“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times....”
This timeless truth was written in 1859 and could be just as true today.
Or, any period in human history. (Outrunning sabre tooth tigers anyone?....)
Life is rarely a cakewalk.
But it can be so much more than the self-defeating limits in which we unwittingly cage ourselves. How do you negotiate Self-doubt vs self-trust? Instead of, ‘I can’t' or 'it won’t work’.... How often do you ask yourself, ‘WHAT IS POSSIBLE?’
Magic. Joy. Light.
What do these words bring to mind for you? What feelings arise?
How do they dance on your tongue? Does your ear welcome them?
Breathe them in.
What images come to your imagination?
We need these aspects to settle our frayed nervous systems.
Light and Dark will always be hand in hand.
What you allow to be stronger within you will depend on a whole lot of forces,
including your context, the toxicity vs the safety of your environment,
your choices or lack thereof, even what you had for breakfast!
You choose whether to entrain with bitterness from being hurt or whether you commit to healing.
It’s a choice whether your heart opens or closes.
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity,
it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
― Charles Dickens, (1859) A Tale of Two Cities
These days, if you think that to be happy and content and have a good life, it should be easy and sunny, then you are going to be challenged, especially moving into fall, more darkness and the 4th wave of the pandemic. This is one of the things I’m feeling really heavily in my bones right now. I don’t know about you but, I need to change my mindset. When I catch these negative thought loops and heavy discouraged feelings, they need attention and self-care.
Since the nights are getting longer, what if the light we need now is a starlight twinkle, rather than a bright sun?
When I was out kayaking this summer, I was enthralled with bioluminescent phytoplankton on a midnight paddle. Have you ever experienced it?
The magical neon blue light flashes against the night ocean as your kayak paddle dips into the inky darkness, carving your glowing signature in its wake.
Your own magical presence dancing with the sea’s hidden mysteries.
This is joy. This is magic. This is light.
(‘Bioluminescence is the production and emission of light by a living organism. It is a form of chemiluminescence.
Bioluminescence occurs widely in marine vertebrates and invertebrates, ‘...Wikipedia)
This is the miraculous in the everyday. The mundane turned on its head.
Yes, some nights the stars are obscured (and it’s discouraging). Even a luminous full moon can be hidden by dark stormy clouds, and those days we have to go inward and incubate. You have to really explore and discover who you are and what you are going to choose, despite the pain, the reckoning, the proverbial dark night of the soul. These times require you must recharge your own light with self-compassion.
And through these deep challenges, you become resilient and better able to ground yourself and to feel joy and contentment in your being and in your life despite what is happening around you. Despite losing cherished love ones.
Despite negative coworkers and parking tickets.
Despite the weight of the world. Despite it all.
That is when you find that joy is actually sweeter, brighter, lighter, more magical, because of the darkness. Not in spite of the darkness.
The reason light works in a photo is because of the shadows,
the dark contrast, the dimensionality, not just the beautiful light.
We praise the light and ignore the shadow, but both are required.
Don’t hide from what scares you, don’t shun what’s dark and spiteful and lurking within you, it just wants attention. It wants to be noted, it needs to be recognized as the messenger it is for you. Envy, Anger, Fear. The messenger that taps you on the shoulder so you turn and look toward the light.
What if your shadow is also scared of the dark
and needs your help?
So where ever you are on your journey, whether magic seems like a distant concept, or joy isn’t something you’ve connected to for a while; Consider how different it would feel through the darkness to just shine your own starlight.
If that's too much of a stretch right now and you’re not there yet, then carry a flashlight, and let it guide you until you have enough energy in your own battery to begin lighting your path again. Check-in with your own compass.
Then track your north star. This is how you strengthen your voice.
For me, Magic has weaved it’s way through a sorrowful summer. Even with personal grief and loss as an accompanying shadow, light is present and joy visits daily.
A midnight paddle, dancing outdoors under the full moon.
Abracadabra, literally means, “ it will be created in my words’’--so go cast your spell, and speak your truth. This is how you strengthen your voice.
Create your own magic, it is within you to do so.
You are stardust. Literally. *
Are you a good listener?
