"Wow, I am so happy that I did the step on searching for crystal bowls during labor, and even happier that I had found you, even though you live on the other side of the world!
On October 1st 2013 I came from work and my children brought me a small box and at first I didn’t know what it was until I looked at the return address and it said Australia! Your CD had arrived! I did my routine duties (as my youngest calls it lol). Got the children to bed, ate, and did one of my Statistics assignment. While actually still working on the assignment, my water broke. That was at 10pm. I let my Midwife (Liz) know and she said to get rest, but instead I started cleaning and listened to the CD. Went to bed at 1am, slept till 5:50pm and woke up with some mild contractions. Liz came by to check on me and the baby. Contractions had stopped; I did some errands, made a cake and some food for Midwife, Doula and the others for the long labor ahead.
I contacted Shar (my friend who plays the crystal singing bowls) to let her know today is the day and that I will let her know to come over once it is closer. I was afraid that it might not work out, since we were supposed to meet on the 4th for some SoundBirth practice.
At 1pm my contractions were anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes apart, lasting about 45 seconds. Midwife came at 3pm and decided to stay, I was able to do things around the house and stop while having a contraction. My back started to hurt and the birth ball was so uncomfortable that I decided to get into the birth pool at 5:55pm (great number), contractions were stronger as well. By this time, my doula and Shar have arrived as well. Shar set her bowls up near the birthing pool.
I sat down inside the pool, feeling a little scared, having people surround the pool, and look at me. But I felt at ease since they were all woman. But what I decided to do was that I sat on that raised part and the pool, had my legs spread apart and relaxed my whole body and closed my eyes. Shar started as well with her crystal bowls and I know from past experiences that crystal bowl meditation is one of my favourite mediations. I sat in the pool, meditating for 15 minutes, breathing through my contractions, and listening to the bowls.
It was so helpful, having the bowls there, I truly believe they helped me in opening up and relaxing like I’ve never relaxed before.Sitting there for 15 mintues, I felt a shift, I knew something changed. I went on all fours, then held on to the side of the pool and I knew this was it… the peak of labor. At one point I wanted to yell out “I can’t do it!”, but I remembered the toning so just let out a deep moan and then again during the next contraction. Then I felt the babies head come out! I waited one more contraction and she was born at 6:20pm.
I truly believe that playing the crystal bowls had made a change, (especially her playing the sacral one). Since I had a traumatizing childhood I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to let go of the past and I didn’t want to tense up during my first home birth. It was truly amazing! We also did not know the gender, so it made it even more precious after we found out she was a GIRL.
Now, as for my husband and children (all boys). He was the runner and he wanted us woman to be in peace, so he was watching the boys and helped the Midwife get some things she needed, while I was in the pool. I felt like I was in a tribe, with all woman and the bowls .
Sandra Golaszewski, Texas
Mother of 4
My First SoundBirth
My first SoundBirth was one of those “ecstatic” births. At home. Floating in water. Making beautiful toning sounds with the sound of a crystal singing bowl…until the end of course when I let out my usual primal scream! It was a much shorter birth than the previous two, also at home in water. I put it all down to the use of my voice and crystal bowl…and decided to share these awesome tools with the world…hence “SoundBirth – Sing Your Baby to You” was born.
My Second SoundBirth
Seven days ago my second “SoundBirth” (fourth homebirth) began early Friday morning. During the day I hung out with my sisters, went for a walk, felt excited about everything starting to finally happen! Not much “toning” happened until the contractions became more intense later that night. It was then that I asked my older girls (aged 10 and 8) Mum and my sister to start taking turns playing the bowl during each contraction. I hummed gently and made a few Oh and Ahh sounds. Once again the sounds of my voice together with the bowl spun me out as it did during my last labour. Whenever I went slightly off-pitch to the bowl I heard my favourite “Wah wah wah” sound….something you really need to experience yourself to understand. These were my “early labour” sounds.
Everything slowed down early Saturday morning after the midwife arrived and kids and husband emerged from their sleep. I was tired from not being able to sleep all night which could have been the reason why. I also felt my normal “performance anxiety” issues arise. I didn’t like the fact that I was not in control of when my next contraction would come…I wanted them to come more regularly, more strong. I was tired and afraid that I wouldn’t be able to cope much longer if things didn’t start moving…and the last thing I wanted was a transfer to hospital…
I decided to go into the shower just to get some space from my kids (who were being lovely of course giving me pictures they had drawn, giving me drinks etc…) and people watching me…waiting for me to DO something! I cried my eyes out in there…BIG sobs. I wanted to hide, to be left alone. I didn’t want people worrying about me. JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!! I got out and my midwife Clare reminded me that I can birth in my own time and that my body is tired and just needs a rest. So I lay on the bed with Steve and tried to sleep. No contraction for half an hour! “That’s ridiculous (my inner critic remarked!). I’m getting up and out of here!”
