Quarantine Musings

 

First and foremost, I pray you and your loved ones are safe, and healthy, and sharing love…in any way you can.

We are in a moment of the history of the world that no one could have imagined even a few months ago.

We are in a moment that is fraught with worry, anxiety, fear, illness and suffering.

We are in a moment in which the leaders of the world and  of our country are making calls, the consequences  of which will reverberate for many a year.  We are in a moment of evaluating our alignment with those decisions, and our resonance with the philosophies that drive those decisions.

We are in a moment of profound isolation for the betterment and protection of our neighbors, our families, and our fellow human. Whether we are blessed to have a job we are still able to perform, or wondering where our next meal will come from, or when the pantry will be empty, there is a rumble of worry at the core, underlying every breath we take.

All the while, we are in a moment rich with possibility, and resplendent with the goodness and the beauty of life and humanity.  Just the other day, there was a gratitude caravan winding its way through my town, honking and displaying  signs with messages of thanks and love to the business owners  and workers who continue to risk their own safety for the benefit of our townspeople: First responders, grocery store workers, municipal offices, garbage and recycling collectors, mail and package deliverers, health care workers, and teachers who crouch over their computers doing everything in their power to make education  possible and even fun for their students during this time of upheaval.  For the clergy, religious and Church staffs who are invoking their God for inspiration on how to reach a fearful and lonely congregation.  Not a dry eye throughout the town, such is the love.

A core spiritual practice and philosophy I have held throughout my life is the resolute conviction that in the most dire of circumstances, a heart can be broken, but broken open, and give rise to new insights, new freedoms, new resourcefulness, and healing. It’s both an observation,  in light of  many such experiences, and an intentional cultivation and expedition.

We are in a moment in which each one of us can choose to glean from this global experience a new direction, a new practice, a new outlook, a new way of banding together, a new way of bringing our light into the world.

We are in a moment that has the potency to create a seismic shift in perspective for one and all, to pause and dream a bit, to ponder the life we have created, individually and collectively, and wonder how we might do better, and create more joy in our life and in our world…  If we allow it to do that.

I came across the poem  below on St. Patrick’s day, and it touched me deeply, for it called me back to the life stance that has served me so well through the years, and to the life Source I turn to for Love, and inspiration, and rootedness.  I hope it touches you as well.

We are in a moment, a profound and pregnant moment…what shall we do with it?

~*~*~*~*~

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being,

And were still.

And listened more deeply.

Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows.

And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed.

And, in the absence of people {acting out their fear, their scarcity their loneliness and their grief in mindless ways,}*

the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again,

they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images,

and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

 

Kitty O’Meara

 

Resourcefully Yours,  Ginnie 

 

*Adapted by me to sidestep blame or derision.  This post is for all, whether I agree with your views or not. I hope Kitty doesn’t mind!

 

 

The Power of Visualization Released My Fears

I’m a singer.  Not by profession – though when I sing my kids waver between holding their ears shut, and insisting I “could have been;” – but by avocation,  by commitment, by passion. The joy of singing and the bonding it creates has been in my blood for generations.  I once mistook my Dad and his brothers for a Barbershop Quartet on the radio. Oh the thrill of being steeped in such a sound, and even more so when I myself contribute to it!

As surely as the love of music and singing grew and expanded and filled me as I was growing up, the dreaded performer’s anxiety was weaving its way into the fiber of my being all through those early years as well.  In High School, I couldn’t wait to audition for my first musical!  I had gained experience and confidence in leading song in Grammar School assemblies and other programs. I was encouraged and praised for my singing then.  Yet, when my turn came to climb those stage stairs and sing my selected audition song, I froze, unable to even get up from my seat.  Crushed at my insipid cowardliness, I served in Stage Crew that year.

The next year, another song prepared, another time ascending those steep stairs; this time I got myself to center stage and opened my mouth, but to my utter dismay, not a sound could escape beyond the tight constriction of my throat. Seriously? I SOUNDED SO GOOD IN MY LIVING ROOM! Mistress of Properties that year.

