Altogether in my professional life (in my playing at that), and in my social and private life I thrive and am most happy when being creative in an improvisational setting. Trusting my gut, my whole being, and naturally flowing in the spontaneity of the moment — letting life happen.
Being expressively rhythmical and free (sometimes oddly off-beat) has been how I “show up”, as when singing alone or with others and playing guitar, playing Native American flute, drumming with others, or writing and sharing insights and my happiness that comes. Letting my happiness naturally happen helps others be happy too.
Everyone has something of themselves to add, in co-creating. I so appreciate these connections!
In 2017/18 new vistas are opening up, such as promoting creativity in the classroom and bringing together children and Elders to have fun exploring with hands-on, interactive Music and Art making experiences. Intergenerational connections are very much needed today. Elders have wisdom and life experiences to share with the younger generations. I want to have an open space for shared listening. For heart connections. For building bridges of new understanding.
In my engagements with life, with freedom and with creativity, I also wish to support all those who are committed to healing our planet and promoting peace. I wish to participate directly and inspire others. Let’s create a New Earth together.
Water is Life. We are Water. I believe we are now in an emergency and must call for the healing and protection of water and all life on Earth. Each in his or her own way can choose to participate. We can work together and inspire each other.
So much is needed to help transform our fossil fuel driven Non-Life Economy to an Economy of Life, which benefits all.
With de-centralization of governance, with cutting-edge healthful technologies in the fields of energy and medicine (to name a few) coming forward at the grassroots community level, we can choose a new model to replace the present Global Corporate one which is characterized by the practice of extreme greed, empty of social responsibility. This present model, driven by the motive of maximizing short term profits, solely benefits an Elite few, at the expense of the many who suffer. All life on Earth suffers.
I believe we humans–when we all come together and work with our natural powers, acting in freedom and from a place of sharing–can shift the old paradigm and begin setting out on a new path of sustainability, healing and peacefulness.
The nameless ALL, the Universe, Creator Spirit, God which is at the center of everything, the center of my being, calls me to look inward, in contemplative self-inquiry and at last leads me toward loving action.
Through peaceful means, through speaking up, through non-violent action together we can turn the tide, naturally to Life, for the benefit of All.
Recreational Music and Art activities can be a powerful tool for helping us generate and express the sort of natural freedom and power required for right action, aligned with compassion and warm-heartedness.
Music and Art experiences need not be only for the specially talented and specially trained. Humans are born to create. Just let go and trust the wisdom of nature, of life, of the body — engage naturally in making, in expressing, in sharing.
Celebrating Life in ourselves through the free-play of Recreational Art or Music can grow our happiness and then we can help others experience such freedom. We can begin to share this joy with our immediate family, with friends and in our own neighborhoods. For example, we can choose to volunteer in schools or in Elder Care communities.
Our own happiness can be quite infectious and positive; its life-giving effects can radiate further out.
If we choose, we can also move to the wider public arena, and with our collective Art and Music Making we can help gradually shift the negative energies of fear, of lack, of disconnectedness, of powerlessness. Mustering courage and strength of will, anything is possible. We can all help promote change.
Being strengthened daily at the very core of our being is critically important.
Devoting 10-20 minutes each day (once or twice a day) to practice the Art of Stillness, the Art of Meditation or Prayer is deeply nourishing to Body and Soul. Natural power and natural freedom arise, in alignment with Love.
Choosing to practice Presence throughout the day through Mindfulness increases happiness and peace. One can chose to learn the techniques of Mindful Breathing and Mindful Walking. One can bring Mindfulness to every activity.
Bringing Mindfulness to any activity of Recreational Music or Art magnifies the positive effects many times over.
But how to begin making music and art? Begin with you.
Take action without thinking about whether it’ll be a grand splash. Have no expectations and bring no judging. It is very possible to begin with no (or only minimal) instruction, and then just explore. Trust your heart to lead you.
Remember the fun of the tooting, buzzing Kazoo? Ha! Strum a guitar, dulcimer or ukulele.
Then there is Dancing — with others, or in the privacy of your own home or outside, connected to Earth. Move your body, move you arms and legs freely, with or without music. Connect with and express naturally your inner rhythm, your heart!
Practice the Art of Yoga, of Tai Chi, of Qigong.
Play a recorder or Native American Flute. Cover up the holes well and blow.
Play an African Drum or a Frame Drum. Naturally move your hands or a stick. Be free. Begin your own drum circle with family or friends. Go to a local park and invite anyone there to play with you. Bring along a few simple rhythm makers to share, such as a plastic ice tray and spoon for tapping, and a pot with a wooden spoon. This is sort of “flash mob” event is called a “Drum About”.
