Love be in my heart

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Please listen – lyrics/poem beneath

 

Love be in my heart

It’s not that love’s the easy way

It’s just that love’s the only way

A heart that wants to know the light

Can’t close when day turns into night

So let your love be real and raw

Your heart an ever open door

Real and raw

my heart an ever open door

***

Peace be in my soul

Don’t search for peace, it can’t be found

It’s something we have to create

With every thought, with every deed

with every breath we take

Yes, the world is suffering, that is true

But please don’t despair

Just make peace, in you

Know it’s true

You can make peace inside of you

***

Joy be in my smile

Let every cell you’re made of sing

And celebrate the little things

The wonder of a joy gone wild

Shining through a simple smile

That spreads, ignites and catches fire

Until it lifts the whole world higher

Catching fire

We’ll lift the world a little higher

***

Grace will be my guide

Sure, the way is not always clear

But truly, nothing is by chance

You don’t have to do this all alone

Just let grace be your partner in this dance

Watch and listen, grace will guide

Ever and always by your side

In this dance

ever and always by my side

 

***

 

I wrote this recently and my dear friend, Lili, (http://lilijohn.com/) who I sing with in a local choir, sings beautifully in the background while I read the poem and join in with the song at the end of each verse/stanza. Let me know what you think. It was soooooo precious and uplifting as we sang it together, and I really hope you all feel those good vibes.

 

Love always, Harula xxxxxx

 

 

 

Heads Held High

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When flowers

first formed

they didn’t know

they’d end up

in vases and wedding bouquets

healing teas and ikea linen

they simply grew

from an earth alive with play

inviting the insects

to dance and feast

beneath a sun that set

the colours just right

while the wind swiftly delivered

sky fulls of creative drafts

soliciting the services

of other soils

***

I’m so glad

flowers didn’t know

how important they’d be

for the weight of expectation

may have proved too heavy

to rest on slender stalks

straight backed and proud

heads held high

Tentative threads

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You’d been running around

leaping over rough log benches

shining your smile at the sun

and bumping into friends newly met

until quite unexpectedly

the warm weight of your head

rested in my lap

where I sat on the grass

surrounded by lunch-time conversation

you settled there

facing away from me

and I began to sing

or had I sung you there

I can’t remember now

which came first

but as I sang my only movement

was my breath

and my lips forming the words

as I kept myself otherwise still

so’s not to strain

whatever tentative threads

the moment was spinning

and as you lingered still

I added words

to stretch out the song

verse upon verse

wondering how long this could last

my hand tapped your shoulder

in time with the melody

apparently of its own accord

and yet I kept the touch light

wanting you to know

there was nothing keeping you

if play came calling

and when you did spring up

a tender newborn thank you

took flight to test its wings

as you rejoined your friends

and I raised my eyebrows

at smiling witnesses

as the song ended itself

and conversation resumed

 

Home

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image

Build your home on foundations of friendship

let it rise up to meet the cool moon

in a roof peeked like palms in prayer

held by walls of joy and compassion

painted with laughter and tears

with its heart an open door

through which all life

may safely come and go

with no other key than love

 

Sometimes, when I’m on retreat the silence and stillness empties me enough to tempt a flow of inspiration to fill me like some kind of joyful soul waterfall, leaving me desperate to splash and play and sing. Of course, I can’t do that when I’m sitting in a hall filled with people sitting in silence, so I stay with it and try to remember the ideas until the moment I can commit them to form.

The above is something conceived during a retreat I sat back in May, which focused on what in Buddhist practice are known as the Four Immeasurables, or the Four Divine Abodes. These are Equanimity, Joy, Friendship (Loving Kindness) and Compassion. The teachers shared with us that each of these qualities can be represented by one of the four directions, and also by different times of day (represented by the sun’s different phases, and the moon). It is this which I tried to capture with the image and poem above.

