A Gift That Heals
by Kellie Welk
Drum is a gift that came to me March 13, 1998. I held it
with wide-eyed awe. I fed it with a spray of water and held
it to my face, breathing in the scent of this living being.
Smiling with a distant familiarity at the touch and the smell,
child-like emotions arose in me as I stroked the skin and
smeared the spray of water so it would reach all parts of
its face. I gently played it with my hands and held it to
my heart. I smiled at the knowing Shaman who had handed me
this life force called Drum. So it began, my journey to reach
into the unknown, my journey to begin to understand my life
in yet another dimension; to acknowledge my inner emotions
more deeply and to find a new connection with my higher self.
An ancient primal sound is the beat of a drum. It is the
first sound we hear in our mother's womb. The vibration
of the drum can heal and create harmony within the body and
throughout the Universe. When we link thought and prayer to
the beat of our drums, our intentions ripple forth and because
sound travels on forever and knows no limitations, our thoughts
create change universally. Drumming with prayer is a powerful
way to create change and many cultures and tribes use drums
in sacred ways. Drumming is indeed a universal language.
Drumming is a tool for meditation. A slow beat that matches
our own heartbeat can take us into a relaxed state. This allows
us a time to reach inside ourselves and discover our inner
voices, aspects of ourselves that make up who we are.
When we process information throughout our lives with joy
and understanding our bodies respond in a healthy and glowing
way. However, our bodies store emotions such as unforgiven
anger. These types of emotions become stuck and cause dis-ease
within our bodies. A way to heal these blockages is to go
on a personal inward journey to these "hot spots"
and start to process, forgive, and release them.
The most difficult and painful things that happen in our
lives have gifts in them. We just need to figure out what
they are. We create our own reality, for the most part, and
although we may have a tendency to blame or become a victim
this does not serve us. Victimhood is an illusion that keeps
us from doing our real work within ourselves.
Then there is the fear that pops up here and there and challenges
us. Sometimes the fear or self-doubt (often called "karma")
comes up as past issues and shows up as a memory at a cellular
When we are doing our inner healing work it is important
to use gratitude and compassion. This works when we have an
understanding that all things happen for a reason and that
in all things there is a gift; our job is to uncover that
gift and understand its appropriateness. Using anger to heal
anger will not effectively clear the blockage, while compassion
and complete forgiveness for all those involved, self included,
frees the trapped emotion and the pain.
It is not always necessary to revisit our emotional pain
in order to heal it. Surrendering it to a higher power works,
with the intention that it be healed for the good of all beings,
whether that higher power is a Goddess or God, Great Spirit
or Buddha, or any other ascended master.
Responsibility for our own thoughts, spoken or unspoken,
is important because what we send out there will come back
to us. Drum out love and compassion and you will receive love
There are many other factors, of course, in healing our bodies
but what I am suggesting here is that using the drum to meditate
and release blockages with compassion is a good beginning
to healing our bodies in a sacred way.
The following is a technique for healing with a drum and
meditation. Sitting down with your back supported, take yourself
into a calm state with your breath. Set aside any stresses,
put a smile on your face, imagine white light filling your
body. Add a prayer of gratitude for all that is in your life
and start drumming a beat that matches your own heartbeat.
Slowly you will go deeper into your own thoughts. What arises
in your thoughts is what you want to look at. Don't judge
yourself for anything, as everything that crosses your path
is there for a reason. Start asking questions and listen for
the answers. We all have a higher power, an internal voice,
that will guide us. Know that while you are meditating you
are perfectly safe and you can even visualize yourself hooked
up to the core of the earth by a golden cord coming from the
bottom of your feet. At some point the drum beat may change
or you may want to stop drumming as you focus on your thought.
When you feel like you have processed enough, release by blowing
out with your breath and begin to drum your gratitude with
whatever beat comes through. Know that there is no right or
wrong way to drum. It is the intention that counts.
Once we heal ourselves it then ripples forth and affects
others. Our "light" changes and others notice, which
brings change in our surroundings and in those with whom we
come in contact.
We are continuously shedding our cells. As we walk on the
same planet that our ancestors walked on we continuously share
the same breath, the same cells, through all time and space.
We breathe in each other's essence and share all the
energies of our land and ancestors; and all its history resonates
within each of us. The energy of this place we live becomes
who we are. Although each culture has its own uniqueness,
I believe we are not separate but an integral part of the
whole. We are indeed all one, connected to our earth and to
universal breath and sound.
The earth, Mother Earth, has a heartbeat and it is scientifically
recorded as beating at a resonance very similar to the vibration
of the drum. So as we drum we are connecting with the vibration
of our planet in a natural way.
Drumming in groups will heal the spirit. Participating in
a drumming circle is a time of community, to truly share "communion,"
to gather and support each other in a creative way. It is
a place to find personal empowerment within the group activity.
This is where I learned communication skills that I now use
to teach drumming and drummaking. This is where I found my
singing voice and the courage to use it.
Drumming is world wide. We come together to drum in the now,
beyond divisiveness, creating harmonious and healing sound
that travels on forever.
Sacred drumming is an important link in achieving peace within.
Once we are peaceful with ourselves, peace can manifest outside
of ourselves and become an integral part of the universe.
Kellie Welk is a drummaker and natural teacher, a healer,
an artist, and a songwriter. She works with children in classroom
settings and teaches drumming sessions weekly for adults.
She makes drums for individuals and teaches people of all
ages how to create their own drums. Her business, Earth Beat
Drums, began in November 1999. She can be contacted in Saskatoon
at (306) 683-9998 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.