Lately, I've been returning to my archives, plucking out old gems that never saw the light of day, because (in most cases) it wasn't the right time, which mostly stemmed from the fact that I hadn't developed the right platform yet. I've since come to sort out my websites, with my atavist site being for interviews pertaining to others' "hero's journeys," and this one you're on here being very much devoted to my own path and thoughts, and therefore all those things I hold so sacred — yoga, writing, reflection, personal growth, etc.
So, today, I've decided to share a "vintage" interview conducted back when I was living in Paris with the beautiful musician Pamela Jane Gerrand. It's all about healing, meditation, finding inspiration in nature — all of which Pamela calls components of this "treasure hunt" that is life. I hope you enjoy!
I'd like to start out by asking about your meditation practice. Why is it that you favour mantra meditation over others? What are its benefits?
Sanskrit mantras were developed as sonic codes for healing and liberation. The way the tongue hits the roof of the mouth touches on an energy point that's connected to the nervous system of the body. So, as you’re chanting, you’re activating all these energy centres and creating these sounds that have been specifically designed to heal. For instance, the Om Shanti mantra is used for deep, dynamic peace.
Chanting has many deep, physiological benefits. It balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain; it reduces respiration and the heart rate, much like meditation or massage, bringing the body into a state of deep relaxation. Over time, this helps balance our hormones—adrenaline and cortisol are reduced, and our bodies are flooded with elevating hormones like oxytocin and serotonin.
Chanting offers the brain an elixir of bliss as it is bathed in this vibration of harmonic residence.
The first meditation practice I ever did was mantra meditation; it was with a teacher from India who came to California. He explained that this practice worked well because of the nature of our minds. When you close your mind, it immediately starts to run; you begin thinking about all these tasks you need to get done…
But when you give the mind something to chew on with the repetition of these beautiful, sacred code mantras, you’re dropping these jewels of higher consciousness into your subconscious, like it’s a well; you’re filling your subconscious with all of this beauty and peace, all of the vibrations of the higher consciousness.
For seven years, I belonged to a group that meditated together every Sunday night, and when we weren’t together, we held ourselves accountable to each other. During that time, my creativity was through the roof. The ego wants to keep us distracted and consumed with fear, competition and limitation. So, when you silence it and allow relaxation to take over, you make space for your genius.
This ability that meditation gives you to focus on one pointed thing can heal the world. And it certainly can heal relationships. When we are completely engaged, that’s our love made manifest.
On the topic of focus, I've heard you speak of music and how it helps as well. Could you tell us about this?
Music re-wires our brains and give us a longer attention span, which we need because all these devices we have are doing the exact opposite. (They can be a huge disservice to us, if we're not careful.) Music brings us into a relaxed, surrendered, present, alert, and engaged state — that Sattvic place. The deepest thing we can do is be present. All of our genius stems from there.
You mentioned to me before that music can also be used therapeutically, to heal illness. How so?
Music has been used to help relieve pain, improve coordination and agility, and even recall memory, which is especially important for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s. It’s also been found to aid in speech-restoration. While speech is a product of the left side of our brains, music stems from the right side. So when someone has injured the left side of their brain—for instance because of a stroke—and lost their ability to speak, they can tap into music and use it as a conduit through which they may eventually regain their speech.
So powerful. Thank you kindly for sharing that.
Taking a left turn, I know you're an advocate for staying in tune with our creative nature, yet you acknowledge the barriers posed to us by our hyper-speed, negative-news ridden world. How do you suggest we cope, living in reality as we do? How do we get in touch with our creativity?
Yes, the media is constantly showing us violence, trying to whip us into a frenzy of incessant fear, instability, and dependence on something outside of us that is going to “fix” us. But, as Marianne Williamson said in A Return to Love, we have a choice between fear and love. It just takes courage to step away from the drama, greed and pull of the chaotic lies put forward by big corporations — the lies that give us that voracious, insatiable appetite for things that are supposed to make us “better.” When we can do that, our thinking shifts and we begin to see that we are the creators of our own bliss. Our lives are a glorious adventure, a continuous treasure hunt. We’re here to play with the colours and the muses that come.
When I’m out in the forest, I never fail to find inspiration in the shapes, designs, colours and sounds of nature. Who knows what it’ll spark in me? When we open that dimension of consciousness in us, we start to see that there’s nobody out to get us. There’s nobody that’s going to save us.
The real gold isn’t found in shops; it’s within us. It’ll never run out; we’re connected to it.
Given that you were recently in India, I’d love to hear what you found there with respect to creative expression.
When you walk in India and experience this ancient land with its centuries-old architecture, you’re witnessing the divine being expressed. Every architect, designer and artist is inspired by that patterning and choreography provided by mother nature; those spirals and shapes are present in their creations. If you look at the paisleys that are so popular there, you can see the leaves and the mangoes and the filigree that served as inspiration.
It gives me shivers. Our creativity is so deeply tied to mother earth. We are from the earth, after all. We’re elemental beings. Our greatest healing is going to come when we begin to see and experience nature as our co-creator, when we really receive that healing energy that mother nature has to give us. The earth has music for those who will listen.
If you had only 1 sentence to deliver your message to the world, what would it be?
We are here as creators, and our creativity is our love made manifest.
Soo, what did you think? She's amazing, isn't she? I'd love to hear your take on this different post. Send me an email and let me know, angels!
Much love and gratitude,