Ben's Weekly Spark 4.8.18: Joni Mitchell on LOVE, Yogic Hip Hop & The Bravery of Sincerity
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Community-Generated Tools, Tips & Experiences for Accessing JOY, HOPE, PEACE & LOVE...
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***THIS WEEK'S SPARKS***
The other morning Deepak Chopra suggested: Stop for a moment. Look around and notice 5 things you’ve never seen before. He suggested that curiosity can engage us with the current moment, bring us out of our chatter and deconstruct the false narrative that everything around us is as it has always been and is undeserving of our attention. I invite y’all to take a moment and play the game. I really enjoyed it. I think I will continue it throughout my day today. Like a continual game of “I Spy” with myself.
🔥HOPE: My friend Celeste Verduzco has a really wonderful Facebook page that encourages activism through art, called Artivism Now! She posts inspiring Facebook Live posts and is out in the community spreading love and hope! I am very glad to acknowledge her as a source of hope for me!
During my practice the other morning I was experiencing distraction in the form of future-planning. I acknowledged and considered why? I realized that what I’m feeling is UNSAFE. As if the things on my to-do list were a pack of wolves surrounding me on all sides, and that if I don’t constantly keep my eyes out for them, one of them is going to attack: afraid that I won’t honor a commitment I’ve made, that I’ll drop the ball, and then, and then, and then....all stemming from a primitive fear of being ostracized from the tribe, which brings death. My to-do list is linked to my instinct for survival.
So, my practice was about fostering a feeling of safety. “I am safe. I am not under siege. In this moment, there is nothing else but the practice. I am safe...”
Idk if this shows up for y’all. But that mantra worked well for me.
MC YOGI- A Yogic Hip Hop Artist
I was turned onto this artist by my Yoga teacher, Christy Marsden during my teacher training. MC Yogi is a hip hop artist whose lyrics explore the concepts of yoga. This album really has some deep insights expressed in an incredibly approachable way. I love all his music, take a listen to “Only Love Is Real” as well. The perfect combo of fun and depth.
Last night while hanging out, some friends and I found a bag of novelty medals, so we decided to award them to one another for the things we most sincerely admired about each other. It was a really sweet game, and it got me thinking today about the bravery of sincerity. It appears to me that culturally we shy away from sincerity because it can feel very vulnerable to be sincere. If I’m sincere and reveal some tenderness in myself, I open myself up to the possibility that someone might reject this part of me—that if I allow my heart to be open that it then becomes vulnerable to attack. I think being sincere in a cynical world is one of the bravest and most powerful things a person can do. At the end of my life, I imagine I’ll remember all of the sincere moments between myself and my partner, my family and my friends, not the witty cynicisms I used to protect myself from being witnessed.
“If you want endless repetition, see a lot of different people. If you want infinite variety, stay with one.” What happens when you date is you run all your best moves and tell all your best stories — and in a way, that routine is a method for falling in love with yourself over and over. You can’t do that with a longtime mate because he knows all that old material. With a long relationship, things die then are rekindled, and that shared process of rebirth deepens the love. It’s hard work, though, and a lot of people run at the first sign of trouble. You’re with this person, and suddenly you look like an asshole to them or they look like an asshole to you — it’s unpleasant, but if you can get through it you get closer and you learn a way of loving that’s different from the neurotic love enshrined in movies. It’s warmer and has more padding to it.” Joni Mitchell
April 14th at 7PM PST- tune in via Facebook live on my Facebook Page for our monthly lovestreaming dinner party with explorations of love through music, food and conversations. This month's theme is love and its relationship to enlightenment, spirituality, faith and religion. Featuring performances by Ray Davis, Caitlyn Cope, and Sleep Machine (listen to all three of them on Spotify below!)
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