Tag Archives: grace

A Brief Exposé

Preface:

I’m going to intention to be somewhat vague here. I’ve noticed overlapping patterns in my manifestations and resulting interactions with others. I intend for this post to apply to as many of those overlapping situations as possible.

First and foremost:

“Don’t think about all those things you fear, just be glad to be here.” ~ “Hayling” by FC Kahuna

I have come to rest for the moment in a place of acceptance of myself as I stand. I’m seeing my power and abilities and yet evaluating whether I wish to push the envelope or just allow myself to be for a bit.

I woke hurting this morning, a combination of allergic reactions from Anya’s birthday celebration, and physical fatigue from having done a dozen very-deep tissues this week. Yet I managed to push through and find genuine gratitude that at least I’m feeling it.

There are people living in this world that are unable to feel their arms and legs and would appreciate the discomfort of my aches this morning.

That acknowledgement in combination with something that crossed my path yesterday led me to a realization that I had attracted myself an onslaught of people unwilling to express their gratitude for me in any meaningful way. I literally saw how several people in my recent history (last 5 years) probably did care on some level, but convinced themselves for whatever reasons that they could not align with the action or resources which they knew would convey that most effectively. As a result I’ve parted and chosen to move on the best way I can, but lingering hurts cross my mind on occasion.

So here I sit feeling confident in my current endeavors and abilities, a new fuller knowing of myself, but slightly hesitating. Knowing that as I move forward I wish to attract people and experiences that honor myself better.

That means I must start by honoring myself better.

You see, the Law of Attraction is just that.

Like attracts like.

I could not have attracted those people and experiences if I had not held myself in that particular alignment.

Extrapolation:

“Some of them want to use you, some of them want to be used by you. Some of them want to abuse you, some of them want to be abused.” ~ “Sweet Dreams” by Eurythmics

I have been abused in my lifetime. Repeatedly in fact, and in multiple ways: physically, mentally, and emotionally. In turn my abused mind and body, unable to handle the hurts, reflected them back at those in my experience. I became the abuser. Not as severe as my abusers were, but abuse I delivered none-the-less. I knew in my heart I could not let that continue and prayed for help to change myself. I prayed that I might be forgiven for my indescrections. My least desire of anything in this world is to be abuser or abused.

I have been used in less abusive ways. Simply being an employee is, in a way, being used. However, because of my history with abuse, many of my being-used situations reflect a similar negative consequence. I see that my dream of Atira would in a way require that I use others. However, it is my prayer that I find a balance where I can utilize others in the best way possible, and while honoring their gifts as best as I am able. I want my having to experience the flip side to be full of as many positive consequences as possible. That means if I am to have employees I wish to compensate them properly. That means if I’m to utilize volunteers I wish to honor them fully and treat them accordingly. I want to teach people that honoring each other and ourselves is a way of honoring God.

Despite being one of my favorite songs, what “Sweet Dreams” fails to sing about is all of the other options.

I wish to love and be loved.

I wish to honor and be honored.

I wish to serve and be served in the name of God.

I wish to respect and be respected.

I wish to care and be cared for.

I wish to share and be shared with.

I wish for intellectual and emotional equals to experience this give take world with as partners and companions. Where we can all reach for better.

Full-Circle:

“I wished for you too.” ~ Practical Magic

I attracted you, with my attention to my desires and my sloppy habits stemming from hurt. My mixed bag brought you into my experience.

Yet, you must admit that you are equally responsible. You aligned in the exact same manner. You focused on your desires, but missed your sloppiness from your past.

You see we are equals, carrying the same level of blame.

I suspect you felt that you were better than I. That you could manifest things better, or that you were smarter than I, more connected, more esteemed or somehow more gifted. In your hubris you aligned yourself with idiocy and in a way became the abuser.

Your lack of humility, your inability to reach for better took us out of alignment.

You see, I seek those willing to admit we’re all equals here on this Earth stumbling through and learning how to reach for better and improve ourselves. Those willing to move mankind toward a brighter future. Those willing to take responsibility for their actions, offer apologies when necessary, and reach for honoring themselves and others better. I acknowledge that none are perfect, yet in our imperfection lies our greatest gifts.

I know you saw my intelligence, my strength, my reserve, my determination, my extra large size, as well as my extra large energy. You saw my fortitude, my resolve, my ability to endure and persevere. You saw my gifts and talents and my inner beauty.

Yet, your sloppy habits brought to your attention my strangeness, my unique views and my very unorthodox beliefs and unconventional ways. I pushed your comfort zone and set a high bar. I challenged you in ways you obviously were unable to handle, which took us further out of alignment.

