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A wildness that wishes to be resurrected through you

Love is inviting you in every moment to undress, to remove your clothing and stand naked in this world. But to accept this invitation you must leave the known. You must set aside your hopes and fears, your quest for safety, and your fantasies of awakening and resolution. And allow love to dismantle you. You will never find ground, security, certainty, or surety in the fires of love, but there is something much more majestic being offered. There are billions of unique cells which have assembled to form your one, untamed heart. It is not a resting place you are after but for a wildness to be resurrected through you.

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The Presence of Spirit

Deena Metzger—author, poet, teacher, and the creator of the classic Sounds True audio title This Body, My Life—has an in-depth conversation with Tami Simon. Tami and Deena discuss her work with the ReVisioning Medicine organization and the necessity of listening to the story that chronic illness is trying to tell you about your body. They also talk about creating a “literature of restoration,” intended to promote values other than those pushed by materialistic society and to focus on what is truly life-giving. Finally, Deena expounds on the idea of the coming “Fifth World” and the steps necessary to create it. (62 minutes)

Tiffany Shlain: Taking an Empowered and Creative View ...

Tiffany Shlain is an Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker, internet pioneer, and the author of Brain Power: From Neurons to Networks. Her most recent film, 50/50: Rethinking the Past, Present, and Future of Women + Power, debuted at the TEDWomen conference and is the inspiration for 50/50 Day, a global event devoted to bringing about greater gender balance in all sectors of life. In this episode of Insights at the Edge, Tami Simon speaks with Tiffany about 50/50 Day—its origins, how it will be rolled out, and what steps we can take to ensure women have a better say in society. They talk about Tiffany’s approach to encouraging social change through film, including the background behind her short documentary The Science of Character. Using that film as a foundation, Tiffany comments on the difference between virtue and character, as well as why we should focus on cultivating our strengths rather than obsessing over our weaknesses. Finally, Tiffany and Tami discuss our current relationships with technology and why she recommends a “technology Shabbat” in which we spend 24 hours away from our screens. (54 minutes)

Cooking as meditation… with Dr. Andrew Weil

In many contemplative traditions, it is said that we can practice meditation during the most ordinary activities, such as taking a walk, washing the dishes, or even in the midst of a busy day of emails. Here, our friend and Sounds True author Dr. Andrew Weil shows how the simple art of cooking – when engaged in a present, mindful, and open way – can offer a gateway into the experience of meditation.

We’d love to hear from you on how cooking and other so-called “ordinary” activities offer you a portal into deeper love, awakening, and aliveness in the present moment.

 

Love under the surface

One of the things I have been starting to notice is the “secret language of love” that can be felt under the surface of what is happening. I am noticing it with friends, with Sounds True authors, and with co-workers and with all kinds of people. I am calling it “secret” because it is not spoken about or acknowledged; I find myself noticing the feelings of love but not voicing them for fear that I will seem inappropriate or out of context or that there is no basis for me to be having the types of feelings that I am having, so better to just keep it to myself.

I can give a concrete example: Recently, I traveled with two co-workers to California to video record a lecture series. We met at the airport and spent 5 days basically glued together working on this project. One person in our group is a producer who has worked at ST for 13 years. The other is an audio-video technician who has worked at the company for 10+ years (interestingly, before this trip together, I knew both of these people had worked at ST for quite some time, but it was all a blur to me. I only found out their actual longevity at the company during this trip). And during this trip, we all found out a lot about each other, about each other’s personal lives and families and early upbringing. The curious thing to me was at the end of 5 days I felt so connected and bonded with these two men who work at Sounds True. Previously, I had been in short conversations with both of these people, in the hallways, in meetings, at Sounds True parties.  But we had never spent any real time together, let alone three meals a day for 5 days, traveling and working as a closely-knit team.

