Attention and Intention. It Works!

We had our first outdoor full moon sound healing at the beach on Wednesday. It was a cold, for Florida, and windy evening. Temps in the low 60’s with wind blowing steady at about 20 mph. The wind blew hard enough to blow the gongs over as we were setting up.

Just before we went Dan asked me how many people I thought would come. Based on the number of people who responded to our FB event, 273 I think it was, I said about 25. Thinking maybe 10% of them would show. Based on the cold and wind, Dan guessed 5.

We had somewhere around 25. (Can you see the smile breaking out on my face?)

We headed down to the beach early, because we didn’t know if we might have to move our set-up a few times to get the most sound out of it, with the wind blowing the way it was. As it turned out we set up and didn’t have to move. Then we set about “tuning” up the gongs. Which means, playing them, getting the vibration going. Plus we were checking to see how far the sound would travel on the beach. Anyway, there were many people walking by, since we were set up on the beach beside the “casino” which is not a casino but a dance hall right on the water in the middle of the commercial district. The casino has a dance night every Wednesday night so as people were waiting for that to start they came over and listened. A whole bunch of them wanted to sign up for our mailing list, so they could come to the next one.

At about 6 I told Dan I was nervous. No one was there, and we were supposed to start playing at 6:30. He looked at me like I was crazy and said, “You can get nervous at 6:20. But not yet….” Then at 6:20 he said, “ok…you can get nervous.” As he said it, 2 of our musician friends showed up. And about 20 more people. All at once. Then a few more straggled in in the next few minutes. All were dressed in their winter coats, hold-overs we all have in our closet for the rare cold day or night down here. It was 80° on Tues, no wind. Perfectly beautiful sunny Florida day. It’s been pretty chilly since then.

We started right on time. At first everyone was sitting up, on their blankets or in chairs. A half hour later as I walked through the crowd playing the rain stick and ocean drum, I noticed everyone was now laying down, except for the few in chairs. All were deep into a meditation it seemed, even the 90+ woman in a wheel chair whose daughter, appearing to be about 70 or so, had brought her down.

A few of the people left after about 40 min, I am pretty sure because of the cold. But the majority of them stayed for the whole thing. So many of them came up and left tips in the jar, and thanked us profusely. Some of them wanted to stay and tell us about their experience, one person originally from NY offered to help us anyway she could. She was quite familiar with sound baths, though not like ours, not with the gongs dominating. She loved it. So many people conveyed that they were thrilled to have us doing this in our little town. Some people left comments on our FB posts. One guy said., in a comment, that it was his first night in his new house in our town, that he was walking on the beach and stumbled on our gongbath. It was “magical” he said.

It turned out exactly as I’d hoped it would, that we would begin to create a community of like-minded people. I will say I had a clear picture in my head of what I wanted to have happen, and what I hoped to bring to those who came. When it was all said and done, I thought about all the things I have successfully manifested with attention and intention. The outcome of my divorce, my home in CT, my home in Fl, the amazing man in my life, the circle of friends I have here….

Attention and intention. It works.

We’ve decided to hold sound healings on the beach for every full moon, at least until it’s too hot and rainy, maybe 5-6 months or so. So many people asked if we would do that. And honestly, I don’t care that it’s for free. We made a little through love donations, but the joy we got out of playing was worth it. Totally. We are hoping that by the time the rainy season comes we will have a following enough that we can find a venue to play indoors, and that people might be willing to pay $10 or so then.

Life is good, amazing really. We are taking the weekend off…meaning we are not going out to see any of our friends play at the local venues, we are staying home and read, and do laundry and rest. Make some of our favorite meals. Start planning our cruise in detail. It’s all good.

A few more things to focus our attention and intentions on. Love and light to all.

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Sunrise, and Other Thoughts

Looking through the slats of my partially closed venetian blinds, I see the sunrise begin. The sky turns golden in the east. The only clouds in the sky this morning are over Tampa Bay, off to the east, and in a matter of moments, they change from bright golden white to a rosy gold, as the sun begins to make its way above the earth here. It’s a peaceful, soothing way to begin the day, watching the spectacle that is a Florida sunrise.

Next week we will be doing our sound healing at the beach, in the full moon on Wednesday. The full moon is really Tuesday, but we chose to do it Wednesday, when it will still be 99.45% full, because a local yoga instructor is doing a yoga class on the beach in the full moon on Tuesday, and because there is an open mic that we and most of our friends like to go to on Tuesday night.

