As I am typing, the clock is ticking towards midnight. And this time, not only will midnight announce the dawn of a new day and the beginning of a new month… But as soon as the clock strikes 12, the first of September announces the arrival of spring. The season of new beginnings!
This past weekend, we attended Die Dromers Mark – a seasonal open air market n Potchefstroom. As soon as we arrived, our 7-year-old spotted a collection of colourful creatures and hurried towards the vendor. We couldn’t resist joining him to investigate and were greeted by the worry gobblers.
The tag that accompanies the worry gobbler says it all:
Hello there Brave One, tell me, how are you?
I’m your friendly WORRY GOBBLER and eating up your worries is what I love to do.
It’s okay to feel nervous, or even a little scared.
Your tummy might feel upside down, like you’re standing on your head.
When your heart is feeling sad or heavy and your chest a little tight -
I’ll be here to listen any time of the day or night.
Feed me as many worries as you like: 1, 2, or 3.
I’ll gobble them up at lightning speed they’re delicious to me, you see.
Draw a picture, write them down, or whisper in my ear
And together we will see that there is nothing at all to fear.
Love, your WORRY GOBBLER.
There is nothing left for me to say really.
Only that I think we all could do with one of those…
I googled “happiness quotes” and in 0.56 seconds Google came up with about 1 120 000 000 results. Related search terms include sad quote, kindness quote, quote about optimism, quote about gratitude and lastly hatred quote. Initially, the first and last related search terms took me by surprise. But after a moment or two, I concluded that if you’re able to experience intense happiness, you surely have the ability to experience intense sadness. Sometimes all it takes is a split second to make the switch.
I asked my seven-year-old how he would define the word happiness. After pretending to ponder this question very deeply, he simply said: “It means that you have a beautiful heart. That’s really the only thing there is to it”.
Is the secret to happiness a beautiful heart to begin with or is the beautiful heart the destination we’re heading to when we have found happiness? Most probably the secret towards happiness lies in the in the process. Because I have never heard of a fool-proof recipe for Happiness.
Maybe the greatest common factor of happiness and a beautiful heart is choice.
What is your default setting?
Chanting might be a way to express how we feel in’ to how we show out - a way to portray what feelings sound like. One specific tune that comes to mind is the toddler drone, also known as the playground chant - consisting of three pitches: so mi la so mi.
This ditty is sung all over the world by children who want to display a sense of bravado and often feel that they can conquer the world because they are part of a pack. Maybe the simple act of chanting these notes as part of a larger group increases the brave exterior of the lead chanter.
But I have also been a spectator in situations where the chant’s volume steadily decreases as soon as the chanters realise that the opposing team are way better off in regards to numbers, size, support and loudness.
Showing out what we’re feelin’ inside is an act of courage. Whether we are surrounded by a large group of peers that supports us, or whether we are voicing our vulnerability as an individual.
According to Melissa Hurt, humming is one of the most therapeutic practices one can do for daily wellness. The reason being that breath, voice, body and spirit are all connected when humming our daily dose of wellbeing.
However, there is a clear distinction between humming and singing. Or is there?
What would an angry Humm sound like?
A happy Humm?
A sad Humm?
A worried Humm?
Could humming portray what feelings sound like?
I think there is much more to humming than what meets the ear. Maybe if we want to know what our own feelings sound like, we should start experimenting with our inner voices – through humming. And if we want to know what other people’s feelings sound like, we could start with those in our immediate circle of family and friends. Becoming aware of producing different pitch levels of humming: humming in a higher range and humming in a lower range. Adjusting the volume of our humming. Loud humming. Soft humming. In-between humming.
I cannot help to wonder how letting it all out through humming might influence what we are already feeling inside. Creating an awareness of expressing how we feel in’ to how we show out through the unique sounds of humming.