The gift of being a wreck

February 12, 2011


My most trusty tool for learning to live beyond fear is mindfulness – practicing getting conscious of what’s happening inside and around me. This week I was conscious of the stars aligning perfectly for a vulnerable, freaked-out inner world, and true to form, my inner world delivered. I was a wreck for a good couple days.

Being on the other side of those emotions now, I’m noting a couple more things.

First, I feel ashamed when I feel really vulnerable and afraid and ashamed (yes, shame about shame!). Or at least part of me does. There are parts of me that trust deeply that all my emotions are fine and that it’s normal, in fact, to experience fear and shame and vulnerability. But parts of me are convinced that I should be able to apply these very beliefs in a more sweeping, feel-good way all the time.

Which of course could only work, as far as I can see, by suppressing a lot of what goes on inside.

The other thing I’m noting is a type of fertile ground in being-a-wreck-ness. When people come to the end of their rope, to the end of what they know to do to help themselves, to the end of their logic-mind having any say in how they feel, sometimes there’s a vulnerable humility that happens. A surrender. A release of all hope of control.

I hardly have words yet for what I’m intuiting here, but something about this place of raw humility strikes me as holy. Maybe the most sacred thing there is. A ground so fertile for trust to grow that I want to bow before it.

This is where we see our most raw need. This is where our hopes of paying for, or performing for, or being clever enough for, or achieving enough for, or being mature enough for – of having our sh*t together enough for – love are crumpled up and folded back enough for us to see the real heart that pulses underneath: the wish to be loved just as we are.

This is where the potential arises, too, to turn our eyes outward to recognize the unearnable, unloseable, unbearably real lovableness of everyone else, too.

However briefly our efforts at earning love stay crumpled, and whether these crumplings are met with recognizable love from others or not, I wonder whether it could transform our lives to see them not as evidence of failure or weakness or immaturity, but as moments of pure gift. Cracks in a facade that’s not nearly as lovable or relateable or hope-inducing as the vulnerable, helpless, bleating heart at pulse beneath.

*******************

This Ben Taylor song, Surround Me, could be sung by such a heart.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(Those reading via email, click here for audio.)

Submit to StumbleUponDigg ThisShare via email

12 comments   |   Filed in: Meditations, Songs   |   Tags: , , ,   |  

Warm through and through

February 4, 2011


Maybe you’re rooted in love and have always been.
Maybe the warmth of love has shone on you well, and heartily.

Or maybe you lived a long life or portion thereof
in a cold place, where love felt far away
and at some point, when you knew it was time
you picked up your roots in search of sun.

And maybe you found it, soaked it in deeply.
Maybe your branches grew thick
and your roots down deep to Life’s water
And you knew that your search,
with its sharp edge of unknowing,
was through.

But maybe you’re more like a boy or a girl -
rootless, weightless now
but for your longing.

Maybe that weighty wish, that reaching for love
has given your feet flight
and you’ve run from a mad world
of your own or others’ making
and you’re breathless now,
resting in the branches of a sun-soaked tree.

And maybe trees like this one
and little boys or girls like these
together
are the power that fuels love’s sun.

Maybe their meetings of
wishes and fulfillments
roots and runnings
frailties and thick, weathered branches
are the one great warming of us all.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Little Jack Frost, by Kate Rusby
from her album The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly

(Those reading via email, click here for audio.)

 

Little Jack Frost (lyrics)

Here is a tale of the trees in a wood
They were never that pleased on the land that they stood.
So they upped and they walked as far as they could
‘Til they felt the sun shine on their branches.

I was little boy lost, and I was little boy blue
I am little Jack Frost but I am warm through and through
It’s not easy to hide when your heart’s on full view
Oh, tonight, cruel world be forgiving
Oh, for once in my life I am living.

There they did stand and there they did stay
When there came a young boy who was running away
From a mad world, a bad world, a world of decay
And it’s comfort he sought in their branches

I was little boy lost, and I was little boy blue
I am little Jack Frost but I am warm through and through
It’s not easy to hide when your heart’s on full view
Oh, tonight, cruel world be forgiving
Oh, for once in my life I am living.

There we found love and there we found joy
And the warmth in his heart oh, it filled the young boy
And his friends taught him magic and secrets of old
While the trees kept him safe with their branches.

I was little boy lost, and I was little boy blue
I am little Jack Frost but I am warm through and through
It’s not easy to hide when your heart’s on full view
Oh, tonight cruel world be forgiven
I was little boy lost, and I was little boy blue
I’m little Jack Frost but I am warm through and through
It’s not easy to hide when your heart’s on full view
Oh, tonight, cruel world be forgiving
Oh, for once in my life I am living.

Submit to StumbleUponDigg ThisShare via email

4 comments   |   Filed in: Songs   |   Tags: , ,   |  

I will be a home

January 30, 2011


Today’s post is a song and ritual, both.

Last week we talked a lot about home here, exploring the value of getting “lost”, as well as some of the ways home can be comfortingly and wistfully defined, depending on whether or not you feel you’re there. We talked about the possibility of there being a heart’s home – how this might be the most possible (and wonderful) home there is.

