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.

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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…

  

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

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Recently I’ve found my Request Box I’ve long forgotten about. It is a small cartoon box I created seven years ago. It holds my dear wishes.

Inside the box you will find a few pieces of paper, each dedicated to a single request. Different colors are meant for different types of wishes.

Each request is described only briefly, but it contains the necessary details. I explain why I want this particular event happen in my life and how I want it to happen. 

What is more important, however, is the ritual of writing. At that moment I was seeing, hearing and feeling the circumstances around the request. On the canvas of my imagination I created a short movie of how it would have been to participate in the events if the request was a reality.

How would I feel? I felt the feelings.
How would I think? I thought the thoughts.
What would I say? I said the words in my mind.
What would I be hearing around me? I heard the sounds and the silence.
I spent a day per request to remember the feelings well.

The requests are written in a form of a prayer to Holy Spirit, who is the Doer and the Performer on the Earth. The prayer is structured in a simple way but it is a free-flow within it. In fact, it is more a demand than a request. I don’t beg, but explain, ask and command.

I open and close each request in the same way. In the beginning I say “Dear Holy Spirit and my High Conscious Self“. Why do I address the request to myself as well? Because I deliberately ask my Super-conscious Self to become aware of the longings of the present down-to-earth Ela and make her prepare well for the things to come. In the end, communication is the key, even within yourself, isn’t it?

I end my prayer by saying “Holy Spirit make it so to the highest good of all involved“. My ending is meant to be open so that the request comes to life in a way which is beneficial and rewarding and perhaps still beyond my imagination.

At that time all these wishes were far beyond my reach. There were perfectly legitimate wishes, in general, but seemed impossible for me because of the real or imagined limitations and obstacles. At that time I did not believe they would come true.

Now, seven years forward and all the requests have become reality. They are fulfilled in abundance and in ways that surpass my imagination. They have not come to life neither at the time I wanted nor exactly the way I imagined. They however closely matched the feelings I created.  In fact the feelings were my guide because at some point I had to discriminate between a number of responses that seemed to fulfill my wishes, yet weren’t. I knew I had to yet wait for something different, because the feelings didn’t match. It was worth it.

Prepare and let it go

Why to wait seven years, you may ask? Well…. what else is there to do except conscious action and trust?  It has taken me less than seven years, but still a few long years. Why? Looking back I was certainly not ready at the time I wanted the requests to be fulfilled, even though I was convinced otherwise.

I was certainly motivated and excited to have the wishes granted, wanting them from all my heart, demanding them and pushing towards them as goals. Over the first two years I had made little progress by my conscious efforts. Whatever I did to move towards my goals, I was pushed away. There were always new obstacles and challenges, simply growing out of nowhere. I couldn’t grasp it. In all my self-coaching efforts, I was pushing myself forward, yet it didn’t work.

Until I have finally understood it. My over-motivation, over-determination and over-excitement were counterproductive. It was the best learning I got on goals and what is beyond them. Two years after the creation of the Request Box, I finally relaxed and let it go. And then things slowly started to happen. Not that I realized that at that time – I can only see it now.

Readiness is an intention or a state of sharp alertness, when you are prepared to do / welcome something in your life and gracefully handle the consequences that follow. Oftentimes you believe you are prepared simply because you want something deeply and desperately. Oftentimes, you are not. (For instance you may easily get kids to later find out that you were not yet prepared for compromises, sleepless nights, cuts in spending and new responsibilities.)

If there is desperation to your wish, you are not ready yet for it to come. You need to let it go and free yourself from the outcome.

What is the purpose of the Request Box?

Writing is tangible. It is a physical act that creates an anchor for our abstract thoughts. Without an anchor, our thoughts are like clouds that sometimes are there and sometimes fly away. Writing is like planting a seed.

The structure of the request and the box are there to create a ritual, a distinct form. This is to make the requests important, to mark particular thoughts and feelings as special. The box is to create the imaginary space for germination without your influence.

The feeling and imagination are the principles for characterization of what we want and the recognition when it arrives. The key is to ask yourself the question “How would I know / see / feel / hear what others are saying when my request is fulfilled?” Simple yet powerful.

The requests are closed in a box and left for germination. No, please don’t open the box every hour or every day to remember what is there. You will remember it anyway. Your seed will be disturbed or perhaps even die if you are going to constantly dig in the soil. Open your box, say, once or twice a year (unless you want to add a new request, of course).

The best strategy is to plant the seed consciously and let it grow. Forget the box. Really, forget it. Forget the box until one day the feelings will make it clear to you. There is your seed which has grown into a tree :).

