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Post Event Report: If You Grew Up in Northern Illinois, A Maine Winter Is Very Manageable

Post Event Report: If You Grew Up in Northern Illinois, A Maine Winter Is Very Manageable

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Today I was in the forest, in the yoga studio, and "in" the computer, working on balancing the complexities and energies of modern life with the substance and source of earth, fire, air and water and the energy that breathes through it all. This is a matrix that I enter every day, and I often find it challenging. The computer has no real context unless I feel connection with deeper stuff. And when I feel connection with deeper stuff, I sometimes don't want to be anywhere near the computer! :-)

I am living in Maine, and it remains truly beautiful to me. I can feel the forest here, and a sense of quiet. There's space in Maine. The density of people is not so pressing as in, say, LA!!! (where I last lived in Venice Beach). Right now there is a fire in the wood stove, more for connection than heat. Today was in the 50's. I unzipped layers as I walked this afternoon. I sprinted several times at top speed for very short distances. I never do that. It felt good.

I know that Mainers will tell you this was a wimpy winter. However, Mainers apparently have also heard about Illinois winters, and have respect for the intensity of cold there. It's the wind, really. The wind blows like crazy where I grew up in Northern Illinois. Flat, flat land. In the wintertime, you can't assess temperature or safety without inquiring about the wind chill factor. Well, Spring is upon us in Maine, and I expect it'll be upon us for quite some time before we feel Summer. And you can pretty much bet we have more snow coming. It has been an emotionally challenging but very comfortable and beautiful winter. It's all truly good!

In other news, I am the current Executive Director of SADHANA www.sadhaname.com, an event and meditation center in South Portland, Maine. It's in a bit of a transition time, as it asks the question of how it best serves the community. Yoga and kirtan and other events have become very popular in Portland. That's great! AND it also means that more people are presenting those events. So, we are asking questions about financial viability for this 501(c)(3) nonprofit. We KNOW how it has been serving, and have gotten great feedback about the events presented and the availability of meditation space to the public. In what manner are we to move forward is the question being asked...

On the MUSIC front (oh boy!), I've recently started to play with a looping machine that allows me to set a piece of music gear on repeat and fade. What that does is I can sing a line into a microphone and then add another line on the next loop. This means I can create soundscapes and HARMONIZE WITH MYSELF. Yum!!! Then the fade part is that eventually each line fades out - the earlier ones fading out first. So, the soundtrack keeps shifting, creating a seamless sonic journey of whatever length I like or is called for.

A little story about harmonizing with myself: I remember being nine years old in music class. The class was singing "Rainbow Connection" from The Muppets. "Why are there so many songs about rainbows... Rainbows are visions, but only illusions..." Oh, I could so totally hear the harmony on "illusions" and I so much wanted to harmonize with myself! Well, since then I've gotten to harmonize with myself when I stack vocals on recordings, but this is the first time I've had the opportunity to do it real time and live.

SO, I'm just beginning to offer these heart-sourced, looped sounds for healing, meditation and yoga settings. I bring my own little sound system and a little box that lets me sing with myself. Please contact me if you'd like to talk about me coming to YOU for this. It could be in your house or yoga studio or any other venue, for one person or a thousand. People say that it's very healing, and that's my intention. It's like a dip into an ocean of my voice as it weaves in waves with itself. The best part is, it can sound lots of ways depending upon what the setting calls for. Like when I was a kid and sang to myself for hours, this is an opportunity for the sounds to come through me as they always have. It's a deep joy of mine, and a gift I am most grateful to share.

On the SINGER-SONGWRITER end of things, I continue to work on my guitar skills, and I've also finished a couple of songs in the last few weeks, both of which were started in 2004-2005. I've added the lyrics to "Even Tumbleweeds Travel Far" (about giving some faith and help to kids in tough situations) and "Soggy Cereal" (about the dilemma of songwriters when they HAVE to stop everything and write a song) to the Lyrics page.

This seems like a good time to sign off. Maybe next time I'll talk about the book "The Gabriel Method" by Jon Gabriel, which I'm almost done reading. It's a simply-presented approach to understanding healthy eating that is in line with lots of the material I've absorbed over the years. Jon has some fresh ideas, however, and his way of viewing health is clear and strong. A main point is that just because we are eating quality food doesn't mean that our bodies are able to utilize the nutrition. Also, many of us simply aren't getting enough nutrition in our food. This means that our bodies feel like they are starving. This affects our energy, our fat storage and our wellness, in many ways. A book well worth reading. The author's web site www.gabrielmethod.com is positioned around weight loss and isn't exactly my preferred style, but this approach to healthy eating and nutrition can apply to everybody, and the book itself is an easy, substantive read.

Oh, and I still do my PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER work (clutter clearing, etc.) at times. See what that's all about at www.chaos-to-clarity.com.

Love and harmony,
Helena

updated: 1 week ago