Updated: Feb 22
Covid is looking in my window. I experience a guided meditation early this morning, and tears welled up. My adult daughter and her family are positive with Covid. My heightened attention is on alert. I am triggered. I am familiar with heightened attention after over 30 years living with and loving my late daughter. I am finely tuned, aware, alert and trigger-ready for action.
I choose to face my fear and investigate where it resides. It’s in my whole body. An image of a stringed instrument floats before me. I am the instrument. My strings are taut, strung a bit too tight and I feel the heightened tension. A string for every love. Some strings are thicker than others due to hard lessons learned. Still, they add to my harmonic energy. Some strings lie dormant for those who have passed. I know what it feels like to be in harmony. I know my sound. Every string has a story. Every love has a string.
I widen my gaze and see so many stringed instruments on earth. Each of us a finely stringed instrument made up of tones and tensions based on our loves and losses. Each of us whole, brilliantly encased with resonating sounds that represent our souls, our hearts, our loves, our passions.
I seek out the places that hold tension, to breathe into them and release. There is no one place. It is every place. I breathe down into my belly and feel my strings expanding. I stretch my neck and feel the tension in my feet. I am one with the strings. I am one with the resonance.
I put down my hammer and no longer pass judgment on myself for my heightened sensitivities. This is who I am. I’m remembering how much I love to sing and years ago sang in a women’s group. We performed publicly. This singing community was tight with our harmony, tight with our support for each other. We were a beautifully strung instrument.
In 2006, when I lost my spouse in a fatal car accident, I lost my voice. I could not speak. I could not raise my eyes higher than a glance. I had become unstrung. I was mute for about two weeks. I isolated, gathered inward and found comfort in solitude.
As the rawness lessened, my voice returned, although I still could not sing. I attended rehearsals and the women gathered around me and sang in harmony. It was joyous.
Eventually, I became vocal again and was able to raise my voice in song. I was able to speak again. My late wife was a singer, played guitar and participated in a trio back in the 60’s singing protest songs emulating Peter, Paul and Mary. Her voice was strong and clear. She had resonance.
She left me a gift upon her passing. A gift of resonance. I first noticed the change when I was singing in public with my choral group, I had a solo part. When I sang, a woman in the audience started crying. Others were crying. At first, I didn’t know what happened. What I discovered was my voice had changed. My voice was stronger and clearer and had a resonance I never heard before. I became a sound healer. My grief split open with this unexpected gift from love in my life.
I’ve learned a lot about sound healing since this experience. Sound Healing is an ancient art practiced today during these ascending times to help support and comfort us. I fell in love with a crystal bowl, the very same that sounds us in and out of our silence. Sound baths are therapeutic. Comforting vibrations are available on Youtube.
Using my voice moves my energy and heightens my awareness. Artists like Francine Jarry sings affirmations using the teachings of Abraham-Hicks. Singing affirmations gives an intention wings. Experiencing sound healing births us into higher consciousness, relieves grief and sadness and aligns our bodies in comfort and harmony. Sounding is life-altering. Singing raises energy. Music is healing.
The Thousand-Stringed Instrument
by Hafiz (translated by Daniel Ladinsky) The heart is The thousand-stringed instrument. Our sadness and fear come from being Out of tune with love. All day long God coaxes my lips To speak, So that your tears will not stain His green dress. It is not that the Friend is vain, It is just your life we care about. Sometimes the Beloved Takes my pen in hand, For Hafiz is just a simple man. The other day the Old One Wrote on the Tavern wall: “The heart is The thousand-stringed instrument That can only be tuned with Love.”
Thank you. I love that image, the idea of a person as a musical instrument. I can feel it reverberating in my heart and in my body. It’s a beautiful way to think of people, as I hear a tone and its connection to another person. I love that. Thank you.
That was a beautiful reading today. I especially loved that the heart is a thousand-stringed instrument that is tuned to love. I’m feeling sad today. I have a cousin who is older than me and he and his spouse were hospitalized a few weeks ago with Covid. She was released to a rehab. Neither were in extreme danger. I got a message yesterday that she passed last night. He was not at her side. I keep thinking of the suffering of the human spirit. I’m thinking of the Russian who went back to Russia knowing he would be arrested and is now in a Gulag. How did he have the courage? And the Chinese businessman who built a hospital for his village and now he and his family are in prison. And the South African Apartheid protests and the torture. I’m thinking of their courage to take these actions knowing I could never do that. All I can do is send love. I’m like a lighthouse, trying to focus my love on them, on you, on the world. But there’s this strong undertow in the world that is hard to resist. I know it takes each of us, we are each one of those thousand stringed instruments. There’s a hero in every house.
I encourage you to turn around and remember light, and remember that the soul is not suffering. That the soul is in charge of our life directions. Lift yourself up with light because you are a hero in your own house. You do fight your battles and you do face torture within yourself and you do put aside yourself to raise your children. Everything is relative in people’s lives. It’s important to not get caught up in the undertow because you cannot be there for yourself, for the people you love. Our hearts suffer with people. It’s important to not fall into the suffering. Witness it, honor it, and remember that your cousin is ultimately not alone. She left with the love of her husband. So much happens beyond the body that we cannot define with our minds. I put my trust in her reaching out to him and saying I’m here when you are ready to come. I encourage you to turn away from the undertow and step into the light. And breathe. You deserve to breathe and you deserve to be in the light.
