let_it_go

This year is perhaps seeing a comeback of a powerful vocal duo – JazzyFatnastees. Two Ladies with incredible voices. Voices that penetrate and crush the hardened hearts.

I saw them live, many years back, and they made a huge impression on me. They were humble and infamous, yet their performance was one of the best.

They had a chance to sing on a huge Jazz Festival, just as one of the many adds-on. 

The conditions were unfavorable, to say at least. Imagine a corridor with a very low ceiling. Disgustingly hot, close to fainting. Stuffy. Bland. Uninteresting. The space was dense, filled with cigarete’s smoke (yes, you could smoke there at that time). And, now, the Duo was to make their gig in one of the corners. 

They made it!

They filled the space with depth and structure. They made it interesting. The vibration in the air was thick, nearly touchable. The spiraling energy was there, the one that inspires for action.

I had no idea how they could sing when even breathing was uneasy.  

Yet…

The Ladies were there.
Focused. Centered. Energetic. Joyful.
 Prepared to touch people’s hearts. 

They radiated a unity of thought and action.
There was a harmony. 
There was trust and understanding.
There was an invitation to join them.
 
So, we did it.

From such a trust, creativity sparks in joy and laughter. We could experience that, the flow of creative energy. The contagious power of inspiration. 

Let it go

I like JazzyFatnastees for their amazing vocals and the harmony between their souls. 
If you need a powerful kick, they are the ones to listen to

They are ambitious. They write good lyrics.
Hopefully, they will create more music after 11 years of silence.

***

Appreciate the lyrics. Listen to these amazing voices:

 

 

Let it go

Crying, tortured,
Wishing for some four leaf clover
To free you from the chains that bind you
Fleeing from yourself,

In time you’ll figure out
We search a whole life
To seek what’s inside
You run but can’t hide

Begging strangers to try
To shield us from pain,
Hoping we’ll change
Nothing stay the same…

Why do you defeat you?
Let the past mistreat you
You don’t wanna let it go…
Let it go, let it go…

No one else can help you
Only you can free you
But you gotta let it go
You gotta let it go…

This’s your circle
frozen by the fears that lurk
You’ll wind up in the place you run to
Find you’ve lost your way

But in time you’ll figure out
We search a whole life
To seek what’s inside
You run but can’t hide

begging strangers to try
To shield us from pain,
Hoping we’ll change…
But we remain in the hame…

Why do you defeat you?
Let the past mistreat you
You don’t wanna let it go…
No-o…

No one else can help you
Only you can free you
But you gotta let it go
Let it go…

  

 ***

Photo copyright by Moyan Brenn. Photo available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.

***
 

music_of_thew_spinning_earth

Music feels like magic

Music awakens us to the truth that life is so much more than the petty details or daily struggles.

Music is universal. It reaches us at the depth of our intuitive existence. It speaks to the senses directly. It touches us profoundly and perhaps more deeply than we would like it to admit.

Music is a great mystery that begins with vibrating air. Because … music is vibration, after all, isn’t it?

Who created music?

I don’t know. Perhaps it has always been there. Omnipresent. Since the beginning of the Word.

We will hear the music

When you walk in a forest, you will hear the sounds of nature. Rustling leaves, crusting pine cones, walking bugs, flying insects, jumping grasshoppers or singing birds. Knowledgeably or not, they make an orchestral performance for you.

When you walk down a street, you will hear all the man-created sounds.Passing-by cars, opening and closing of the doors, heavy footsteps, voices of joy, heated conversations, laughing kids or barking dogs. There may also be the sounds of trams, trains, bikes, rain, snow or splashing paddles. This is a different performance.

When you close your eyes and focus inwardly, you will hear the sounds of your diligently working body: arteries, veins and organs. Hum internally the sound of “a” or “o” for a while. Do you feel how your inner parts seem to join the same vibration?
 
We feel and experience nature, people, machines, and structures. The music exists in them and through them. We hear music of all kinds. Then we enter the realm of harmonies between the plantes, comets and celestial bodies.

Perhaps one day we will hear the sound of the spinning Earth.
Perhaps one day we will hear the music of the Spheres.
Perhaps one day we will hear the sound of our own Beings.

music_of_spinning_earthI can’t wait to hear all these. What about you?

***

Music is neither a by-product nor a result of culture. While we think that music is being created, it is in fact creating itself through various media, be it people of talented voices, nature or instruments.

