Inspiring Enchantment & Illumination with Tarot & Intuitive Guidance

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Song of Life © Cynthia Madrid
I believe in Michelangelo, Velazquez, and Rembrandt;
in the might of design, the mystery of colour, the redemption of all things by Beauty everlasting, and the message of Art that has made these hands blessed:
Amen. Amen.

— George Bernard Shaw

Welcome back! How are you? How was your week? What did you learn? What was hard? What was easy? What did you do first after you decided it was over? How have you changed?

Before we resume with Chapter Five, I want to hear from you! Gracious, I sure missed you all.

I learned a lot this time, including this nugget: how easy it is to mistake other peoples’ voices and words in my head for my own thoughts, just because I might agree with them. My agreement with their ideas, point of view, and so on is agreement only; they do not become ME.

But it is so, so easy for those opinions to slide right in, speaking to me with my own inner voice, and for me to therefore mistake them for my authenticity. It will take longer than a week to sort years of that out, but it’s a good start, and I am certainly going to be much, much more picky about who and what I allow into my mind’s private visions.

I have also realized that I don’t want to just plunge back into media-every-minute, picking up where I left off. So I invite you to join me in a more gentle re-entry, if you can. While we are still in a state of heightened sensitivity, I suggest that you spend the next several days celebrating each of your senses.

Since one of the ideas behind reading deprivation is to be able to more clearly hear our authentic voice, before we are once again inured to the cacophony all around us, you might try spending the first day back paying extra attention to your sense of hearing. Life is noisy; we are exposed to music, machine noises, chit-chat on TV and the people all around us; our technology and machinery are constantly dinging, beeping, buzzing, ringing.

In the terrific book by Danny Gregory, The Creative License, he offers a couple of listening exercises to enhance your sensitivity. “Listen to some music while doing nothing else. Try listening to alternate recordings of the same piece of music, like some Mozart recorded by different orchestras or soloists: his Requiem, the Jupiter Symphony or an opera. Try two takes of a jazz piece. Try a great rock song played live and in the studio. What do you hear?”

Another idea is to try an internet or iTunes station that plays music you normally never listen to – punk, ethnic, jazz, maybe country western. Can you tell from listening why some people love that kind of music?

Another exercise is to just stop wherever you are right now. With your eyes closed, just listen. What do you hear? The hum of air conditioning? Someone nearby tapping a keyboard? A dog barking somewhere? Music from across the way? Children’s voices, lawn sprinklers, birds, traffic, a train? Can you hear your own heartbeat? “Take off your headphones,” he writes, “turn off the TV, lower the radio and listen to this moment in your world. Close your eyes. Hear deeper. Further. Isn’t it amazing what you’ve been missing?”

Try this at several times, in different places throughout your day. Really, deeply, quietly let your beautiful, miraculous ears open up and receive all the waves of sounds flowing all around you. Celebrate this profound gift.

And again, welcome back! Amen! Amen!

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  • June 2, 2009, 6:27 pm Thalia

    Sitting at the computer here scanning artwork in all week I kept hearing someone across the street dropping what was I swear a cadmium-coated wrench on pavement, a very distinct clink, like they were fixing a lawnmower or motorcycle or something. It made me wonder, that's for sure.

    What did I learn? I learned that I don't have as much energy as I wish I had, and that I really had to make myself get out there and garden, and that I was feeling mostly overwhelmed by all that I had to do. Meaning the reading &c., is probably a way of avoiding that. Also that there is a very large rock about four inches under the surface of what is supposed to be my new herb garden, which is going to be a problem.

    Today I checked in with the blogs I usually haunt, which, given that I don't watch any TV besides DVDs, and that is rare, are my main source of news. I read one of my favorite angry feminist blogs for a bit today, then just got too fed up with it and shut it off and went outside. Then I noticed I felt rather depressed, like I hadn't had in some time. So, I learned the correlation between reading angry blogs and my mood, which, I suppose you'd think would be obvious, but is a good thing to see so sharply.

    I didn't find it hard at all, which surprised me a bit. Mostly I was just relieved, though I would forget and catch myself thinking I should look something up, that kind of thing. Honestly the week went way too fast.

  • June 2, 2009, 9:34 pm Star

    I missed you all too! I stopped most reading, radio/music listening, (I don't watch TV, so that was easy), magazines, and anything that was the opinions/words of others. I long ago realized my life was too full of noise and other's negative words, so this was pretty easy. What I did not stop doing was processing my emails. I saved any that had words written for me to read information about things. Mostly I just deleted and saved and checked the status emails (not opinions of others or writings) For me, it would have been too overwhelming to have to catch up on a week of emails, so I set my boundaries about what I would look at and what I would not, but I did not stop it completely.
    I deeply missed our sharing notes on this blog and am SO glad we are back together!
    What did I learn? I learned how to use my digital camera and took some nice photos of my first blooming rose, my spectacular peonies, some of my jewelry and a few other things. I have not yet learned how to get these photos into my computer.
    I learned that I am pretty tired these days and, like Thalia said, I don't have as much energy as I would like to have. My eyes close when I am writing and they are tired when I am driving. I think I know the cause and am working on hormone balancing with my physician, but it is highly annoying to have to take a nap, just because I mowed half the lawn or vacuumed.
    I did some interesting artwork in the form of postcards to be shared with a group in Sept. We will mail hand made postcards to each other for several weeks or months.
    What I missed the most? My daily inspirational readings from Earth Psalms and Eileen Caddy(of Findhorn). Checking in with you all here.
    What did I do first when it was over? I read the snail mail letter my friend sent me and the details of the blood work report from my doctor. Then I looked at the magazines that came during the week. Then I looked here at the Owl's Wing.

    Star*

  • June 3, 2009, 10:01 am freak22

    wow what a week.

    It wasn't as hard as I feared it would be. The only reading I allowed my self was what I needed to help support the gay/civil rights movement. If you hadn't heard its not good. the court decided to uphold prop 8 and legally created a second class citizen if you want to read more on what i had to say visit my live journal http://freak22.livejournal.com
    I just don't feel like talking about it right now.

    as for this week. I learned quite a bit about my self. no matter how much I would like to deny it I still use books as a form of escapism. (I say still because as a child books were my only escape from certain problems in my life.)
    I had forgotten that when you go into a fictional book you leave more than just the bad parts of your life behind. by not reading I found I had so much time to work on my writing it was silly. I am so happy with the things I was able to write this week I almost stunned myself. I had forgotten I could write so much with so much detail.

    I also was unsure of how to get back into reading again. it was almost overwhelming to go back to myspace or my livejournal. The thing I really looked forward to reading again was my current pagan study and also reading this blog.

    I'm glad the week is over but I am also going to make sure I cut back on my reading. It was taking up time I could use to work on my writing and one of my excuses I couldn't do my art was that I didn't have time. well it turns out I was wasting my own time.

  • June 3, 2009, 2:29 pm Beth Owl's Daughter

    Yes, yes, and YES! You all are so right!!! Isn't it amazing?

    What a great way to shake up and re-examine time, priorities, and how we engage (or not) with the world around us, as well as our own art!

    – Beth

  • July 3, 2009, 7:11 pm Jen

    I'm a late addition and am slowly catching up to everyone else. I just completed my Reading Deprivation week. It really highlighted how much I depend on words (emails, Facebook, blogs, books) to distract me from ME. I really don't like being alone with myself and mentally still. It was a very interesting exercise, and I'll definitely be changing my reading habits…