Some days just getting out of bed is an act of courage.
I liked what you said two days ago. My job today is to pray. I’ve been thinking about that. It’s true, my job today is to pray.
As Yoda says, there is no try. Once we think it, it is true. So there is no trying to pray, there is no trying to be courageous, there is no trying to be towards the light. Once we think it, boom, it’s there. I hear in my language how often I say ‘try’ but there is no try.
This feels like a good moment to take three breaths together. Breathe in, lungs fill, breathe out. Let go. Breathe in light, breathe out all that does not soothe. Breathe in love, hold, breathe out. Look around at the people who show up and thank them.
Our job is to pray. My job is to pray. And if I choose to take action, I take action in a way that is helpful. I am creating a care package for my daughter’s family filled with homemade soup, foods, games. My job is to not make it too heavy so they can carry it in. We can take action, not in trying but in doing. It is our choice. Francine Jarry sings affirmations in her Joy, Joy, Joy CD. My choice is to turn it on and listening happens. It seeps into my soul without realizing it. I could be festering with fear but the healing is seeping in. It’s a matter of choice where I put my focus.
My soul is exploding with your profound language. Thank you for holding space for me.
Thank you. What a wonderful gift that you are doing with a positive care package. What a beautiful example you are being. When I was growing up, all I heard was I’m so worried. It was so heavy, so negative. It’s wonderful what you are doing. I’ve made changes, I visited my estranged son. The grief we’ve all gone through. What a beautiful example you being there for her and her family. With all the positive ways to be, instead of being a burden of negative that some people can put on us, it’s inspiring. Thank you.
I kept thinking of the song Sending you Light. It says ‘we’re singing you light to hold you in love.’ The strings that are in this group bring harmony to us and yet, we don’t stay in harmony every moment of our lives. But there is harmony when we put music on. If there was never disharmony, we wouldn’t know harmony. Sending you love and light. You are love. When we are love and things around us are falling apart, it hurts our spirits. But our love will shine through. Even in our silence, it will shine through.
The pump that keeps the love pushing through the crap that comes flying my way is anger. I won’t sit on my hands and not do anything. So it’s my anger. I use anger as a fuel to take action and it’s amazing how much I can get done. Thank you anger.
I understand the undertow because I can easily find myself in despair. I do try hard not to, because it’s always there and I could be on the floor and not get up. But when we are altogether in the morning, we are in harmony. Our energy and our love and our acceptance of one another is so strong. It’s what is so strong about this group. Thinking of sounds and like strings, the sounds of animals, a lone goose calling in the night and I could feel its pain. A breeze is music. I could hear my cat crunching on her dried food. I’m so grateful for all these sounds that I can rest in. I don’t much know about music, but I like guitars, the low sounds of a cello reverberating and calming. My tree out my window, I feel a sound from it, a sound of comfort and beauty and strength.
I have a question to better understand what you mean when you say the thing I need to do is pray. In my belief system, I don’t believe in prayer. It connotes things I don’t believe in. I’d like to find a way to appreciate what you mean.
The word ‘prayer’ is laden with crap from my childhood. I found prayer through creating affirmations. Another word for prayer is an affirmation. An affirmation whether vocal or thought is using my energy and affirming healing. To me, that’s a prayer. When I feel the fear rising again, I affirm my daughter is strong and healthy, my grandchildren are young and healthy, my son-in-law is smart and healthy. These are prayers I’m putting out. Whatever term you put on it, an affirmation is using words with emotion that are delivered to the Divine, to the Higher Power, affirming it. That’s how I look at it. I have worked on accepting the word prayer in my life. I didn’t know how to pray. Did it mean I had to get on my knees and if I didn’t say it right, it wouldn’t work? I don’t believe that. When I am true to myself, affirm with the emotion I feel, that lets it fly to whatever Higher Power one believes in.
For me, it’s also intent. After he participated in the Selma marches, Rabbi Abraham Heschel said, “I felt my legs were praying.” It’s an action. Making this soup is a prayer through action. She’s not just worrying. She’s taking an active role. To me, that’s a prayer. It’s actions.
The word is laden with a lot for me. It is a place to be with my heart and my spirit and my thoughts. I can relate to that.
We can make it work for ourselves however we can, with the language and actions that work for us. Such as thinking of another in loving ways
It changes us. There’s a book The Biology of Belief. The cells of your body are affected by your thoughts. Prayer puts us into an attitude of support and love, so that we’re not just focusing on ourselves.
It creates a cascading effect that affects the whole body, the physical, the mental.
Thank you for the question because it’s a question that hangs over my journey with organized religion and what I need to shed to come to the Divine and what it means to each of us.
We learn from each other. We are an instrument finely tuned in harmony. Thank you for joining us today. Thank you for traveling this deep path where we are learning to love ourselves, accept ourselves, and do the work that makes our feet go forward and do the actions to help ourselves and others.