Draw….You may find yourself launching out with a simple doodle in the margin of some serious or not so serious piece of paper just for the fun of it, just for your own enjoyment. Colored pencils too? Chalk or paints?
Shape clay. Refashion wood, cloth, paper or metal. Engage in crafting. Take photos.
Write The Story of You. Write poetry. What have you been holding inside that seeks a fresh airing?
Hum or sing an energizing or relaxing song, a lullaby.
Casting critical, self-judgment aside — letting your imagination run free with a feeling of boundless, childlike abandon and simply taking that first step of music or art making just might be the beginning of something amazing and magical, for growing your own happiness and inspiring others.
We humans enhance life for ourselves, our families, our friends, our communities — the whole world, when we are happy, expressive, peaceful & free.
In my life, for the last twelve years leading wellness-based drum circles has been my career of choice.
Empowerment Group Drumming is fun, healthful, and life-enhancing.
As a wellness professional/Drum Circle Facilitator since 2006, I’ve facilitated hundreds of wellness-based group drumming events, working with many populations with a variety of needs. These include colleges and elementary schools, businesses, Elder communities (Memory Care and Nursing Care), Veterans Hospitals, and communities which assist and educate children and adults with special needs.
Having begun formal study of the West African Djembe in 1993 with Master Drummer Maurice Haltom of Ithaca, NY, and having played for an African Dance Class which he taught, in 2004 I felt drawn to take my energy into the field of wellness, and I began my formal drum circle training for facilitating events for non-musicians.
I am a certified HealthRYHTHMS facilitator. What is HealthRHYTHMS?http://remo.com/experience/post/healthrhythms/
I have also been a student of Arthur Hull of Village Music Circle (Santa Cruz, CA) http://villagemusiccircles.com/
Over the years I have evolved my own style and methodology, based on these teachings.
As a fairly recent transplant from Central NY to Northern Arizona, I’m now offering my Recreational Music/Drum Circle programs to individuals and communities in the Cottonwood/Sedona areas, Flagstaff, and Prescott, with some travel wider afield.
In Cottonwood/Sedona my clients (past and present) include: Rainbow Acres Ranch, The Sanctuary at Sedona, Sedona Winds, Cottonwood Village, Austin House, Haven Care, Cupertino Power Learning Academy, Mountain Valley Prep, Yavapai Community College and more.
HEART SONG DRUMMING includes “Rhythm Fun” — a fun, highly interactive, wellness-based drum circle for any age and any occasion. I offer an intensive group workshop “Empowerment Heart Song Drumming: A Holistic BodyMind Approach”. This group drumming experience is centered on core, aboriginal rhythmic forms and heart beat. In this program, participants are introduced to the healthful, transformative practice of Mindful Breathing and Mindful walking integrated together — “Breathwalking”.
I also offer a drumming and movement based Empowerment Coaching program for individuals seeking personal growth, healing, and greater well-being. This may include Meditative Drumming, with the West African Drum, the Djembe and Breathwalking.
What might a “Rhythm Fun” group drumming session look like? Here is a short example, an impromptu session — co-creating fun and smiles — drumming with children at a local park. https://vimeo.com/162451255
And up close and improvisational quirky…. from my first you tube channel, in the earlier days…”Rhythm Array” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4IHqN6KB2vc
Relating to my newest work…here leading with a Heart Beat message of Love & Healing for Gaia. (Headphones needed for volume and full effects of gathering drum). There are more related videos on this channel.
In our all Heart Song Drumming programming we provide all rhythm instruments and can accommodate up to 50 persons, with potential for more. We have a wide array of hand drums, frame drums, gathering drums, shakers, woods and metal voices, from around the world. No music or drumming experience is required.
Life is meant to be enjoyed and shared. Communicating and feeling connected at the heart with each other and with all Life feeds our Souls. Would you agree?
No matter what your age, engaging in meditative/mindfulness practices and in Recreational Music and Art activities, either alone or with others, are immensely powerful tools for healing and transformation.
Life naturally supports us. We only need take heart and leap, be willing to experiment, try something new.
Let’s learn to better enjoy life, grow happiness, and change ourselves. Through this intention we can begin to help change the world.
Contact information: Mailing address: PO Box 2783 ~ Cottonwood, AZ 86326
Tel: 607-279-6314 Email: MUSLED2000@yahoo.com