It seems to serve me to integrate my understanding of concepts which can at times feel demanding and unattainable into a creative representation that helps me shift my perspective until I can recognise instead their beauty and lightness. These qualities are deeply and irrevocably embedded in all life, in and around me, and whether I recognise and make use of them or not, they are always available. I just have to choose…and allow them to bring me ‘home’.

What brings you ‘home’?

 

 

 

 

 

Washing Rainbows

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A fire unfolds

onto my bedroom floor

as clothes steeped

in a week long marinade

of wood smoke and song

spill from my rucksack

to plant seeds in the carpet

that fast grow into trees

to breathe through the ceiling

and remind my soul

there’s a sky above filling with stars

coming out to listen to the moon

***

As I step into the shower

I reveal rainbows

painted on tanned arms

which take scrubbing and soap

to reluctantly remove.

I watch them disappear

down the plughole

knowing they’ll rise again

to brighten cloudy days

***

I smile at those I meet

as I walk into town

feeling that which I came

so quickly to take for granted

transform into a rare gift

bestowed in silent seconds

like a jewel dropped into the pools

of eyes who’ve forgotten

their own depths

yet who now follow the glinting gems

into the darkness

where hidden treasures lie

***

Jewels, pools

ripples and rainbows –

I’ll never leave home

without them

 

I’ve just returned from a magical singing camp, and this poem is my way of preserving and sharing the divine deliciousness of days spent immersed in nature and the pure, soulful voices of 140 beautiful beings raised in harmonic celebration of what it is to be human; bliss, heaven, paradise and more…

 

While at the camp I shared a song I’ve posted here before, but I thought I’d add the link here for new visitors:

 

And if you want to read the lyrics, follow this link:

https://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/2016/06/23/walking-along-me-singing-it/

 

With love always,

 

Harula xxx

 

 

 

 

 

Rise

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Watching its wings

dance with the air

I see it!

Not the bird

but the air,

the space,

that which gives me life

as I breathe

though I see only the rise

and fall of my chest

and not that which infills me

– I smile

***

The creator too

can not be seen

but through the actions

of his creations

and so I pledge

in faith to rise

like that bird

on the dynamic thermals

of love

that the beloved

may see herself

– and smile

Try Wishing….

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Today is another of those which find me wishing the world were different, wishing I could take away the pain and fear, wishing I could leap heart and soul onto the collective brakes and scream STOP!

A couple of weeks ago I wanted to do some goal setting. I also had a blank wall that needed…’prettyfying’, and some bunting made from old postcards that wanted to be made useful. How do you soften and play with the dry, intellectual process of goal setting? You make A Wishing Line!

image

A Wishing Line

Then things started to get interesting. Five wishes I decided. The first nudge, ‘What, only for you?’ Well no, ok, I’ll make one of them, yeah, the one I hang right there in the centre, a wish for All Beings. And so I did.

Then came the other four, which began pretty conventionally. I began writing them out, but something unexpected happened. I wasn’t wishing for stuff to just happen…I was wishing for the qualities I would need to bring about the realization of these wishes myself. So I didn’t wish for a successful completion of my writing course before my next birthday. Instead, I wrote…

I wish for the fun, focus and faith to finish my creative writing course successfully and with aplomb before my next birthday…

We are the genies, the fairy godmothers, the wish workers. We can’t offload the responsibility of bringing about our heart’s desire, we have to make it happen ourselves; to acknowledge and use our own ‘magic’ powers. So I didn’t wish for stuff to happen; I wished for the courage, clarity, compassion, determination, kindness, creativity and enthusiasm to MAKE stuff happen.

