With Love, La Mer

La Mer is a sonic healing artist who empowers each of us to find harmony within.

By: Julia Childs
With Love, La Mer

With over 12 years of experience in the healing arts, La Mer provides a new take on the tradition of call and response, using sound as a way to call in and response as a tool to awaken inner knowing. With all that is shifting in the world, we found it fitting to connect with La Mer on the first full moon of 2021. We find her story, her journey, her perspective to be a healing balm in the midst of the ever-evolving energies we’re navigating. 

In the spirit of cultivating a conscious community, we’ve invited La Mer to hold a sound bath on the rē•spin IGTV today from 4:30 pm PST – 5 pm PST. Consider La Mer’s sentiments and gifts as a sweet hello to the full moon lumination, a celebration of the road we’ve traveled, and an embrace of the miles that have yet to come. 

Describe your journey to doing healing work.

Long before I had any formal training as a healer, I was passionate about the medicinal aspect of ritual + performance and the catharsis that becomes accessible through process-oriented art in any medium. My realization of music as medicine first emerged when my West African percussion teacher brought our class to Ghana to study Ewe drum and dance. We stayed in a village where music was literally the heartbeat of daily life. Every member of the community, young and old, used drumming and singing to guide their daily rhythms.

It was amazing to witness and be a part of it. This was the first time I truly understood the everlasting and necessary role music plays in personal and communal health. From that point forward my creative path was always intertwined with the curative aspect of rhythm, resonance, and the healing arts in one form or another. Yoga and meditation practice led to in-depth studies with Shiva Rea and teaching certifications through Samudra School and the Ayurvedic Institute. Anytime I wasn’t on tour with my band I was teaching classes full time in NYC; my home base for most of my twenties. Aside from teaching classes, I also landed a job as a private instructor at an integrative wellness center which became like a second home. Here, I soaked up wisdom from health practitioners and healers who introduced me to Traditional Chinese Medicine and other approaches toward wholesome living. This was also the first place I experimented with singing medicine songs I learned in Africa + original lullabies in sessions, which eventually became an integral part of my approach as a song + sound healer.

What is your approach to healing?

I listen;) Just like any successful collaboration, it’s all about a genuine call and response. Receptivity allows me to resonate and entrain with the people + communities I work with. More specifically, I aim to connect beyond ego or appearance to engage with the inner wisdom of my relations…in general, I find it’s always best to appeal to people’s instinctively intelligent nature. I also trust that those who are drawn to work with me are crossing my path to teach me something about my own healing journey. So there is always an aspect of mutual respect with my students, who are also my teachers.

What modalities do you use and why?

My modality is vibration. I create powerful, playful, and purposeful healing journeys with sound + song. In one-on-one sessions, sound healing instruments such as quartz crystal singing bowls, bells, gongs, drums, medicine melody, and alchemical tuning forks are used to open bodily channels. Vibrations resonate and entrain with the fluid anatomy, moving blocked/stale energy to revive harmony. While I enjoy private healings, I specialize in working with groups. I am always at home conducting transformational experiences that bring communities into connection. Needless to say, my way of working has shifted dramatically since the pandemic began. Private and group sessions, which are currently remote only, involve a lot more guided breath and voice work. Both support our capacity to connect with the fluid nature of our resonating bodies in a tangible way. Other instruments are still used, specifically crystal bowls which resound quite well through headphones and speakers.

I favor vocal toning because it brings us into a corporeal connection from within. It is a very useful tool, especially when working with sound medicine through virtual platforms. Voice really is the most powerful form of sound healing; it has always been my favorite way to inspire connection both in-person and remotely.

One of my favorite aspects of sonic medicine is that it creates space for genuine listening, both inwardly and to our surroundings. Sound naturally draws our attention to the space in between notes. In nada yoga, the study of the vibratory origin of our universe, we call this Anahata nadam, or unstuck sound: the holy, quiet place at the end of a composition where peace can be felt and internal awareness can be heard. This is what the work is really all about.

How can folks engage in communal sound healing, especially during times as stressful as now?

There are lots of remote gatherings going on! I now offer a free monthly live stream that focuses primarily on the use of tone to affect change. Happening on the last Sunday afternoon of the month on Twitch; a fun + interactive platform with superior audio capabilities and chat option which allows participants to connect with me and other people in the community. Sunday Sessions offer space to slow down, move deliberately, and listen deeply. You can learn more on my site LoveLaMer.com and tune in at twitch. tv/lovelamer. For those seeking more in-depth studies, I recommend my teacher, Silvia Nakkach, who offers interesting online workshops and training. 

What has been your most transformational moment as a healer?

Transitioning from maiden to mother has definitely been my most life-changing experience as a healer/human. To literally create, nourish, and sustain life is empowering as fuck! Every aspect is magical realism. Pregnancy was a wondrous experience that revolutionized my spiritual practice as well as my relationship to body, breath, and voice. I learned to let go of attachments around body image and became enamored with my ever-changing shape! Devoted presence to the life I was carrying altered my capacity to attune with myself and others. This new and profound awareness continues to guide me toward clear boundaries and an empowered presence in my work and relationships. My son was born last April, weeks into the first pandemic lockdown when so much was still unknown about the coronavirus. With the blessing of a low risk/uncomplicated pregnancy, along with our midwife’s generous offer of affordable care, I was able to shift my birth plan from hospital to home, which ended up being the right choice for my family.

Birthing in the safety of home gave me a chance to fully embrace my primal nature. I used vocal toning almost the entire 49 hours, half of which was spent in active labor! Low, primordial tones guided me through the wildly insane cosmic void, showing me how to surrender open. I have always believed in the power of sound to bring transformation, yet these tones were a previously inconceivable force working through my body…the vibrations literally carried me through the threshold to my son.

Andre Nova came out on a birthing stool in front of the bed he was conceived on! It was the most glorious, tripped out moment of my life. He is now nine months and I find myself in a perpetual cycle of humbling renewal as I learn to attune with him earth-side and exist with my heart outside my chest. It hurts so well! Motherhood is the most powerful spiritual practice I’ve ever known.

What is your vision for the future of healing, both in your work and for the collective at large?

A future vision remains nebulous without first defining and doing the work it takes to get there. Right now I am committed to a perpetual practice of grounded awareness while learning to revolutionize my communication skills. In this way, I can be receptive + reverent toward my son, husband, clients, cohorts, and ancestors. I strive to be an ally for all who wish to shift discouragement to determination through active listening and will continue showing up to join voices with those who want to explore the power of tone to affect change. My future vision will always evolve around artistic projects that cultivate conversation, resilience + readiness to do the work of regeneration on behalf of all our relations.

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