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I am going to fill in my Request Box this month. What about You?

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

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This is my journey
and that one is yours.

The destination is important
yet the journey even more.

***

I am – We become.
I observe – We are.
I learn – We observe.
I discover – We learn.
I understand – We discover.
I become – We understand.
My better Self – Our conscious life.

***

No silence without words.
No freedom without structure.
No music without soul.

No growth without acceptance.
No expansion without limits.
No love without choice.

***

You are well equipped
to travel your path.

Be present in this moment.

This is all you need 
to follow it
with all your heart.

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Accept what is
and what is not.

Test the limits, 
and the other side.

Choose to love
God, yourself and others.

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Yes.
It is really that simple.

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My path is my alone.
Chosen
to travel it with joy.

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Your path is your alone.
Chosen
to travel it with joy.

***

Neither is worse or better.
Just different.

***

 

the-letter-to-the-king

It is a deep night, long time ago. Five young men are keeping vigil in a chapel. There are on their knees, lost in darkness with some shadows cast by a pale flame. They are not allowed to talk, neither to react to any noise from outside. They must not open the door.

This is their last challenge before the important event that awaits them. Tomorrow they are to be knighted! It is such a longing of these young souls. It is the greatest honor to be a knight in the empire of the King Dragonaut.

Tiuri is especially excited. He is the youngest among them, with perhaps the biggest hopes. His father, Tiuri the Brave, is going to become proud of him. Greatly.

But then…

In the penetrating silence, a knock at the door. A voice from out of the darkness: “Open up in God’s name!”

Tiruri hears the voice, but others in the chapel seem to be unaffected. “Are they also hearing the same noise?”, he wonders. Or, is this his imagination, oversensitive in these circumstances?

Tiuri wants to neglect the noise. It is the safest thing to do. Just to pretend he doesn’t hear anything. In the end, it may be a servant of the king to check upon the young men.

But then …. again…. a strong whisper “Open up in God’s name!”

“What to do now?”, Turi wonders.

Tiuri is not allowed to open the door. “But what if it is an emergency, someone in need, being pursued and seeking a place to hide?” Tiuri is hesitative.

But it doesn’t take long. Turi makes a fast decision. He opens up the door….

***

For sure, the life of Tiuri is not going to be the same now. He broke the rule, so even if there is a real emergency he cannot become a knight tomorrow. And it is a true shame.

Even worse, if nobody is out there, but the voice in his imagination, he will still break the rule. There is no way he can lie about it as knighthood and honesty go hand in hand together. His decision creates a conflict.

How would he explain to his father and his king that he failed the final test? Perhaps it is the biggest failure in his life. But perhaps it is not.

What if it leads to adventures and transformation that only few can aspire? His decision is a turning point. And there is a story of development he can now tell to himself….

You tell yourself a story of your life

You also tell yourself a story of your life. It can be an encouraging story or a disempowering one. Everything depends on your interpretation. The same event can be interpreted differently depending on the context or circumstances. Even a simple event such as rain.

Heavy rain may make you unhappy if this is your wedding day and your party is planned in the fresh air. Or, the same heavy rain may make you relieved if you are a farmer and this is the first serious rain after many days of draught.

There is what happens, an event in your life, and there is what you tell yourself about it. And these two things can be totally different.

What you tell yourself usually focusses on a few aspects of the event intertwined with some emotions. And this is all taken from a particular point of view. It strongly depends on your interpretation which, in turn, depends on your perception, mood at that time, overall well-being and many other factors.

Your story is about the meaning you attach to the event or its characteristics.

If you doubt that, you can easily check how facts trigger a story to emerge. Just ask two different people taking part in the same event to tell you what happened. Even views on a movie watched together by the same people may differ greatly. The more complex or emotional the event, the bigger variety of interpretation.

And there is one thing even more appealing.

You believe in a story of your life

You believe in a story of your life as if it is the only and ultimate truth. But, in fact, what you tell yourself is an interpretation, a point of view from a particular angle. There exist many other interpretations depending on your criteria, point of focus or a time scale. Your life story is just a way to look at the events. You can have another look.

There are things that happened in your life that have been very touchy or emotional. And it colored your life. There were habits of your parents, teachers and authorities who influenced you deeply. There were circles of peers that shaped you accordingly. There were rebels who inspired you to explore beyond the rules.

There were songs, stories, books, games or movies, which helped you built your identity.

