August 2010 Editorial

Dear Friends,Earlier this year, I spent two months in hospital, much of which was passed lying flat on my back as I had virtually lost the power of movement. To most people, it no doubt looked as though I didn’t have long to live, and I’m sure I could have chosen to die at that point. However, as I explained in my last letter, Geoff and I didn’t see it that way, for I could distinctly feel a strong presence of life – very vibrant life actually – deep in my soul. The question was, how could I change myself, so that this strength of soul could inhabit my body, mind and life more fully?

Well – with much help from many friends and family members, and divine providence too of course – I was enabled to start making many helpful changes involving nutrition, medicines, attitudes, lifestyle, you name it. However, there’s one particular helpful thing I’d like to tell you about now, which in our culture wouldn’t normally be thought of as important, but which I found was pivotal.

However, before I tell you more, I just need to say this: I wouldn’t want you to get a picture of me reclining in luxury, my halo shining, sipping a pina colada! My stay in hospital was actually hell much of the time, and not something I would wish to repeat any time soon, but alongside all the hell, there was also heaven, which never left me, even for a moment. So, to continue…..

I started to look back over my life, searching for traces of soul-connection, moments when I felt particularly alive and in harmony with heaven. I thought if I could understand those moments and see what they had in common, and then find a way to have more of them in my present life, I might be able to find a way to help myself recover.

Golden moments
So, starting at the beginning, I began to recall memories of my childhood and discovered a very interesting thing. Nearly all my earliest happy memories involved sound and music: my mother singing lullabies to me, or playing the piano; lying in my pram and hearing the wind in the trees and a blackbird singing; my dad teaching my sisters and me to sing rounds; looking over the gate in our local park into a little grove where I felt sure fairies lived, just listening to the breeze and soaking up the stillness; hearing the cry of gulls as I lay in my cot on a holiday in Cornwall when I was two….

Yes, my soul was really nurtured at those golden moments, and I felt connected to that wiser part of my being, aware that life was good, truly good.

Medicine for the soul
Was music the medicine I was looking for then? Something I could use to nurture my soul even if I couldn’t move? I felt certain that it was, especially when I recalled that, before my unexpected hospital visit, I had noticed that the only time I didn’t experience any pain at all was when I was playing the piano. So, my first step was to notice any soul-nurturing sounds going on around me.

The cry of the gulls outside the hospital, for instance, or the incredibly lovely singing of a blackbird during the dawn chorus (which I was invariably awake for, sleeping not being something you do in hospitals!). The song of the blackbird has been believed since ancient times to provide a gateway to the Otherworld. Certainly, it invariably takes me straight outside time, and I’m sure I’m not alone in that experience.

The beautiful voices of birds made me think of the voices of humans. And gradually, as I reflected more and more on a belief I have long held to be of profound significance – that human beings have been granted voices more flexible, beautiful and subtle than the voice of any other being in creation, and that the human voice is a direct expression of the soul – I plucked up the courage to sing.

At first I sang very quietly, but then, as I realized that the nurses didn’t seem to mind, and Geoff and our sons really liked it, I thought, ‘Well, why not let rip? Perhaps it will help with the pain.’ And often, though not all the time, it did.

Bringing harmony to my cells
I didn’t always make beautiful sounds. Sometimes it felt right to just let pain out of my body in the form of sound. But at other times, I tried to make the sound as beautiful as I could, imagining the notes bringing harmony to my cells, helping to shift stuck energy and calling them to remember their true nature, and start functioning normally again. I sang all sorts of tunes – anything that came into my head – and more often than not, the words of the tunes I was singing would carry some sort of message for me, or bring some insight into beliefs that I needed to change.

Later, I would sometimes listen to pop music on my son’s iPod, using the rhythm to try to bring movement back into my legs and express joy in my body. At first, just my toes would dance, then my feet, but as I persevered, I gradually became able to dance with more parts of me!

Memories of music I had heard were important to my recovery, too, and I would often lie in bed remembering pieces I love, allowing them to transport me to places where I felt nurtured and at peace. Many of these pieces we actually sell through Cygnus, and we have put together a collection of them on page 9. Each one of these CDs is really special to Geoff and me, and we hope some of them will resonate with you too.

Our magical musical instrument
We are here to learn to be human, to bring our divinity into our physicality, and in so doing, to become a new kind of being, a being who, even in the midst of earthly life with all its contrasts, light and dark, is yet able to radiate and live from their soul. It can be a long and often painful journey, but at the same time it’s the most incredible opportunity, perhaps unique in the universe. To help us on our way, we have been granted many gifts, and one of these is the gift of sound and music. So, whatever you may think of your voice or your musical ability, may we suggest that you use it daily? What we focus on grows. To possess a human voice, with all its power of variation and expression, is an immense privilege. So, overcoming any inhibitions we may have, let’s use the magical, musical instrument that is our own physicality to nurture our souls, brighten our days and bring harmony to our bodies.

With very much love,
Ann, Geoff and the Cygnus Team