“Our combined attention makes an enormous difference. It is our greatest desire to extend the love experienced in this circle across the planet, joining others to help heal our world.”
This quote was the closing line to the meditation that started Helen Fortier’s Healing Sing Circle, which the ACC staff and our participants were lucky enough to experience last Wednesday on January 31st. Relying on positive energy and the healing power of music, Fortier is a part of a community of people in Amherst who believe that the combined effort of optimism, kindness, and song can change people’s lives and improve their difficulties. Coming to ACC, she promised that the Healing Sing Circle would change the energy in the room, and try to help those that were burdened by difficulties in their own lives, or with issues around the world.
Starting with our group sitting around in the circle, Fortier had each participant in the Healing Sing Circle share a difficulty in their own life, or an issue that they wish would change. Each participant was safe in this circle, because there was a commitment to keep their burdens confidential, making it easier to share, and direct positive thoughts and energy towards helping the people in the room. Following this talk, Fortier stood and emphasized how no one in this circle was alone, but that we were all connected by our shared difficulties and would all work together to change the energy in the room and hopefully our lives.
Placing volunteers in the center of the circle, Fortier strummed her guitar and played a mixture of music that she had written on her own as well as a few requests from the rest of the group. She handed out shakers so people could join in, and encouraged us all to sing along with her as we directed our positive energy towards the person’s burden. There were sad songs, happy songs, and some originals made up on the spot by people in the circle. Although nothing appeared to change, as the Healing Sing Circle went on, it was clear the mood of the room was shifting and people appeared to be much more cheerful by the end of Fortier’s final song.“When you gather people together with a positive focus, we send vibes out into the universe to make them more positive,” said Fortier and her time in ACC definitely had a positive effect on anyone who participated in her workshop that day.
ACC holds events every Wednesday from 10-12pm. Come by next week to experience “Belief”, a workshop on spirituality and faith lead by Reverend Christina Williams.
To experience Fortier sing “Amazing Grace” and get a little taste of her gift, please click the video below. To experience it live: go to the First Congregational Church in Amherst on Wednesdays at 4:30pm.
By: Mackenzie Wilson