An act of love, a voluntary taking on oneself of some of the pain of the world, increases the courage and love and hope of all. - Dorothy Day
The Singing Antidote
As the shops stack up with Valentine’s kitsch, I am so grateful that I can sing as it offers me a truly genuine, authentic and grounded daily experience of love. Singing allows me to connect with others in a deep empathic, inclusive, creative way whilst acknowledging that we are each unique, diverse and different. It’s also a gentle form of cardio-vascular exercise - a massage for the heart. So when life seems full of heartbreak, singing can be a powerful antidote. Here’s some thoughts on creating more love in our world this February...
Transforming Fear and Anger
Fear and Anger motivate many of the monstrosities we see paraded across the media - from personal to international conflicts. Cheap kicks and artificial pleasures - sex, drugs and rock and roll - are offered as a quick hedonistic fix or escape from these powerful feelings, which we all experience and recognise. The greatest inspirational leaders knew that the force of our emotions could be honoured and transformed into powerful non-violent, loving action. An recent article about Martin Luther King details how he channeled his feelings of anger about the injustices into leadership. He took his inspiration from Ghandi who wrote -
“I have learnt through bitter experience the one supreme lesson to conserve my anger, and as heat conserved is transmuted into energy, even so our anger controlled can be transmuted into a power that can move the world."
The Loving Embrace of Empathy
My experience of Love is that it is a transformational force, an empathic embrace. It does not reject difficult emotions, instead, it listens to their messages and says how can I serve you, what do you need, what can be done? Love sees fear and anger as wounded children in need of care and extends towards them with empathy. Scila Elworthy gives powerful examples of empathy in action in her TED Talk about non-violence, including the leader of a protest who was able to see the fear of men trembling behind guns and disarm them. Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh could no longer stay in his monastery as bombs fell on Vietnam - his sense of empathy inspired him to set up reconciliation programmes which have had a global impact.
Acts of Love
Across the world this very minute people are making each others day, saving each others lives and performing random acts of loving kindness - from simple personal acts like making a cup or tea to global charity campaigns. One kindness initiative is Global Love Letters - writing an anonymous love letter to drop somewhere for someone to find - pioneered by Simon Paul Sutton who I had a chat with on the virtual sofa with recently - click here to tune in. Singing is now being used as medicine in hospitals across the country and increasing numbers flock to choirs of all shapes and sizes as we realize that singing together is an empowering act of love.
Sing for Your Heart This Valentines Day.
I’m offering a special Sing for Your Heart Workshop - full of heartwarming harmonies and vocal TLC - we will also be celebrating World Sound Healing Day and writing Global Love Letters - it really will be a special date for the heart - so do feel free to join me and bring a special mate :)
Wishing you a truly love-soaked February