So now I can revise what I want, need, and desire.

I seek someone with equal intelligence, strength, reserve, determination, and energy. Someone with fortitude, resolve, ability to endure and persevere. Someone with gifts and talents and inner beauty. Yet someone humble enough to acknowledge that all of that exists in me and many others as well. Someone open minded enough to handle my strangeness, my unique views and my very unorthodox beliefs and unconventional ways. Someone willing to allow themselves to grow through experiencing me fully. Someone able to have constructive conversations even when beliefs diverge. Someone able to convey their preferences while still exploring the unknown or perceived contrasting experiences. I seek someone willing to love and be loved. Someone to honor and be honored. Someone willing to serve and be served in the name of God. Someone willing and able to respect everyone and in turn be respected, to care and be cared for. Someone able to share and be shared with.

I need for those someones to be able to take responsibility and share their gifts to commit to not just my family, but to building Atira. You see, I don’t just need money for Atira, I need people, hands, help, specific knowledge that I would rather utilize in others than begin to learn myself. Atira will fare far better, actually become a success, if there is a group, a poly family, willing to share the work load. I seek those people.

I have thought about each person that had previously aligned and subsequently misaligned with me. If further alignment was genuine, accompanied by equally genuine apologies, and foreseeably maintainable, then I could potentially welcome them back.

At the moment I have no evidence to the possibility of that, and suggestions, mere hearsay, to the contrary. Yet, I’m going to leave room that it might be possible. However, I’m not going to hold my breath, because I know the universe will provide what I desire regardless. It has so far, I was just sloppy about maintaining my alignment, and THAT is where I know I can and will do better.

May all of my readers take this to heart and find and maintain their alignment. May you all have those in your life that honor, respect and love you for being you. May you heal your hurts and move on successfully. May you find a way to make your dreams happen.

Music fills my soul.

As much as my hands are a manifestation of God’s providence,  music is a manifestation of God’s grace filling my soul. 

I love music, all music.  I always have. I remember being 4 or 5 years old with a tiny keyboard picking out a musical run I’d heard in my head,  perhaps from a commercial or something. I played that handful of notes over and over again asking my mom if she recognized it. She never did,  but I loved those notes.  To this day I don’t know what they’re from,  but I could probably recall them with enough focus. 

When I was in 5th grade I begged to be in band.  My options as tested by the instructor were flute or trombone.  My parents decided of the 2, flute was ok. They rented me one with a disclaimer.  I could earn the ability to remain in band,  and possibly a new flute of my own, if I could play 3 songs well by Christmas. I could play about 6 songs well and a few others ok by Christmas. Their reward was a beginner’s level flute. 

2 years later I began piano lessons. A year after that,  earning my own upright Baldwin spinnet piano.

I had discovered that not only was music an excellent escape from bullying,  it was also a feel good use of my time. I spent hours and hours practicing because I could be alone, and every song I perfected made me feel really good about myself.

I also began to feel the music.  It didn’t matter if I was playing it or hearing it, the music would resonate with my being in a way I have trouble explaining. I love to feel the rhythm of a piece,  it resonates with my heart strongly. When I really get into music my body literally moves to the music, sometimes very subtly and gently,  and sometimes very big and excitedly.  Usually depending on where I’m at or what I’m doing.

Music is something I don’t have to think about.  By the time I was in high-school, I was learning whatever instrument Mr. Franz, my band teacher, needed filled.  Regularly competing and receiving high marks for my performances. I learned Piccolo, Oboe, Bassoon, Saxophone (tenor was preferred, but I could play alto too), Clarinet, and Bells. I later learned on my own for  fun to play Djembe drum and harp.

I played solos and in duets, trios, and quintets. I loved music,  all music,  and even with hours and hours of practicing,  I couldn’t get enough and would listen to a wide variety of music when not playing.

This continued on into college,  first year I majored in music with Flute as my focus. I played bassoon for the orchestra and piano as an extra studio instrument. 

Then Aural Skills took it’s  toll. One dreaded class, that was essentially learning to sing without accompaniment. I devoted ALL of my practice time (8 to 10 hours a day, several days a week)  to trying to pass that class. Apparently all of my musical skills, and none applied to my voice.  I barely squeaked by (pun intended), and that was with a very generous professor that did his best to help me every way possible. Unfortunately, it was required to pass 2 years worth to graduate with a BA in Music. So that’s when my music career ended and my art career began. 