I made a FB event for our sound bath.  I always make one for our sessions at the yoga studio, but generally with very little response. This one, a free sound healing at the beach, has had a lot of response, over 200 people! So I am very excited that we might have a good crowd. Last time we did the sound bath, the crowd was not a crowd, is was just a couple people. However, we did a really great job performing. We all walked out just feeling good about it. Since we generally just used those sessions as practice, that’s all we could ask of it. I felt so good, not at our performance per se, but because of the effects, the good, happy, fulfilled way I felt that I told Dan and my friend Lynn who plays with us that I would be happy to do it for free just to feel like that. We’ve been practicing a lot, practicing playing off of each other, etc. Got a few new instruments and tools. I’m really looking forward to playing at the beach for more than a few people.

In other news, Dan and I are going on a cruise in December from Tampa to the Western Caribbean. We are very excited! Dan’s never been on one, and I have only been on one, and it was 10 years ago. 7 nights, and 4 stops. We’re going with our bff’s from CT. They’re flying down here and we’ll all drive over to the port. I expect it to really be fun. Two days at sea, and a day each in Costa Maya, Roatan Honduras, Belize, and Cozumel. I’ve wanted to snorkel in Belize since I was certified in scuba 42 years ago, lol. Not scuba diving any longer, but the snorkeling is supposed to be some of the best in the world. Other than that, we haven’t made a lot of plans except to relax in the sun and enjoy ourselves. I’m really looking forward to the days at sea.

We hosted our first real get together at my house a couple weeks back. We had 6 or 7 people over for pulled pork and baked beans. One of my besties here brought her home-made mac and cheese. The women were part of our writers group, and all the men are musicians. It turned out well, I think everyone had a good time. We laughed a lot, like “My face/stomach hurts from laughing” kind of stuff. It was good! We’ve made so many good friends here. The vibe is so laid back, and accepting. I am so happy this is where I landed for retirement.

My writer’s group is coming on Sunday, so I need to get the house picked up a little. Today I’m going to sit for an artists guild over on Treasure Island, which is one of the St. Pete beaches. I will get paid $40 to sit for 2 hours so they can practice their portraiture. I guess every 20 min I will get a 10 minute break.

My sis just got back down here for the winter, so we made a lunch date for a couple weeks from now. Looking forward to seeing her.

So, it’s been busy. I have a feeling that after the holidays, I will just want to collapse, but it’s nice to be busy. It helps to keep my mind sharp. I get a little mushy when I don’t have a focus. Kind of how when I worked I was “on” all the time, because I had to be. Don’t have to do it for work, now I do it for the things I have passion for.

Seems like nice way to live.

Love and light to all.

Gong Effects

IMG_1294 (2)

I had a wonderful day today. I woke up after almost 9 hours of sleep, at Dan’s house where we’d been for a few days. Sleeping even 7 hours is a feat I rarely accomplish, so 9 hours is amazing. We had coffee, and breakfast, and quiet conversation. We planned to get back to my house tonight. I had a date with one of my best friends here to meet at our favorite Italian restaurant for a glass of wine and a platter of antipasti. We ended up with a carafe, not a glass, and 3 hours later left there slightly inebriated, but it was great. She and I never run out of things to talk about. I came home, Dan was here. We caught up with each other, we played a couple games of cards, we made a quick dinner.

Then we sat down in the living room, in front of the TV. We realized that Game 7 of the Series was on, and Dan’s a baseball fan, so we agreed we’d watch it. Since we had about 25 minutes until the game started, he decided to play a gong for a while, so I sat back, closed my eyes and let myself go with it.

I was sitting with my hands in my lap. They were cool, and dry, and clasped in my lap. After about 10 minutes, I moved my right hand, which was clasping my left. I could not for the life of me figure out what I was touching. The gong was playing low, fairly quiet, and my hands, touching only each other, seemed disassociated. As if I were two people. One doing the touching, with both hands. The other one being the one touched by those hands. I felt the touch on the outside and on the inside differently.

I actually had to open my eyes and look to see what was going on with my hands.

I really felt out of my body. That’s only happened to me a few times, and it’s a very cool, albeit weird, experience. The duality, right there, then melding back into one, into me, all parts flowing back together. The gong is an amazing instrument, to somehow facilitate that happening. `

He tapered the sound off and stopped after about 20 minutes. By the time he got back to the couch, I had forgotten the weirdness with my hands. Then about a half-hour later, something triggered it back into my mind. I told Dan, who never does anything but support me. His response was, even before I said it, “Oh you were a little out of your body!” He gets it. It’s amazing to be with someone who gets that!

