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Autumn Vibes

The season of orange, auburn and warm brown is upon us. Welcome to the autumnal edition of the ZEN newsletter. It gives me such pleasure to be reaching out to you all. I hope you are keeping well oiled and rested in your daily lives. This term is always super busy so let’s take a moment to breathe and relax to soak up the wonders of the weekend.

Relaxing is always important to good voice use. The balance of vocal maintenance can not be fully achieved without sufficient rest and relaxation. Especially during long busy days we tend to use our voices incessantly – work discussions, presentations, meetings, voice memos, teaching, lecturing, audio/video recordings, podcasts…the list really can go on and then the family talks and phone calls to friends and family. We literally could be using our voices non stop until we sleep AND for some people they sleep talk! So please make time to rest the voice. Silence is golden. Space around our speech renders it more effective anyway. You may have heard me go on about the Power of the Pause and The Japanese Garden! Take a moment to relax and read poetry to absorb the moment and indulge in your voice.

Poem of the Season

The Wild Swans At Coole - Poem by William Butler Yeats

THE trees are in their autumn beauty,

The woodland paths are dry,

Under the October twilight the water

Mirrors a still sky;

Upon the brimming water among the stones

Are nine-and-fifty Swans.

The nineteenth autumn has come upon me

Since I first made my count;

I saw, before I had well finished,

All suddenly mount

And scatter wheeling in great broken rings

Upon their clamorous wings.

I have looked upon those brilliant creatures,

And now my heart is sore.

All's changed since I, hearing at twilight,

The first time on this shore,

The bell-beat of their wings above my head,

Trod with a lighter tread.

Unwearied still, lover by lover,

They paddle in the cold

Companionable streams or climb the air;

Their hearts have not grown old;

Passion or conquest, wander where they will,

Attend upon them still.

But now they drift on the still water,

Mysterious, beautiful;

Among what rushes will they build,

By what lake's edge or pool

Delight men's eyes when I awake some day

To find they have flown away? 

Tip of the season

The Japanese Garden

I use the image of the Japanese Garden to express the need for pauses and space around words. Sometimes the power of the pause is more important than the actual words we are speaking. This is because the way we say things can raise the significance. If the timing is right and there’s space for the listener to process the message we can make a bigger difference.

So leave space after a key point. Be sensitive to stillness and allow the vibrations of the message to resonate.

Have a think about this as you read aloud. Enjoy!

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