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BABY JACK’S LULLABY - The Story Behind the Song

SleepingBaby

I was doing a presentation at a healthcare conference on my favorite topic, the healing power of music, to an audience of 250 Home Health Aides. These were the people on the front line of healthcare, from dozens of different countries. Sadly, they are the least recognized, paid the lowest salary and do the hard labor of lifting, feeding, bathing, changing, and soothing homebound patients.

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BEFORE ME

Anniversary night
The centerpiece of spirituality is the practice of equanimity. When I first heard the word, I scrambled for the dictionary for while I thought I knew what it meant, I wanted to be sure that I understood it through the lens of my new path.

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IF I COULD GIVE YOU EVERYTHING - The Story Behind the Song

Self_love_heart-in-hands-800

I give you all my love it’s taken years for me to feel
It’s all I have to give but it’s real…

Some time ago, I had a friend who was going through a difficult divorce. With the holidays fast approaching, his depression was knocking the stuffing out of him. I did my very best to cheer him…to no avail.

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THE TWO TOUGHEST WORDS

Surrender

On the road to becoming real (as in: awake and fully alive), there are two words bandied about in spiritual circles. When I first heard them, they struck terror in my heart for they required me to relinquish hard-won control. (Of course, the control was only an illusion. We really have NO control, but that’s the subject for another day.) But without these words, we might as well just stay asleep…

Surrender and trust. Trust and surrender. They go together like soup and sandwich. Sometimes, though, they are harder to swallow…

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RIVER SONG - The Story Behind the Song

River

As I'm sure you've gathered by now, I am fairly consistently a positive person, happily going with the flow of my life. (I've even been teased for my "relentless cheerfulness.") But that doesn't mean I don't hit some troubled waters from time to time. Fortunately for me, I can use my songwriting to help me move through difficulties. This song was born in one of those times.

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TURNING DOWN THE VOLUME

FreeVector-Volume-Button-Vector

Relax. All is well.

I know…I can almost hear you saying, “Are you kidding? All is NOT well! Are you even paying attention? Costs are skyrocketing, income is dwindling, everyone around me has some terrible illness, people are aggressive and angry, terrorism has me terrified and I feel so much stress I can’t sleep at night!”

I hear you. And yes, it’s true that in some pockets of the world, it’s not that easy to feel safe. But consider this – right here, right now, in your life, are you safe? Is there a roof over your head and food on the table? Can you walk through your neighborhood with no one shooting at you? Are there people in your life who love you?

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WOMEN ARE WEAVING

Fire ceremony

In honor of Mother's Day, it seems appropriate to share a song that speaks to (or should I say sings to) the feminine energy that resides in us all. Yes, you too, man.

As I began exploring my own feminine nature, I wrote a poem to lead me to the heart of it:

THAT PLACE WITHIN
Finding that place within
Connecting to the feminine –
for me, it’s the Earth
the heart
the breath
softness, openness, gentleness.
Who is she that lives within me?
What part of me sighs?
It’s the part that nurtures
the part that loves babies and laughing with children
the part that reaches for harmony, in music and in life
the part that stops to talk to dogs
the part that cradles inured baby birds and cries and the injustice of life’s fragility the part that prays to Spirit in the cathedral of the woods
the part that opens to humanity
the part that wears ankle bracelets and dances in the rain
the part that gets swept away in gratitude and awe
the part that loves to smell the seasons
the part that smiles easily and cries just as easily
the part that comforts the dying
the part that lets my heart sing
the part that peeks out through my eyes
the part that remembers
the part that forgets
the part that encourages
the part that loves
the part, the part, the part
that makes me whole.

On a weekend retreat called Women Weaving some years ago, 50 women from all over the East Coast, came to learn, dance, sing, create, and pay homage to the Divine feminine within. On the last night of the retreat, we gathered in a clearing where a sacred fire burned under the full moon. It was hard not to get the sense that I had been called there, through many lifetimes, to connect with these sisters and mothers and goddesses. The power and majesty of the fire ignited something deep within us all.

Once home, the fire still burned. I decided the best way to honor that creative force within me was to write some lyrics that reflected how I felt.

Always there, strong as prayer
Giving gentle, loving care...

Women are weaving stories of the soul
Sharing our memories, fragments of the whole.
Women are weaving, you can join us too
Women are weaving life with you.

I called my friend-collaborator, Maria Benedetta LoBalbo (aka Beddy Sinkoff), because she had a sweet little melody I had in my head as the lyrics came tumbling out. Beddy agreed that it was the perfect support for the words…and a song was born.

So without further ado, here is Women Are Weaving, dedicated to all of the incredible women in my life…and the men who love them.