The Power of Nature
So I went for a walk with Mum around our backyard surrounded by bush. There were ducks in the old dead tree (strange), it was cold, the finches were tweeting and watching, the dog was in the garage so he wouldn’t irritate me! I started having more contractions. This is when my sounds started to become more should I say…”juicy”? and not so pretty…’Oh’ sounds, groaning sounds, sometimes balling my eyes out sounds. It hurt! Really, really hurt AND I was SO tired.
Then the sun came out. The beautiful warm, healing sun. The warmth became my hot water bottle on my back. It was SO soothing. I remember thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if all labouring women could experience this…the sun, the trees, the birds…” Being surrounded by nature reminded me that what I was doing was part of nature. I felt connected to everything and so grateful for the strength and wisdom that nature seemed to bless me with in that moment. I realised I was actually going to have a real baby in my arms very soon…So I balled my eyes out about that…
I laboured outside on the veranda for a while. The midwives bought everything outside just in case THIS was the birth spot. The bowl came outside too (giving my hubby something to do). It really made such a big difference when that bowl played. It accompanied my crazy sounds. It switched off the outside world. I could go inwards and express whatever sounds that wanted to come out and when the contraction was over we talked, we joked, we laughed and sometimes I sobbed… Then the sensation came again. The bowl played. I released the pain, the tension, the emotions with my voice and then returned back to my family, midwives, the ground beneath my knees…
Too hot outside. Back inside.
It’s amazing how ultra aware you become when in labour. I knew what I needed to do or not to do in each moment. And during this labour it seemed to change all the time! Normally I would just be in one room submerged in the warm soothing water in the birth pool. Not this time…I didn’t want to go near the pool. Instead I went from one room to the next like a cat does before giving birth until I found the perfect place – on my bed. This was it. This is where I had decided to put all my energy into pushing my baby out! Liza (my backup midwife) played my largest bowl (18 inch), Clare encouraged me and massaged my bum reminding me to relax (how vulnerable we become in labour!), Mum came in occasionally to see how I was going and giving me rescue remedy, the kids popped their heads in sometimes then went off to play with my amazingly entertaining sister, and Steve stood next to the bed so I could lean on him during each contraction (it took him a week to recover!…poor husband…). I moaned, groaned, screamed, sobbed, winged, toned, made up silly sounds and laughed like a crazy woman…whatever I felt I needed to express, I let out with the sound of the bowl accompanying me.
The bowl was amazing. It was the one constant throughout the labour. Clare noticed that it seemed to give me power and strength when played louder so Liza went for it! It was SO loud that I thought the windows might shatter! I said near the end that I can’t wait until it’s quiet! I was sick of hearing myself make so much noise and just wanted some peace!! Clare thought I meant that I don’t want the bowl to be played anymore. So there was one contraction with no bowl and it was awful (it seemed longer and more painful) so I insisted it was played again. It was me I was me I was sick of hearing…not the bowl. The bowl was my life-boat, my safety net, my block of chocolate in the cupboard…and I NEEDED it to keep me going.
Screaming my baby to me
Not long after my waters broke…SPLASH underneath me! Hooray! What a release that moment was! I think I cried again…knowing what was coming next… And sure enough a few contractions later I had to do the really big ‘poo’ and I screamed my baby’s head out. Thank god for that! The kids came running in to see their new baby’s head sticking out of my “bum” (as my 3 year old says), watching her turn herself before the next contraction and I screamed my baby to me… into my arms. “Is she OK? Is she breathing? Waaaa… Thank goodness…” What a relief when you realise that the birth is almost over (placenta still to come) and your baby is perfect. What a miracle. I sat there sobbing my eyes out…again…in shock, disbelief and relief. I had finally birthed my baby…I had found that massive amount of power I had within and needed to allow my body to open up and give birth. I did it! No one else…just me and my baby…a bowl…and an awesome support team of course! Another girl! Four beautiful girls all born safely and naturally at home.
Birth is awesome, a miracle, powerful, painful (sorry…but it is!), a mystery, beautiful…and I am so grateful to have experienced birth in all its glory.
Welcome little Ruby to our family.
Recently I have been waking up when the birds start to sing very early in the morning. They sing without fail every single day. Very consistent those birds are! The sun starts to bring light to our backyard and bang! Tweet tweet tweety tweet…they greet the day with their own unique morning song. I listen to the beauty of their song for a while, then fall back to sleep for another few hours…( I am pregnant with 3 kids after all!)
