Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The True Meaning of Music

"Music is not just sounds overlapping. It is a story, waiting to be told. It is a lesson waiting, to be learned. It is an experience, waiting to be experienced. It is all of these things, but more. It is emotion."

(age 11)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thoughts, Feelings, And Your Internal Guidance System

We are creative beings.

Remember using your imagination as a child? Do you remember how real that Barbie Dreamhouse was or how much you believed that G.I. Joe could save the day? We used our imagination quite naturally as a child. It was fun and exciting to spend the afternoon being a superhero or a princess. It was a serious job when we worked with our tool box or cooked and cleaned in our doll house. Whatever we put our minds to came to life! And most importantly, it was always fun! As we get older we begin to loose faith in our imagination. As an adult, our imagination is a dim light compared to the burden of everyday life. It's not that we loose our imagination as adults, we just have to remember the steps on how to use it.

Our adult imagination is our creative ability. We have the ability to create from a place of joy as adults. That is actually Step One: Find Your Joy. Whatever you are passionate about or excited to become is the calling of your highest joy. What usually happens after this calling is a flow of logical thoughts and beliefs of why this exciting idea wont work. And guess what? It doesn't!

This is because your thoughts and feelings make up the internal guidance system of your life. Whatever you believe will come true! How great is that?! The downside to this rule is that we can use our beliefs to keep us small and unworthy. The upside to this rule is that we can have the life we dream about. Imagine that!

This brings us to Step Two: Monitor Your Thoughts and Feelings. We were given thoughts and feelings to help us know when we are creating from a place of joy. If we are feeling happy, excited, and loving towards ourself and others we are in alignment with our joy. If we are feeling sad, depressed, angry, or slighted, we are out of alignment with our joy. Our joy, our love, our passion is always there and it is always our choice whether we are in alignment with it or not. If your life feels like you can "never win," or "it always happens to you," check in with your thoughts and see if you are allowing yourself to give into fears about not being good enough, self loathing, or feelings of lack. Once you identify with those thoughts and feelings you can release them with love knowing that you have the power to change your experience.

Step Three: Trust. Now that you know you are capable of creating from your joy trust that you will be led to it!

        "Consider this question: If I am in Phenoix, Arizona, and it is my desire to be in San Diego, California, how would I go about getting to San Diego? The answer to this question is easy to hear: No matter what your mode of transportation-by air, by car, or even on foot- if you will face in the direction of San Diego, and continue to move in the direction of San Diego, then you must reach San Diego...Because of your knowledge of direction, and with the help of road signs and other travelers, it is not logical that you would remain forever lost in the Arizona desert unable to find your way to San Diego. The 400-mile trip between the two cities is easily understood, and the idea of making the trip is completely believable, and if it were your desire to make the trip, you would find a way to do so."
                                                                                 -Abraham, Ask and It Is Given

You may not always be able to see how you will arrive at a life filled with your highest joys, but you can trust that by using your thoughts and feelings as your guidance system you will be heading in a forward direction. Believe in yourselves. There is always enough.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Using the Power of Your Lower Chakras

The only way for a tree to grow is by the root. In fact, the roots of a tree are 3 to 4 times the diameter of a tree crown!! The power of growth comes from the bottom up. Our two lower chakras are the Sacral and the Root. The Sacral Chakra, resonating by the pelvic bone, is connected to the utilization of creativity, and the Root Chakra, resonating below the Sacral, can be used to ground spiritual forces into the body.

When expressing our thoughts, feelings, and ideas our tone has a great impact on our communication. When you sing, being able to express through many tones is crucial for one's own personal relationship with a song.  Lately, I am finding a direct link between free expression and the power of lower tones! Similar to the way our chakras are aligned at different areas of our bodies, we resonate our sound in different areas of our bodies as well, and each area has it's feeling of resonation for both the singer and the listener. Imagine two singers in a room, a bass and a soprano. The bass will bring out feelings of strength, stability, and structure, while the soprano with access feelings of being light, flighty, and soft. I believe that we ALL are expressions of perfection. We are ALL capable of accessing every tone, every emotion, and every area of resonation. It is within us to access this possibility. It is a result of our conditioning that we feel a repression of expression. Finding your inner strength, a strength that has always existed and has always been a part of our instrumental bodies, allows us to break through the confines of our conditioning and fully express our thoughts and emotions in our perfection.

Just like a tree, we can "grow" in tone and expression by the roots of our lower resonation. By accessing the reflexive strength of our lower register we can generate energy to allow us to open up to a broader, clearer, more resonant sound, a.k.a our true voice! I used the term reflexive strength because the strength that is being referred to here does not require control or force. This is an inner strength that we all possess to allow us to raise our energy upward. In the case of expression, we are rising our energy through tone. Try this exercise: Close your eyes and produce a low sound on "ah." Bring your awareness to your throat.  Imagine a belt tightened to its last loop on your throat. Now undo the belt. Reach down to the navel of your Being, or even lower! Produce another low "ah." Can you feel a difference? Once you access and learn how to use your inner strength, which is manifested as the energy chakras of the lower half of your body, you can raise your energy straight up to the Heavens, where you will find nothing less then your Self. Go ahead and find the roots of your Self.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Path Of All Creation

Expansion, Contraction, and Rest are the three movements experienced by all of creation. Nature shows us Her expansions, contractions, and rests with the regeneration of trees, the movement of a wave, and the four seasons. Similar to Mother Earth, we experience these same movements with our breathing, our day to day life, interpersonal relationships, and our creativity. I first learned about Expansion, Contraction, Rest while studying Full Permission Living.