Women Are Weaving

Women Are Weaving is on my third album, REACH UP. Co-written with Beddy Sinkoff, the song also features John Guth. Women Are Weaving  is available on my website Sandi Kimmel.com , or for download at CD Baby and iTunes.   Please visit my website to learn more about me and my music.  And thanks for listening and sharing the music!

WOMEN ARE WEAVING
Lyrics by Sandi Kimmel
Music by Beddy Sinkoff

    Always there, strong as prayer
    Giving gentle, loving care…

Women are weaving stories of the soul
Sharing our mem’ries, fragments of the whole
Women are weaving, you can join us, too
Women are weaving life with you.

Women are dreaming, visioning a place
Finally peaceful, full of light and grace
Women are dreaming, you can join us, too
Women are dreaming life with you.

Women are singing, opening our hearts
Harmony ringing in a million parts
Women are singing, you can join us, too
Women are singing life with you.

    Always there, strong as prayer
    Giving gentle, loving care
    Feel the love that we share
    Heart and soul

Women are weaving stories of the soul
Sharing their mem’ries, fragments of the whole.
Women are weaving, you can join us, too
Women are weaving life with you.

© 1996 S. Kimmel & B. Sinkoff

 


MINDING YOUR BUSINESS

HiRes
We humans are so incredible. There isn’t anything we can’t do or discover or become…as long as we don’t listen to our minds.

“What?” I can almost hear you challenging me already. “What IS she talking about?”

I’m here to say that our best guidance comes from somewhere OTHER than our minds. In fact, our minds often give us bad information, based on what it knows or believes or remembers.

Case in point: Imagine sitting on the couch watching a good movie. Suddenly, your mind says, “Let’s have some ice cream.” You resist, telling your mind you’re not hungry. “Oh, come on,” says your mind, “you don’t have to be hungry to want some ice cream… Didn’t you just buy that new flavor? Don’t you want to know if it’s any good.”  

You try to go back to concentrating on the movie…but your mind mocks your concentration. “Let’s just have a spoonful to see if you like it. Just one.”

Finally, the noise in your head is louder than the movie and you get the ice cream to taste it. Before you know it, you’ve eaten more than you really wanted. In fact, you didn’t REALLY want any! 

You settle back down and get involved with the movie in earnest when you hear that voice again. “I can’t believe you ate some ice cream! You shouldn’t have eaten it! I thought you said you wanted to lose some weight. What were you thinking??” 



Same mind…of two minds. It's enough to make you want to lose your mind!

Or maybe you don't have an ice cream issue. Rest assured, there are others lurking in the recesses of your brain folds. Have you ever gone shopping when you didn't need anything and were trying not to spend money? Or how about telling yourself that you won't have a drink after work only to find yourself opening a bottle of wine as fast as you can turn the corkscrew?

We tell ourselves all kinds of things. In fact, we never shut up. The voice that you recognize inside your head that is so busy telling you what to do only rests when you're sleeping. Unless of course, you learn how to tame it by recognizing that it's just your mind trying to protect you.

That little voice is not to be confused with the still, small voice of inspiration. I know, I know, they sound so similar. But learning to tell the difference is the name of the game. Generally speaking if the little voice is being critical of you, it's not the one to listen to. And when you start paying attention, you just might find that most of what it says isn't very nice. If a friend ever said to you the things that YOU say to you, you would either punch them in the nose, hang up the phone, slam the door, or never ever talk to them again.

And once you begin to notice the nasty things you direct toward yourself,  you might also become aware of how that little voice speaks FOR you to others. My friend Gail told me a funny story the other day about being at a party and sitting in the chair right next to the dessert table. One by one, guests approached the table to select their desserts. What Gail began to notice is that every single woman who came up to the table made some kind of apologetic, self-deprecating, embarrassed comment about the desserts she was choosing. Red-faced, they would mumble something about NEVER having dessert but after all, this is a special occasion. Or about never having chocolate...except this once. Gail also noticed that men made completely different comments, more likely about how good everything looked or wanting to try as many of the desserts as possible. I found it interesting that the women were programmed to feel guilty, while the men were programmed to feel entitled to their just desserts. (Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

Do you remember the anti-drug slogan “A mind is a terrible thing to waste”? Maybe a better slogan would be, "A mind is a terrible thing to mind."

Oh, never mind...


JUST FOR TODAY - The Story Behind the Song

Wind-energy

I know I’ve mentioned it before, but it is worth mentioning again. Recording SOUL FEATHERS with Thomas Barquee was the most productive, creative and FUN time of my life! For three days a month, Patrick and I would drive up to Pasadena for another adventure. He’d drop me off at Thomas’s studio each morning and pick me up in the late afternoon. In between for me, there was no such thing as time. And it flew.

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