The beauty of soaking in a language bath

(Global Heart | Kara Johnstad) We feel it in our heartbeat, our footsteps, and our breath. We are rhythmic and cyclical beings. We have our own inner “drum” going on all the time. Well, at least I do. There is a pulse even when I am sitting for my daily meditation or deep-diving into my morning songwriting sessions with Mr. Steinway. On some days, my heart is moving quicker than usual, and on other days, there is a slowness, a “hey, take it easy, it’s a rainy fall day. There’s no need to rush, only a need for deep hush” as you tune in.

The beauty of soaking in a language bath

“Walking rhythm sound

Splashing, slapping, ground

Thoughts are flying,


Where is it that I’m bound?”

So many people ask me, where do you find the lines for your lyrics? Where do you gather ideas or get inspiration for your songs?

These are the first lines of my song “Open Up and Receive“. Every time I sing them in concert, I am reminded of that long autumn weekend I spent in Paris.

I walked for hours through the tiny cobblestone streets and loved that I had no idea what was being talked about or said. Yes, it had been on my list for years to learn French, and yes, I am sure, like many of you, I signed up for a course at college. Having my management in Paris and working on my Le Grand Love Project, I swore I would finally learn this excellent language and downloaded the “dailyfrenchpod,” which I carried around in my pocket and plugged into my ears while at the airports or in the gym.

Did I manage? Well, I experienced what I would call LANGUAGE BATHS.

I started to absorb colors and rhythms with the innocence of a child. I arrived at Charles De Gaulle Airport, got picked up, and whisked off to Hotel Bourg Tibourg, one of the quaintest hotels I have ever stayed in. I climbed out of the cab, through the brass doors into the carpeted lobby, and said confidently, Bonjour, Monsieur”That was it! I had mastered Good Day! Smiling, I realized that I now had to improvise and draw on other ways to express myself and was thrilled to find myself once again in that open, receptive state of childlike innocence. And yes, with no further word or sound other than “Bonjour” to break the silence, the smiles and gestures got me a key to the second floor nice single room, and a map of the local attractions. Skipping up the stairs, I blurted out “Merci!” and grinned. Ahhhhh, the beauty of it all! I understood NOTHING, and it was pure bliss to fall into the lilt of a language and be in love with a city only by listening to the sounds and absorbing the sites. Paris is now where I go when I want to run away for a few days with a good book of poems, the latest novel, and my journals.

language bath

So, how can you too get the pleasure of taking a language bath if you don’t have time for a weekend trip?

The world is coming closer and closer together, and I love playing with language. While it is not always possible for me to book a flight to Paris or spend time in another of my favorite cities, Rome. I can fall in love with music from all over the world. So, with the internet taking a more dominant role in our lives, I have figured out how to take language baths by playing one of my favorite games that I call “Radio Tarot”.

I have a map of the world in the kitchen. Then I close my eyes, count to three, point my finger at a country, and then through the internet radio, find a good station.

Try it. It is relaxing and also reconnects us automatically to our inner child.  

Last week I was in India listening to Punjabi, and yesterday, I went off to Iceland. This way, we capture the world’s essence, rhythms, and sound and come back to that lovely space of listening to our inner voice. Other spaces start to open up when listening to sounds that we can not yet explain or analyze. Curiosity appears out of nowhere, we become more playful, and creativity abounds. Suddenly, we rush out to buy some fresh coriander and try making Roomali Roti for dinner instead of baking a pizza.


About the author

Kara JohnstadAmerican singer-songwriter, Kara Johnstad has lived in Berlin, Germany, since the 1980s. Kara has an outstanding reputation as a world-class performer, recording artist, and producer. Her performances on five continents have left fans breathless, and the media eager to offer their praise.

She is a voice expert, spiritual guide, published author. OMTimes expert, recording artist, radio show host of “Voice Rising” and founder of the “School Of Voice”. She is also known as a creative voice visionary and mentor to voices changing our world.

Her New Age, Pop, and Jazz music has charted within the top ten on numerous Indie charts and receives worldwide play on AM / FM radio stations and professional, high-quality online radio stations.

As a transformational catalyst with a powerful voice in this time and age of transition, Kara empowers audiences worldwide via concerts, lectures, masterclasses, and private coaching. Her signature Voice Your Essence™ Training programs are developed to support luminaries, healers, independent artists, and visionary voices to heal their voices and bring their powerful messages into the world.

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