FPL says: 

"Expansion in its harmonious form is expressed as creativity, growth, a building force, forward movement, outgoingness, generosity, searching for union with that which appears outside of the self, with the "Other". In its negative expression, expansion manifests as aggression, hostility, destructiveness, cruelty, impatience, often leading to quarreling, ultimately in some cases, war.

Contraction in its positive form is assimilation, balance, introspection, inward movement, caution, patience, thoughtfulness, a self-searching, reflective, integrating force. In the negative, contraction manifests as a regressive, backward movement, resistance to progress, selfishness, egocentricity, avarice, separateness.

Rest in its positive aspect is healthy passivity, preservation, gestation, a state of beingness, timelessness, a gathering of momentum before a new growth cycle. Rest is necessary for fruition to take place. In the negative, rest will appear as stagnation, lifelessness, inertia, helplessness."

Each processes has its importance and is intended to be experienced without judgement. It's easy to have a positive relationship with an Expansion, "This has been such a great day! I got so much work done and I enjoyed spending time with friends". And it's easy to have a negative relationship with a Contraction or Rest, "Wow this was a horrible day. Work was tough, and I got into a fight with my husband" (Contraction); "I'm so lazy! I got none of the housework done"(Rest). But, without placing a positive or negative judgement on an experence we can connect with the process we are going through in the Now and enjoy the benefits!

The author Eknath Easwaran uses Expansion, Contraction, Rest when he explains the Eastern concept of Gunas, the very fabric of existence:

"[An] individual will have times when he is bursting with energy and times when inertia descends and paralyzes his will, times when he is thoughtful and other times when he is moving so fast that he never notices those around him. This person is the same; he is simply experiencing the play of the gunas."

We are made up of energy. We expand our energy, contract our energy, and harness our energy as we experience life; it is who we are. Each experience of our energy without judgement is for our highest good and greatest growth. Expansions aid in outward movement and expression, helping us to connect with others and collaborate ideas. Contractions allow us to ground ourselves by looking inward to understand our inner conflicts so that we can surface and free ourselves from their confines. Rest allows us to conserve our energy so that we remain centered, aware, and compassionate during our next expansion. It's all for us. It all IS us.

Since this is a blog about our expression and creativity, I'll conclude with applying Expansion, Contraction, and Rest to this very natural part of our existence. Expansion is the easy one. It's when we feel right at home in the element of creation. The moments where our vessels are open and the creative expression feels like it is flowing through us. Wouldn't it be great to be there all the time?! Not really. We have to reset. As artists we are continually deepening our relationship with our body, mind, and spirit. Expansion is only an outward movement of energy. Contraction and Rest are our inner movements of energy. It is during those periods of time where we can deepen our relationship with ourselves. Contractions allow us to see what blocks still exist within our physical and emotional being, and it gives us the time to surface them and work through them. Where there is a road block there is a traffic jam. Rest allows us to let go of creative expectations and tap into what we have to access in the Now. It's also a time to plant our seeds of manifestation so that our garden will flourish during our next Expansion and we can share the fruits of our labor.

Expansion, Contraction, Rest. Which are you in Now?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Quote of the Day!

It's only when you invalidate whatever your process has been that you actually add more time. Many of you are impatient to be somewhere other than where you are and that's exactly what makes you take so long. You really don't need to be impatient- the only reason you are impatient is because you think you need to be patient.  It's because you're not enjoying where you are right now- so the sooner you allow yourself to let where you are right now to be exactly what it needs to be, the sooner you validate the present- then you enjoy the present- because if you're enjoying the present you don't desire to be anywhere else. Because no where else is any better, it's just different. And as soon as you stop needing to be somewhere other than the now you will find your life accelerating, because something else will than be able to come through you, through the present. Things can't find you if you're not home!
The only place you exist is in the present- so the more you focus on "where I'd like to be in the future…where I was in the past…" the less you are in the NOW the less likely it is that things that need to find you will find you and the slower things will take.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Getting A Gold Star

This past weekend my husband and I performed a cover of Lovesong for our family and friends at our wedding celebration. It was the eve before the big day and we were both a bit nervous about exposing our musical selves to this large, very prestigious audience. I was experiencing psycho-somatic symptoms in my throat, and Todd was experiencing mental tension around "messing up", or needing to start over. So here we were, sitting in a pile of fear of the Unknown. We started meditating and tuning into our Truth, and an abundance of information flooded through us! The information translated as a reminder of the desire to get a gold star. We had not yet realized that it was more important for us to "do it right," than be in Truth. We were paying too much attention to this futuristic end result that we weren't present in the moment to experience what the Now had to offer. It is so easy to listen to the Mind telling you to control or else you'll have nothing to "hold onto." We have a desire to impress. That desire shadows our Selves in a way. We don't give our Essence a chance to truly express itself because the mind is too busy looking to get the gold star, and we are too busy listening to the mind.

Especially when you are expressing your highest excitement, your passion, it is worth it to let go of expectations and let your True Self take you for the ride. You actually don't need to "do" anything except show up and let go! Trust that you already have a million gold stars in Your perfection. Let your True Self speak through the music of your life.

Here's a final rehearsal of Lovesong

The performance was flawless. But, the best part was that we were present to express and experience it.