What makes my heart sing?

While discussing ideas for doing some sound healing work in Colorado this summer, I was surprised to find that, when asked “what would make my heart sing,” I did not have an answer. After decades of asking “why CD'sam I here” I found the answer: to make sound (and music) to, for and with, the Voice of Mother Earth. I discovered this (my “mission”) while on a residency at the Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, New Mexico. During that time, I wrote my first CD, “In lake’ch” (Mayan for “I am another yourself”), and after stepping back from it, realized that this was the music I had been looking for all my life. That CD grew into an ever evolving series of six disks with three more in the plans (found at CDBaby). Each disk (and most tracks) work on their own, and the whole thing is a single 5 1/2 hour composition. It has expanded into a sound meditation/sound healing practice, which has Dual spirit medicine wheeltaken me deeper into the substrate of sound, vibration and oscillation, than I could have imagined! I love sound, and I love composing, yet when asked what sound events would make my heart sing, I stammered…

I have done so many things in my life: climbed all of Colorado’s 14,000 ft. peaks, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Shasta and Pico de Orizaba (or Aztec: Citlaltepetl, the 3rd highest summit in North America). I have built three medicine spaces: moving some big stones and creating a labyrinth, and I have a growing deep connection of honoring this land on to which I’ve moved. I have travelled, composed, adventured, worked hard, played hard, and when younger, drank hard. I even sleep hard! I got my doctorate, built Summita career in music and academia, and won some prizes along the way. I lived in New Zealand for nine months and Italy for a year. I toured Europe and visited lots of wonderful places. By all accounts I am a success, and prosperous, and I feel both. So why could I not answer the simple question “what makes my heart sing?”

In my youth, all of the activities I pursued were things that excited me, and that I truly wanted to do. I got a doctorate because I wanted to pass that test of mental rigor and discipline. I climbed mountains because of the experience with God I felt each time arriving at that 360 degree panorama. I rode century days on my bike to go one mile further, and travelled to find the next adventure around the corner. I was single-minded about goals, and reaching out further. I pushed myself, and pushed hard! I did things for the action of them, and to compete with myself-to go one step, mile, or achievement further. I rode my youth like a bucking bronco: enjoying the times I stayed on as much as the times I got tossed off. Each time I got back up and looked around for the next thing! Life was grand, gritty and full of gumption.

All that changed while on a trip to Colorado in 2007. I had one day left, and I was at the base of a pair of 14ers. Instead of climbing (by this point, I was halfway through the 2nd round, and even bagging some of the high 13ers), I chose to float the Arkansas River with a friend. Rather than toiling to a couple of summits, I let gravity take me down, and I haven’t climbed since. It was a turning point. In many cultures, age 50 marks a passage to elder-hood. This was my first sign-post, and came with a rather dramatic polarity shift. In a momentary decision, I moved from goal bound determination, to process oriented introspection. At this point, I am more interested in smelling the roses than bagging any more summits.

Good night sky guardianMy view looks more inward, rather than outward… not always an easy shift when ones entire existence has orbited around achievement, but comes with minimized damage control of a bull-in-the-china-shop-youth! And so, thinking about “what makes my heart sing,” became a question of my youth. Time for a new question… “Doing” was what once made my heart sing, but not so much any longer. Looking at it in the opposite way, I found that it is not music, or “doing” anything else, that makes my heart sing now, but rather, it is my heart singing that makes music and all these other things! What I am no longer interested in doing physically, comes easy in the holographic universe, where believing is seeing, rather than the other way around. Elder-hood is all about “being” from who I am, not from what I know, or can even do. My guiding question has become: “what is created in the world when I let my heart sing?” And THAT has the potential to keep me occupied for the next 50 years.


Experience, Information, Reality

I was getting ready to give a guest lecture at a prominent mid-Western University. Sitting outside the room, a pendulum dangled over my lap. I was asking questions. A faculty member came by and made a comment about how he wouldn’t stake his life savings on information from a pendulum. It was a bit condescending, but I get that. At an institution of higher education, many choose intellect over intuition, even in a creative field like music. It was a first encounter with what I call: “bracketing out:” both conscious (because of preferences, biases or prejudices), and unconscious (see “inattentional blindness“) discarding of information. Often times bracketing happens because of how “worthy” we perceive a source to be. In our culture,  rationality and intellect seem to be the most trusted sources of information: perhaps a byproduct of suppressing the feminine principle for so many centuries. To the faculty member in Illinois, my source of information: a well asked question, followed by observing the motion of the pendulum (guided by micro movements in my hand), was mystical hocus pocus. It was not real or trustworthy.

