Monday, February 20, 2012

There was this bible study that kinda woke me up

It started one summer when I had to set some limits.  Some people weren't happy about it and talked really nasty about me.  It was one of the hardest tests of my professional and personal life.  I suddenly felt thrown into a raging fire with no water in sight.

One of my friends told me about this woman, Lysa TerKeurst, who wrote some cool things so I grabbed the audio to Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl.

And then.  Slowly.  Quietly.  I began to see some water. The water sounded like this.

There was a stark difference between religion as I understood it and what she called her relationship with God.

I want my beliefs to work no matter what life throws at me...My perspectives get skewed by my emotions.

No person, possession, profession, or position ever fills the cup of a wounded, empty heart.

Yeah, that was like the first chapter.  I was hooked.  I was in.  Tell me all about those people who need filling up!  Who needs some GOD and not religion!  AMEN SISTER.

And then, that morning, listening to the audio and taking steps on the dark road early in the morning I realized the Truth and began to cry.

I was the one who needed filling up.  I was the one who needed to release religion and run to God.  This book was about me.  Not them.  

Shortly after I bought the book so I could underline all of these poignant words.   A few weeks later, I purchased the DVD and every morning had some quiet time with me, God, the book, and the DVD.  Oh how I grew.  I just kept going deeper and deeper into myself and it suddenly became easier (not a cakewalk, just easier) to let others have their walk, too.  

Eventually, I led a study on it at my local church.  It was faithfully attended and the women all grew closer.  I believed in the message of this book and it was truly the turning point I needed in my own faith walk.

Fast forward seven months later and my Father passed away but not without another initiation of cruelty from those surrounding his death.  I can honestly tell you that the seeds planted in me from this book were the foundation for a spirituality I am proud to say WORKS!  It is a connection with God that cannot be broken.  It is strong, true, and it runs deep.

"We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard."  It was the overflow of their lives, and it became the routine of their lives.

All quotes from the book Becoming More Than a Good Bible Study Girl  by Lysa Terkeurst

This post must have been meant to be because my son is still napping and I finished it!  Praises!

Heart Thoughts by Louise L. Hay - Book Review

Heart Thoughts

This book is BEAUTIFUL!  It is not a tiny pocket book, but a well-organized book of "spiritual treatments" as stated on the back cover.  This is what sets this book apart from being only affirmations.   This is a beautiful way to start each day or before your prayer/meditation time.  Each beautifully illustrated, glossy page is listed in a table of contents.  Here is just a few of the many spiritual treatment pages:

I started reading this book at the coffee shop on a day I felt pretty stressed.  As I read the inspiring, positive, life-affirming words, I breathed deeply.  After a few pages I felt so much better.  If you liked the artsy version book of You Can Heal Your Life this book is right up your alley!  Also, because Heart Thoughts is so beautifully produced it makes a great gift!

I was sent this book from Hay House for my honest review.

Friday, February 10, 2012

10 Ways to Know Your Inner Pilot Light is Guiding You

10 Ways To Know Your Inner Pilot Light Is Guiding You by
1.     Hunches arise during meditation - and you pay attention to them.
2.     Physical sensations appear that may signal something deeper (whether they’re unpleasant symptoms like back pain or excited sensations like butterflies in your stomach).
3.     You’ve distanced yourself from caring what everyone else thinks.
4.     Dreams offer you messages, suggestions, or guidance - and you take notice.
5.     Books (or blog posts!) speak directly to where you are in your life, and you listen.
6.     When roadblocks appear on your current path, you don’t see it as failure, but as a sign from your Inner Pilot Light that you’re supposed to take a fork in the road.
7.     You notice that plunk of rightness you feel when you finally make a choice - and you just know it’s the best one for you, even if it makes no sense to anyone else.
8.     You feel the confidence that you will always land butter-side up, no matter how crazy, impossible, or implausible something might seem.
9.     You start to feel like you’re in the flow because everything gets easier.
10.  You’ve ditched the masks, let your freak flag fly, and tapped into that authentic part of you that always knows the way.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Teaching from the Inside Out

“Your students never showed up.  We waited nearly an hour”

This was the e-mail I received after a big piano event.  I was so bummed out.  Over booked children and unrealistic expectations of what piano entails. Piano takes a lot of preparation before one is ready to play a piece at performance level.  It is all on the child, there is no team of people there to catch any slack or sitting on the bench due to lack of preparation.  Therefore, a student will spend months and a dominant amount of time in lessons reviewing and preparing a piece.  When the performance is missed I usually fight the urge not to call the parents ranting.  Well would you look at that?  I’m totally ranting and if there is one thing I know - it's never about the other person.

Shall I travel to the heart of this issue?  I realized from this experience that no learning is ever lost.  Therefore, if a student plays for an event we spent hours preparing or if they just move on to the next piece having learned what was required does it really matter how they arrived?   

Who am I trying to please?   

What am I trying to gain by putting more things on already over scheduled families?  
 Sure, the students beef up their practicing before a public performance but who does that benefit?   

Is that for my benefit?   

Is that so parents can feel their money was well spent?  

 Is it so the child will feel good about sharing their gift?  

 If I am really honest, I would think the answer is a bit of all of it.  And then the question begs, but is this what I want my teaching career to be?

I taught music many years in private schools.  The small school atmosphere was nice but my job never felt like it was teaching music - the nuts & bolts, and the ups and downs of creativity.  I found myself preparing for one public event after another.  Most of the events were to bring in parents and grandparents who were ultimately sent invitations to donate to the school.  My passion with music soon became an act of public relations and I didn’t like it.  It wasn’t me.  I wasn’t living from the inside out.  Yes, there were definite moments of joy and talent development!  Seeing the children become attached to the love of music, learning how to motivate children to sing, applying my skills learned in college, and feeling the satisfaction of a job were all lessons I needed and appreciated. 

I recalled saying to a colleague, “You know my favorite part about chapel is when I work one-on-one with a child so they play a little something while people walk in for the chapel service.”   Her response was a solid, “Then that is what you should do.”  I’ll never forget it.  She gave quiet permission to what my inner voice was screaming.  Despite the beautiful families I met, the opportunities I had to get to know cool people, my heart never sang so loudly as when I encouraged a student who had a few piano lessons under their belt by either playing with them or encouraging them to play a little something – no matter how silly or non-perfected it was.  Before my eyes I was having fun and they were too.  We sparkled.  It was fun.   It was on the spot creative.  I wanted more of that.  I wanted more of that fairy dust that sprinkles over us that most people may not see.  I craved more of those life altering moments that don’t make the public events.

As I began teaching on my own I brought all of the public relation habits with me and slowly moved away from those little moments.  Usually no one saw them and I doubted if people would think I could really teach if there was no “proof.”  Many stresses and tears later, I realize now that teaching from the inside out is who I am.  I teach from a spiritual place.  Music is healing and to forget that in my work is sad.

And so – the experience where the students didn’t show for a piano event brought me back to my inner truths.  

I love teaching – one-on-one. 

I love seeing a student learn. 

Music is healing. 

I am called to teach. 

Thank you to God and all the beings in my life who have supported and still support my gifts and talents.  My I be that being for someone else.

And so it is.  Amen.
by Lori Portka on Etsy