This audio is me in real-time in May 2022 with acute (means 2-4 weeks versus chronic which is 4+ weeks) laryngitis.
Laryngitis means edema of the larynx. More specifically, edema (swelling/inflammation) of the vocal folds. While surrounding structures and tissues can also be swollen and subsequently soothed, today will focus on the vocal folds.
Recently, my beloved virtual assistant Elzeth (the wonderful human behind the scenes who helps much of this content reach all of you!) also had a bout of laryngitis, and she took herself through the triage tips.
She shared a bit about her experience with me: “These tips really helped with my recent bout of laryngitis.
I kept working through these great triage tips and my voice bounced back so much quicker than it usually does when I have a bout of laryngitis.
The best takeaway from these tips for me is definitely took look after yourself. Self-care is super important. Take time to rest up, the world won't end without you Be kind to yourself, and work through these life-changing tips. Take care of yourself and the rest will follow.
Brienne is truly such a beautiful, warm soul, an inspiration, and absolutely amazing at what she does. If it wasn't for her patience, guidance, and love for what she does, my voice would've taken much longer to heal. Thanks to her, my voice healed beautifully.
If you are a vocal athlete who would like to step into your authentic and true self, prioritize vocal care and so much more, I highly recommend working with Brienne, she is truly a gem! "
For those of you who played with your voice using the Humming to Heal exercise, you’ll appreciate that I am doing that exercise when my voice is clear and functioning well. That is so you could hear the extent of what’s possible.
Bonus tip: Even when not experiencing acute voice difficulty, that humming exercise can be a simple and effective way to start and end your day! It is a way to gently warm up your voice, and, re-set it after lots of talking.
Now, for this current audio example and exercise, it is meant to help you navigate during the difficult voice times with more deliberate awareness of where your voice could have moments of improvement.
If you use it when your voice is feeling well, it can help you further hone the ‘sweet spots’ where your voice naturally resonates and feels vibrant and easy!
Caveat: There is no ‘quick fix’ in life. Nor in voice. Wellness for our mind, body, and spirit means becoming aware of our desires, making choices, and deciding what serves us and what we need to release. Releasing the limiting belief of ‘quick fix’ means that you open up a new realm of expanding your wellness in ways that perhaps weren’t otherwise obvious to you. Voice is a conduit to the mind-body connection, and the more you learn about what your voice is capable of, the more you are able to adjust and lean into the infinite evolution, rather than in a finite box of ‘quick, one & done, never think of it again.’ I don’t know about you, but I love living a life of expansion that feels delightful, delicious, and worthwhile!
Remember, grace and kindness to yourself as you play with these exercises!
I couldn't commit.
Two big projects are due this month. I was fired up about both of them. I planned, outlined and put segments into my schedule for completion. Yet, I continued bumping up against blocks of procrastination.
This is a very well-worn pattern for me, and I’ve used various practices to release it, and try to release it again. And again. Yet, it shows up.
I used to be extremely hard on myself, judging myself for being ‘lazy’ or not putting the work in until the last minute, knowing that with space and reflection, I could produce something even better. I kept questioning why I wasn’t committing to myself and my goals. Reminding myself that nothing is wrong with me.
I’ve learned to be much more loving-kind to myself, deepening the intimacy with myself, with Divine Love, which has allowed me to hear and follow my intuition more. I have increased my trust in myself, that everything is working out for me.
Words matter, and, the energy of the words is incredibly important. As I remained open to what I needed to learn about this old pattern, a newer practice began to flow through me.
I observe the intuitive yes/no sensations I received to the words I was using, in both the limiting beliefs and in the new beliefs I desired to hold. Sometimes, this may be simple as saying and feeling into the opposite.
For example, “I’m not worthy” becomes “I am worthy”
But, when I tried that, going from “I’m not committed” to “I am committed”, it still felt dissonant, off, sticky, not me. My throat and abdomen contracted. That is my clear ‘no’ signal.
So, I opted to call upon higher guidance, center myself, open to hear my intuitive voice for what words are a match.
