Wednesday Speed of Soul Conversation: A meditation on holiday busyness.
In a season that often feels overwhelmingly busy, what do you do to feel more grounded and centered? What helps you remember what is most important? What helps you discern what may be unreasonable expectation (by others or yourself)?
One thing that helps me, is thinking about what keeps me grounded and to do those things (even when I feel like I should skip it for holiday tasks) - taking that walk with the dogs, an unhurried conversation over dinner, a cup of tea in the middle of the day, prayers and meditation.
This culture implies we should perfectly create the “perfect” holiday. But, maybe the perfect holiday is the one in which we say “yes” to all that is healthy and whole…and maybe “no” to what is not so healthy.
I’m not so good at being perfect …My friend have come to know that I may not get my holiday cards out until sometime in january, I only make one kind of cookie, I wrap my packages in the comic pages or little sacks that I draw on with markers. I often give items I canned during the summer, knitted on airplanes, or picked up along the way through out the year. It’s not flashy, its about love…and love is usually not so flashy, but daily and grateful and wide.
So today, as we head into this busy season, what helps you feel less stressed and more in touch with what a season of love is really about?
Following The Threads
By Carrie Newcomer
This world would have you think
That A leads to B leads to C
And then equals D.
But the path of being human is not direct
And certainly, never so tidy.
Memories wash over us throughout the day,
That I saw,
This I loved,
What she said so long ago,
The thing that will not stay contained.
So why should it be that what we learn
Or what we create always follow logical lines?
Maybe we were always meant
To follow the threads forward,
Circle around and come back,
Untangle the knots.
And follow again.
The Stories We Tell
By Carrie Newcomer
She said, “Did that really happen?
And I answered,
“Of course it did
or at least almost.
This the way it should have
or might have
or needed to have
And to the best of my knowledge
And by my most reliable memories
This is how I understand it
To have been
And still is.”
She looked at me askance
Not sure whether to follow the question
Further down an obvious rabbit hole
Or to simply believe me,
And leave it at that,
Not pressing to know
If the story was real
Or merely true.
Sometimes I wake up and my dog jumps in bed and rolls over next to me saying, “love love love love- the whole world and everything in it (especially my belly) is made of love.”
It’s going to be alright. It is good. Love is still the answer.
Listening creates an opening
With presence and pause,
A very nearly holy space.
When held in such a manner
Of quiet regard,
it becomes harder to avoid,
What is waiting and wide as a silent pool,
Deeper than I realized,
Truer then I’d allowed myself to know,
The words that have longed to be heard,
- Carrie Newcomer
Wednesday Speed of Soul Conversation - Where do we begin?
I have been told many times that human beings are inherently violent, cruel and greedy. But, I have to agree with the Dali Lama when he states that the center and grounding nature of human beings is good. How else could it be that when we are kind, generous, loving and compassionate we feel so good, but being angry, cruel and violent are such unpleasant feelings. I’ve often joked with folks by saying that I’m just too lazy to hold a grudge -it takes so much unpleasant time and energy. Being angry and staying angry usually hurts us as much (or more) than the object of our wrath. But when we are kind, when we help, when we love, we breath easier and it feels good to be in our own skin.
I don’t deny that we are made of shadows and light. I know humans are bound to struggle -and sometimes fail -and sometimes fail in terrible, terrible ways.
I guess I just find more hope in starting from a center filled with Light and believing that love is not a coat we put on, but the solid ground we walk. But that is just my take on it…
So what do you think? What is at the center of human nature? How do you know?
In Appreciation and Gratitude
Dear Friends, I wanted to send out my deepest appreciation to those who have participated in “Takes A Community” this week! Your support is making all the difference. Thank you for giving these songs wings! I’m nearly wordless with gratitude…which is saying something for a writer! Humbly and with all sincerity, www.carrienewcomer.com
Thank you - Carrie
A Blessing at the The Threshold
May you look
out from this threshold
to the clean edge of change
Alive with the energy of a good question.
May you step into the Light
of all you did not foresee
but that was waiting
for you to stop long enough
May you embrace
and so fine
The thing your heart has leaned into
By Carrie Newcomer
It Takes a Community
Today I am announcing my community fundraising event “Takes a Community”. I’ll be continuing our regular conversation circle next week. But this week, I’d like to let you know what I’ve been thinking about and get your input.
In the past years the way people get the music they love has changed radically. Even well established artists are grappling with how to keep making the music they love and that you enjoy. With no obvious, all-encompassing solution, the simple fact seems to be: artists need your help. Music is moving from a consumer model, and into a community model.
This is why I am using my upcoming album (working title ‘Every Little Bit of It’) to test the waters with a community-supported album release. We’re calling it “Takes a Community,” and it’s a little bit like a public radio or television fund drive without the tote bags and coffee mugs! Basically, I’d love to offer people a way to get involved with the earliest stages of my album’s creation process.
At the simplest level, you pre-order the album and receive a digital download before the March 2014 release date in addition to the physical CD. So if you were planning on purchasing the CD anyway, this is a nice way to get it early! But there are lots of different gifts and levels of support. Please visit this page for a short video, a deeper explanation of this idea, as well as links to participate.
As with so many things in this life, music does take a community. Let me know what you think about the idea, and if you have questions after visiting the “Takes a Community” page.
In The Open Arms of Autumn
This morning it smelled like autumn…my favorite time of the year.
In autumn everything opens into color
The world is aglow with life.
On it’s edges, it is the close of a cycle
The signpost leading to the reflective months of winter,
Autumn, with all it’s full womanly curves,
In all it’s graceful abundance,
Takes us by the hand
And leads us further in.
But not yet…
For today is filled with the celebration of summer’s fullness. Today is a time to savor,
Today is a time to wonder,
Today is a time to open wide our arms and take it all in,
Every little bit of it,
Every shining little bit of it.