Finding Your Voice Through Transformative Singing

instrument | Dianna Bonny Photography

“The voice is never just the voice. It’s the way we express how we feel about ourselves. It’s a powerful psychological instrument connecting our inner and outer worlds.” –Helen Gary Bishop, Vocal coach and adjunct professor at New York University’s Department of Culture and Communication

I mentioned in a previous post that being in front of a camera is difficult for me, and judging by the emails I received, I am not alone in this fear. Many of us seem to shrink from being seen on certain levels.

You might imagine, then, that speaking in front of people makes my knees tremble and, as such, I have avoided it all my life. Where having a photo taken makes me cringe, public speaking makes me nauseous.

In spite of this fear, my dear friend somehow convinced me to attend a Toastmasters meeting with her last year. As I sat there, all I could think was I would NEVER be able to stand in front of these folks and speak. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Then a funny thing happened. I went back.

Had you been in the car with me a couple of months later, driving to my first prepared speech, you would have thought I was headed for the gallows: dry throat, shallow breathing, full fledged panic attack. I spent the entire 20 minute drive talking myself in and out of going. No doubt I resembled a lunatic.

Miraculously, I gave my speech and lived. Most of the comments reflected that I was too quiet and needed to project, which made me incredibly curious. Shortly thereafter, I came across an article about voice coach Helen Gary Bishop in the October, 2012 issue of Elle Magazine.

On expressing one’s authentic voice she says, “It must come from within. If we don’t have a solid idea of who we are, and what we’re saying, and what we want to represent, our voice will keep giving us away.”

In that vein, I am now exploring the next level of “most feared activities in humanity”: singing. Out loud, in front of people. Real, live people.

This is not because I want to be a singer (although, truth be told, I wouldn’t mind singing like Adele).

What I’m exploring is called transformative singing. It aids in quieting the inner critic. It helps to build confidence. And, it allows you to open up and be more receptive to joy. It is about finding your true, authentic voice.

Honestly, the past three years have smacked the life out of me. I am in search of a way to revive myself and reconnect with the person I am inside, the frightened one that I stowed away long ago for safe-keeping. I simply can’t afford to live in fear any longer, for both my mental sanity and for financial reasons.

I resisted this singing business. I came up with excuses and I procrastinated. Finally, I attended the weekend opening of a transformative singing workshop and it was nothing short of incredible. The most difficult part was not standing up to sing in front of the group, although that was hard. The tricky moment for me: having to stand and make eye contact, while the group applauded me. This is supposed to be a simple exercise in learning to receive. It turns out, I have a hard time receiving, which I was a little surprised by, but apparently most of us find it easier to give than receive.

As I stood there in tears, the leader explained to me that this is common for people who go through traumatic experiences. When you are carrying so much, trying to keep everyone else going, there is a tendency to close the heart for protection. Ouch.

Yes, my heart needs to be opened, and I think perhaps my voice is the way in.

It is an eight-week program, so I will let you know how it goes. So far, it has been a very heart opening experience.

If you are interested, check it out here. Mick and Tess are incredibly gifted at their craft.

In the meantime, I am sending you encouragement on the road to healing.

May you align with your authentic voice and be a force of light in the world.


Who is Dianna Bonny?

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  2 comments for “Finding Your Voice Through Transformative Singing

  1. June 5, 2013 at 7:11 am

    This is magical Dianna! I have healed so much through the voice. I took singing lessons that truly transformed my life – not because I wanted to become a singer as much as I wanted to heal. My voice gave me away all the time. I trained the Seth Riggs program which connects your vocal chords and strengthens your speaking voice. I had no idea the journey I was on when I started that program. The funny thing is that about 18 yrs ago I couldn’t stand hearing my own voice. My husband and I owned a business in which I created voice prompts for companies as part of my position. It was almost painful to hear my voice I was so disconnected from it. Now I do voice recordings for a living – and I love the sound of my voice!

    Thank you for sharing this – it has made me really think about what a gift our voice is and how it can change our lives when we connect with it. As always, Dianna, your journey is so inspiring!


    • Dianna Bonny
      June 5, 2013 at 12:25 pm


      Sadly, I can relate to not standing the sound of your own voice! Everyone in the workshop seems to share this sentiment. I am only toe deep in this program but I can already sense a profound shift. I had no idea how much our voice reflects the reality of our inner world and I am so happy to be exploring it as a part of my healing. Thank you for sharing your experience – I look forward to loving the sound of my authentic voice too.
      xx Dianna

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