Yet, to this day I still love music. I listen to music more hours of my days than not.  I even sleep to music. Nathan and I have a combined music collection of approximately  67 gigs, of  which I’ve listened to most of it many times over. I have an additional few dozen CD’ s that have yet to be converted to digital files. We literally could listen to music non-stop for over a month.  My spa friendly collection alone  is nearly 3 days worth of music- I know because I used to have it on repeat in my office, and it took about 3 days to cycle back through. 

If that’s not enough,  I’ve paid for ad free listening on Pandora & I’ve downloaded several new albums through my Google play account.  I own a small fortune in music because it’s that important and influential to me.

I sleep usually to my spa friendly music or mantras.  If I were to note the most preferred it would include:  Enya, Lorenna Mckennitt, Enigma, David Lanz, James Galway, Zamphier, Richard Clayderman, Liquid Mind, Deva Premal, Snatam Kaur, Bethoven, Bach, Brahms, and the Pure Moods compilations, just to name a few.

During waking hours my music preferences are so diverse that I tend to choose based on my mood. This is mainly due to my ability to feel the music,  but also because there’s just so darn much to choose from. 

There are 2 exceptions to my liking of  all music:  really old country music like Patsy Cline, & traditional Gospel like the Gaither family.  I will tolerate those if someone else is playing them,  but my father ruined enjoyment of them.

So then mood based listening. What does that look like?

Well if I’m down I reach up, but can usually only reach so far. So depression leads to angry music. My favorite “angry” music bands are:  Hypnogaja, Rob Zombie, Marilyn Manson, Metallica, Apollo 440, Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphey, Black Flag & Black 47, and similar artists. 

If I’m looking for upbeat, fast music (I use for exercising)  some of those same bands apply (I really like Devil’s Dance Floor by Flogging Molly as part of my workout),  but I can also add in: Kongos, Reel Big Fish, Mighty Mighty Boss Tones, Less Than Jake, Sublime, Imagine Dragons, No Doubt, the Skatallites, and a whole slew of 80’s one hit wonders, or current pop hits.

If I’m looking for mellow-jazzy-love music: Norah Jones (my go to girl), Adelle, Dido, Joni Mitchell, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and Alice Coltrane usually make the list. 

If I’m wanting to groove (dance) I usually then have to ask myself: new or old or traditional? 

If the answer is old, we’re talking: Benny Goodman, Count Basie, Wynton Marsalis, Charlie Parker, or similar. 

If the answer is new, I’m usually referencing EDM. Though I’ve never been to a rave or an EDM event of any kind,  I love to move to electronic music.  My all time favorite is Moby, with Apollo 440 close second. I like BT,  David Guetta, Rob Dougan “Rob D”, Eiffel 65, Robert Miles, Daft Punk, Aphex Twin, and Lindsey Stirling to name a few.

My ultimate favorite subset of EDM though is Fusion, the electronic music that blends old world ethnic sounds with current beats and electric influences. The artist(s) I’ve know the longest, which Nathan and I used for our wedding music 7 years ago,  is Afro Celt Sound System.  I absolutely adore their music, and highly recommend all their albums.   Along those lines though is music from Beats Antique, Delhi 2 Dublin, Amethystium, Omar Faruk, Punjabi MC, Bally Sagoo, PBN, & many others. I often dance to music in this category in our livingroom,  bumping my confidence and mood up significantly,  while traumatizing Anya to no end. Insert maniacal laughter here! 

So then, if my answer is traditional,  I generally mean Irish Celtic music.  I love dancing to that genre. For music like that,  I love to see live performances.  I’ve been to performances by Wylde Nept, Flannigan’s Right Hook, and The Elders, which I’ve walked away with albums from most of those performances.  I also really like The Chieftains, Celtic Women, Clannad, The Dubliners, The Pogues, and as I mentioned earlier Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphy’s, and Black 47.
Finally there’s all my other music that sometimes will take me 20 minutes to decide what I actually want to listen to. Some of my all-time favorites are: 

U2, Dave Matthews Band, Madonna, Green Day, Dido, Eurythmics/Annie Lennox, Nirvana, Dixie Chicks, Fleetwood Mac, America, Billy Joel, Nine Inch Nails, Sound Garden, Savage Garden, the Piano Guys, Kaleao, Daniel Ratliff & the Night Sweats, and many, many others.

As you can see, I love lots of music. I can honestly say I don’t think I’d survive life without it. It fills my soul with a many varied beautiful sound. I am grateful for the experience of being able to make music occasionally,  but even more studio to be able to honor other musician’s skills and worldly contributions. 

 God(s) grant me the strength to keep going in this life, and keep my ears good to listen to the many varied beautiful musicians gracing our planet  with their amazing music.