Ruth Ratliff

I believe with all my heart the potential of voice and sound therapy for healing, wholeness, and transformation. I’ve always been enchanted with the magic and beauty of our world, from the smell of a rose to the sacred geometry of a galaxy. My lifelong work with the voice first as a professional vocalist and then as a voice teacher has given me a unique perspective and set of experiences to help my clients use their own voices for healing, expansion and spiritual connection.

What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative. 

My parents were both spiritual seekers, even though they struggled with their own issues. I grew up in an alcoholic family dynamic. One of my most poignant memories as a young teenager was sitting with my mom and little brother playing cards, freezing in the dark with our coats on. It was winter, and my dad had come home drunk and got on a bender about one of us accidentally leaving a door open, so he ran around and opened up all the doors and windows and turned the power off, yelling at the top of his voice all the while. 

A couple of years later on Christmas Eve my dad and I were arguing and when I worked up the courage to say “you’re an alcoholic,” I got slapped across the face. I ran out of the house and my boyfriend picked me up for last-minute shopping. That was the last time I saw my dad alive. Christmas morning, a somber State Trooper came to break the news that he had died in a car accident on a snowy highway at 2 a.m. The loss of a parent is one of the most traumatic experiences we can go through, but the grief I should have felt never happened. I just felt hollow.

I also remember the emotionally painful “silent treatments” my mom would inflict on us for days sometimes, without ever telling us what we did to hurt her feelings. There was no talking to clear things up – we were not taught to express feelings, or talk about problems and disagreements. So a couple of decades later when my mom was told that she had cancer and only had a few months to live, she chose not to tell my brother and I. We only found out at the hospital the day she died. 

Less than a year later my brother, who had been diagnosed as bi-polar, committed suicide after spiraling down into a depression triggered by our mother’s death. I remember hiding in my clothes closet, from what I had no idea – I just couldn’t stand being in my body. 

It has been a long journey of dealing with the anger and abandonment to a place of forgiveness. I love to read, so self-help books were like balm on my emotional wounds. I also love to garden, and getting my hands in the soil to nurture plants kept me grounded. 

The journey to find my own voice started at age 13 when my mom enrolled me in singing lessons. My first teacher opened up another world of expression to me through the beautiful music of classical voice. As I became more and more comfortable with opening up my sound and sharing it with others, I developed a sense  of empowerment and self-esteem that I can only attribute to learning to own the power of my voice. I have since made it my life’s work and goal to learn as much as I could about the amazing world of sound, voice and vibration and its healing and spiritual applications.

Tell us something about your initiative/business. What is it about and how is it helpful for people?

While many people are just discovering it, sound therapy is a return to ancient practices using chants and singing bowls to restore our health and wellness.  Many cultures have been using the power of sound, voice, and vibration for thousands of years.  

Sonic instruments like singing bowls, gongs, chimes, tuning forks, and voice are used to initiate a deeply immersive, full-body listening experience. When exposed to therapeutic sound, our brain waves quickly drop into a profoundly deeper state, which is elusive to many in our stressful world. The use of frequency and vibration has been found to relax and reset your nervous system so you can alleviate stress and build resiliency to life’s ups and downs. 

Sound Therapy recreates the frequencies and sound patterns found in nature. 

You feel grounded, like you are walking on the beach, sitting by a stream, or hiking in the mountains. The vibrations of the therapeutic bowls imitate the ebb and flow of nature, which melt away stress and anxiety – everyday concerns are allayed, your to-do list fades, and your mind chatter is silenced. Sound Healing Therapy is a noninvasive, simple, and cost-effective therapeutic modality.

You’re essentially a symphony of frequencies. Every organ, bone, and cell in your body has its own resonant frequency. Sound therapy uses audible vibrations to shift those subtle frequencies to restore balance and resonance of the energy field surrounding your body. 

The benefit of sound healing therapy are many and may include:

Increased blood circulation

Lowering blood pressure and heart rate

Facilitating the release of endorphins, melatonin, and nitric oxide

Synchronizing the brain hemispheres, promoting increased cognition, focus, and creativity

Triggering the relaxation response of the parasympathetic nervous system

Improves mental clarity, focus

Reducing stress, anger, depression, and fatigue

Promoting a resting brain state where deep healing takes place

These benefits make sound therapy and healing very effective in helping to ease the symptoms associated with anxiety, insomnia, depression, and PTSD, among others.

While the global pandemic of COVID-19 is associated primarily with adversities, it has also brought about a true boom in startups, with successful entrepreneurship in many countries. The pandemic has impacted all of us in one way or another. Would you like to share your experience on a personal and professional level?

From a personal standpoint, as an observer, it occurred to me that the pandemic really triggered our common fear of death. It also triggered a high level of societal hypervigilance, which continues to this day. My hope is that we will come back to the center within the next decade. Certainly the pandemic encouraged people to reach out virtually, so that has been a positive outcome. I believe we also realize how much we need one another, real contact with each other – touching, hugging – so important to our wellbeing!

What has been the response of the users/consumers towards your venture? 

The response has been very positive when people attend my presentations and sound meditations. Sound therapy is ancient, but newly re-discovered, so many people are still not familiar with it. Through my active marketing, course and presentations, I feel I am raising awareness of this profound healing art.

How has your life changed because of your initiative/venture?

Working with sound on an almost daily basis has had a profound effect on my outlook, general wellness and wellbeing. I realize that most of us in the healing arts are drawn to it to heal ourselves. It is my honor and joy to share my journey, experience and knowledge with others to help them as well.

Do you have anyone who is the biggest support system in your life? Please let us know.

My husband Jim.

Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity? OR Share a motivational message for the audience/women who are reading this.

By way of inspiration, I’d like to share a few phrases that have helped me move through  my life experiences. 

Feel the fear, and do it anyway.” Susan Jeffers

Be in the world, not of it.” Jesus 

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.” Marianne Williamson