Welcome back to The Way I See It where we focus on Awareness, Attitude and Intuition, and how those three keys can lead to more aligned living.
For this post, I am sharing the transcript to Ep 2 of The Way I See It Podcast. Our topic is Sensory Power and how we can use our awareness of our senses to awaken us to a more lucid experience in the day, tapping into divine wisdom.
Here is the transcript:
Hello and welcome to Ep 2 of The Way I See It. Today I want to share my experience with Sensory Power. In Ep 1 We discussed the three keys to aligned living, the first one being Awareness. So today I would like to unpack what that can look like when we focus on our senses and how that can lead to a heightening of our intuition and to more confident decision making.
I began tapping into what I refer to as Sensory Power as I delved into the topic of Consciousness and that spaciousness behind all the noise. Getting quiet and still enough to Pay Attention to what our senses pick up in our surroundings can train us to became more aware of that Divine Presence in all of us.
I want to share with you my most practiced ways of tapping into Sensory Power that work for me, ones that have stayed with me, bringing me into a more aligned, aware state that calms. We sure could use more Calm, now, can’t we?
One of my favorite ways is through my sense of hearing; I find I do this most often at night when my goal is to relax toward sleep. And this is the time when our thoughts can take center stage, most often in a way that can keep us up, wired and stressed from the day’s happenings. Instead, I choose to Listen Very Carefully to the sounds I can hear, like the distance swish of traffic going by, or the hum of a fan blowing. Of course, this is different from hearing a noise that irritates, such as loud music or conversation right outside your bedroom window! But, alas, there are many sounds we can tap into that bring us to a place of Presence, which naturally calms when done for periods of time.
Of course, the challenge of Staying Present is always there, pulling us away from listening, and drawing us back into stressful thinking. But if I just keep bringing my mind back to the sounds each time I get distracted, I can capture more of that calm for myself.
Another way I tap into my senses is though my piano playing. I play by ear as I compose spiritual songs I’ve written on the piano. Yes, it takes energy and focus to determine what sounds align with the melody I’ve created, but it brings me into intense focus and awareness when I do. Between listening to the sounds I make and my sense of touch on the keys, it is truly an immersive experience; whether I’m composing a new song or practicing one already in my piano book, it enables me to tap into that Sensory Power that brings deep awareness to my soul.
Another sensory delight for me is working with my hands in my art journal. I use many mediums to create 2 page spreads in my spiral visual journal. From scraping primer at the start, to using tools to create texture and fun mark making, it’s all very hands on. I love using fabrics, buttons, scraps of paper, cardboard pieces for mark making, and tools like a paintbrush or pastel crayon to apply color, whether wet or dry. The textures I create help me tap into that Sensory power of Awareness and seeing the whole process from start to finish is a true sensory delight as I make marks, cut bits and adhere them in pleasing places, and listen to that intuitive voice that teaches me what I can learn from the whole process.
Is there something in your day that brings you delight with your senses? Perhaps birdsong, or walking in the woods or playing a fun game with your kids or grandkids. Maybe it’s petting your cat’s fur or looking deep into your dog’s eyes. Or dancing to your favorite song or seeing your favorite color in a fun design.
Once you recognize how your senses come alive, make it a point to delight in those places of Sensory Power as often as possible. This can awaken your Awareness, giving you opportunity to practice Presence, bringing you into a place of Peace and Calm naturally. Next time you enjoy a sensory delight, linger a little longer. Make time stand still for just a moment. Or two, or three.
Enjoy the delight of a good belly laugh. Listen more distinctly to the notes from your favorite song. Slow down enough to hear that favorite birdsong. Stop and listen, feel, see, smell, taste. And Know.
A Journaling prompt for you: Jot down a list of your favorite sensory delights. Put a star next the ones you can create yourself so you can include them in your daily experience. Describe one of those most recent experiences in detail and how it makes you feel. Revel in the memory and in your current experience and feel the Power of the Present Moment.
Welcome back to The Way I See It, an honest look at how what I observe transforms what I see depending on what Lens I choose to look through. When I first introduced this new blog, I mentioned the possibility of sharing about my life as full time Grandma with a grandson diagnosed with autism and other neurological differences. So this will be my first foray of that nature.
