Nathan Getzin and Ada Ketchie of Wakes join me from Wenatchee, Washington in episode 13. We talk about how “Music is Medicine”. Ada and Nathan have an incredible talent for helping individuals heal through sound bath, music, meditation, and movement. Their immersive experiences are especially key for empaths (you and me). We feel the pain of animals, and of the earth deeply. How do you process your pain?
I had watched a documentary called Planet of the Humans by Jeff Gibbs and Michael Moore a few days before this interview. The closing scene of that movie rocked me to my core. I had a tough time bouncing back from it honestly, and I knew that talking with Ada and Nathan would help me. They truly believe that we all have an important role to play here, and by healing ourselves constantly with music, we stay strong enough to do it.
If you sometimes want to give up and throw in the towel, this episode is for you. We’ve got this. ;-). And we’re going to continually bounce back and keep doing what we can do, to make a difference. Animals need us. The earth needs us.
5 Simple Ideas To Make a Difference:
- Notice the music of nature, of life. Step outside, close your eyes, take a deep breath. Notice the sound bath of birds, wind, cars, your neighbors… Actively tuning into to nature deepens our listening within and without.
- Try a morning musical meditation. Wakes has a beautiful daily meditation that you can download from their site (scroll down on homepage).
- Truly listen. Turn on your favorite song and really listen. Take responsibility for what you feel. Where are you feeling that music in our body? Locate it. Journal about it. Or share it with a friend.
- Play music to help a child (or pet, or ourselves) calm. We can develop a habit of turning to music when we feel anxious or overwhelmed. We can teach children in our lives to do the same.
- Gather around music. Join others, and experience music together, whether it be playing, listening, or singing. Intentionally choose to experience music with others.
About Ada & Nathan:
Nathan and Ada are the founders of Wakes. Their great love (besides each other) is music and they are passionate about using the power of sound, voice, and vibration to facilitate greater mindfulness, relaxation, emotional release and delight. Music is medicine for the soul, and they are grateful to share this healing path with others.
Their business, Wakes, creates experiences to help people awaken to a more meaningful and mindful life, and cultivate greater mental and emotional wellbeing through the power of music, mindfulness, and movement! They do this by creating live immersive sound meditations, intimate concerts, retreats, and online resources. Music is a powerful tool that goes beyond background filler and can be used to tangibly transform one’s relationship to self by relaxing the nervous system and attuning to the wisdom and insights that reside within.
My Favorite Episode Quote:
“When I think about your audience, people who are passionate about animals, the earth. (They) really feel deeply the distress that comes from the way that we’re living and inhabiting our lives on this planet, the way we effect each other. We have to be able to come back to our center, to our ground, to not be fully unmoored, in order to harness our own power to do something in our own way.” – Ada Ketchie
Music is Medicine:
Music is our first language. You can see this in a toddler who moves to music, or mimics the intonation before he or she can express any words. Music is something that is ubiquitous across cultures, across history, and is undeniable in how it impacts us. What would a movie be without a soundtrack in the background?
Music also has an incredible ability to bring us into the present moment. It’s a sensory experience, which forces us to take it in without our mind being focused on the past or the future.
Many studies show how music creates a physical response in our body. It’s been shown to help Alzheimer’s patients, in Autism, and in Parkinson’s Disease. It helps to calm us so that we can go into a more relaxed state, in which it’s easier to heal.
Ada shares that it takes 9 minutes of listening to music for us to feel happier and 13 minutes for us to release sadness. Music can play a role sometimes, instead of numbing solutions, such as alcohol or drugs that help us avoid anxiety. A sound bath can take us into the emotions and help us process them so that they can release.
How Wakes Music Helps People Heal:
Coming to the present is the basic practice of mindfulness. Many of us struggle with mindfulness because when we slow down, thoughts and feelings begin to swirl and come to the surface. Pain and hurt can all of a sudden become the main focus. It’s overwhelming. But music can help fill the gap. It gives us another focus in those moments, outside of the thoughts, so that we can still do introspection.
Wakes music is like sonar that sends out little blips that can go deep inside of us and send back messages. Through this we identify new information that we didn’t know was there before. We get the chance to express this feeling, or sit with it, or journal about it, ultimately releasing it.
Ada and Nathan use a wide range of frequencies to reach deep within us. They do both sound bath meditation music and folk music. Both types of music include different instruments, different tones, and different frequencies that hit each listener in a completely unique way. We will all have our own personal experience listening, based on what we’ve experienced in our individual life.
How Music Can Help Empaths:
If you follow For Animals. For Earth. you probably find yourself deeply feeling things that happen in the world. News everyday can bring up our compassion, but also our despair. And if we don’t allow ourselves to be with it, we can’t move through it. And without moving through it, we will give up, or burn out, and not act on our mission here on earth to help.
Ada and Nathan talk about how important it is that you and I don’t get overwhelmed by these feelings, that we calm our nervous systems, and that we come back to our center. Music is a gentle way to facilitate that process of coming back to our center, and regaining our power.
Where Can Music Play a Larger Role in Healing:
Nathan talked about how the role that music plays in our individual lives has changed dramatically in the past 100 years. There were many more ceremonies and gatherings and coming together around music. Modern day, we’ve almost “outsourced” music to only those who are really good. Those of us who are not deemed “really good” have somewhat lost our voice. Long ago, we would all sit together, and we would all sing, immersing ourselves in a sound bath. We would all experience the power of music. There is something profound in this act of gathering together around music and personally contributing that we’re now missing.
Individually, there are many opportunities to use music for emotional and mental healing. If you feel a lot going on inside, and you don’t want to go to a therapist, sound bath healing may be for you. You can guide yourself through the process of deeply listening to Wakes music. Notice where it affects you in your body, in your feelings, in your mind. You can process this through journaling, or sharing with others. This is a great option for those of us who don’t really like processing our deep inner feelings with a therapist. We can guide ourselves through inner discovery.
Schools could use music more intentionally. Teachers could play music before every test, to calm the student’s anxiety, and create a more comfortable environment for testing. Children will grow up with this practice of turning to music to calm their nerves, and to become grounded over and over again as life throws them off balance.
As a society, we can create immersive experiences for exciting moments in our lives too. Ada mentions a friend of theirs who composed a music experience for a high end hotel that intentionally brought guests to a different sense of space both externally and internally.
There are really endless options to use music more consciously and intentionally to heal our societies, and our individual selves.
Free Meditation and Connect with Ada & Nathan:
The best way to reach Ada and Nathan is to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or DM them on social.
I also recommend downloading their amazing morning meditation (scroll down on homepage) and getting on their email list.