Finally, in my Junior year, I practiced like crazy, had been given a few solo and small group opportunities in Glee Club, and I became determined to sing in my audition the way I sang at home.  This time I got a small part, and the next year I earned the leading role. At last, my passion and my voice were liberated, and I sang and acted my heart out in that role!

The family parties continued, during which my Grandmother, a professional pianist, alternating with a few very talented cousins, played the piano for hours while the family sang and swayed and loved around that family jewel and centerpiece.  Many years later, I satisfied my longing to release my voice once again by singing in my Church choir. I taught myself to harmonize, I sang a solo every once in a while, and I surrounded myself with friends who also loved to sing.

After my last went away to college, and after my career changing Graduate degree was completed, I knew it was time to focus on more challenging music, and to find once again like-minded people to share that thrill and that bond with.  I researched the many Choral Groups that were holding auditions that Fall, and chose the group whose philosophy and passion matched my own. The audition was no problem; I knew nobody and had nothing to lose.  I was accepted, and my choice was confirmed within an hour of the first rehearsal.  Here was real passion and soul; here was a community committed to one another, to music and to having fun…lots of it!

I was shocked when, a few months later, auditions were being held for a few solo sections in the upcoming concert, and that old familiar dread crept in, and the vocal constriction prevailed once again. I thought I had outgrown this, but somehow, now knowing this director and the many onlookers, I  somehow felt I had a lot on the line.  This went on for 6 years!  Every time a solo opportunity came up, I would rehearse, I would often take a voice lesson or more. I would pray, I would rehearse some more – and rock that song in my living room once again.  And then at the audition, my knees and my voice would shake, sometimes profoundly, sometimes a little less so, but never was I rewarded with a concert solo. I couldn’t complain, I knew that I hadn’t given a good performance, except to the mirror at home.

This beloved group has held Cabaret Shows every couple of years or so, and I took to auditioning with comedic songs that I was confident in singing, and that I knew would enhance the entertainment value of the show.  I was accepted into the roster for many of these, but I knew in my heart I was shortchanging myself. Minor to significant vocal constrictions prevailed even in these performances, but my comedic timing made those imperfections tolerable. But Oh how I longed to have the courage to audition for, and sing a serious song, a ballad or a show stopper, one that allowed me to liberate my voice, and sing my heart out once again.

The longing was visceral; it was what kept me pushing forward, determined to overcome those inner obstacles, and to experience that moment of freedom, of union with the song and with music itself. I yearned to express a part of myself that was instilled at birth and would be satisfied with nothing short of full liberation, self-connection and Joy.

My moment finally came.  Not without further fears and anxieties, not without a few more moments in which I held myself back, and allowed the fear (fear of what?) to diminish my voice. But come it did, and it was worth the wait.  As part of a group voice lesson program, I had worked on and sang that serious song at our recital.  The feedback was stellar, and I knew I had grown stronger in my voice, and more skilled in my singing and performance presence. Despite the ample praise I received, I once again knew that I hadn’t given it my all, and I knew that I was not completely free.  The song was a belter in parts, which helped me push past the constriction to a large degree; but I knew it still lurked in the background.

I was encouraged to audition with that same song when my Choir was holding another Cabaret this Winter. I was accepted! Once again, I rehearsed, I reviewed, I carefully experimented with finding the ideal vocal nuance for each word. As the date approached, I knew I was as ready as I could possibly be, and that the rest was up to myself, in the moment of performance. There was nothing holding me back but my own self-doubt.  The first night of the show, I was steadier than I had been in recent years, and once again, I received praise; and once again, I knew I held back some.

The next morning, I confronted my fears in my morning meditation. I told them to back off, that I understood how scary life could be, but that I no longer needed their protection. And then I visualized the performance of my life.  I saw it in spectacular detail, and I sang that song in my imagination, basking in the glow of self-love and release.  I claimed the moment as mine, and stated my intention: This is the night I come out. This is the performance where I hold nothing back. I sieze THIS moment as the one in which I do what I know I can do, and put it all on the line. I felt the confidence, and connection, the joy of being fully alive, and fully me.  All day long, I recalled this glorious reflection, and re-claimed the day as my own, and the evening’s performance as fully expressive of that.