I wrote them each out as they came through one by one, and when needed, spoke them out loud:
>>>‘Accountability’: got an intuitive ‘no’. Asked that to be released and a lion’s breath came through
>>>‘Responsibility’: got an intuitive ‘no’ Asked that to be released and 3 exhales with purses lips came through
>>>‘Commitment’: got a strong intuitive ‘no’; Asked that to be released and a sustained hum came through
>>>‘Dedication’: got an intuitive ‘yes’, easier breath flow and asked to imprint it more, and humming glides with body movement and fuller breaths came through.
I am dedicated to my craft. I am dedicated to myself. I am dedicated to my dreams. I am dedicated to those I serve. Dedication is precious. Dedication is a choice. Dedication is sacred and sacred is safe. I am dedicated to Divine Love. Dedication allows for an upward spiral of belief, possibility and healing.
Following this practice, I succeeded in 3 days of forward momentum, with more ease, celebration and patience. I am a woman who is dedicated in this moment and stretching through the very visceral discomfort.
Perhaps you will get curious about any patterns that go round and round for you, and revisit it from a new perspective. Observe which words are dissonant and those that are the most resonant for you.
Allow yourself the choice, based on your Divine inner voice and your body's wisdom, so that you can go beyond saying meaningless or even disempowering words out of habit, and instead cultivate a deeper alignment and new core beliefs that are wholly you.
Did you know?
Humming is one of the easiest and simplest ways to heal and re-set your voice 🗣️
Let’s try it together going up ⬆️ and down ⬇️ your range. (2 glides) Do 10 repetitions, 2-3 times per day. Be mindful to stay within a range that is achievable, and if you notice you have to force or push into your high and low range, don't! This isn't meant to max out vocal flexibility but rather, generate the adequate airflow and resonance needed to create an easy and smooth sound.
Feel into your body: Notice any vibrations, maybe tickling or buzzing in the lips, teeth, tongue, roof of the mouth, or face, these are all signs that the energy ✨emanating up from your vocal folds is creating your efficient and best voice. It may feel like a tickle, open, relaxing and smooth and/or effortless. 💫 💫 💫
Research demonstrates that humming like this can help mobilize the tissue (helps reduce stiffness), making sure the vocal folds have an even better chance of healing after a surgery or vocal fold injury or laryngitis. If you find a middle pitch that is natural to your speaking range, that feels buzzy on your lips or face & sounds smoother, that is the initial spot to center your speaking voice around, so you can optimize your healing!
🗣️Are you ready to take your vocal health and empowerment seriously?
Grab your FREE copy of my Exclusive Guide To Optimizing Your Vocal Power & join the Empower Your Voice Community for insightful stories, voice tips, and more, right to your inbox
Have a friend whose voice would love to play with humming? We would be so appreciative if you shared!
Laryngitis (this is my voice during a recent bout) doesn’t have to completely take you out. 👆🏻 Here’s some of my favorite ways to soothe the scratch!
🗣️ Delegate. Strategically look at your day and week: where can you reduce talking? Email/text instead of call? Cut out any talking over noise?
🤐 Rest. Yes, this is the time that rest will actually be beneficial to your voice. The more silence, the less friction on fragile swollen tissue. (If you don’t observe silence and let others know you’re on voice rest—It’d be like having a blister from your favorite pair of shoes yet continuing to wear them until the blister worsens…ouch!)
💨 Steam and humidify: steaming with boiling water or VocalMist, is very soothing. Ensure your environment isn’t too dry, as that will increase the likelihood of thicker mucus production, which may set coughing or throat clearing in motion, which is like having a blister on your hand and then clapping loudly over and over.
💦 Sip water, hot water with lemon & honey, or warm herbal teas (some folks love Throat Coat. No it won’t “cure” your laryngitis nor does the liquid even touch your vocal folds, yet the surrounding tissues of the throat can feel some relief). Especially if you have that raw, scratchy feeling as an associated symptom. *Please skip the Hot Toddy’s or shot of [your preferred liquor here]. That will only mask symptoms and too much will be irritating to the tissues.
