Cappuccino Soul

Cappuccino Soul

Monday, July 30, 2007

Listening to Proverbs

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Here is God speaking to me today, and you'd better believe that I'm attentively listening.

Proverbs 2:1-15

My child, if you accept my words
and treasure up my commandments within you,
making your ear attentive to wisdom
and inclining your heart to understanding;
if you indeed cry out for insight,
and raise your voice for understanding;
if you seek it like silver,
and search for it as for hidden treasures—
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
he stores up sound wisdom for the upright;
he is a shield to those who walk blamelessly,
guarding the paths of justice
and preserving the way of his faithful ones.
Then you will understand righteousness and justice
and equity, every good path;
for wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
prudence will watch over you;
and understanding will guard you.
It will save you from the way of evil,
from those who speak perversely,
who forsake the paths of uprightness
to walk in the ways of darkness,
who rejoice in doing evil
and delight in the perverseness of evil;
those whose paths are crooked,
and who are devious in their ways.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Nessun Dorma and M'appari--Beautiful Music

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I'm working as a freelancer right now and luckily I'm able to listen to CDs while I do my work. Isn't that marvelous? Anyway, the CD I'm listening to currently is "Nessun Dorma: 20 Great Tenor Arias" featuring works by such greats as Puccini, Bizet, Verdi, and Flotow.

Every now and then when I'm listening to classical music and opera pieces, I come across works that I used to play in my orchestra in school. I played the flute from 4th grade until I graduated from high school. It was a long haul and along the way I came across some numbers that are still in my head. One such number is one that I've been listening to today by Friedrich von Flotow called "M'appari" from the opera Martha. It's a touching song even without the lyrics. I immediately was drawn back to middle school, blowing into my flute, trying to find the right feel and vibrato for the song. Today is the first day I've seen the lyrics and they are indeed touching. Click here to read the words to this gorgeous song. Also, go here to listen to Pavarotti sing a sample of "M'appari."

Also on the CD is one of the most often-used classical songs in films -- "Nessun Dorma" by Puccini. Go to this YouTube clip to hear Pavarotti sing this masterpiece. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Cherokee Teachings from the Wisdom Fire

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About ten years ago I found a book called Voices of Our Ancestors: Cherokee Teachings from the Wisdom Fire by Dhyani Ywahoo that I haven't been able to fully comprehend. Perhaps the more I read Ywahoo's book, the more I'll eventually understand it. But there are tidbits in the book that immediately hit home for me.

Ywahoo, a member of the traditional Etowah Band of the Eastern Tsalagi (Cherokee) Nation, said she was "charged with the duty to rekindle the fire of clear mind and right relationship in these changing times" and that's why she wrote the book. She is a guide to all who walk "the Beauty Road."

The back jacket of the Voices of Our Ancestors says that it "teaches practical ways of transforming obstacles to happiness and good relationships, fulfilling one's life purpose, manifesting peace and abundance ... It includes teachings on how to practice generosity and harmony.

Here are some of the jewels I've discovered in the book:

Our elders taught that forgiveness was a great balm--the most great medicine that brings freedom from hurt.

***

Everyone has some idea of what another's vice or fault is and what ought to be corrected. The real issue is to clarify one's own consciousness, be one with the stream of clear mind in oneself, that one may act in the present rather than react to issues of the past.

***

Affirmation is a skillful means for transforming energy, and it begins with the deletion of negative statements about self and others. A negative statement freezes one in time and space without room for harmonization.


And here's a message that made my mind and body sing:

Each of us has a song in our heart. Through thought, through action, each one is creating vibration in the atmosphere. When we think about the dancing atoms that build and sustain the forms of life, we can see ourselves forever in the dance. Everything is vibration. Our action rings out in many dimensions, and in that way our thoughts and actions return to us. We call it karma or destiny.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dancing the Blues Away

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Last night my 5-year-old daughter had the blues, so I encouraged her to talk about her feelings and cry. She's remakably able to articulate exactly how she feels and why she feels that way. She asks questions and genuinely listens to the answers. I hope I'm setting the stage for her to be able to talk to me about anything, and to freely express her anger, frustration, saddness, etc. I'm sure it sounds a little strange to hear that a toddler has the blues and is able to work through the saddness, but she seems to have an old soul and advanced wisdom for her age.

Watching my daughter cry and talk about her feelings reminded me of my saddness when I was her age. Unfortunately, I wasn't given a stage to talk about what was happening to me, or cry and get through the confusion. Perhaps this is my chance to help the inner child in me as I help my daughter get through her blue periods.

Shortly after her episode, I asked her if she wanted to dance. This is something we do now and then just because we both love music and really like to dance. She insisted that I dance for her first and then she danced for me. I adore the way she's able to keep some of her trademark moves but still dance with abandon. She throws her whole body into it and seems to work through whatever emotional state has inhabited her at the time. I'm able to do that sometimes too. But from her, I'm learning to do it more often. She jumps up and down, swings her head around, and sometimes even contorts her face into several different expressions during the dance. In other words, she really gets into it.

I hope she retains that ability to let it all go when she dances. It's a great way to dance the blues away. She already has a ready made answer to the ups, downs, dissappointments, betrayals, triumphs, and roller coaster ride of live.