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  • Writer's picturemelaniecrobins

The importance of harmonizing

Dooneese Maharelle does NOT harmonize. "Is that baaaaad?"

Every Sunday afternoon I join a group of incredible women—and many of their babes—in San Francisco, where we sing with great intention and love. In our healing circle we sing out from our hearts, ringing our spirits of the woes of the week and filling them back up with joy and satisfaction. The goal of our choir is not to perform, but to ground each other and bring us all back to center.

The chorus leader, Noe Venable, is a highly talented, spiritually grounded, fun and feminine songbird of a woman who manages to gently push and pull us until each of our unique talents naturally comes forward. From there, we can then merge together to create a vivid, heartfelt tapestry of sound.

But it isn’t always a masterpiece. Sometimes we crash into each other, notes falling flat or jabbing sharp. When this happens, Noe playfully waves her hands in front of her face, shaking her head and giggling at the mess we’ve gotten ourselves into. After kindly bringing our runaway train to a halt, she reminds us to listen as we sing; if we’re not sure which note is expected or we sound “off” from our neighbors, we should gently pull back our voice until we find the note and can confidently rejoin the song in harmony with our fellow singers.


During times of stress, I find myself struggling to harmonize with the people I care about most. I forget to pull back and really listen to the people who honor me by sharing their lives with me. But I am aware and am working to apply Noe’s valuable advice to my daily actions. The more I practice gently removing my voice from the chaos, the better I get at discerning whether the problem note is mine to fix. If it is, I can take steps to get back in harmony with the other person. If it’s not, I can remove myself from the space—physical or virtual—where their words, silence, actions, or inaction may be throwing me off center. And of course there's the endless task of accepting that regardless of how intent I am on keeping myself in harmony with those in my life, the off-key days will happen and they are not a sign of failure; rather, they are opportunities for me to put what I’ve learned about the importance of harmonizing to the test. (Practice makes possible!)

By harmonizing our actions, we open up to the possibility of creating some deeply rich, vibrant and textured relationships what will help us grow, love, and spread our mother-freaking wings and fly!

Good luck creating your unique song in this world and know that we're on this journey together.

Much love,


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