All evening, as I awaited my turn to sing, I felt the shimmery feelings from the morning. I felt more alive; I felt more connected to each of the other singers and the audience. I continued to affirm that THIS was my moment. I had almost no anxiety as I walked to the microphone, and I claimed once more the moment of release.  And then I sang.  For 3 ½ minutes, I was floating on air.  Every cell in my body was alive and engaged, and I sang with the passion and the freedom I had longed for. I was in a flow, an ecstatic current of natural and exhilarating energy; it was effortless, and yet I poured myself into it like I never had before. Several people who had seen both performances noticed the difference, and a few were even moved to tears. One friend captured my journey by celebrating with me and declaring, “You’ve come out!  You’ve inspired me to come out too!”

Suddenly I realized: this experience was right in line with everything I believe and teach! I had a desire, a longing that I knew I must pursue.  I gave it everything I had, and sought the skills and expertise I needed to bring it to fruition.  I refused to give up despite repeated failure, because I KNEW there was more inside of me, and that I must continue to pursue my dream. I believed that triumph would come, and then I crashed through my self-imposed barriers to success. I had visualized my ideal performance, felt the sensations as though they were unfolding in my life in just that way; and then I brought that vision to life.

All of this contributed to the experience I had, of creating a facet of the life I was longing for.  In the ensuing days and weeks since that exciting night, I have been meditating once again, this time assiduously instilling into my being, my belief in the process of creation, and how essential visualization is to that process. It has reinforced my trust in my inner longings and desires, and my innate ability to reach out for them and achieve what I set my heart to.

What are the desires that dwell in the depths of your being?  What are the daydreams that haunt you, returning again and again?  What areas of your life are you unsatisfied with; what ideas have you had that you’ve dismissed as fanciful or impossible to accomplish?  Walt Disney is often quoted as saying: “If you can dream it, you can do it!” If it lives inside of you as a longing of any strength, a desire for something different; if your inner voice shouts or even merely whispers “enough!  It’s time for change!”- then you can achieve that change.  And let me tell you, the euphoria that you will experience from digging in and calling forth more of you than you thought possible, is liberating; it’s exhilarating.  Then you know that this is what life is really all about.        And then you thirst for even more.

Resourcefully Yours … Ginnie

Triumvirate of Power

The page is turned…2015.  A fresh, pristine year lies open and before us like an uncharted trail to a hidden natural treasure.   Take a moment, right now, to breathe deep the essence of this new year, and the unlimited possibility and promise it holds out to you.

There is a triumvirate of forces that is magnificently designed to help you live through this year and every year at the peak of your ability to manifest your dreams and forge the life you desire and are called to live.  The universe is established in such a way as to foster your deepest joys; call forth your greatest gifts, qualities and talents; and, by the broadcast energy of your intentions, find the precise place where those very energies are matched and needed,  and finally, to bring those people or situations right to your doorstep.

It is a brilliant design!  It is natural law, and it is functioning whether you are aware of it, and use it consciously or not.  We can tap into this creative power system any time we want, to influence and direct its effectiveness in our lives.  The New Year, however, offers us a perfect opportunity to clear the slate of old beliefs and feelings of frustration and doubt, and seize the moment as a springboard to creativity and success. So how do we capture the essence of this tri-fold energetic system and have it work in our favor?  It starts with a dream.

Spend the first week of January exploring your depths, and allowing every desire, every wish, every whimsical dream to rise to the surface of your imagination.  Cast away any thoughts that discourage your fanciful ideas from coming forth.  Just dream.  You can edit and hone later; for now, open the floodgates, play, laugh, sing and dance around with the sheer joy of possibility.  Write down all that you discover about your dreams and desires, paying special attention to the long neglected ones. In Conversations with God, we are urged to articulate “the grandest version of the greatest vision we can hold for ourselves”…and go for THAT!  So dream, my friend, and then dream some more.