Wish, like Work, begins with a ‘W’. Yes, that includes Wonder, but it also invites Willingness. It’s not enough to wish the world was a more peaceful place. What am I going to do to make that more peaceful world a reality? And I’m going to keep both feet on the ground with this one. I can begin by consciously offering myself in service to peace at the start of each day.

https://wordsthatserve.wordpress.com/2016/06/29/making-compost/

I can remain patient when I find myself hungry, tired, and wanting to finish and leave work to go home for lunch, but the person in front of me at the photocopier is making multiple copies of multiple sheets. I can unpick and let go of the judgemental, frustrated thoughts that make my hands want to crash the unwashed pans as loudly as possible into the sink. I can stop my thoughts turning to rage and revenge as I read about innocent people being needlessly mowed down, and instead ask for the strength to first fully feel the sadness and fear, and then dig deep to find the belief that we can – we must – find another way.

And to all of this I can bring lightness, play, spaciousness. For me that means song, beauty, gratitude. Because when effort meets joy they channel a limitless source of creative energy that makes the most difficult of tasks doable.

And so I leave you with a song, which I remember from my childhood, sung by a Psammead.

Psammead

Try Wishing A Little Harder Every Day

The vocals were by Francis Wright

https://franciswright.wordpress.com/five-children-and-it-psammeads-song/

And the Song was written by Michael Omer

http://www.michaelomer.com/film_tv/5Children.html

And the only way I can find of listening to it is by watching the end credits on YouTube (starts at about 23 minutes)…it’s worth it, really – enjoy! And please do…

Try Wishing…..

 

 

The Familiar

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coffee

It’s the familiarity I love. I glance at the posters on my left, some still promoting events been and gone, and move along to look at the cakes. Waiting in line behind an older couple, I tune-in to their conversation, whilst deciding if anything could tempt me to shun my beloved brownie. The barista plays their satisfying percussion; bang, pull, push, pour. I thank them and take my tray to the back of the café where I can sit at one of the comfortable padded benches. Only now do I hear the song playing behind all the noise and chat. It’s ancient and uninspired, but it sparks a memory and makes me smile. I take a sip of coffee. I sigh. I relax. In a world, a life, so full of change, where nothing and no one can be relied upon it seems, my coffee always tastes the same. Why do I so love that?

 

I wrote this in response to a writing exercise I was asked to do as part of a course I started recently. Basically, using all five senses, describe your favourite place in about 150 words. Well, I have a long list of favourite places, mostly wild outdoorsy ones, but what came up was…a coffee shop. What?! Excuse me?! I was a bit gutted to be honest, like woah – come on!!! Of all the places in the world, PLEASE Harula not a chain coffee shop! Why? But I tend to trust my instincts. So I wrote it. And as often with writing practice, I found my answer.

All about me the world I love is being turned upside down and on its head and round and round and who knows where it’s going. I’m human. I find that a little scary. I’ve lived long enough to know, intellectually, that life is change, yet some part of me wishes for some things to remain predictable, dependable, the same. Writing this short piece helped me identify and find compassion for that frightened part of me; hug her, hold her, let her have her coffee (and sometimes even a brownie too…) Because she’s got work to do, and if 30 minutes of something familiar provides enough ground, a springboard strong enough to jump off into that deep, wild, unpredictable ocean of the unknown – well, that’s ok.

Where do you find your ground right now?

Brain Holiday

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Just stumbled across this , which I originally wrote and posted three years ago, but it’s that holiday time of year again, so thought you might enjoy. Written after reading The Lorax by, who else, the inimitable fantabulous most marvexellent … Dr Seuss!

(LOL – I think I just gave my spell checker a heart attack…maybe IT will take a holiday…)

 

I’ve thought and I’ve thunk

And I’ve tickled my brain

I’ve chased all the thinkylink

Thoughts you could name

I’ve just about caught

Every thought the world has

But they’re all just too big

Or too small or too sad

So I told my brain, ‘Go!

