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Posts Tagged ‘Singing’

This is a post specifically written for  Karen Caterson’s blog (which is always a great read BTW) round robin: Support Stories – Strength from Within. Thanks for inviting me to participate Karen! (Click on the link to see more stories, poems and posts on the topic by other bloggers)


When a tree is a sapling, it may be given some additional and external support. It may need stakes, ties and even deer guard to give it a chance to become the giant it was born to be. Over time, if all goes well, the tree outgrows the stakes. The branches reach high enough to evade foraging deer. Its root system grows deep and wide, bringing it nourishment from the ground. A strong trunk supports the wide canopy that drinks in sunlight. A tree wants to live. That’s an assumption I make. It will do all it can to survive in the densest of shade and the driest of soil. It wants to live.

There was a point in my life, not long ago, (ok, about 6 years ago) when I came to a cross-roads. I wasn’t sure I could go on much longer feeling so much emotional pain. I entertained the notion of suicide without really contemplating it. I was aware that I could let the big wind that entered my life completely uproot me or I could let a branch or two snap off, bend with the winds that blew, send a taproot deeper into a still place and make my stand.   In one inspired moment, I chose the latter.  Despite the pain, the complete uncertainty about my future (especially financially), I wanted to live. I wanted to create something new, find out what I was made of, maybe, eventually, find new love. I had a faint glimmer of hope that I’d make it to a better day.

That’s the thing about hope. It’s like a homeopathic remedy. It only takes the essence of hope, the faintest hint of hope to keep us going.

As I applied the essence of hope daily, I began to develop a relationship with myself, with nature and the Divine. I came to appreciate the gift of Mystery and the way in which we can navigate the unknown with Love. I filled the empty hole of feeling unappreciated and broken with a deep regard for the sacredness of all of life, mine included.

It meant giving up any notion of being rescued. It meant giving up suffering like a martyr.

Victims wait to be rescued.

Martyrs go through all kinds of tap dancing to suffer in silence (with a few deep sighs) and then get angry when no one notices all they have sacrificed for others.

Victims and martyrs are waiting for something outside themselves to support them. They’ve let the stakes, ties and deer fencing become their (illusory) prisons.  I know. I’m an “ex-con.”

Here’s the thing; once we commit to something, all of reality (and that which is unseen) conspires to support us.

If we are playing footsies with victim and martyr, we will be supported there too. We will create relationships with unwritten co-dependent contracts acting out roles of heroes and villains.

We make choices and those choices create our reality. What reality have you created?

What reality will you create now?

Some trees in The Forest of Nisene Marks State Parkgrow at right angles. They were tossed sideways in the Loma Prieta earthquake of 1989 and then continued their upward growth toward the sun.

I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been tossed sideways by some kind of earthquake in their lives. We can live sideways and consider it over or reach for the warmth and light. It’s a choice.

I’m not saying it’s easy.  I’m not saying it’s hard.

I am saying, stop waiting for someone to come to the rescue. Chances are if you are not loving and nurturing  yourself, you won’t have an open enough heart to receive the help when it’s offered anyway.

You are your own hero (and your own villain). It’s an inside job.

Squirrel resting in tree Copyright (C) November 2010, Kathy J Loh

A sturdy tree makes a nice resting place (c) K J Loh

When it feels like all the world’s  got you in a spin and circumstances are chaotic, when you feel lonely and like you don’t belong, what to do? Be still. Breathe. Find your center. Send that taproot even deeper, let your canopy dance in the passing breeze. There’s a lot of space between you and all that is happening. Observe. Rest. Be with your genuine emotions raw and real as they are and pan the story. At least tell a new one.

I’ve created a strong sense of inner support by way of connecting with nature, the Divine, my own heart. Here are some of my practices with some selected resources. They are practices because there is no arrival, simply the daily devotion.

Wow, that’s a lot of external resources for developing inner strength. Like I said before, it’s an inside job and it is the commitment to the inner work that brings the support of a friendly world to your doorstep.

Enjoy dear ones!

If you have something you’d like to add to the list, feel free to leave a comment with your practices for creating strength from within.

Ready to receive some help with that inside job? Email me at kathyloh@coachkathy.com and we can set up a conversation about how I might be able to be of service to you.

If you are ready for radical transformation of your inner world (which will have a delightful impact on your external world) then you are ready for a Sacred Life Walkabout with me. Let’s talk!

Copyright © November 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved
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I meditate.

I contemplate.

I have great internal Board of Directors meetings.

I sing and chant and sometimes even rant.

I fill my heart and empty my mind.

I follow my mind and empty my heart.

Dance with my spirit and inhabit my body.

Sometimes I am guided. Most often, I dance alone.

This morning the sunrise was a sight to behold. Clouds to the west kissed illuminated hills and homes. I could not sequester myself in my meditation room and miss the morning.

 

copyright(c) Oct 2010, Kathy J Loh

Where does the pathway in the clouds lead?

 

Jackhammers abused concrete somewhere in the valley below. A steady stream of cars snaked its way up Wolfe Grade and silver jets left vapor trails between the clouds…so many people going somewhere.

Is this how we honor the dawn?

Is this how we honor all beginnings?

I don’t know. I only wonder.

Not wanting to miss the changing colors and shapes of the clouds; not wanting to miss the flocks of crows (and one tiny hummingbird) that traverse the skyscape, I began to sing, as I always do to begin meditation.

At first I was aware of my voice and the wending of the melody. Soon enough, I was absorbed by the pastel hues, absorbed by whatever it is that absorbs me, of which I am a part, to which I belong, and the song emerged as a completely self-organized melody; my morning song; this morning song.

Or is it mourning song, like the dove in the pine outside my window? For the tears come as my heart cracks open and I don’t really know what is sad or what is too much to hold.

