Friday, July 11, 2014

Connecting in Sweetness: Why I love singing sacred chants with others

"All deep things are song. 
It seems somehow the very central essence of us, song; 
as if all the rest were but wrappages and hulls! "
~ Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)
One of my greatest joys and most profound pleasures in life is singing — especially sacred chanting — especially with others.

For me, there’s nothing quite like gathering together in a safe group and diving deep into these ancient wisdom tones. As I feel the chants resonate in my body and mind, I watch my crusty, creaky, cranky parts gently break up and release. Without thinking about it much, I find myself more and more in each present moment — until, there I am, standing peaceful and joyful in my natural center, delighted to see my sweet and happy inner self. What a nurturing blessing for me and my journey!

I think that this simple practice can also offer us something even more precious — a way to enjoy happy merged energy connection with others, and, through that, help heal the larger energetic body of our communities.

All that, just because we decide to sing.
• • •

I first experienced this type of chanting years ago at a Hindu ashram. I was invited to an evening event by a friend, and really didn’t know what to expect. But I was curious and so I went.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

The Daily Creative: Inspiring Myself to Get Started

One of the notable challenges that I can experience in being creatively self-employed is just getting started in taking action — in a day, on a task, with a project. Once I get started, I can usually go a long distance. It’s often just the initial spark that’s missing.

So why does this happen and what can I do about it?

Over the years, it’s been helpful for me to see that one reason is that I don't have many of the external structures and prompts that folks can have in official office settings. Yes, sometimes my day will be structured by client meetings, phone calls, article deadlines, and public events.

But must of time it's up to me to initiate, organize, prioritize, and go final on my projects and tasks.

I think that this self-management is especially challenging in creative work, because we face an amorphous blank page with literally infinite ways that we can express ourselves in final form. There are a ridiculous number of choices we need to make as we seek to find approaches that will both fulfill our urges and meet the needs of our audiences and clients.

For me, the difficulty rating becomes even further amplified because of the scale of my goals, as I seek to deeply serve people and our culture in overcoming our current crises and emerging as even more the beautiful essences that we are.

Yeah, being a writer/artist, seeking to save the world — what was I thinking?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Littered Bones Along the Way

I’ve written poetry since I was a child, and it literally has helped to save my life, by giving me a place that I could speak intuitive truth with myself.

Over the years, I've shared some of these poems with other people, every once in a while, when it felt safe. A few have been published. But mostly they've been something private for me, written first to support my journey. 

However, I’ve been thinking that perhaps some pieces might be of interest to others. So I’ll start with this one. Please let me know if you like it!

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  
Littered bones
            along the way
Things gone wrong
Errors,  embarrassments, confusion,
Become so heavy
Block my self-light
            and I don’t even see.

I hear a sweet voice speak
            soothingly to me

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Threads of Sorrow & Joy: Giving Birth to This Blog

“When you are sorrowful, look again in your heart,
and you shall see that in truth you are weeping
for that which has been your delight.”
- Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

I’m so happy to be starting this blog. It’s been in its birth
process for a while, taking shape, but stopped by one small but serious stumbling block: What to name it.

Now, that step might seem simple. But the name is the one thing you can’t change later, and it’s so key to presenting a clear and enticing invitation that can be heard amidst all the online chatter.

Plus there’s a chicken/egg thing here, where I was trying to name something that hadn’t been born yet. But so much will only be known in its unfolding, in the many micro-choices I make, how others respond, and how I respond to that. I know that I’m not the first to wrangle with this.

So that’s how I found myself stalled in the “what to name it” iterative-loop limbo, unresolved by the brainstorming and clarifying. I sighed and accepted that this blog’s creation just hadn’t crystallized yet, and put the idea once again on my back burner, that dark and overflowing place in me where so many ideas rest and ruminate and sometimes find their way out into the material world. And hopefully won’t die with me.

•  •  • 

And then I had a loss. At the private retreat center where I go for healing and nurturing, the gracious historic century-old building was largely destroyed by fire. I was horrified, crushed, thrown off balance. Watching a guest’s footage of the building in flames was heartbreaking and surreal — even more so because I’d just been there two weeks before, staying in one of the rooms now aflame in its rafters. I knew the experience was much worse for the folks on the front lines, so I looked to honor their experience first. (Thankfully, everyone got out safely.) But still I was feeling spacey and distracted. Why was this news impacting me so much? Hadn’t I had much bigger and more personal losses? Wasn’t it just a building, after all?

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Welcome to My Blog

Welcome to my blog. My name is Patricia Dines and I’m a professional writer, speaker, graphic artist, and photographer. For the past 30 years or so, I’ve been delighted to serve my readers, clients, and community through articles, newsletters, books, projects, and more.

But along the way I’ve also been doing more personal writing, primarily for myself, to help me connect with my feelings, sort through my experiences, refine my understanding, develop new skills, and decide next steps. A few of these pieces have made their way into periodicals, but most have just been accumulating in the ever-growing back burner of my mind.

However, recently I’ve been feeling an increasing urge to share more of these distilled remnants of my life process. I’ve decided to start offering them in this blog format, because I like the freedom it’ll give me to explore, experiment, and hone my ideas, in ways that are still connected with the experiential inspiration that created them. I’m taking the risk to be vulnerable with these, and I hope that you will receive them in sweet safety, and through that encourage me to offer more and deeper.