🧣 Gentle self massage of the neck, especially on and around the larynx and using a heat wrap (warmed with water or in the microwave) around the neck can feel quite exquisite. The ache, swelling, and fatigue of the neck muscles can also take a toll around the larynx(voice box), so self-massage is a great start!
What have you tried before? What has worked for you? Reply and share with me!💜
Access your complimentary copy of the 10 Tips for Optimizing Voice Power today!
Recently, a potential client and I had a conversation about their concern about ‘up-speak’. It had been pointed out to them by their partner, and was bothersome because they are preparing for a career shift and have interviews upcoming. They stated, “It’s important to get a handle on this because it’s not a good thing to do when interviewing, since they may think I don’t know what I’m talking about”
This is a very legitimate concern.
Up-speak is when a statement is said as if it was a question. Instead of using a neutral or downward pitch inflection for a statement, such as "I love the sunshine. the speaker goes up in pitch at the end of the statement, which we perceive as akin to the upward inflection of a question, as if "I love the sunshine?" (listen to my examples below!)
Some speakers do this without even realizing it, and it can disrupt communication intent as the listener may doubt what the speaker is saying, doubt their expertise, or not take them seriously. As you can imagine, in a job interview setting, conveying credibility is a key component.
Up-speak can be resolved in a fairly short time. There are some speaker trainers and voice coaches who will do a cursory technique to help the person reduce the frequency of up-speak. This falls into the precarious ‘quick fix or band-aid’ approach territory and can remain very surface-level.
Yet often, surface-level does not stamp out underlying factors, nor, elicit long-lasting change. Those of you who know me, (and those getting to know me!) will know that I am not here for band-aid approaches and I do not believe we need to be “fixed”, let alone expect an ingrained habitual way of speaking to disappear quickly.
Staying curious and open-minded, the potential client and I discussed what may be contributing to this feature in their way of speaking. It was revealed while recently working as a customer service representative in a toxic job, fielding lots of frustrations from customers, they felt difficulty speaking up for themselves felt themselves holding back from what they really wanted to say and feared the response of the listener.
I validated their experiences and asked them to consider what long-term consequence may occur if nothing changed:
They said, “Self doubt would persist”
Then, I asked them to consider what is a positive consequence of releasing the self-doubt by addressing the up-speak: They said “Well, if I was more conscious of the way I talk, there would be less questioning, and I would feel more authoritative, which is important to me”
The reasons for up-speak can be varied and unique to each person. They may doubt themselves, they may have been criticized for what they say or how they are saying it, they may just be nervous and their voice shifts intonation up when they don’t mean for it.
The way I approach this is from the sound of their voice, AND the underlying beliefs that may be lurking, and then ensure there is consistent practice in the speaking mode they desire.
This is a wonderful example where a goal like reducing up-speak and enhancing speaking power can happen in a supportive, in-depth, laser-focused container together, and can make all the difference in the speaker’s self-assuredness, and their livelihood when they ace the interview and land that new job!
P.S. A Vibrant Voice VIP Day may be an awesome fit for you! It’s a 3 hour intensive, followed by two additional sessions within 30 days, with unlimited Voxer/DM support – why? Because habit-formation is awesome & encourages long-term success!
Curious to learn more??? Email email@example.com and I’ll send along more details.
Remember, You & your voice are worthy!
If you're new to me, what a pleasure it is to have you here! If you know me and have been in my world for awhile, great to see you! I am honored to welcome into this new mode of communicating, and am eager to experience what unfolds in our dialogue.
Yes, I said dialogue.
Now you may be thinking, "this looks like a one-sided conversation to me." On the contrary, there is purpose-driven thoughtfulness and energetic intention to how I show up to these formats. Why?
I have you in mind. Just as you desire to get to know me and my mission, I desire to learn more about you. Our connection starts now, and evolves in new ways and various adventures. And, as with any new relationship, the stories, values, wins, learns, ways to work together, celebrations and insights that fill each communication encounter, must begin with a declaration of how loving-kind boundaries look and feel, in this present moment.
