Wow! Another year almost over. If you are like me you are probably already wondering about your New Year goals.
Well, have you ever thought about a voice coach? This month I am pleased to introduce you to a wonderful lady. Her name is Anne-Marie Speed. What a name! And what a voice coach!
For those of you who have read the book “The Secret”, you may find this month’s book review interesting. Plus I have a gift for you. A simple self-hypnosis technique that will help you to cope with Christmas Stress - or any kind of stress, come to think of it!
Enjoy and Merry Chirstmas!
THE TRUTH ABOUT HYPNOSIS AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU GET RESULTS IN LIFE!
Have you ever walked into a major bookstore and began searching in the popular psychology section? Perhaps a time when you were looking for a book that could help you use your mind to achieve your goals? Well the chances are you found a book that taught visualisation techniques and forms of affirmations. The book may not mention hypnosis. It may talk about programming your subconscious mind, or maybe teach a form of meditation.
This is all good stuff, but it's still hypnosis.
Recently I spoke on hypnosis at a college in London. The students were young and keen to learn. One young woman came up to me afterwards and told me the exercise I had led them through was similar to her yoga class.
This, of course, is not surprising as certain parts of yoga are like self-hypnosis. Now here’s where hypnosis differs in many ways: if you are in sales you can use hypnosis to sell more products or services. This is because effective communication is hypnotic in nature. Hypnosis is a tool of influence, whether you are influencing yourself or others. By the way influence is neither good nor bad. It just depends on how we use it. If we influence somebody to lose weight, that’s good. If we influence somebody to do something against their better nature, that’s bad. You can also use hypnosis to influence yourself, you can learn to control pain, reduce stress, stop smoking and become more successful financially.
What do you want to change in your life?
The secret to change is in a way like learning a different language. The way you talk to yourself. What you focus on and what you choose to believe. It’s simple but not always easy. Change is not easy; this is because we don’t believe it is. We are programmed as children to think like this. When we think back to some of the messages we accepted as children. “Learn a trade and you will be safe.” “Stick to what you know and you will be safe.” “All the women in our family get married young.” “You are just like your father, you like your food.” You get the idea. We are made up of many different beliefs and attitudes that continue to run our lives. Much of what we do, we do without even knowing why. Imagine that - doing things and we don’t even know why!
We think we know; sometimes we do and sometimes we don’t. Not consciously anyway.
When you learn to speak the language of your subconscious you find yourself taking control of your life. You learn to easily form new positive behaviours. You can programme life goals into your mind with the belief that you can achieve them, You can develop more confidence, lose weight. You can programme your mind to be successful in your chosen field.
Five years ago a businessman came to me for help. He was highly successful with many employees. He told me he wanted to be more successful. I was amazed! “More successful?” I said. “Yes,” he replied, "we can all do better."
I coached with this man over ten weeks. I taught him every mind programming technique I knew. I hear his business is now booming!
When you think about it, it's obvious, to improve our results in life we have to change the way we use our mind and there is no better way than hypnosis.
Now to make changes within. There is another secret...?
Next time I will reveal all!!
"The secret behind the secret law of attraction"
By Kevin Hogan
No it’s not a sequel to The Secret! This book is a fascinating read. If you have read The Secret, you may be embracing the law of attraction - or maybe not! If you can't make your mind up about it, READ THIS BOOK!
My friend Kevin Hogan and others have put all their knowledge, feelings and concerns about the law of attraction into one volume. The book challenges the claims of The Secret and discusses its potential harm. It also goes on to suggest it has cult-like tendencies.
One definition of the word 'cult' is: “A great devotion among a group to a particular person, thing or idea”. Well I have to say that whereas the law of attraction may or may not be a cult, The Secret movement definitely is. Don’t get me wrong; I think it is safe to say that the idea of thinking and visualing how or what you want to become has a lot of substance. The mistake I think The Secret makes is forgetting that we have to take action - and lots of it. If we want to achieve our goals, we have to get off our buts.
As Hogan and friends observe, wishing and praying for things to happen just doesn’t work. We have to have some form of strategy and we sometimes have to require special knowledge and training in order to get results. The Secret behind the Secret Law of Attraction also gives you some great ideas about how to do this.
It’s refreshing to read a book that sends a message of common sense.
The Secret behind the Law of Attraction also looks into the background of The Secret. Apart from some dubious claims, I personally feel there are some useful ideas in The Secret. There is already too much negativity in this world and in many ways The Secret offers a message of hope. Unfortunately, there are also some errors.
The Secret behind the Law of Attraction is a great read that is sure to stir up some controversy.
