I have always been a little odd. There is an old southern saying that states there are always a few nuts in every family. Look around and if you don’t see them, then it’s you. Well I look around and I don’t see any nuts, maybe a few fruits and a couple of mules but nope the nut must be me. Now in the south eccentricities are excused, heck they are even admired at times.
I once had an accountant who hung upside down from the magnolia tree in his front yard like an opossum. I have to believe if he had lived anywhere else, the first time one of his clients found him hanging by his knees from a branch they would have excused themselves and taken their business else where. Not in the south. Nope that’s how he got to be known. “Can you recommend a good CPA?” The question would be posed. “Why sure! Why don’t you call my CPA, Freddie, he hangs upside down from a branch of his magnolia tree down there on Cross Creek Road?” He was the busiest accountant in town not to mention admired by all the young kids for his ability to hang upside-down for hours at a time. But, I’m not here to recommend accountants or hanging upside-down from trees. I am here to talk about me.
I have a pretty open mind when it comes to life. A couple of years ago I went on a sojourn. I was determined to become a better me or as Oprah would say “the best me I can be”. I have always read self-help books and have always loved the study psychology. I was invited to take some classes on the interaction of sound and your emotional state. When I saw the topic of the class even my mind doubted the validity. I pulled out my big chief tablet and my number 2 pencil and set down to see what Mr. Goldman had to say about sound.
He spoke of the vibrational effects sounds have on our psyche but more importantly on our physical well being. The lecture was fascinating but I wasn’t sure how I could ever apply any of his instructions in to my own life. He spoke for hours about the fact that just the sound of our voice has calming, relaxing and healing properties for all of us. I took my notes, closed my book and went home. I wasn’t sure how what Mr. Goldman had said applied to my life but I loved learning new information.
I have three wonderful dogs, there is a boxer, a lab-mix and of course the Boz. They are normally well behaved and obedient except… You knew there was going to be an except didn’t you? Yes, except at breakfast and dinner time. The minute I walk into the garage and gather up their bowls my life becomes pure chaos. The boxer begins jumping up in the air and bouncing off the walls directly into me knocking me this way and that. The lab butts me with her head and leans all 100 lbs of her weight against me pushing me this way and that all while Boz runs in and out between my feet yapping and nipping at my feet. Oh and did I mention this also happens when it’s time to go for a walk? I have been beaten black and blue.
As luck would have it when I returned from my class it was dinner time for the three amigos. I walked into the garage to be assaulted by all three. I was dressed in nice clothes and the boxer drooled and slobbered on my favorite shoes, the lab wiped her face and head on my light colored trousers and Boz decided that I needed muddy foot prints to finish the decoration. I took a deep breath and started to chastise them for their actions. An image flashed in my mind of Caesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer, calming a pack of rabid dogs by deep breathing and being calm assertive. I wondered if I could master this. I tried to do what Caesar does. I made myself calm, or so I thought. I took a deep breath and relaxed my shoulders as the dogs performed Cirque Due Soleil’s Ka in the 3 ft area of space around me. The dogs were having none of my calm. They instead were marching to their own drummer and he was evidently playing Wipe Out.
I felt like a failure. I was sure Caesar would tell me “Eet is not jor dogs that need help. It is ju. I rehabilitate dogs, I train people.” Well Mr. Caesar, I needed re-training bad! The dogs had me trained and they weren’t in any hurry to change. I picked myself up off the floor of the garage looked at my dirty pants and feeling a blob of dog slobber sliding down the side of my hair and onto my cheek I said out loud “there has got to be something easier.”
I turned to set the bowls on the ground when they clanged together. All of the animals stood absolutely still. They didn’t move. They just looked at me. Then I remembered what Mr. Goldman said in his lecture. He spoke of the soothing effect of sound. The different vibrations had different effects on specific actions. This must be a mesmerizing sound. So I clanged the pans some more. That is when all hell broke loose. The boxer jumped over the lab who slammed into the wall and bounced off it and into me, Boz ran in circles barking like the house was on fire. Evidently they weren’t feeling the Good Vibrations.
I also remembered Mr. Goldman saying that your voice just humming could have a healing effect. Well I figured my dogs were sick with stupidity so I would try that. I began to hum. I hummed so that it reverberated through my body and tickled my throat. I closed my eyes and hummed. I opened one eye and looked to see the lab lie down on her bed and take a deep breath. Then the boxer joined her, letting out a deep sigh and resting his head on his paws. Even Bozley wiggled his way between the two big dogs and lie down in complete relaxation. I was amazed! I couldn’t believe my eyes so I shuffled my feet which normally would have caused them to have gone into frenzy. They remained in their relax state so much so that one by one they began to fall asleep.
I stood there in total disbelief. This must be a fluke I mused. This can’t happen twice. I told no one and went inside to ponder what I had just witnessed. I slept on my miracle and convinced myself it must have been they had just grown tired and it had nothing to do with the humming.
Morning arrived and with it was again time to throw myself into the breach. I gathered up their bowls and filled them with kibble. I stepped through the door and was once again assaulted with their usual actions. I brought my knee up in defense and twirled to miss the labs nose in my crotch. I didn’t shout like I normally would. Instead of tensing up in frustration I tried it again. I began to hum. One by one they calmly and serenely went to the bed and lie down. Each one let out a sigh and rested their head on their paws. I could feel the calm descend upon them. I could feel the calm coming from me. I knew I was onto something.
I repeated this routine every time I went out to feed the pups. I hummed. I hummed songs. I hummed notes. I hummed whatever made them calm. I decided to share this with my family. One by one they watched this phenomenon take place. Each one looked at me with a skeptical eye and a doubtful mind. They all came away with proof that it worked. They were amazed.
I can’t tell you how it works; I can only tell you that it works. So if you need me, I’ll be hanging from the magnolia tree out front and humming to the dogs.