Permeable reality
Permeable reality

Tör Nørretranders in The User Illusion, however, presents a compendium of research behind how misleading the results of our intellectualizing can be. He introduced the notion of exformation: all the stuff beneath actual communicated information. It turns out that our thinking brain can only process a wee fraction of the data coming in through our senses. In each verbal or written communication, there is a body of shared data and experience, not actually communicated directly. Cultural codes, assumptions, research behind conclusions, etc. all go unspoken, because they are perceived to be mutually understood. When information comes from a scientific study such as the 80’s, when doctors told us cholesterol from eggs was bad for us, we tend to favor it, as opposed to information that comes with, say, my being stung 5 times by two bumble bees yesterday as I accidentally disturbed their nest. Animal totems are a compendium of wisdom compiled over centuries by [First Nations] People observing, and divining significance from times when animals show up in our lives (compiled in books such as Ted Andrews‘ Animal Speak, to name one source). The information on cholesterol is deemed more valid because it came from a very specific and “approved” (marketable?) methodology (however biased…), while information derived from bee stings or a pendulum, is deemed superstitious because it comes from intuiting conclusions based solely on observation and contemplation.

And yet, in my own experience, everything I encounter is information with potential significance asking to be integrated. I do not necessarily believe everything, but I believe in the possibility of everything. And lots of information requires belief. Even scientific studies. I have never seen a germ, and yet I believe in them, and because I believe in them, correlate them to sickness. In reality I have never even experienced a germ, only the symptoms that doctors tell me come from germs (there’s that pesky exformation again!). All of the information of studies on germs has been discarded, and I am left with only the conclusions: to believe or disbelieve (or “buy in” or not). I must trust the doctors, and yet one decade eggs are bad for me, and the next…oops…they were wrong, and eggs are ok again. Of course, I never gave up eggs…because I love eggs, and my higher wisdom told me the studies were wrong, or perhaps were not about the health of eggs, but the sale of drugs to counteract cholesterol. There’s that hocus pocus again…and yet it served me far better than the science did. So I tend to favor ideas based on experience and am careful with beliefs. There is a great dialog in Dogma between Rufus and Bethany:

Bethany: “You’re saying having beliefs is a bad thing?”

Rufus: “I just think it’s better to have ideas. I mean, you can change an idea, changing a belief is trickier. People die for it, people kill for it.”

I’m not advocating that we give up science. But choosing to bracket out only that which has been verified by science or rational thought is like trying to walk without legs. Information is everywhere, and we get to choose how to interpret it. We are the writers of our own studies. If we ignore our own experience in the face of someone else’s (no matter how rigorous their methodologies and conclusions), then we deprive ourselves of our most trustworthy source: intuition. Intuition stems from the full-bandwidth of information coming in our senses, which our body, mind and spirit (subconscious!) IS fully processing. Our own experience, and subsequent intuition, is the one source that contains all of the exformation with nothing discarded!  Malcolm Gladwell explored this notion in Blink.

“The past exists only in our memories, the future only in our plans. The present is our reality. The tree that you are aware of intellectually, because of that small time lag, is always in the past and therefore is always unreal. Any intellectually conceived object is always in the past and therefore unreal. Reality is always the moment of vision before the intellectualization takes place. There is no other reality. “ (Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance)

So cast your radar widely, and absorb everything with an open mind, body and spirit and play with all information, no matter where it comes from. If nothing else, it is a practice in creativity and imagination. And imagination has changed the course of individuals and humanity more than once!

Reach out and Touch Someone
Reach out and Touch Someone

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Dancing in the cycle of life.