Let me begin by saying that whatever I share here is meant to be thought provoking but not offensive. Autism has become better understood in recent years, but everyone’s experience with it is different and affect different families in different ways. So, with the hope of being understood and even appreciated for my point of view on this subject, especially with how it affects me on a daily basis, I shall share what’s on my heart.
My grandson loves dragons. He received a stuffy dragon for a gift from his great grandma. He loves looking at dragons in books and he especially enjoys the movie series, How to Train Your Dragon. I highly recommend this series for its humor, family dynamic and what each member learns in the process, as well as the conflict of interest between father and son concerning said dragons.
There’s quite a lot of dragon fighting amongst the tribe of Vikings in order to save the lives of the people and animals. But Hiccup, the boy in the story, has a sensitive heart and struggles to fulfill his father’s dream for him as a dragon slayer. Instead, Hiccup finds another way to solve the Dragon Dilemma. He trains his dragon to fly and take him everywhere. They end up becoming best friends. Of course, there is a lot more to this story, and I won’t offer any further spoilers.
Of course, over the past several months as I’ve watched this series with grandson and Grandpa, it has given me some serious food for thought.
First of all, Love conquers all.
Secondly, where there’s a will, there’s a way. Not that it doesn’t include consequence, because it does. Sometimes following what you feel is right can end in sorrow. But also victory.
Life is full of true paradox. And there’s such a fine line between letting the child lead the way and knowing when it’s necessary to step in.
This is the struggle the father and son face as they reckon with the dragon issue.
Thus it can be with autism. When you want to step in and try to show them how life is done, they often have their own way of doing it. Their brains work differently and they are sensitive folks. And when they aren’t understood or appreciated for what they do know (which can often be difficult to access if they don’t tell you), this brings on the frustration, on both sides, with both child and grandparent (or parent for those who are).
But like the verse goes, Train up a Child in the way he should go.
Now let’s look more closely at the word Train. It means to teach a person or animal a particular skill or type of behavior through practice and instruction over a period of time.
We can all be trained to learn new things and to instill good habits over time.
An example from my own pursuits would be learning the piano in the past year as I have played my spiritual songs by ear. First I had to learn where the keys were on the piano; I did this by feel rather than by sight. I found the keys to play the melodies and harmonies of the songs I added to my piano book; and then I practiced every day. Of course, over time, I have built new neuro pathways in my brain, so when I go to play a song I have practiced many times, I often find myself remembering what keys to press to make those melodies, which is deeply satisfying to me. All that practice for me is a delight! It also helps to have a routine to follow so it becomes second nature to include what I want to do in my day.
I try to do this with grandson by instilling a routine of first, then next, then after that we do this. Of course we have to get past the hurdle of resistance when one doesn’t want to follow through with said activity because it’s boring or stupid in their eyes. But there are some things that simply have to be done to make one civilized!
Now there is a difference between learning a new skill that is meaningful to you and simply learning something that needs to be done but is considered mundane. But the same principal applies toward the success of whatever the training is for.
I try to aim low, or as low as is reasonable to not overload the sensory aspect that is involved with mundane tasks when it comes to teaching grandson the way he should go.
Faithfully showing love, affection and even making a game out of as much of it as possible does make it an easier process; I just have to stay consistent without losing my patience. Especially when said child has to be reminded repeatedly.
So, how do you train yourself to learn a new skill, whether it’s pleasurable or mundane?
I think staying present as much as possible can make any thing you choose to do more palatable, not to mention looking at it through a positive lens. This I try to instill in grandson; sometimes he gets it, especially when he learns a new concept and succeeds and understands. And even those verbal gold stars go a long way toward encouraging those habits, such as putting on a seatbelt without a reminder.
Ultimately my goal as a grandma is to bring grandson to a place where he sees himself as intelligent, capable, funny, and creative, so much so that he will learn to fly.
There’s nothing like the exhilarating feeling of flying your own dragon once you’ve made friends with it, like Hiccup did with Toothless.
I’m sure that grandson would love to fly on a dragon too. Maybe he will some day—-in a story he writes and illustrates.
In the meanwhile, he’ll have to learn to do the mundane things, one day at a time, even if it’s boring.