What has been impressed on you as a child has often been carried with you for years in adulthood, sometimes a lifetime. And these early experiences and conditioning, often through the means of simplification (omitting facts and some details) and generalization made you believe in the story about yourself you developed at that time. It is a story of the past.

Your story can change

Yes, there is a story of your life. But there are many other stories at the same time. You are the one who attaches meaning to the events and chooses which ones to emphasize and how.

The way we tell ourselves a story is in fact not in the telling. It is more in a mixture of our imagination, hearing or feeling, depending on our preferred processing and learning styles. We mostly see the events, hear the accompanying words or feel the related emotions. And these events become like glimpses of a story we have built for ourselves.

For example, you may tell yourself a story about being a looser or incapable of learning. And this story is being reinforced by the memories you hold about your father’s harsh criticism or your mother’s reprimands. And you remember the tone of the voice with the bitter words “You’ll never learn anything” after you have broken their favorite tool / blender / cooker / washing machine, etc, remove the plants instead of the weeds in the garden, or spoiled a meal. And this made you feel like a child, indeed incapable of doing anything well.

Your story of being a looser lives on such events. And instead of perceiving this particular story as an example among many others, you take it as the only story and the only interpretation of who you are.

It is the time now to re-evaluate the story of your life, who you are and how you are with respect to people, money, skills or achievements. Recognize that a story is just a way of looking at your past, perhaps even a childhood. This story is not an ultimate description of you. You are a conscious being ever developing and growing. Anything about the past is only a static glimpse. You are much more than that.

The challenge is to perceive yourself as a Process, capable of making choices, being who you are and becoming a better conscious Self.

Use another story

How to change your story into a process? I believe that another influential story can help us to do it.

Strong stories move us, both emotionally and to action, shape us and inspire us for growth. These are the stories of the past but they are based on universal struggles and confrontations. We can recognize these universal patterns and relate them to our lives. In addition, stories carry seeds of values that can be transferred and implemented in our lives, as well.

Stories speak to us in indirect, metaphorical ways, and allow us for multiple interpretations. They allow us to subconsciously recognize what is important and what is not. They speak to us in images and emotions and allow us to grasp new meanings. Stories and, especially, life stories make us grow.

The letter for the king

This time I want to encourage you to follow the story of Tiuri, who will be given a task of delivering a very important letter to the king. This children’s book, “The letter for the king” (De brief voor de konig, or Der brief für den Köning) is written by the Dutch author Tonke Dragt, and is is truly captivating. It was voted as the best youth book in the second half of the XX century. It really means something!

The English version is currently hard to find, unless you search Ebay or second hands books such as AbeBooks. I expect a new edition soon, so stay alert.

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With the opening of the chapel’s door, Tiuri begins a secret and dangerous mission. He has to deliver a letter of the utterest importance to the king of Unauwen, from the neighboring empire. This is a story of dark forests and high mountains, filled with secrets and spies, treason, friendship and love. All attributes of a great story!

And the story is captivating, indeed. The plot is developing fast. There is little analysis of emotion, but yet, at the same time you feel the tension of the turning points and the moments the choices have to be made.

It is a book where the characters face dilemma, are forced to make choices and follow the consequences, and constantly seek who they are and what they are up to.

It is a book which shows you that friendship is not a candy-sweet, but lives on discussions, disagreements and bonding.

It is a book which shows you that good and evil are not necessarily what they seem to be and that events can be interpreted differently from a different context.

It is a book which tells you that transformation and development is the only path in life. That is, an interesting life 🙂

Overall, what is so permanent on all levels in this book, it is the issue of trust. Many times, at the moment of conflicts, Tiuri shows trust or is being trusted. Sometimes it leads to dangers, but overall it shapes Tiuri to become a man. And this is one of the multiple messages of this book: trust is necessary for a conscious development.

Tiuri develops as a conscious person and his adventures can be metaphorically related to our lives, where trust and honesty are ones of the most important principles to live by.

Read the book

Read the book. And if there are insufficient reasons for you to read this book, consider the issue of trust as being the important one!

It is a great book that can help you to see your life’s dilemma or struggles from a different perspective. It can help you to find a new motivation. It can help you to develop trust. Obviously, I recommend it for children. But it reads so well for adults! I read it originally dutch, only before my 30.

Stories and metaphors touch us more than facts, arguments and any type of reasoning. Read “The letter for the king”. If not, choose another inspiring book for youth. There is no substitution for becoming who you desire to be.

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The book is 50 years old as of 2012.  Amazing!

There is a sequel to this book, “Secrets of the Wild Forest” (“Geheimen van het Wilde Woud“).

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Other inspirational or educational posts:

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