Music is a living thing, an everlasting orchestral vibration from which we filter out a combination of frequencies. Be them pleasing, uplifting or disturbing – they serve a purpose.

When you really listen

When you really listen to the music, you spend the time alone with yourself. And then, music can touch you deeply. It can bring hidden memories or open the doors you have even forget they existed.

When you really listen there is a chance you realize that you are stuck in a matrix. It may be a castle crafted from your own convictions or false beliefs. You may begin to feel that your castle is tiny dot on the whole map. There is so much more outside your assumptions. You may begin to notice how much you are beset by imposed norms.  Are these your own?

Perhaps you have not been courageous enough to become yourself. To learn to appreciate who you are instead of being impressed by the greatness or authority of others. Music is there to point you this out.

Music!

Music is an elemental force. Primary force. Yes, a wild one at times.

It can make you uneasy, uncomfortable and even confused. It can easily discover when any dissonance is present in you. Music will open something up in your head and in your heart. It will inspire you to seek, explore and change.

If you listen to music long enough you will recognize how you have become fragmented and compartmentalized. Everything is interconnected. When you choose shortcuts or decieve yourself in one area of your life, all of them are affected. No exception. The false notes sound loudly everywhere. Just listen to.

Does it happen with all music? I don’t know.
For sure it happens when the music is great.

To know it, listen to this piece by fantastic guys, Możdżer, Danielsson and Fresco:

When is the music great?

When it is pure and deep, coming from the abysmal yet perfect creation of the given moment. It is authentic and you just know it. It reaches you directly at your heart. It sends thrills down your spine.

In such a moment you feel secure and harmonious. Yet this state does not come from your flesh and bones but it results from your trust to delve into yourself. Yourself, carefully crafted from high energies and impressions which resonate with the sound.  

There are no shortcuts in life.
Music will make you aware of this.
Pay attention.

There is only one way to live – in truth with yourself.

***

Top photo copyright by Moyan Brenn. Photo available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr. Middle photo by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center from Creative Commons on Flickr.

 ***

 

dance_with_life

The quality of my life has improved since I moved to a village. I adore the space I have now.

One of such offerings is a big garage. But even such a garage can easily be filled in no time. And, indeed, our garage has imperceptibly become a land of stock and stuff.

Not on purpose, of course, but merely as a result of our careless storage.

The garage has not called for an immediate attention, so it has patiently waited for its turn.  I’ve had more pressing issues to handle for months. It has gracefully stored everything needed and not, or perhaps needed-one-day-in-the-future, islands of old articles, heaps of papers, buggies, tables, chairs, car seats, garden equipment,  paints, tools, toys, boxes and whatever you will think of – surely we have had it there.

It was a mess.

The cleaning of the garage was on my to-do list as a some-day project. And perhaps it would have stayed there for a long time, but there was a sudden call for action.

While we were away, the garage was flooded by unexpected heavy rains. As a result, on return I was welcomed by unpleasant smell, rotten card boxes and damaged stuff.

“OK, I’ve got it now. No more excuses.”, I said to myself.

I decided to clean the garage.

“Easier said than done”, I thought.  The mess was truly overwhelming.

I was standing there in the middle and feeling the heaviness of the space filled with stuff. I heard a cry for order. The things were not happy, to say at least. However, instead of having a clear plan of action, my thoughts were cluttered and foggy as if in response to the disharmony around.

I had no idea how to start and how to end. I had no clear sense of direction of how to sort things out. It was too much stuff everywhere in all sorts of shapes, sizes and condition. And I felt small, overpowered and tensed by the task. Yet, it had to be done….

I decided to shake these feelings off. I took a few deep in-breaths followed by long out-breaths. I slowly started to relaxed.

“Let the dance begin”, I’ve smiled to myself.

“I need the space back”, I thought.

 I decided to take the stuff out.

“But … hey … I am in a dance.” I’ve reminded myself.

“I like the free-style.”

So, instead of a dedicated effort to move things out,  I took a series of seemingly unrelated or even distracting small steps. From the same dance, of course 🙂

As with dancing, I needed to warm up, with various exercises first. In doing so I gave myself the possibility to both feel and appreciate the space and surroundings. I wanted to feel the dance floor, as you can imagine 😉

I was moving out the bulky items and the small ones, both in collections and individual ones. At the same time I was introducing other steps. For instance, when I discovered a few garden tools I had been desperately missing for some time (that I knew were there but had no idea were), I choose to collect them all in one place first. There was no logical order of moving things out, but inspired by what I thought was compelling to focus on at a given moment.

