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Tehachapi Mountain Drum Circle needs your hands, heart

I felt like a kid again when I participated in Jim Pickerell's drum circle at the Healthy Hippie.

Just giving myself permission to beat loudly on his percussion instruments was extremely pleasurable, but then Jim takes it up a notch, providing a dimensionalized experience that went beyond mindless drum banging.

It's mainly about "relaxing into the rhythms," Jim explains, and feeling our intuition take over. "It's more of a spiritual thing, so there's little need to follow format or some tradition."

What happens next can be transcendent for those leaning in. I felt some things rise up in me – probably from childhood – that found release when I pounded, pounded, pounded on those drums! Was emotional healing part of this too?

Jim encourages us to expand even more by "vocalizing." To start, we chanted the vowel sounds – Aaay, Eeeee, Iiiiiiiii, Ooooo, Uuuuu – so I started doing that and quickly found myself pulling up alongside my Native American brothers in the way they chant in drum circle. I chanted the long "Iiii" sound imperfectly, but proudly and it felt amazing. I let it RIP and the others did, too.

You might be asking yourself, "Would I try that?" I know it takes something to get out of our comfort zone and attend something like a drum circle. "Will I look or sound foolish to other people?" ... is a big concern, and I can guarantee you that no one at the Healthy Hippie will ever judge your participation in any of their wonderful classes or events. Everyone from Sarah on down are humbled by what being a human presents to us on a daily basis, and we revel in the opportunity to heal from emotional wounds that continue to plague us from childhood by natural non-invasive means.

Which brings us full circle back to Jim, who also happens to be a Naturopathic Doctor (ND). So, if you have an ailment that the other doctors haven't been able to solve without a lot of drugs or surgery, grab Dr. Jim's ear and ask what the holistic (mind/body/spirit) remedy might be. That's a rabbit hole I'll dive into any day of the week.

So, if you know nobody will laugh at you for drumming and chanting, and your heart is open... won't you come out and bang the drums with us? You are certainly welcome – maybe like you've never been welcomed – and your open heart will be met with the same.

The drum circle is offered the second Friday of every month at 6 p.m., at Healthy Hippie Trading Co., located at 20418 Brian Way in Tehachapi.