During the second week of January, choose one of your dreams from last week’s list, the one that feels most alive to you as you think about it.  You may choose instead to opt for a smaller dream, one you can more easily believe in, while you experiment with and gather evidence of your indwelling power to create your dreams and desires.  Either way, make sure it is something you can get excited about, and one that energizes you to think about.   Now, activate all the potency of your imagination, and develop a vision – an inner viewing of your dream as though it is indeed unfolding before your eyes right now.  Fill in every detail, and incorporate every sense and emotion that you can conjure. What and whom do you see in your mind’s eye?  What do you smell, touch, even taste as your vision comes alive?  Indulge in your emotional connection to your dream.  If it helps, draw it, paint it, collage it, or anything else that helps it become real and vivid to you.

The third week should bring with it a sense of momentum as your dream takes some shape.  Continue to quash your doubts and negativity, and develop the stirrings of belief. During this week, you will look closely at your vision and lovingly consider what its realization would call forth from you.  What skills and qualities will it put to use?  What would you need to learn or develop in yourself to assure its success?  What beliefs will you need to challenge and change in order to pave the way for its unfolding?  You’ll probably be amazed at what comes up in this phase.  These may be the very qualities you’ve been admiring in others, or have felt an inner

thrust to develop in yourself.  Make a list of all that will be required to make your vision a reality, and make the solemn commitment to do your utmost to develop the necessary knowledge and skills you will need.  Marvel at how much fun you will have in cultivating these parts of yourself!  Develop, nurture, and expand your faith in your partnership with Source, and your ability to achieve success.  Revel in the facets of yourself that you will be enlivening.

As January comes to a close, you are now ready to broadcast your desire out to the universe, bolstered by your certainty that you will be supported and aided in every way, as you realize the dream you’ve designed.  Each day, even two or three times, visualize your desire in full living color, feel the sensations, and ponder the life you enjoy as you live your way into it.  Once again, abolish any doubts that cloud your vision, and place your certain faith in the mighty triumvirate we spoke of: Desire – Self development and investment – Universal assistance.  Assume a ceremonial stature and practice each day, which demonstrates your inner assurance in the process.  Light candles, burn incense, create sacred atmosphere.  You are activating your destiny.  This is a momentous week, and a potent moment in your life!

During your daily visualizations, allow the emotions that you are hoping for to surface and have their way with you as you grow in clarity and belief.  Summon Spirit to aid you in the realization of your dreams and feel the thrill of Spirit’s inevitable response.  This is the very process of creation, of evolution.  Create a symbol of your intention, such as a javelin or arrow, and, when you are ready, thrust your vision out to the universe with all your might towards its destination, absolutely certain that it cannot help but hit its mark.

During the ensuing weeks and months, do your part in preparing for the accomplishment of your dream, and notice signs of Source’s cooperation with you.  Keep your energy and joy alive, and continue to go about your life, in expectation and gratitude.

This energetic system works because your dreams cannot help but to enrich the world in so many ways.  Your deepest dreams call forth the very best and brightest from you, so that you shine with a luster you may never have known you had.  And, due to this complex web if inter-relatedness in our world, and the promise of spiritual assistance, this bigger, brighter and greater you serves the world in a richer and more vibrant manner than you might otherwise have done.  There is a very specific place in the world that is awaiting what you have to offer as you meet your dreams and bring them to life.

Why not take this clean fresh page in a brand new calendar to explore your inner sanctum, devise your grandest dreams and hurl them out with commitment and faith?  Your destiny, and the destiny of the world awaits your audacious and courageous proclamation of intent, and its powerful unfolding.

December Longings

December… the blackness of the midnight sky intrudes on us even into daytime, enveloping us in a chill we can’t seem to calm until Springtime.  When the frigid air stirs, we encumber our bodies with layer upon layer of clothing, and still too often we’re left with a shiver in our bones.  As we arrive at this darkest and coldest of seasons, we turn inward, gathering at fireplaces, simmering the stews, and venturing outdoors for only the most necessary of chores and trips, often preferring isolation over front stoop conversation. And we’re confronted with a longing.

