Cultivating a musical response to the symphony of dissonant notes screaming for attention in our world right now is not a distant, poetic idea. It’s a tangible, practical skill. Uncomfortable, yes. Difficult, yes. Full of the mess of aliveness, yes. A swift and tidy spiritual bypass would be much easier. But leaning in to listen deeply, to feel what’s truly alive in us, can also make this moment resonant with hope and possibility.
Have you been tempted to write off someone in your life who has (or hasn’t) adopted a particular conspiracy narrative with the pandemic?
Do you feel disconnected, angry, hurt, or concerned with someone in your life who is following (or not following) public health guidelines?
Have you been tempted to cut off relations with someone in your life who actively supports (or doesn’t support) anti-racism and social justice?
Do you feel overwhelmed, numb, angry, or unbearably sad about the climate changes, mass extinctions, and refugee crisis already underway?
If you’re anything like me, the answer is YES to all of the above. So what do I mean by cultivating a musical response?
I propose that by cultivating a practice of listening awareness, I can stretch my capacity to fully feel what I feel and know what I know. When I find ourselves slipping down the swift path into a trauma response, even a brief moment of listening in the midst of a trigger can empower me with awareness. (Even if I become aware after my most-available first response!)
When I have awareness, I have a choice to build my deep muscles of integrity. When I connect heart, mind, voice, and action, I can learn to trust in my own ability to remain in loving presence. I meet my own need for safety within my own deepest Self. When I feel truly safe, I am less vulnerable to sensational narratives that seek to hook me (by tugging lower on my brainstem to activate primal fears) into a particular response. I am able to discern with less bias, to evaluate with fewer colorations and judgments. I can make sense of what’s happening without getting overwhelmed. I am able to digest my day without needing to make someone else responsible for how I feel.
Is it perfect? Hell no! But it's a tether to sanity, tolerance, resilience, and hope.
A stronger listening awareness muscle = more empowerment to choose.
We cultivate the capacity to respond, rather than react. We generate creative solutions, rather than tumble into primal fear-based reactions.
I am grateful for the sound-based practices that build those skills.
To learn more, start with my abundant free Gifts section!