Let me know your views.
Available at Amazon books.
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.
John F. Kennedy.
Introduction to Vocal Function
By Anne-Mari Speed
Anyone who works with the voice or who is a professional voice user (not just actors and singers but teachers, people in business, vicars, hypnotherapists, barristers, sports instructors, to name a few) can benefit from a clear understanding of vocal function.
The first place to start is to ask this question: What is the larynx for? If you place your hands around your neck and feel what is commonly known as your ‘voice box’, I would like you to think for a moment and ask yourself, Why do we have a larynx? This important question is fundamental to anyone wanting to work on their voice.
If you thought that the larynx exists in order to provide us with a voice, then you would be in very good company with many voice teachers who also think like you. However, you would be wrong. The primary anatomical function of the larynx is not to sing or to speak; it is a valve that determines inflow and outflow of breath, and a constrictor that protects the lungs from inhaling anything that isn’t air. This function is vital, that is, life saving: the only thing to get into the lungs should be breath. The larynx is very sensitive to potential threats to the airway and will shut down and protect it immediately, spontaneously and efficiently. This response is instinctive and very strong. Think about what happens when you are eating and something goes down the ‘wrong way’. When you breathe normally the rate of airflow is about ten miles per hour. When we cough, this can increase to up to five hundred miles per hour. Something that powerful has to be pretty important and nothing is as important as breathing.
This instinctive response can also kick in when we least want it such as when we are singing or speaking especially at higher pitches or loud volumes. When this happens, structures called the false vocal folds close over the true vocal folds. The true vocal folds are where we make sound. The false folds are what allow us to make a strong closure such as when we swallow, cough or strain. This is necessary in these functions but is completely inappropriate in singing or speaking. However it is possible to override it by silent laughing. Laughing is a device that actively pulls the false vocal folds into an open position, overriding the constrictive posture. This takes practice to locate and to maintain while singing or speaking but it is the most essential skill in voice training. Laughing prior to singing or voice practice, silently or otherwise, can have a directly beneficial effect on voices, releasing tension and creating an optimum position for healthy voicing.
There are many reasons why we constrict and it is important to know that we do not have to make a complete closure in the larynx in order to affect the voice. A partial closure of the false vocal folds is enough to disrupt the easy, free vibration of the true vocal folds, causing vocal problems such as hoarseness or loss of our usual voice quality. Triggers for constriction or the ‘wrong’ kind of effort in the larynx include speaking too loudly and for too long, shouting, speaking with a very breathy tone, speaking at the wrong pitch (too high or too low), constant throat clearing and straining or grunting while working out at the gym, to name some of the most common.
Another vital component of good vocal practice is the ability to make clear, clean tone, that is tone that is free from any breathiness or huskiness. While many people find a husky sound quite attractive, it is very tiring for the voice to produce and can result in further voice problems. Our working objective with all voices should be the inability to produce clear tone. A voice that is persistently breathy or hoarse is often an indication of other vocal problems and should be investigated further. Clear tone is the basis for building vocal strength and expressiveness, resonance and communication.
Other key factors that should be addressed in all voice training and by anyone interested in their own voices are:
Posture - healthy, sustainable voice use is dependent on efficient posture. The position of the larynx in the neck, how easily it moves and what other strains are placed upon it are affected by your posture. Good posture is the relationship between the head, neck & back which should be upright but not distorted or rigid.
Clear tone – as mentioned earlier, this is the basis for voice work.
Hydration – drinking enough water helps keep the vocal folds well lubricated which in turn eases strain and promotes good function.
Steaming – a bowl of boiling water and a towel is one the most efficient ways of hydrating the voice and is very comforting.
Your voice is a precious asset. Although it is pretty robust, a little care will ensure that it lasts you a lifetime. If you have any concerns about your voice, you should always contact your GP who will refer you to a specialist voice clinic, if required.
You can visit her website by clicking here.
A GIFT TO YOU!
I want to share with you a simple way to use self-hypnosis (trance) to help you to control daily tension and stress. Here is a completely natural way to go into a healing mind/body state.
When you feel like you need to take a break:
Sit comfortably with your feet flat on the floor and your hands on your thighs.
Now gently bring your awareness to your breathing. Just notice the natural rhythm of your breath without trying to change it.
As you continue to relax, tune into the most comfortable part of your body.
As you do this, imagine the comfort spreading deeply.
While you continue to focus on this comfort, find yourself relaxing more deeply.
This is a simple way to centre yourself and release any daily tension or stress.
Practise this technique for five to twenty minutes two to three times a day.
I bet you feel a lot better for it.