Stuck between choices? Seek resonance

woman wearing black strapless dress standing near the window

Sometimes we make choices that deplete us and leave us feeling nothing but resignation and disgust. Other times, what we choose aligns perfectly with our values and vision, and we feel elated, fulfilled. That’s the difference between dissonance and resonance.

Do you face a tough choice? Speaking with a professional coach can help you become aware of how your decision will impact you and hence, choose what resonates.

I spent 15 years helping singers sing better. My technique focused on creating resonance, which allowed them to sing with more efficiency – re: less effort for more emotion.

Physically, resonance happens when a sound reflects on a surface, which vibrates in synchrony with the waves produced by that sound. That synchronous vibration prolongs and enhances the sound.

Three things make resonance possible:

  1. the quality of the sound
  2. the ability of the space to contain the sound without restricting it
  3. the elasticity of the surface

To maximize resonance, therefore, singers adjust their singing balancing those three aspects.

First, they make sure their voice box produces a high-quality sound, made of steady, powerful waves.

Second, they adjust the shape of their mouths to accept different types of sounds. A sound that entered an excessively wide open mouth wouldn’t make the surfaces vibrate and the voice wouldn’t resonate. On the other hand, too narrow a space would destroy the sound waves and the voice wouldn’t resonate either.

Third, they make sure that the tissues that cover their mouth and pharynx are elastic enough to vibrate – too hard, and they’ll create an erratic reverberation of the waves; too soft, and they’ll absorb them.

How seeking resonance may help you choose

Choosing between two apparently attractive things is difficult because we insist in applying logic and reason. We make long lists of pros and cons, we ponder, we measure.

But what about how the choice makes us feel?

No, we say, that’d be irrational. So, we work hard to restrain our feelings. We hide them and forget about them, hoping that we’ll be able to live with the “rational” choice. I’ll take the job that pays more even if the company’s values are far from mine. I’ll move to this city where it seems to be cold and grey all the time because the schools are better–who cares if I won’t see the sun for months.

We deceive ourselves with reason and logic. And ten years later, if we survive, we find ourselves tolerating things that make us deeply unhappy.

I want to propose to you a different way to ponder the choice: seek resonance.

Ask yourself:

#1. What actions or thoughts am I tuning to?

What thoughts and actions am I accepting into my space?

What thoughts and actions match my heart?

What thoughts and actions make my heart sing?

#2. What will my heart do (vibrate or stay flat) when I accept this in my life?

Who will I be when this thing or that thing enters my life?

How big or small do I have to be in order to accept this?

How will I show up in the world when I accept it?

What will become available to me when I give myself permission to choose what makes my heart sing?

#3. What is the choice that will make me reach farther?

Where am I elastic enough to stretch and want to reach farther?

What parts of me do I want to make more flexible and adaptive?


Photo by Rene Asmussen on

Leave a Reply