I’m thinking today about this inner place, and how this “most possible home” can often be so hard to find. The stream of thoughts and fears that anyone who has attempted meditation knows well (and that Angela described so well in the comments on Friday) is with us nearly always. And even when it isn’t with us consciously, our inner dialogues are often the kinds of things we’d never say to those we don’t like, let alone to those we love (Are you seriously feeling that way AGAIN?? Wow, you truly screwed that up. Seriously? – no one could love THAT part of you.).

So here’s an idea for a ritual to help shift us homeward in that deep, inner sense of the word:

Pretend you aren’t just one person, but a community inside. Pretend all of the fearful and unfriendly voices in you are parts of that community, and that they have jobs assigned to them that so far have included the kinds of fearful, unfriendly things they tend to say.

Pretend there is a part of you, though, that isn’t unfriendly at all. Pretend there’s a part that is the safest, most trustworthy person you can imagine. Maybe that part is a woman with gray hair and kind eyes. Maybe it’s a large, gentle man. Maybe it’s some version of yourself at the age you are now that you would feel totally comfortable looking in the eye and receiving a glance of utter love from.

Now pretend that that safest, most trustworthy part of you is singing this song to all the others:

(Those reading via email, click here for video.)

Submit to StumbleUponDigg ThisShare via email

9 comments   |   Filed in: Rituals, Songs   |   Tags: , ,   |  

Home in the dark

January 21, 2011


For anyone questioning their disorienting moves away from something life-taking
and toward something better,

For anyone weary of sticking with the known
at the expense of something your soul has long been asking you to do,

For anyone ready to step off their personal grid of hopelessness
or cynicism
or jealousy
or apathy
or distrust
and into a landscape far more vast and invigorating:

Maybe getting lost is the most important thing you could ever do.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.


Song title: I think I’m lost, by Ryan Webster

*For those viewing by email, click here for audio.

Submit to StumbleUponDigg ThisShare via email

4 comments   |   Filed in: Songs   |   Tags:   |  

Redeemed

January 12, 2011

For anyone feeling low
or blue
or unhelpably stuck.

For anyone fearing
they can’t ever be forgiven.

For anyone feeling
uniquely and unbearably
flawed.

For moments of that sinking realization that
“you thought you were free
but turned out the chains were just harder to see
because the jewels on the wall of your prison
were beautiful
and you were blinded” (r. brady)

For anyone doubting
their own light
and capacity
to hold
and shine
and reflect
the light of the Universe:

*For those viewing via email, click here for video.

Redeemed (lyrics)

wild and wired, restless and driven, tripping on things that never existed before and you wait
and you hope like hell to be lifted from this puzzle where so many pieces are missing
and the answers don’t answer the question you’re living
they just hint at the mystery that sits patiently at your door
and maybe there are signs but you don’t see them
and maybe there are clues but you can’t read them
so where to from here…
staggering, stumbling, knees scratched and bleeding
don’t know about help but you know you want freedom
but you’re not really sure if you even know what that is
god knows there were times when you thought you were free
turns out that the chains were just harder to see because the jewels on the wall of your prison were beautiful
and you were blinded
and maybe there was a light but you couldn’t see it
and you knew what was right but you couldn’t reach it
but you knew you were climbing for good reason
because the view from the top of this mountain is sweet

and maybe you’re the light but you just don’t see it
born to shine bright but afraid to receive it
the lesson here is just to believe that everything’s fine
you’re divine
and redeemed
you’re redeemed.

copyright r.brady 2008

Submit to StumbleUponDigg ThisShare via email

6 comments   |   Filed in: Songs   |   Tags:   |  

Songs: An Introduction

January 4, 2011


Playing the piano was my very first love. I fell hard for it, and spent 12 years of childhood and adolescence practicing daily at 6:30am.

My morning trysts ended when school and sports and a boyfriend filled life up, and then later, when two marriages did the same – one to a person and the other to words. In addition to my husband, most of my 20s were spent wedded to the idea that words would save and heal me, would solve the riddles that left me most perplexed, would bring me longed-for peace. Music, throughout this time, roamed lonely (and I have to think lovingly) somewhere nearby.

Recent years have me convinced, however, that words are only one of many ways a person can learn and grow and heal, and in fact may not be the most potent of them all (parts of me just fainted at the scandal of it!).

So I’m on a mission – with this site and otherwise – to round out my tools for growing trust. Visual art is integral on this site for this reason, and therefore, too, this category of Songs. I’ve learned that music has a way of doing things inside of us, inside of me, that nothing else can.

My intention is to post songs here that in some small or large way contribute to the growth of trust. Some of them will be original compositions of my own, some will be from professional artists, and, I hope, some will come from you who have originals or good leads to share with us all. (In terms of originals, it’s rarely slickness and professionalism that nourish trust most; homemade, on this front, and even not always on key, will likely warm our hearts best. :)

If you have trust-nourishing songs you’d like to see posted here (with credits, of course), please feel free to send me original mp3s or recommendations. I’d love to hear from you! kristin t noelle at gmail dot com

And as a gentle start to this category, here is Elizabeth Mitchell’s cover of Three Little Birds, from her album You Are My Little Bird – a song that brought good tears to my eyes on more than one occasion during one of my life’s most stressful seasons. The whole album is really sweet, and one I highly recommend.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Submit to StumbleUponDigg ThisShare via email

5 comments   |   Filed in: Songs   |   Tags: ,   |