The moving-out steps were easily interlaced with floor sweeping ballet, re-packing and sorting hip-hop, gracefully jumping over the rooms and collecting new members for the garage, and some lovely speed-ups with the kids playing outside.

Such an approach is certainly unusual for me. When I set to do a task such as cooking or cleaning the house I simply do it. Now, I’ve set myself to a creative (even if chaotic) dance. What did cause the difference? Well… I usually know what to do and how to do it. I have a vision. Now, I had no idea but the motivation for a clean and neat space.

The challenge of garage un-messing was new, or at least very different from my usual undertakings.

There was a hidden structure in my free-style dance. For an outside observer I would have been randomly jumping from a task to a task. For myself, I have acted in response to the moment following the natural choreography that has slowly revealed itself.

After some hours, I’ve finally arrived at a place of space. The bulk of the stuff was outside.

I was again standing in the garage in the appreciation of such a big storage space. Even though I still had no clear vision for order, the insights were there. I’ve paid attention to the sorts and kinds of stuff so I’ve slowly gathered the impressions.

I decided to place the most bulky yet not-to-be-moved items first so that they could define the space in a solid way. Then, I decided to place the opposite – the stuff that would often be in and out such as kids bikes or garden equipment. Finally, I was left with a vast land of stuff of varying sizes and heaviness.

In creating the space for all these items I’ve pre-classified them based on purpose and I was dancing some of them away towards garbage or donation boxes (to be taken to a recycling center and charity shops). The dance has continued but now it was fast paced. I was moving, shifting, holding, pushing, repacking and re-boxing things around. The space was there and I had the freedom to move as I wished.

Every number of steps I made myself stop to feel the space again and the overall surroundings. When I recognized any discord I repeated the parts of the process of moving, shifting, holding, pushing, repacking and re-boxing. Whatever was needed.

The hours flew fast and I arrived at the final result. I was pleased with it. The garage has become a welcoming and very spacious space. The stuff found their new places in friendly neighborhoods. The light came in.

“I’ve done a good job” I thought.

***

The whole dance of space creation was a pleasant experience in contrary to what I anticipated from a tedious task of moving bulky stuff and getting dirty hands.

What is the moral of the story?

When faced with new, uncomfortable challenges, be it a serious disease of your child, a threat to loose a job, a big loss, an accident or a serious injustice, choose a dance approach. The conditions of your challenge are the music but it is your style and your moves that matter.

You need the space, the feel of the music and environment, the freedom to move and the dancing steps. It will make a difference.

Create the space first. This can be done in small steps by either creating it in a physical environment or in a mental/emotional one. Perhaps you need to reorganize your office, shift stuff around the house or clean the garden. Or, perhaps you need a mental space created through relaxation such as a walk in a park, climbing mountains, a long bath, volunteering help, or a good book. Or, perhaps you need to create an emotional space by letting flow the emotions freely through a physical exercise, cry and talk, reflection or a deep tissue massage. 

Every tension is contraction. Contraction means the space is restricted and confined.

Every relaxation is expansion. Expansion means the space is abundant.

Be present. Feel the situation, the circumstances and the environment. Hear the music. It is by probing, taking small actions and experiencing the responses, you will begin to feel the way forward.

Take the natural steps. Make them in the direction that feels natural. Learn about the problem, the circumstances, the disease, the people, the negotiations, the skills or whatever needs to be dealt with. Dance freely. Interlace your learning, thinking and doing with other activities or aside tasks. Take a day off. Go hiking. Rent a boat. Do a bungee jump. Reset.

Your mind needs to digest the information and experience without your inner control freak. This is possible when you begin to feel the in-and-out rhythm. The out is necessary for progress.

***

Breathe.

Expand.

Be present.

Dance.

***

The image above shows a beautiful quilt by Inge Duin. See more of her works on  www.ingeduin.nl.

 

Do you want to be a norm?

You want to be perfect.
Balanced. Harmonious. Spotless.

That is what you think you want. To follow the perfect dream.

You want to have a great family.
(Obviously, a great house and a car too.)
You want an easy and smooth life.
You want to make a great carrier.

That is what you think you want. To follow the standard dream.