So, I had a wonderful, but slightly strange day. I would be happy to feel this way every day.

Love and light, everyone

 

Picture was taken by me.  My gong is on the right.  Dan’s is on the left.

End of Day

palm fronds in the dark

The evening was starless
The palm fronds were a dark silhouette
Waving gently against a grey sky
As the balmy tropical breeze
Gently blew the warm rain
Across the bay.

I thought of you
Your arms around me
Your hand on the back of my neck
Gently stroking my hair.

I leaned into the strong circle
Of your arms,
Felt the heat of your shoulder
And there rested my head

It was a dream I dreamed
Under the darkened sky
Waiting for your return
I missed you tonight.

I hope your dreams are
As sweet as mine.
I’ll see you soon my love
When daylight breaks once more.

 

Bu Deborah E. Dayen

The Nautilus Shelll

nautilus shell (2)

Confusion filled every pore and cell in Cal’s body as he lay in his bed, flat on his back, eyes barely open in the bright sunlight pouring in the room. Where was he? How did he get there? And, why is he just now waking up when the day has obviously been underway for hours.

Ok, he knew where he was. However, he did not think he was in his room until he opened his eyes. Until that moment he had been out on the sea, riding the swells up and down, breathing in the fresh salt air. He’d been with his old friend Rudy, who had just shown up on the boat (the way people do when you’re deep in a dream). Rudy was indeed an old friend, but the trouble was he’d died twenty years before.

His death had come as a shock to Cal. Rudy was the consummate sailor, who had taught Cal to sail. He’d infected Cal with his love of the sea, and the warm Gulf water. He sometimes took off for days, even weeks, by himself. He’d call Cal from Key West or Turks and Caicos, regaling him with his stories of daring, and stories of dolphins in the starlight, and cups of coffee as the sunrise spread its rosy glow across the water. A squall had come up as he’d made his way from somewhere in the Florida keys to somewhere in the Bahamas, a dangerous white squall where the seas rose and began breaking over the bow under the almost hurricane-force winds that accompanied it. The Coast Guard determined when they finally found his 40′ yawl drifting in the Gulf after days of searching, that his boat had capsized in the squall, sending him into the ocean while his boat flew away on the wind. His body had never been found.

Laying there now in the stillness, he could still hear his old friend’s voice telling him stories about what he’d been up to, his laughter filling the air like the wind filled the boat’s sails. It was such a wonderful dream, to see his closest old buddy once again. They had talked about real things, like Cal’s brush with cancer and how the experience had changed him. They even had a conversation about Rudy’s death, how Cal had missed him and sunk into a depression for a long while after. The depression had sent him out to sea, literally, where he found himself most at home.

Rudy smiled at him, “Well, this always was your place, wasn’t it?”

“Yours too….” Rudy replied, his voice tinged with sadness and introspection.

Yeah, it was a place they both loved. Cal always felt closest to whatever consciousness had put him there. It allowed him to climb out of the depths of sadness and grief, once again feeling grateful to be alive. He loved the feel of the water beneath him, the sight of the wind filling the sails, the rhythm of the boat’s rise and fall in the swells. Rudy knew, having spent countless hours on a boat with Cal.

Finally, Rudy said he had to go. He reached into his pocket and then held out his hand. There’s something I always wanted to give you, and never had the chance.” He opened his hand, and Cal saw the beautiful nautilus shell, it’s edges trimmed in gold, that Rudy used to wear on a gold chain around his neck. Rudy always said it reminded him how life expands, and renews over and over again. Now that he thought about it, he couldn’t remember ever seeing Rudy without it. Rudy took Cal’s hand and put the shell in his hand.

“I gotta go, buddy, but think of me when you wear this. I’m always with you, no matter where you are.”

And with that, Rudy was gone, and the shock of his leaving, Cal realized, was what woke him. He breathed in a deep breath. He thanked whatever powers that were for letting him see and talk to Rudy once more. What a great dream he’d had. A smile slowly crept across his face, as a tear rolled down his cheek.

He was awake now. He was aware of the sunlight pouring in the windows, and of the palm fronds swaying in the breeze. As he began to move, he realized he was grasping something in his hand, holding onto it so tightly that his fingers were aching. He slowly opened his hand. In a mixture of disbelief and complete awareness, he clasped the nautilus shell, trimmed in gold, to his heart, whispering “Thank you Rudy. Thank you.”