We long for a brighter day, a warmer smile, a touch that could burn right through those extra layers that enfold our bodies. We’re wistful for the sultry evenings, the open-air, and the conviviality of summertime. We long for the beach or the lake, the hot sun, the outdoor concerts and the excursions to the park.  And if we take the time to really observe our inner sanctum, we’ll find another longing residing there as well.

Now, during the depth of Earth’s coldest, darkest cycle, we have the opportunity to discover and unleash the longings that lie at our core throughout the year.  We long for more light, but perhaps the light we crave is interior more than external.  We yearn to be warm, and recognize that our frosty heart-protection, or cool self-centeredness has once again survived the Summer’s heat, serving as the very thing that prevents our inner light from generating its corresponding warmth. The longing that we feel for the thawing that happens with the first warm breeze of Springtime, can serve as a trigger for, or a reminder of the deeper longings we hold unacknowledged inside.  December gifts us with the chance to recognize and attend to these longings, to journey deep within and discover the desires of our Soul, the longings of our spirit, the yearnings of our hearts.

During December, when the Earth’s very own cyclical expressions match the most chilled corners of our being, we can moan with the longings that reside in our depths, and hurl them out to the universe, begging, demanding, awaiting a response. Whatever your religious affiliation or Spiritual belief system, one can easily receive and accept Winter’s invitation into longing and Hope. For longing is the very foundation of the process of creation, or manifestation. When mingled with hope, it is what signals the onset of the creative process, and heralds the impulse of growth, expansion and innovation; it inspires evolution itself.

Wayne Dyer uses the term Source to signify the Creative Force that unites us all, and from Whom we emanated at the onset of this human journey; and it resonates for me. According to Integral Philosophy as well as numerous philosophers both ancient and contemporary, Divine love energy existed in rapturous bliss, mounting in the energy of self-reflective love and appreciation, until it exploded outward in in a moment of ecstatic self-expression resulting in what we know as creation.  This creative process continued throughout time, and continues still, as a result of the cycle of Divine Creativity:  Self-knowing ecstasy, desire to express and experience, dynamic love energy and ultimately, outward force giving way to creation, or matter.  Our own creative impulse and power corresponds with the very same cycle of manifestation. Positive energy and love beget creative desire to express. This takes the form of a longing, which, when combined with trustful hope (belief), and outward loving energy in the form of action, results in evolution: the birth of the next creative object, or result.

Called by any of the great names man has developed for the idea of Source: God, Allah, the great I AM,  Krishna, Tao, Buddha, Yahweh and so many others, Divine energy continues to create through nature, and in a conscious way, through humanity, which is imbued with the same powerful and creative energy and impulse.

You, reader, are the result of just such a moment, a very specific moment of divine, ecstatic extending of itself outward in loving self-expression. In God’s mounting love energy, the Source desired to physically experience Itself, and emanated as you.  Yes, you are the outcome of a burst of divine self-extension into physical form, and as such, possess the same proclivity to create and the power to manifest matter from non-matter, and dreams into reality.

We can take a hint from Judeo-Christian scriptures, which reveal that after a metaphorical week of creative outburst and flow, God’s response was one of immense Joy at the sight of all that was created.  “And God saw that it was good.”  The process of tapping into our divinely inspired yearnings, utilizing them as guideposts in our creative process, and then calling forth the power to bring them to fruition gives way to such blissful delight that we are inspired once again to yield to the cyclic process.

Longings, the deep, dynamic thrusts of our inner core that summon creative idea and energy, are the harbingers of our most Sourceful creative gestures and discoveries, and result in our greatest experience of fulfillment and joy! It’s no wonder that societies through the millennia have created traditions and ceremonies that harness the creative energy of winter’s longing and celebrate the light that continues to illuminate the Soul in even the darkest of Seasons.   This December, I encourage you to welcome the longings that simmer at the heart of your Wintery chill. Put voice to the yearnings you hold inside, and use them to serve as the catalyst for new creative impulses and growth, giving birth to tremendous Joy, throughout the Season and beyond!

                                                                                                Resourcefully Yours,  Ginnie