So, here you have it.
Loving boundaries, transparency and designing the life I desire requires improved communication.
Deeper understanding of who I am now, while honoring past versions, is important to me. Recognizing myself, my gifts, levels of energy and focus, and what is sustainable for me so that I can serve more, is part of the exploration. This declaration is from me, for me, and ever evolving.
Does this feel like a scary stretch? Yep, sure does. I will love myself through it.
Do I feel old urges to justify, over-explain, and make sure it comes across as ‘nice’, or to be liked? Yep.
Yet, I will not give into those urges as they are not reflective of the higher divine loving being I know resides within.
You know who has been able to experience that?
Folks who showed up!
When you bring your whole, messy, committed self, and I bring my whole, messy, dedicated self, I can guarantee incredible, inspiring and magical moments!
I am no longer available for people who don't honor communication expectations.
I am no longer available for folks not staying true to their word.
I'm calling in clients who are ready to bring their whole selves, ready to invest in themselves, ready to show up and do the work, ready to be encouraged, to be held accountable, ready to be deeply supported through the ebbs and flows, ready to be curious and grow in new ways.
I will hold compassionate space for where you are AND call you forward to the potential I already see in you, even if it gets uncomfortable. Especially then! So you can FEEL all the ways your belief in yourself can elevate who you are and what you are here to do!
I am no longer available for people who go M.I.A.; I get to have people in my life who respect me, see me, appreciate me, and honor the work and themselves enough to value what we create.
I am no longer available for people who are takers and energy-drainers; I get to protect my precious energy and create boundaries that feel amazing to me. Those who are ready to be with me in that way are always welcome.
I am no longer available for friends who don't reciprocate or are one-sided.
I am only available for conversation that light me up, nourish me and the other person.
I am only available for clearer boundaries and expectations, and delicious dialogue to ensure respect & transparency, even if disagreement.
I am only available for transparent, real talk. I get to interact with people who do not avoid, rather, who show up vulnerably, trusting they will be met with even more love and grace, while also activating their higher potential in doing so.
I am no longer available for people who are "not now, later"; I get to have clients who are ready now and willing to do what is needed to show up for themselves. I get to compassionately release those who are not ready, and remind them that when they are, I am here. I continue to believe in them, and I desire for their entrance into our container to be empowered by a leap of faith (NOT to initiate from a pain point, fear, or uncertainty). They are willing and feel the stretch of the unknown of what's coming!
I am only available to nurture those who truly align with the grander vision, and to magnetize potential clients who love the possibility of our journey together.
I am no longer available for feast/famine months. I desire and am worthy of a consistent, sustainable business, mission and lifestyle!
I am available for continued self-growth, expansion, to communicate even more clearly. There will be messy moments to be sure, and the words within our language may be insufficient at times. Yet it fuels and relieves me to know I am shedding and stretching...not to 'fix' any parts of me, rather, to BE fully in all parts of me.
I am no longer available for being 'palatable' in my ways of showing up. I can show my feisty, intimate, sassy, silly, sensual and spontaneous sides AND still be incredible at connecting, nurturing and loving on myself and others.
All weaved with the intentional thread of well-being, fortified by the belief in myself, sourced from the Divine Love of God who is in, and through and vibrating us all.
This foundation is paramount to supporting and shining a light on YOU and your gifts, as I use my superpowers of calling you forward into your grandest ways of Being, so that we can thrive as the next levels of our best selves.
My voice is worthy.
You and your voice are worthy.
Again, incredibly honored you are here, and now in true turn-taking style, share with me some of your aligned, non-negotiable boundaries that help you tap into your power!
Voice Activator. Lover of the Larynx and Lake Life. On a mission to elevate women's self-worth & wellness via their voice. Delightful daughter, 1 MiniSchnauzer, and occasionally dabbles in professional voice-over (Me, not the dog). Always reminding you that You and Your Voice Are Worthy