I don’t know how to say this gently…so i’ll just say it. In December of 2014 I was dying. How do I know? My life force was spent, and my body in chronic severe pain. I had little will to be here and was, in fact, beginning to check out. It started after the Winter Solstice of 2012…you know…the BIG winter solstice (the one where the Mayans ran out of stone and didn’t have room to finish the calendar)… I was so homesick after that. I could not look at the stars because I wanted to be back “home” out there. I envied Karlheinz Stockhausen for having returned to Sirius. Living here on Earth came with a strange feeling of detachment and numbness, even with all the physical pain. My motion towards transition was confirmed when a healer in KC and I found a black hole in my abdomen. My soul was preparing to leave and had created an umbilical to the great energy field that is beyond our known. In December, a healer relayed a message from my guides. They wanted me to know that “if I chose to stay, I would have lots of help.” So there it was in all honesty and openness: time to choose. Stay or go. I knew this choice had been coming. I knew it in the deepest, darkest, and brightest, corners of my being. I was strangely comforted that it was OK to choose either way…that it was totally up to me. The offer of help, stuck with me. It beckoned to me like a siren, and brought tears to my eyes every time I spoke of it. I don’t say this to be melodramatic, but rather only to tell a story that seems all too familiar in the media lately, of those who have chosen to leave. I can relate, and understand completely without judgment.

I did not go see a doctor for any of my symptoms (too numerous to count), because most doctors are ill prepared to help someone harmonize their body, with the mind and the spirit, let alone help coax my soul to re-occupy this chosen body. This is the stuff for more adventuresome and imaginative folks who see and feel WAY beyond chemistry, biology and even physics. And help came in some really unexpected ways.

Two miracles happened. First, was my moving onto the land. The land showed me a detachment of patience. It exists purely to exist…life just for life’s sake. It showed me that every day something lives and something else dies: perhaps the only imperetive of the circle of life. It showed me a way to harmonize with all that is: to adjust and to keep going. What’s next? Go there! (Robert De Niro). It showed me how to BE, and that BEing without judgment, is to be totally free. “There is no birth and no death. There is only the continuum of birth and death as punctuated points in the grammar of life.” I am “an eternal witness in which roles come and go.” (Deepak Chopra)

The second miracle started showing up in photographs. On Halloween Night I walked the property and noticed a change in the orbs I had been photographing. Hundreds and even thousands, of all different shapes and configurations showed up. They danced upon my cold breath that night and showed me that I am already home…that home is not out there somewhere, but right here inside this body. They reminded me that play is the way life continues, and creativity is the dance of the Great Mystery. Their presence somehow assured me that I was not alone, and that there was magic in each and every breath I took. It was enough to stimulate my curiosity. And curiosity is what drives me. It is the carrier wave of my creativity. I found myself wanting to get back in the game and fully play this role that I’ve chosen.

Architecture of a single breath
Architecture of a breath

All who have chosen to manifest at this time are heroes, regardless of how long we each choose to be here. And so I laid in bed in early January of 2015, and spoke a commitment to stay. To fully BE here, HOW, and fully incarnate. It hasn’t come over night, but with each day joy returns as I ask help from my Angels and Spirit Guides, and Friends. Chinks become cracks, and steadily my body–this home– releases the tension between its constituent parts, and the past, present and future integrate. Harmony returns to my movements, and ease, back into my body, mind and spirit to play this role I have chosen among many roles. Whether I am here for another day, or another 75 years, as my breath did on that cold Halloween night last fall, the creative cycle of life, death, and resurrection dances on in each moment!

Lady Libertarian
Lady Libertarian

A new song

I’ve been gone for over a year…at least from the blogosphere. Well… I’ve actually been gone from much of life too. Things have been getting done in the most basic ways…but that’s a long story for a different time. During Halloween night 2014, in the darkest of places, I found myself wandering my land snapping photos. I’ve seen many orbs here, but new groups appeared and seemed to be upping the ante. I heard them saying: “you are not alone–we are here with you!” It was a life-line of mystery and wonder, and my heart began to sing again. And so, I decided to stay, and commit to this life.

with pixies


The Spring thaw this year was the sweetest I have ever experienced, and its message clear: “you are the stars–we are not separate from you.” Slowly the magic of life has returned and my Qi flows again generously. I am enjoying playing with new energies manifesting on Harmony Farm, and within my body, mind and spirit. I am learning to fully incarnate in THIS body and in the present.

There is a song singing in the night time sky, and it is a song that resonates sympathetically deep in my bones. Life has become my instrument, and I’m learning how to play it better every moment of every day!

Looking on

Looking on

It’s good to be home!