Even before hearing the sounds of the Alchemy Crystal Bowls, I knew so profoundly that my soul’s calling had been remembered. Hearing them played, left me in awe.
It was within a few weeks of stepping into that Sound Temple that I had the opportunity to bring my partner in and share in experiencing a Sound Bath for our first time. Laying in the wash of the bowl’s music, sent me into a visual experience of symbols, sacred geometry and into a level of relaxation I could not remember experiencing in this lifetime.
From that very moment, the Bowls became a turning point in my journey back to myself.
At the beginning, I didn’t understand the how or the why of what the Bowls were doing, nor did I care. I simply wanted to be within their presence. Each time I listened, I had a glimpse of lucidity and serenity. I could see and feel my true essence in that space. The journeys I was taking each time I stepped into a soundscape took me closer and closer to feeling myself. To make the experience even sweeter, my partner felt just as called to the Bowls as I did. It did not take us long to decide that we would bring a bowl home.
Which then led to ‘a few’ more.
In the beginning, sitting down to play was about what the bowls could do for me. Where could they take me? It was a one sided relationship. How could they help me feel better? How could they heal my body and my spirit? In their ever present benevolence of Spirit, they created a space for me to take what I needed. They gently guided me through my tears, my anger, my sorrow, my selfishness, my pain, my chaos… my shadows. They showed me stillness, joy, peace and equanimity.
Slowly, the relationship grew. I could begin to feel the sentience of each bowl and how it responded to the way I was feeling in the very moment we connected. Playing gave me an opportunity to pause and be present each time I picked up the suede mallet in a way that was even deeper than just being a participant. I opened more deeply to listening. Listening to the subtleties of sound and vibration emanating from the bowls. Listening to how the bowls themselves answer in response to each other. They were reminding me that every vibration elicits a response through its creation. Be it vibration of thought, speech or musical note, they were showing me a way to harmony and community. Each time I played, I could feel unity return to my body and mind that had felt so fragmented. My spirit began to feel settled in ways I could not remember it ever being. My thoughts began to feel clear and my compassion began to grow. Compassion for myself, which I had withheld for far too long, maybe even for lifetimes. Compassion for others who I had once felt victimized by. The understanding that this storm I felt I was drowning in, was truly a gift. Each one of the ‘adversaries’, my toughest and now most beloved teachers, showing me back to myself. Without them, my power would still be in someone else’s hands, instead of my own. The time with our bowls made space for new and beautiful experiences, opening me up to learning about myself and others in a whole new way. Deepening my desire to learn and expand internally and externally. I began to understand, through the loving patience of these Benevolent Beings, that for every lesson and every moment they held space for me to come back to myself and to be present in the moment, they were teaching me how to hold space for others to do the same. They were showing me the power of their magic. I was experiencing wholeness within myself and at the same time guided to share the healing benefits of Sound for the body, mind and spirit for others.
Simultaneously, my partner and I also began to play together and though our connection to each other was already strong and beautiful, playing our bowls together, brought an even deeper sense of unity and purpose to our togetherness. The bowls created this intimate play of loving energy that cascaded through and around us, reinforcing our hearts and souls in what I can only describe as cosmic bliss. We began to realize that the amplifying properties of the bowls’ crystal was transmitting this loving connection outward as we began to offer Sound Baths to small groups of people.
As we continued to share sound with others, listening to the experiences of participants once the ‘bath’ was finished, was incredible. Accounts of visions, sensations, memories, peace, profound relaxation, to discomfort, pain sensations and restlessness, were shared. People predominantly would convey that they didn’t know where they went but they had resistance to returning back into ‘the real world’ after experiencing such a deep immersion into relaxation. We began to shift the term we used from Sound Bath to Sound Journey as it seemed a more apt description for the experience participants were having. Though the term Journey applied exactly to us as well. The time and play with our Bowls has taught us how to be fully present, given perspective and appreciation for the life's worth of experiences accumulated to this point, highs, lows and all those in between. The gratitude runs deep for the muck that has been cleared and for the opportunities we have to hold space for others to help them clear their own path back to themselves.
With our eyes on the horizon, we've set sail with our Bowls. Trusting their sound navigation through waters that will not always be calm, we are certain that whatever we encounter will hold excitement and growth...