I think he would tell me, I’d rather watch a movie, Grandma. Can you put on How to Train Your Dragon?
Yes, dear grandson, I can do that for you. Just make sure you brush your teeth afterwards, ok?
Hello and welcome to another post in my new blog, The Way I See It, focusing on my Life Lenses in one form or another.
In this post, I will share with you my Music Life Lens with my first year playing the piano, along with a bit of musical history for context. You will also find a video below of my playing my song, Receiving Grace, which I wrote and then composed for the piano.
I am so excited to share with you about my piano journey. But first things first.
I’ve always enjoyed music from a young age, and loved to sing in my adolescence and performed vocally for several years. You can read about that here on my Music Page.
One of my greatest dreams was to be able to write and compose music and then play that music on an instrument as I sang.
When I was a child, I wrote a few songs. When I reached my 30s, I had a spiritual experience and received lyrics and melody for 12 songs that emphasized where I was in my spiritual journey at the time. This was a very exciting breakthrough for me, but it didn’t stay with me, which was disappointing. But I guess I just wasn’t ready for what I had always wanted musically; I was deep into homeschooling my two young daughters at the time.
Fast forward to 4 years ago, I began to write songs with melodies as a result of my spiritual studies from sacred text. I began to be wholly inspired to write lyrics that came to me by Spirit much to my delight. I began to record these songs on audio just to have the melodies at the ready. After about three years of song writing, learning much through that ongoing experience, gaining knowledge and writing more structured songs in the process, I began to consider learning to play an instrument to accompany myself.
Years ago, I attempted guitar, but it didn’t suit me, since I have small hands. So I decided that piano would probably be a better choice for me.
So, with a little research, I found a piano app to put on my iPad and see what I could do.
Yes, I was working with a very small screen, only wide enough for melody, but it was a the perfect place for me to start. Just finding my way on the keyboard was exciting.
So I pulled a song from many I wrote and decided to try my hand at finding the melody by ear. Happily, I was able to play the melody after many sessions (with lots of stops and starts along the way).
This was a super exciting development for me musically; after a couple of months of executing right hand melody of two songs composed for piano, I decided to research getting a digital piano. After many months, I chose one that seemed good, a newer model just having come out: Yamaha PSR 373 with all the bells and whistles I could hope for. And it was on sale.
My piano arrived one year ago on my mother’s birthday! (3/1/21) I was so excited to finally have a real digital piano in my space and was eager to try it out. From the beginning I decided I wanted to learn the keys of the piano without putting stickers on the keys for reference. I wanted to learn intuitively where the keys were located with each octave rather than relying on a visual. It took some time, but I made steady progress. I made it a point to play daily since I was enjoying myself so much. I kept adding new melodies to play by ear. In time, I had 30+ songs in my book!
I chose not to wait til I memorized each melody. I figured I could pick and choose which songs I wanted to practice with and play each day. When I first started out, I often had to restart the song since I would make many errors at first. This was a musical instrument, after all, and it didn’t necessarily come easy; but I knew I was in the right place since I loved it so much.
Over the months, I decided to look up a piano teacher on YouTube who came recommended to me, Lisa from Pianote. She made everything make sense to me from the beginning, and I learned a lot from her, especially concerning chords and the various ways to incorporate them into melodies. I’ve tried varying approaches with several of my songs, whether one note, two note or three note chords in left hand, along with some two and three note chords in the right hand.
Of course, I started out just playing the melody of most of my songs with one and 2 keys; but with watching tutorials, and applying the information with my own music, I began to add more and more to my playing.
Some songs I’ve written are more like spiritual choruses while others have two verses and a chorus and some have two versus with a bridge and chorus. It really is a matter of what comes to me through Spirit as I write. Each song to me is a Gift. And to be able to hear the melodies on an instrument is absolutely thrilling.
Playing the melodies with chords is the foundational practice I have developed at this point. Being able to play the piano and sing my melodies at the same time for me is an accomplishment, since it is quite the challenge! And It’s by no means perfect; I am a true novice, an Aspiring Musician in the making. I have a long way to go. But I am encouraged that I can play by ear, and hear my songs and sing them, often, multiple times per day. It is a delight for me to have this as part of my Spiritual practice on a daily basis.