Trying to Crack Serious Writer’s Block

Stream of Consciousness – Serious Writer’s Block

Writers group, Hypatia, is meeting next Sunday. I am having such a hard time writing ANYTHING! What is happening to me? This used to be my go-to. Like I could just sit down and write. Poems used to flow out of me. Pain and joy used to flow onto the page. Whatever I felt at the moment could be put to words. Not so lately. I haven’t even blogged in over a week. WTF?

So, I’ve been looking for prompts. Googling prompt sites, signing up for emails for prompts. Scouring the recesses of my brain for ideas. Finally, I talked to Dan. Here are his ideas.

Write about your new neighbors. Two couples, each with a small child, sharing the basically 1 bedroom house, one bath house. (There is a small room in the back, which I suppose could be a 2nd bedroom if necessary.) They use this house as a getaway, they live in Miami, and drive up here on the weekends. But no, I met them, and they seem like nice normal people and I don’t want to make up a story about them.

Write about how asylum seekers can now claim asylum in Mexico, so they don’t need to walk all the way up here. Um, NO. Because of all the obvious reasons, not the least of which is my total distaste for anything political, and my total disagreement with him over our border issues.

Write about the affair DJT is having with Elizabeth Warren. NO? How about the one with Hillary? No? How about Warren and Hillary? NO? Why not? Because…. I am bad enough with fiction.

No political stuff? Ok, write about the banyan tree in the back yard. Trouble is I have written a poem about it, way back when I first got here, and don’t think I can do better than that.

I told Dan that I was so glad not to live in his head. Full of ideas, streaming out in non-sensical tangents.

He was obviously not helpful. I am back looking for inspiration, right where I was.

I scanned, briefly, the “book” I wrote about my abusive marriage and epic divorce. I was thinking I could just take a chapter from it. No. It is too triggering, and while I’m glad I wrote it, every time I look at it, (which is about once or twice a year) I don’t want to read it. I don’t want to rehash stuff that I finally managed to banish to the deepest recesses of my mind, and to actually forgive him for. Especially now, knowing how ill he is, and was, and ever shall be. I warned him so many times he would die old, sick and all alone because he pushed away everyone who loved him. And it turns out to have been prophetic, he is all of those things. I feel for him, but I don’t want to ever engage in that again. I wish him well, and I wish he leaves me and my son alone.

Not something I want to write about.

There were a few men after him. Way after, like 7 years before I even wanted to date. One I thought was significant, but now I cannot for the life of me understand what about that man so charmed me. UGH.

Then Dan. That story is still being written, but it’s a lovely story, so far, most of the time. However, it is not something I wish to share, at least the deepest part of it. It’s personal. Besides, everyone knows and likes him in Hypatia. So I don’t, and won’t, write more about that relationship than I already have.

So, ok, men are out as a subject.

I told Dan I was give up on trying to write and was going to go outside, climb up in the boat, and deal with the head which needs cleaning, and empty the galley maybe. Boat has been in my front yard for 2 months. We worked on it for about a week, but it was so hot and/or rainy, we just stopped the work, waiting for cooler and drier weather. But there are no stories worth telling. Boating turns out to be a whole different experience at 68 than it was at 50. We are done with the hassle.

Thinking about selling this house….I still hate to, I still love it, I love the location and I believe Dan does too. But it needs another bathroom and about 500 square feet to be comfy for two people. And the banyan tree would have to come down to do that.

I could write about the holes the rats chewed in my duct work, which I just got a quote on in the $1000’s to fix. Actually, not fix, but replace. But we did find out that there are companies that can rat-proof a place for about $1000, at least that’s what this guy paid for his own house to be done. And I wondered if we do that can we then put an addition on my house and live here pest free for the next 10 years or so? The idea of moving two houses into one is daunting.

I guess I better go put some clothes on and clean up my kitchen and then go out to the boat and see if I can do anything with it. I have a feeling that it will be too hot by the time I get out there, so I’ll put it off for another day. So easy to do that. I get an A in procrastination of jobs I don’t want to do. At least I don’t have to mow the lawn this week.

At least it stopped raining, like totally stopped. And I need to get some exercise. Maybe meditate. That always at least centers me. I could bang the gong too. Or not bang it, but play it. Maybe that would take me somewhere.

Nice that a life is so good, on such an even keel.