If I was super honest with you, really, really honest, I'm afraid I would have to admit, (embarrassed as I am by this) that I have become a rather poor listener. Oftentimes, impatient with the world and others, straining to get words in edgewise, planning what to say—distracted by bings, phone beeps, hums, boiling kettle whistles, agendas, time frames, traffic, radio news, the sounds of rushing....
It's not easy to do anymore, it seems. The true art of really listening.
How did we get here? Now don't fret, I don't mean to be including you with the 'we', not specifically anyway, as perhaps you are a rare exquisite listener. And I commend you if you are. It is both a gift and a choice.
There is of course, the sheer miraculousness of hearing to begin with, the miracle of our ears, odd as they appear, and rarely shed attention. WE don't tend to identify them as our best feature and yet...perhaps, they just might be. We likely appreciate our ears, or at least our hearing, when we are speaking with a deaf person whose words are marbled, muffled, fading at the edges like an impressionist painting of words in dim light, blurring into the next one. Or when we have a screaming ear infection—the pain, the amplified beating of our heart through our own ear drum-red with rage-
A deep breath of automatic gratitude will catch us off guard when we are reminded how easy it is to hear, when one is gifted this sense in good health.
Hearing sounds is one thing. Listening is another. An Art. No Question.
Imagine joyful sounds. Top ten. What are yours? Mine would have to include the timeless calming effect of a cat's purr, as well as:
Listening is an art. Literal comprehension is not always required, as any traveller in a foreign land knows; hand gestures, international signs, human facial expressions—the things we listen for instinctively. Listening implies being non-judgmental. Non defensive. This—when the stakes are high and the wounds deep—is one of our biggest challenges. We often turn away in protection; versions of self preservation are well rationalized. Albeit the result is alienating, sometimes punishing—the cool shadow of withdrawal.
NO one benefits when we stop listening.
Disconnection is the result. Especially from ourselves and our deeper heart.
Why do we fear listening, what is it we think we will hear? Perhaps the unbearable truth.
I WONDER....What would it be like if this noisy world was silenced for a day. IF the world was silenced for a day; no gunfire, sirens, beeping, car horns, screaming, yelling, ALARMS, radio announcers, sound bites, sTatiC, jack hammers, heating systems, dogs barking, steaming mad espresso machines, no sound emitted when we sob, rage or laugh.
What would you feel?--If you could silence all?
What would you miss?
Would your own voice intensify? Or would it slow down, find it's softness against the new found quiet, and land gently upon a resting place. Like a feather landing. Astonished. Still.
Imagine the sheer s-p-a-c-i-o-u-s-n-e-s-s.
Can you breathe deeper simply imagining this? The noise ceasing—the energy you would have freed up by not having to digest and discern a thousand bombarding signals of data an hour--
What if we could give ourselves this luxury for mere minutes a day?
A soul nap.
A tea break for the psyche.
The act of Emptying our crowded selves.
Tension simply draining away after the discordant party blaring in our heads, stumbles home like errant rowdy neighbors, finally quiet.
But – even though silence can be sublime, I would eventually miss the resonance of a teacup gently clicking it's contact point with the saucer—the reassuring sound of hot tea pouring into the cup. These are comforting sounds. Like your lover saying your name. The sound of anticipation itself. The fullness of this life to your own personal soundtrack.
Watching Evelyn Glennie perform on stage, is a humbling marvel. She is a World class solo percussionist—simply astonishing the audience with her virtuosity, in large part 'listening' through her bare feet to vibrations. You see, not only is she a major talent, but she is also deaf. AND, she wins 'the listening as an art form' badge. What an inspiration to behold. Hers is a brilliant lesson in listening.
We too can listen if only we can allow ourselves to get out of the way of our inner noise. Past our ego, our latent wounds hiding in ambush. If we can avoid following the shiny magnetic distractions of the noisy world.
Listening instead to our hearts. Our longing. Our dreams. Our harebrained creative urgings.
Listening to the vibrations of our own being, It then also becomes infinitely easier to listen to our loved ones and to hear their song. Listening heart to heart is the most important thing we will ever do here.
Resonance with our truest vibration is a deeply beautiful thing.
[NOTE TO THE READER: I want to personally thank any and all for ''listening'' to this blog and other posts. I appreciate the offering of your time and attention in this noisy world. I am genuinely grateful for your participation and encouragement, and welcome any vibrations you have to share on your favourite sounds...!!!]