I also discovered that playing a musical instrument is actually good for the immune system; so when I play, I’m actually benefiting my body; not to mention, using and creating new neural pathways in my brain. Yes! So exciting.
Thank you so much for being a part of my Musical journey and for showing interest in my piano discovery process. I’m having so much fun and am being inspired daily to play my songs, which lifts my Spirit and leaves me feeling vibrationally aligned as I honor the gifts I am given. That’s why I wanted to share my journey with you.
Thanks for celebrating my One Year Anniversary with the piano. I have recorded one of my songs titled, Receiving Grace, which, when you watch/listen, I hope you are inspired and lifted in your Spirit too.
Music is a heavenly experience for me; at least, that’s The Way I see It. How do You See It?
Remember, The Way You See It Matters.
Below are the lyrics to my song, Receiving Grace, originally written in 2019. It's a good example of what I mean by a chorus. Hope you enjoy.
Written and Composed by Dawn Herring
It is possible
To see the light again
Even when in darkness
The way can seems so dim
I pray for light and kindness
As I search for truth once more
And recognizing freedom
Through the open door
Help me see the journey
With each step I take
Knowing I am not alone
Make no mistake
I trust in all provision
As I know to seek your face
Remembering your promise
Copyright 2022 Song Lyrics and Melody by Dawn Herring
I thought the perfect place to start this new blog (aside from the introduction) is to focus on my Family Life Lens as a Daughter.
My mother's 80th birthday was a Momentous Occasion with which I celebrated with great JOY and Delight!
I had a great time celebrating at her surprise birthday party hosted by my sister and her family. Loved seeing the surprise on Mom's face and how happy she was to see me. :)
I also enjoyed some time with her with my grandson at my side on her special day. We talked about all sorts of things. But the highlight for me was sharing a surprise with her: I wrote her a song called Gentle Hands*, composed it for the piano and then I played and sang it for her on her special day. That was the one thing I greatly anticipated and she loved it.
Time always goes by so speedily when we are with those we love. And I so appreciate those minutes/hours with my Mom, Erma Bel-Tempo, because life is fleeting at best, and there is no guarantee of tomorrow.
So, here's to you, my dear MOM.
(The following is a tribute I posted on Facebook that I would like to share here. It really showcases the many facets of Mom in this life and how she has "Given it All.")
This day marks a momentous occasion that I am celebrating! My dear mother Erma Bel-Tempo is turning the big 8-0 today!
Yes, eight decades of living as wife to Daniel Bel-Tempo, mom to me and my sister Denise, as well as grandma to my two daughters and my sister’s two daughters and great grandma to my grandson!!
She has always been the hostess with the mostess, homemaker extraordinaire with a very strong creative bend making the house decorated for every occasion imaginable for years and years and years!
She was always there after school for conversation and had mending hands not just with a needle and thread (and her trusty sewing machine!) but also when needing assistance when ill or struggling with some thing or another!
Mom has been a faithful wife to my dad for 60 years and still has quick wit and loves watching animal shows that warm her heart and make her laugh. The owl is her mascot!
She’s taken care of four different cats in her lifetime all of which were named Puffy.
Mom, you are an extraordinary woman with a true heart!!
May God bless you with joy, peace, strength, calm, healing, resilience and comfort in your golden years!!
We love you from the bottom of our hearts!!
Happy happy 80th birthday!!
And that's The Way I See It. And It's beautiful.
P.S. Below you will find a video where I share the song I wrote, Gentle Hands, and play it on the piano. Also, below are the *lyrics to the song (Copyright 2022 by Dawn Herring).
by Dawn Herring
Gentle hands that mend
Always to attend
Ready and prepared
From the start
Listen to the heart
It’s where you always start
Moving on impulse
You reach out
Without a doubt
Heart to heart
May you receive
All that you give
Leaving to recall
How you gave it all
I'm Dawn Herring. Here is a space where I share The Way I See It from my many Life Lenses of Art, Music, Journal Keeping, Autism, Mental Health, being Full Time Grandma of Special Needs Grandson, and many other POVs that are relevant and helpful. Prepare for a full spectrum of experience, with an invitation for you to share your POV because The Way You See It Matters too.