Perhaps it is gratitude.

Perhaps it is Beauty.

Surely it is Love.

And, it doesn’t need a name.

When I retreat to my mediation room each morning, supposedly to ground myself so as to be more present during the day, to what have I become un-present? Where have I gone and how much of the day already missed?

This “being present to”… this offering of lullaby to the dawn and all the weary travelers, this is what grounds me now.

What is your morning practice?

copyright(c) October 2010, Kathy J Loh, All Rights Reserved

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By now you have likely heard of Susan Boyle, the “frumpy,” innocent Scottish woman with the angelic voice who stunned and enraptured the British talent show audience and judges, including Simon Cowell, with her rendition of I Dreamed a Dream from Les Miserable. The YouTube video has been viewed over 19 million times as of this writing (3 million views occurred in the time it took me to write this blog entry).

Everyone’s talking and writing about it. Suzanne Falter-Barnes of Get Known Now writes of the lessons from a marketing platform perspective; how one can be found in this world when one has the courage to be visible and the talent to match.

The Herald printed an article by Collette Douglas Home, about Boyle from the perspective of what we value and what is truly recognition-worthy.

I have been exploring the enormity of the impact this video had on me personally. What am I feeling when I watch the video and cry? I’ve always cried when I’ve heard that song both in and out of context. Sitting next to my mother during a live performance, I cried for her lost dreams as well as my own, especially my fear of betraying my own dreams. Yet, I am familiar enough with my tears and my emotions to recognize this as something very deep and very cleansing.

A friend says she thinks it is Boyle’s triumph, the dream achieved, that brings on our tears. Yes and we have witnessed many people achieving their long sought-after dreams without this massive an impact. Is it because she is an underdog? Is it because we saw her as frumpy, odd, unsophisticated and made the assumption that talent can’t possibly live in someone like that and then got a huge awakening? Yes and…

As we continued our discussion, that same friend, who is a seasoned astrologer, proposed that it was the right time, right place, right person; a conjunction of events. This brought on an insight that resonated for me, one that explained what I was feeling in my body, mind, spirit and heart.

I’m suggesting that, through Boyle and by way of this video (edited exactly as it was), we are receiving a massive healing of our collective and individual shadow through direct transmission. What is direct transmission? Very simply, it is receiving learning, consciousness, and/or healing through vibration/energy rather than the usual channels. It is what people experience when they sit with a guru or other spiritual teacher.

Watching and listening to Susan Boyle sing so beautifully in the face of scorn and mockery, our unspoken shame for imperfection (of appearance, of success, etc) as mirrored in our material world, is healed. We are at one and the same time faced with being both the mocked and the mocker. We recognize ourselves as both the one who fears isolation and the one who isolates others.  Music, especially the human voice, is a perfect vehicle for healing. Boyle has the heart behind the voice to deliver.

After so many years of living with the tyranny of perfect looks and perfect talent perfectly packaged…

After so many years of looking at our faces and our bodies in the mirror and deriding ourselves for not being more beautiful and youthful, fighting our bodies at the gym and abusing them in the surgeon’s office…

After so many years of deifying youth and scorning age, assuming that, after a certain time in life, our dreams and thus, our usefulness, are no longer viable…

After so many years, by way of Susan Boyle and this video, we have received a healing message; a re-membering of our true soulful beauty through direct transmission. We are also forgiven for forgetting.

This healing is not about becoming famous. It is not about praising the spiritual and denying the material. It is about how we polarize the two and how out of balance humanity has become. We are spiritual and human, we live in a world that embraces both. This healing is as universal as it is individual. It is a transmission of forgiveness for all the ways we have judged ourselves and others. It is a healing of shame for our bodies, our lack of perfection, our lost years and all the times we lacked courage.  This healing is ours, if we are willing to receive it.

A transmission of healing is a gift and can only be received if we open to it. When our tears fall as we listen to Susan; when we smile and laugh for her victory, when our heart and chest swell with pride for her courage, we might ask ourselves: “What is the shadow within me that is being healed in this moment?” and receive that light and love. There is nothing more we need to do to avail ourselves of this amazing gift that has been given to all of us as it spreads around the globe at lightning speed.

Susan Boyle is both a channel of this transmission and a human being with a big voice and a big dream. It is a reminder that we are all channels of love, we are love. We all have a unique voice and a dream.  I don’t know about you, but when I go about my day today, I’m going to notice all the angel-humans around me. I’m going to remain curious and open to the question: What is the unique expression and gift offered by everyone who crosses my path today? What is their, and my, unique message to the world?  What will I open to receive and what will I have the courage to give?

Thank you, Susan Boyle!

all words and images copyright (C) April 2009, Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

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7 am – Morning sky blushes with the dawning of a new day

8 am – Deep in meditation

9 am – Clouds thicken, thunder rumbles in the distance

10 am – First raindrops dance on the foxglove’s leaves

11 am – Rain plays snare drum on the skylights

Noon – Quiet now, air fresh and sweet

1 pm – Weather? Whether?

2 pm – Sun wonders how much to show

3 pm – Wind kicks up a frenzy in the forest canopy

3:30 pm – Warm massage table welcomes me

4 pm –  surrender

4:30 pm – Tears flow, open heart, no story

5:30 pm – Sun blesses the shoreline, clouds retreat to the hills

Got my mud boots and my sunglasses on

Singing my spirit home again

Blushing Dawn (photo: Kathy Loh)

Blushing Dawn (photo: Kathy Loh)

(Thanks  to Jennifer Eisele in Santa Cruz for a great massage and cranial sacral therapy)

copyright (c) April 2009 Kathy Loh, all rights reserved

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