When I do finally wake up in the morning, I sneak off into my room where I keep my crystal singing bowls, sit down next to my 14 inch bowl and gently start to play it. I then start improvising a melody as I tone with the bowl making combinations of Ahh, Ee, Oh, Oo and Aye sounds. It just flows out of me.
This morning when I was creating my morning song I felt like a bird greeting the new day. I felt like I was saying “Thank you for the new day and for being alive”. I thought about how I would like my day flow and how I want to feel. I was communicating with the Universe, Great Spirit, God, whatever you want to call it…through sound…which is the invisible connection that we can ALL have with this Greater Source. I realised that all we need to do is to make the conscious choice to plug into Source and that doing this through sound is a very simple, effective and very efficient way!
For those who already have a bowl I invite you to start greeting the day with sound. Watch how your day flows beautifully with no drama, no effort as your thoughts start to manifest into reality!
Enjoy creating! Coz that’s why you came here!
The Crystal Singing Bowl is a sacred sound tool that is similar to the ancient Tibetan singing bowls. They are made from 99% quartz crystal and the sound they make is pure and resonant. They come in a variety of different sizes creating high and low pitched sounds. These bowls are normally used for "sound baths" (I call my sound bath's "Sound Nutrition Sessions" just to be different!) which assist people in becoming more relaxed and energised. They are now being used at home and hospital births by SoundBirth Practitioners and / or the birthing woman’s partner.
Here are some of the benefits of choosing to use a crystal singing bowl at your birth.
So get out your birth plan now and add: "I want the crystal singing bowl to be played by my partner or SoundBirth Practitioner throughout each and every contraction."
When you play your crystal singing bowl for whatever reason, you want it to be “crystal clear” to give you the “crystal clear” sound and results you are looking for.
How can a bit of dirt or dust effect the sound vibrations?
Everything in the universe is in a state of vibration. Sound is the vibrations we can actually hear (between 20Hz – 20 000Hz). Everything we can’t hear ( a stone, a flower or a speck of dust) is still vibrating but out of our hearing range. Think about when you walk into an old, desserted house full of spider webs and dust…imagine the vibrations coming out of there…”bad vibes”…then compare this to a house full of things that a person cares for, has personally chosen with love, appreciates and is clean and light! ”Good vibes”. You can’t hear the difference yet you can definately percieve it with your whole being. This isn’t rocket science, it’s about being human. Everyone can tell the difference between good and bad vibes!
Back to the dirty crystal bowl. So, do you want “dust vibes” emanating from your bowl to your body, your house, your family? Remember that when you play the bowl you amplify those vibrations creating more “dusty vibes”. NO THANKS! When you receive your bowl it would have been handled by people (more vibrations) and packaging material, so it is a good idea to give it a good clean, cleanse and charge before using it for healing, manifesting and labouring!
Pour distilled water (or filtered) in a bowl with some biodegradable, mild dish washing liquid. Use a soft toothbrush or soft brush and scrub the granular surface on the outside. A soft cloth is fine for the smooth surface on the inside.
Rinse the bowl thoroughly and carefully with the water.
Dry with a hair dryer or gently place outside in the sun to dry.
Any crystalline structures (including our bodies) can absorb and release energy. It is important therefore to cleanse the bowl of any negative energy it may have absorbed along the way so that you don’t absorb it when it is played. Ted Andrews writes about this in “Crystal Balls, Crystal Bowls”.
You can do this by placing it in a bath full of sea-salt which draws out any negative energy. You could go in the bath with it if there is enough room!
Frankincense insense vibrates at a high frequency (remember…EVERYTHING VIBRATES – this is NOT a hippy thing…it is science!) so will clear any lower frequencies that are lurking! Just burn it around the bowl for a while.
Place the bowl outside under a full moon – beautifull! Or place it in the sun for a few days. This will re-energise your bowl which in turn re-energises you when played!
I would recommend doing the cleaning, cleansing and charging when you first receive the bowl. This will also help you to feel a connection with it. Then do this again before the birth. After this once every few months would be sufficient!
ENJOY playing your nice clean bowl!! Feel the difference!!
