By Sonya Leite
The power of music and lyrics can move us to tears, opening our hearts to the beauty of life. It can lift our spirits, inspire us to open our minds beyond logic and enter into a way of being with ourselves that is kinder and more loving. I believe creativity is a path to the Inner Peace and Joy that exist within us all. Art teaches us how to feel.
As an Interfaith Minister and OneSpirit Supervisor, my life is my ministry – and music is woven throughout my daily life. Informed by my background in the performing and healing arts, singing has always been an incredibly personal way to connect to Spirit. In a fractured and fearful society, music is a harmonising universal language.
I sing with the bedside singers, Heart of London Threshold Choir, and I offer Sound Baths to groups and private clients. In my meditation practices I use chanting, mantras, and sacred songs. Music is healing and changes the chemistry in our bodies, bringing equilibrium to our nervous system and strengthening our immunity. Also being in any kind of community that shares a form of creativity activates oxytocin – The Love hormone.
However, all choirs and in-person sessions were postponed or cancelled during the lockdown earlier this year. Was it possible, even in the digital age, to connect and share? Despite this time of pandemic chaos, I was drawn to join an unusual musical offering as a way of contributing something beautiful and hopeful on social media.
The Virtual Choir Project ‘Earth Prayer’ was written during the pandemic by musician Hannah Brine, who wished to reflect “hope and togetherness, and the power to change who we are, to make the world a better place”. I signed up without question.
Over 100 participants from across the country came together virtually to launch the piece, and I was blessed to be one of them. This was my first attempt to embrace technology and creativity, and it was a beautiful experience.
As part of this project, Hannah Brine chose the charity Central London Samaritans as the beneficiaries of any donations raised through the project. The choir members contributed financially, along with sales of the song through Hannah’s website, www.hannahbrine.co.uk.
During this pandemic more people are feeling isolated and panicked, so the money raised will offer more support for those using the suicide hotline telephone services they provide. We also hope the donations will help Samaritans centres all over the UK, and that this piece of music offers solace to those who are feeling alone.
I use this song as my daily prayer and it always shifts my mood into a more positive one. People are using it as daily process, before they start to read the news and check their emails. I wanted to share this song, as it is so needed and poignant at this time. The lyric reminds us “WE’RE NOT SO DIFFERENT AFTER ALL”
We are indeed vibration and what affects the ONE does indeed affect the WHOLE. Our Cells and our Selves. May Science, Art and Spirituality continue to build bridges together and re-affirm this.
The principle of Paying it Forward has become PLAYing it Forward – so please share sing, dance along to this countrywide collaboration for a fantastic cause.