The experience made me reflect on what it must be like for people who play on sports teams together or even people in the armed forces or other groups of people who work closely with each other in intense, collaborative settings. I felt in my core how “tribal” I am by nature, how instinctively I become part of a group or pod. And most importantly, the huge amount of love that is potentially present right below the surface between me and other people if I am willing to take some time away from the “task orientation” that I usually bring to work and instead simply listen and tune to what could be called “the relational field.”

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And what I am finding is that whether it is through dreams (night dreams as well as day dreams) or spontaneous love eruptions that I feel in my being, there is so much love under the surface in so many of my interactions with other people, interactions which on the surface appear fairly tame and functionally-oriented. Underneath, there is a wild, upwelling of heart. It feels risky to say so, but how strange that what so many of us value the most – love—has become something that needs to be whispered or only voiced in socially appropriate ways. I want to sing about it from the rooftops. But since I can’t sing, I am writing this blog post instead.

Why does the love we feel under the surface for so many different kinds of people need to be kept secret and not voiced?  Because we are afraid that someone will think we are being sexually inappropriate or crossing a boundary? What if we could make our sexual boundaries so clear and reliable and trust-worthy that our voicing of the love we feel would not be misunderstood or misconstrued, but instead simply received as the heart’s outpouring of the recognition of how our souls are touching and co-creating. That is the type of wild love I wish to voice.

4 Ways to Value and Build More Joy Into This Holiday S...

The holiday season sometimes feel like brief moments of joy thrown together with an awful lot of unsettled intensity. Attending to those easier times doesn’t mean we should ignore the unpleasant, but we can aim to not get so caught up in it. It is often expectations, anxieties, and perfectionism that amp up our holiday experience. Focusing on what we value and giving those times our most direct attention, we end up with a happier and more restorative holiday season.

 

Give happier moments your full attention, as you would a meditation

Whenever you catch yourself distracted from a moment of ease, come back. That could be through spending a few minutes alone, or with a favorite person or pet. It could mean taking in a party while the room feels full of connection and excitement. Or savoring a favorite food. Notice when you’re distracted by future planning, problem solving, or past conflicts, and in an unforced way, immerse yourself in a joyful moment.

Let go of expectations and comparison

Don’t ‘should’ on your holidays by thinking they should be better or resemble that family’s holidays or resemble holidays from ten years ago. These holidays will never, by definition, be the same as any other. If something truly has you down, even that gets complicated by ‘should’—like thinking you should be joyful when you’re not. Ever find yourself doing something because you should, instead of wanting or needing to? Whenever you notice ‘should-ing,’ see if you can note the thoughts and come back to whatever you feel best.

Let go of perfection

Check in with what you value and want to give to others. Ease, connection, what most comes to mind? Let go of stories about what must unfold in some precise way to meet your holiday standard. Wishes are one thing (I hope we’re all happy and healthy), perfection is unlikely (everyone better get along this year for once).

Sustain yourself

Let go, when you choose (and without hassling yourself), of how you typically live while keeping up with whatever keeps you strong. How little sleep and exercise are okay before you implode emotionally? How much indulging before you feel miserable the next day and maybe one after that? How much stress relates to getting physically run down? And then, always remember that practicing gratitude and giving to others may be one of the most valuable, sustaining choices we have. Happy holidays!

 

Mark Bertin is a pediatrician, author, professor, and mindfulness teacher specializing in neurodevelopmental behavioral pediatrics. He is the author of How Children Thrive: The Practical Science of Raising Independent, Resilient, and Happy Kids, a regular contributor to Mindful.org, HuffPost, and Psychology Today. Dr. Bertin resides in Pleasantville, New York. For more, visit developmentaldoctor.com.

 

The community here at Sounds True wishes you a lovely holiday season! We are happy to collaborate with some of our Sounds True authors to offer you wisdom and practices as we move into this time together; please enjoy this blog series for your holiday season. 

To help encourage you and your loved ones to explore new possibilities this holiday season, we’re offering 40% off nearly all of our programs, books, and courses sitewide. May you find the wisdom to light your way. 

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