Waking Up Singing

Woke up with a new devotional ditty in my head this morning. Came down stairs and immediately started singing and playing it on the harmonium. I finally had to stop so I have a voice left for this afternoon when I get to share it in our Mindful Yoga and Sacred Chant class!

Haven't had breakfast, a cup of coffee or my vitamins yet and it's past 2 pm... Singing does take you beyond. I love my job!

Preparing to Practice

We can jump into anything and wing it if we are feeling so moved and have enough information, knowledge, experience or background at our disposal... but when we prepare for the task, the event, the talk- what a difference that can make to the outcome. Spontaneity is a wonderful thing. We shouldn't leave it out of the equation. Being open and having the ability to making a change in the moment as the circumstances, situation or mood guide us, is important and may also lead to results beyond what we might have hoped for or imagined.

A few years ago I heard somewhere that Sting always has his band do an hour of yoga before a concert. Last week a friend of mine and I started teaching a class on Mindful Yoga & Sacred Chant. The effect of chanting after doing an hour of yoga is profound! An hour of yoga is plenty enough to balance the mind and body, open up the lungs and prepare one for a luscious round of chanting or singing.

Tonight we taught our second class in a series of five. I had been practicing a particular chant all week. It was new to me and I am not very good on the harmonium so I needed a lot of practice to feel comfortable. Every day this week I sat down with it and practiced, but I didn't always spend a lot of time actually preparing myself to chant. I would do a little breathing and a bit of warm up vocals but I tend to be impatient so I would often jump right into singing or chanting without being fully warmed up.

Both last week and this week in our class I was amazed at the difference when I opened my mouth to sing after doing a full hour of yoga first. My body was relaxed. I had more lung capacity and my whole being felt really open, allowing my voice to expand with an unusual fullness and strength. Very exciting.

And can't we apply this to any endeavor? Preparation must become part of the practice.

Successes and Synchronicity

Today's successes...
Completed on new flyer for Wholistic Sound
Spent hours fixing my harmonium so that I could play it at class tonight
            *Thank you Daniel Tucker for the How To Fix Your Harmonium 101 at Kirtan Camp 2011!
Taught the first class on Mindful Yoga and Sacred Chant at Sandywoods with my friend Morgan Ford Brunketurner
            *Starting with an hour of yoga and then going on to chanting is definitely a recipe for success! And the acoustics in the room are wonderful!
Set up two kirtans in Newport (March 5 and March 15)
Spread paperwork all over the floor as the first step to pulling out stuff for tax person and organizing!
            *Definitely a job for brain tuners- results will be posted!
Through random synchronicity suddenly came across my book on The Tibetan Yoga of Dreams and Sleep
            *Very exciting since I am delving into that arena right now- taking a workshop on Sound and Dreams in June with John Beaulieu and Silvia Nakkach and going to sleep each night listening to Jeff Bridges' Sleeping Tapes, which is an amazing experience. If you haven't downloaded it yet I am urging you to GET ON IT!

Speaking of synchronicity here's a little throwback to 1983 for you! Love the backup singers- those girls are great!

"Synchronicity I"

With one breath, with one flow
You will know

A sleep trance, a dream dance,
A shared romance,

A connecting principle,
Linked to the invisible
Almost imperceptible
Something inexpressible.
Science insusceptible
Logic so inflexible
Causally connectible
Yet nothing is invincible.

If we share this nightmare
Then we can dream
Spiritus mundi.

If you act, as you think,
The missing link,

We know you, they know me

A star fall, a phone call,
It joins all,

It's so deep, it's so wide
Your inside

Effect without a cause
Sub-atomic laws, scientific pause

And on that note- if you like Sting, read his autobiography. He is a good writer and it's very engaging- pretty much about his life pre-Police and leading up to that point. Really good, at least I thought so. Very thoughtful.

Revving Up

It's Friday, and I'm feeling good. It's been a full week and I have a sense of forward motion, for which I am grateful. My friend Morgan and I are ready to start teaching our class together on Mindful Yoga & Sacred Chant next Tuesday. We have talked about it for so long but there seemed to be one obstacle after another- Om Gam Ganapataye Namaha! The engine just wouldn't turn over. Suddenly it has kicked in and energy is moving!

I met with a therapist today as there are some things I really want to work and move through and that felt really good. He was clear and perceptive and I feel like I'll be able to do some good work which I am excited about. Time to peel away another layer...

I have a couple of different people to talk to next week as far as getting some more work out there- one who wants me to lead a chanting meditation at her office for a group of people and another who markets small businesses and might help give my business a jump start in this area. She is very interested in sound healing so partial trade may be an option too which is kind of nice.

I gave a lovely woman a session today at my house, which has really been my plan since I moved in- getting my business going here in my house. I moved in last October but there has been so much upheaval between getting the house and healing space set up followed by holidays, birthday, travel and being sick for three weeks that it has been a very slow start. She was one of the people who came to the chanting group last Saturday. I didn't charge for the group last week because their usually their donations go to the soup kitchen at the church, and I was very comfortable with that; and through that event I have at least one new client so it was well worth it. I loved that she felt her health issues were as she put it, "A problem with resonance." It's nice to work with someone whose operating premise is that restoring health is a matter of restoring harmony. Usually that's my line and it's definitely what I am good at!
Newport Community Chanting, Emmanuel Church, Newport, RI
World Sound Healing Day- February 14, 2015
There was a time when I was fearful of offering my work for free and there are several sides to that. One is that I knew it was important for me to begin to make a living at what I do and know that I was accomplished enough at it to feel comfortable charging a reasonable wage- and then the other side of it, which is learning to let go and trust- and being able to discern which is the way to go in any given moment and set of circumstances.  I have definitely learned that the more I give fearlessly, the more comes back to me in ways I cannot anticipate or predict. The universe is so much better at that stuff than I am!  This was definitely one of those instances where I offered something for free (more accurately, gave what I would have made to the church) and now it is coming back to me with new clients as a result.

I'm also working with several oncology patients through the Integrative Care Program at Women & Infants Hospital and starting to get more and more new patients each week. It's definitely another case of giving without concern for the return. The patients- oncology, caregivers, and senior citizens- get massage, sound healing, acupuncture, lymphatic drainage, and various other alternative therapies at a highly discounted rate. The therapists get a portion of that and in terms of monetary remuneration it isn't much, but it is such great work. When I am there I do massage, craniosacral therapy and sound healing with tuning forks. The clients are so much in need of the work and so appreciative that it is always such a pleasure working with them. All of these people, most of them women, are very proactive about their health and doing everything they can to stay balanced, which is a beautiful thing. In the beginning I thought, "I must be crazy to travel as far as I do for this work to barely make enough money to cover my gas!" but I love working with these people so much. And it is so thoroughly appreciated and that in itself is a huge reward. I only go out there one or two days a week so there are plenty of hours left in the week to make up the difference.

Oh, and tomorrow night I get to take my youngest son Nic, who just turned 34, out to dinner for his birthday to a fabulous restaurant in Bristol, RI. He is a foodie and has been aware of the restaurant, Persimmon, for quite some time but never been there. I, on the other hand, have- and I know he will love it! We have been trying to go for two weeks now but again... obstacles! Yep, the energy is finally starting to move!
My son Nicolas Hardisty and I