The Voice, End of Week I

The day after receiving Monday’s medical diagnosis felt like I was wading through deep water carrying a dead moose on my head. I began that day with a combination of rehearsal and voice class for the Levine Women’s Chorus, one of the groups with which I work regularly.

I shared with them what was going on, because I haven’t had time to adjust the manner in which I teach. I can not sing to illustrate how something goes, how to shape a phrase, how to approach a high or low note. I felt a flash of anger that these amateur singers, whom I love and have chosen to work with, could vocalise and I can’t right now. I stopped rehearsal and shared with them that if they ever pick up weird vibes from me they are to ignore those vibes. It’s not them, it is my own “stuff” rising up out of the shadows. One woman said, “thank you for sharing that, Cate. That took alot of wisdom.”

This same student came up to me after rehearsal and asked to speak with me. She told me she was a healer, and that her spirit guides had given her some messages for me regarding my neurological condition. She asked if I was open to receiving the messages, and given that I am respectful of guides of any kind, I listened to her. More on that later.

After rehearsal and class I went home and stared into the refrigerator, hoping lunch would materialize. Then I had a chocolate bar for lunch, canceled my afternoon, changed into my pajamas, crawled into my daughter’s bed and pulled her comforter over my face, falling asleep instantly. I dreamt that I was teaching a vocal workshop and was feeling very outdated and ineffective in my teaching, fussing and bustling around because my colleagues were sporting new credentials and successes.

When I woke up, I remember that I haven’t real felt real joy in singing for a very long time.

One thing that has become apparent this week is that ‘voicing’ this journey will shine a flashlight into some dark corners of my psyche, and that is because I know that the body reflects what the mind thinks. The past ten years I’ve used a combination of Western medicine, common sense health and diet and major spiritual growth- to change for the better all the things that were important to me that had been crumbling and frozen for years, mainly in the areas of health and relationships.

Visionary physicians like Deepak Chopra and Bernie Siegal have lead this way of being for years. Read their stuff to feel if it resonates with you. I have also been interested in sound healing for most of my life, and did not pursue a second masters’ degree in the field of music therapy because, as it exists in academia, is to narrow a scope for my awareness and interests.

But right now I am emotionally exhausted at the thought of all these thoughts.

Somehow, for all its complexity, the healing system can be triggered by a simple intention of the mind. To be your own placebo, then, requires the same conditions that apply in a classic placebo response.

1. You trust what is happening.

Yes, I have felt some anger, but mostly I trust that somehow this is going to work out.

2. You deal with doubt and fear.

I have to be careful not to “blame” myself, even though I easily can track the lifelong doubts and insecurities that may have contributed to this, because blame is not useful.

3. You try not to send conflicting messages that get tangled with each other. (see above comment. This requires focus and concentration, and I direct my mind towards meditations, prayer, dancing, fun with family and friends, and other spirit-lifters.) These things open the channels of mind-body communication.

4. You let go of your intention and let the healing system do its work.

(Read the Oprah article these points came from HERE.)

And right now, as I finish up this post, my husband, brother and I are watching a documentary on the great guitarist, Django Rheinhardt, who had to completely relearn how to play the guitar after some of his fingers were paralyzed in an accident.


  1. Your words on healing echo my own experiences. I find that only when I give up trying so hard, and let myself just fall (and this can be sooo hard!), unexpected help arrives, both from outside and from sources within.


  2. I can see that now, Viktoria, with the wisdom of hindsight. So many things happening this year to underscore that truth. In trying to become self-sufficient and Independent we feel at our deepest core that we have to fix and take care of everything and everyone ourselves. Sometimes that core has to melt and soften in order to reshape!


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