Have a holiday friend,

Find a beach or an island

A planet, a star

Go further than the furtherest

Everest star

And please don’t come back

For a few years or more

‘cos me and that drum

Playing musical chest

Where it beats and it bangs

‘till it won’t let me rest

That ripples and tickles

And gives me the frights

More frights that the darkest

Of blackerest nights

My heart says it’s got

Something ‘portant to say

But it’s shy and won’t talk

‘till you’ve gone far away

So we hugged and we cried

And I helped brain get packed

And I told her, ‘Have fun,

But please don’t hurry back’

Then I waved and I smiled

‘till I knew she’d gone far

As far as the fartherest

Everest star

Then I locked all the windows

the doors, and the bolts

And I locked all the keys

In a saferer vault

I made it the secretest

Safe that I could

Then I told that old drum

That had banged on my chest

So loud and so hard

That I just couldn’t rest

‘It’s safe friend, brain’s gone

Say what you must say.’

Then I sat and I waited

I waited all day

I waited all night

Then I waited some more

‘till I just couldn’t wait

Any sleepery snore

Then I heard it

So shyly

Quite quiet as first

‘till the whole of its drummingest

Music just burst

And I danced and I whooped

And I sang and I smiled

‘till I’d smiled just the shiniest

Smilingest smile

And I opened the vault

And I took out the keys

And I opened the windows

And doors to the breeze

And I shouted right then

At the top of my voice

I shouted because

I just didn’t have a choice

I shouted and screamed

‘till my face turned bright blue

Just right as that drum

In my chest told me to

‘Banish your brain

Till you’ve heard your heart song

Then sing it all day

And all year and all long

And when you can sing

With no effort at all

Then, and only then

Can you send out the call

To that fartherest everest

Far away star’

Yes, dear brain my friend

You holiday’s up

It’s over, finito

I need you, come back

I’m sorry I banned you

And gave you the sack

You’re hired, I’ll pay you

In diamonds and gold

I’ve got a great tune

Yes, I’ve found a great beat

Now I just need the words

So my song is complete

And now brain is listening

Real hard every day

To every small rat-a-tat,

Tinkle and sway

Collecting its thoughts

On the tune that it’s heard…

And when brain’s done ready

I’ll share every word:-)

Making Compost

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I’ve decided it’s time I kicked the habit of reaching for my phone and scanning the headlines each morning, before my eyes are even fully open. There must be a gentler, wiser way to welcome my consciousness back; a more helpful way to help it find its earthy feet in the new day.

From tomorrow on I will dedicate those first precious waking moments to inwardly offering myself in service to peace and the well being of the whole. In my experience the playful responsiveness of life will feed me ample opportunities to put that promise into practice, I just have to notice and act on them.

So in preparation I need to resource myself. It’s time to make some compost.

I’m no expert, but it seems to me that it’s the old, rotten, smelly, unwanted, inedible, unpalatable stuff that gets thrown on the compost. And what comes out? That rich, nutritious, dark, moist stuff that you dig into your vegetable patch and feed to your flower beds. But what of heart/mind compost?

 I’d chuck in your pain and confusion, mix in a little anger and resentment and layer up with a sprinkling of fear and overwhelm.

Good – so we’ve all got plenty of raw materials, am I right?

So what does compost need in order to break down? At the very least I’d say moisture, warmth and air. And if I’m a gardener of the heart/mind?

Song – When I sing I move, I soften, sound flows, vibrations ripple out.

Good, that’s my moisture.

Compassion – Time to stoke up the heart fire, watch those bright flames lift, throw on another log or two and don’t let it go out.

 Good, that’s the warmth.

Listening – To listen with depth and sincerity opens up a space so huge it’s like looking up at the sky while lying on your back in that field beyond right and wrong that Rumi speaks of. Nothing can fill that space – nothing is too big, or too scary, or too painful to be voiced there.

Good, that’s the air.

Ok, so I’ve got my compost and I know how to break it down. Now all I have to do…is wait.

Any gardener worth their secateurs knows you rush nature at your peril. Making compost takes sweat, and it takes time. Several months at the very least. And so with the compost of the heart/mind. Be kind. Do not expect immediate results. Be patient. Keep turning, airing, cultivating. Wait until it’s ready before you try and use it.

Apparently, when the worms have left, that’s a good sign….

Happy Compost Making!

 

 

 

 

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