Do you want to be a deviation?

Luckily, you are much different than the norm.
You are strange, perhaps odd, colorful and spotty.
You are a masterpiece in creation.

***

It is the differences, not the norm, that shape interest and curiosity.

They make us think.
They make us look for answers.
They make us change and grow.

What is known and explained becomes boring.
What is different and standing out becomes interesting.

Have you ever thought that the greatest inspiration comes from the parts that do not fit to a model?
These are the ugly parts, aberrations, defects, imperfections, or surprises.
Indeed, we push towards a new development because the deviation is there and demands attention.

***

Harmony and elegance are powerful. They create a comfort zone.
As much as we want it and love it, we become lazy and purposeless when we dwell there for too long.

The norm, the model, the comfort zone is a place of rejuvenation. For a short while only.

***

The parts of yourself that are elegant, polished and worked-out make a great cover.
They help you shine. Yet, they likely stand on the way to your progress.

The parts of yourself that you wish to dispose of, change or hide are the sources of great power.
The imperfections are a potential for growth and purpose.

It is where you don’t fit and how you differ from others that becomes your strength.
It is the difference that is an inspiration for change.

***

Dare to be a Deviation, not the Norm.

***

never_get_old

There was a lovely summer night. It was hot, but no so much as during the day. The night was young and full of promises. The darkness was friendly and welcoming. The stars were shining. The wind was brushing the cheeks. Space, people and stars. A lovely combination.

Life was seemingly frozen in a perfect moment of balance.

Harmony. Elegance. Music. Being present.

And in moment like this, a few people were discussing life and about.

***

“I’m tired. I’m really tired”, said Mark. “I’ve had no break, no holiday for ages. There is only work and responsibilities.”

Mark was 30 and tired of life indeed.

“I’ve been asking questions for my whole life, with little results. I don’t want to ask questions any more”, sighed Mark. “I even don’t want the answers any more. I want the results.”

Mark was feeling as if life was running too fast. He lost the sense of purpose and direction.

“I’ve found answers”, said John, “… but I haven’t got any satisfactory explanation to the important questions I asked.” He sighed as well. “I hear the same ideas or generalizations over and over again. Nothing new under the sun. Sometimes I’m offered complaints, nagging or meaningless advice.  And I’m lost as ever.” 

John was 40+ and disappointed. His life was run by boredom and routine, day by day. He was dreaming about the enthusiasm and inspiration he used to have. They were gone for good, however. Where to find them?

“I don’t feel like doing anything meaningful in my life. I lack contribution.” John sighed.

“What’s wrong with you guys? It is better not to think too much”, added Frankie. “It’s probably a matter of age”, he continued. “I don’t ask too many questions. They lead me astray”, he paused. And then he said

“You guys are quite old and therefore start to think about unnecessary issues. Questions are stupid.”

“There are questions that you need to answer, however”, observed Mark.

“I don’t believe so. Which question, for example?” Frankie was surprised.

“What makes you tick?”,  “What is happiness?”, “How to become successful?” asked John. “There are more important ones, as well”, he thought. “Who are you?” is an example of a truly powerful question.

“For me it is only important how much money I have and how to make it.” – Laughed Frankie.

“There is no money without success.” Mark reported.

“They say that money does not give happiness…” – laughed John – “but the ones who say it either have the money in abundance or nothing at all.” He paused.

-“When you are 40, you either have the money, or you will likely not have. When you are 30, your are still hopeful, and for the 20 year old, everything is just as difficult and just as possible. Before you watch life pass.

“What are you talking about?” – said the old man, who had just entered the room.

“Oh, you’ll not understand this,” said Frankie – “Just a small talk.”

– “What are you talking about?” – asked the seven year old boy, who ran happily to the table attracted by the shapes, colors and flavors. The blinking stars did their job too. They were fully visible through the window.

“You will not understand”, said the 40+, “You’re too small. We are talking about serious stuff. Nothing for small kids.” – he added.

“Will I understand when I become as big as you are?” asked the youngest.

“If you become like them, you will not understand.” said the oldest.

“So, whom should I become?”, asked the little one.

“Stay as curious and playful as you are” – said the old men. “And never get old”, he added with a smile.

***

The conversation above is a free interpretation of this post (in Polish) by a great coach, Maciej Bennewicz.

***

Photo courtesy Fe 108Aums, available under the Creative Commons license on Flickr.

***

 

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