You have bought a beautiful crystal singing bowl. You play it, feel it’s vibrations, admire it’s aesthetics….now what? What else can I do with this bowl you may be asking… Besides using it to support you during labour here are some other activities you can do with them on a daily basis…
1. Purify your Water
A water crystal after being exposed to the words “Love and Gratitude”
Clean your bowl. Pour drinking water inside the bowl. Play the bowl thinking, or even better, saying out loud, “LOVE and GRATITUDE”. This will charge, purify and change the crystalline structure of the water. This link shows you how intention affects water as found by Masaru Emoto. This link shows you what happens to the water when playing a Tibetan singing bowl. The patterns on the water made by the vibrations are awesome! Imagine what this is doing to your body that is made up of 70% water! When you do this with your bowl, place your finger inside the bowl…it tickles! The kids will love this!
2. Bless your Food
Play the bowl before a meal after saying something like “Thank you for the food we are about to eat”. What a beautiful way to say “Grace”. Plus if the vibrations charge water, they would also be charging your food as it is made up of mostly water (especially if it’s raw!). You will be buzzing with happy energy after every meal!
3. Create an Awesome Day
Play your bowl in the morning when you wake up. You can manifest what you would like to happen in your day by saying for example, “Thank you for the supportive people that are constantly flowing into my life “. Say it as thought it has already happened. Toning the sounds “EE, AH, OH, AYE” as from Jonathon Goldman’s book “The Divine Name” as you play the bowl is very powerful. I do this most days and have noticed a difference every time!
4. Cleanse your Home
Play the bowl in each room of your house to dispel any negative energy. Just play it with the intention of Love and Gratitude or any other positive words you would like to think about. Vocalising is always more effective than just thinking. So, say the words or sing the words while you play. Feel the room fill up with love and light. Your house will be buzzing with life after this.
5. Manifest your Heart’s Desires
Jonathon Goldman, a sound therapist and author has found that:
Visualisation + Vocalisation = Manifestation
Therefore if you sit down everyday with your bowl, think about what you desire in your life (new car, amazing health, peaceful family, to know your purpose etc ) or think about what you are already grateful for and then tone as you play the bowl this will have an awesome affect on your life.
As we are all made up of vibrations, any thoughts and feelings (which are also vibrations) and sound (vibration) are going to powerfully be sent out into the universe (vibration) and come back to you like a boomerang!!! So be careful for what you ask for…it could come to you and sooner than what you expect!!!
Enjoy playing with your bowl. Remember this is a sacred sound tool. Always be in a peaceful and mindful space before playing your bowl. Be aware of how your life starts to change as you bring this powerful, manifesting and energising tool into your life!
Your baby was musical before he/she was even born…so were you! Here are some tips on how to nurture their natural musical gifts.
1. Acknowledge their natural musicality
Notice and imitate your baby and toddler’s sounds. If they babble, you babble back. If they bang a box with their hands squealing with delight, copy them. If they bop up and down to music, bop with them! If they want to spend time blowing raspberries on you belly – let them! Entering their sound world encourages them to express themselves, which naturally leads to speaking, singing and playing instruments.
Sing to your baby before they are born. Sing them to sleep after they are born. As they become more aware of things around them, like the moon, the dog, the cat, bananas, flowers and so on, sing nursery rhymes or made up songs about them. Sing for your own enjoyment in the kitchen, in the car, in the shower. Let them see YOU singing and loving it!
When you play your favourite music place your baby in your sling if you have one or carry him/her on your hip and GO FOR IT! Your baby will love the movement combined with the rhythms they can hear. Dancing is fun and energising and therefore a beautiful way to bond with your child. If you are feeling tired, overwhelmed, depressed or frustrated this is the perfect time to get up and dance. You and your baby will experience directly the power of music as you transform into a more present, happier state of being.
4. Play an Instrument
Choose a simple instrument such as a drum, ukulele, Gasong Drum, native american flute. dream harp or crystal singing bowl. These are ALL easy to play and great ways to express yourself musically. If you want to go a step further learn the piano – I always recommend the Simply Music program – or another instrument you may have always wanted to play. It’s NEVER too late to learn! This will have a profound impact on your child’s musical confidence as they will see YOU expressing yourself musically. Playing music will then be “normal” in their mind. By the way, there is no need to be a concert pianist or expert drummer…all that is necessary is that you play an instrument for the sheer enjoyment of creating music!
5. Listen to Music
Listen to music in the kitchen as you cook, in the loungeroom to relax, when you are putting baby to sleep, in the car. Vary the music so your child has the experience of hearing the smorgesbord of music that has been created in this world so far – classical, rock, blues, indian, country and western, new age… Make sure it is music YOU enjoy. At the same time notice what reactions your baby has to the different music. What do they like? If they are content and happy they like it. If they start to squirm and cry try something different. The main idea is that listening to music is a part of your daily life.
When YOU enjoy singing, dancing, playing and listening to music your baby will naturally grow into a child and adult who uses music to express themselves and enrich their everyday lives.
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!