The Music of Your Life
UU Housatonic

We Are….

For each child that’s born,
A morning star rises
And sings to the universe
Who we are.

For each child that’s born,
Stars rise and sing
Who we are.

For we are our grandmother’s prayers,
We are our grandfathers’ dreaming,
We are the breath of our ancestors,
We are the spirit of God.
We are One.

-Ysaye Maria Barnwell

Every composer places an invisible signature on each composition that he or she writes.

Even if you’d never heard that particular song, you can usually tell “who” wrote it - who it is. Think Beethoven.

Here’s the thing: every composer ( at least in western music) is working with the same 12 notes- JUST 12 notes!!! Think about that for a moment….all the great music of the centuries…

Of course these notes must be organized in specific ways and not just thrown down randomly.

Once this happens a pattern emerges -and out of this pattern emerges a song. That song can be a thing of beauty or something that no one would hum or want to listen to ….it all depends on the combination of notes used and pattern created.

I’d like to suggest to you that thoughts work in a similar way.

No single thought will make OR break your life. Just like no single note will creates a song or symphony.

single thought will necessarily lead to the creation of anything physically tangible.

But what happens when these thoughts begin to add up? What happens when we develop patterns of thoughts….??
Thoughts are the precursors of actions and events and the creation of "things".

Could these patterns of thought be like some sort of broadcast signal? like a “song”?

If so, does the Universe, or Creative Intelligence, listen and then “sing” or hum it back to us?

Is this where the ideas such as Karma or sayings like, "you reap what you sow" come from?

Furthermore Is it possible that such a song becomes like a soundtrack to your life?

If so, what type of music are you broadcasting?

Like I said a moment ago, there are
only 12 notes in the Western musical scale yet look at all the music that's created!

This pattern and formula in music has given us everything from Bach to The Beatles to the Sex Pistols to Justin Bieber.

It’s all in how those notes are used. It’s where they’re placed- AND EVERY BIT AS IMPORTANT, the spaces in-between the notes.

But there are a whole lot more thoughts than there are notes, aren’t there ???

IF JUST 12 NOTES can do what they do when organized, what might happen if we could identify specific kinds of thought and then use these in specific ways - creating a pattern?

What if we practiced, as musicians practice their scales; what if we practiced combining specific kinds of thoughts?

So here are my suggestions for thoughts to cultivate on a daily basis;

1-Loving - cultivate thoughts and feelings. Start with what comes naturally to you-start with one person that you love and expand from there. Think of places you love, or musical pieces-whatever lifts your heart. Just make a point everyday to do this a few times a day.

2-Kind- same thing here: Bring forth whatever causes you to feel kind. Maybe a memory of a dear person or pet, use whatever works for you.

3-Grateful: just look for opportunities to say “thank you” and let your heart feel this as well as your mind think it. If you see a beautiful tree, thank to for its beauty. Trust me the more
you do this, the more things you will find. to say thank you for and to.

4-Patient-Make the choice to be patient, with yourself as well as others. Calm your mind by following your breath. Count to 10. Whatever works for you.

5-Non-Judgmental-refrain from taking other’ people's inventory, don’t judge what you don’t know which is another’ persons heart or thoughts or in most cases circumstances. Remember: everybody struggles with something.

6-Compassion(also a fruit of love)-develop a sense of compassion, for yourself. Especially when you want to judge and condemn or berate yourself when you miss the mark. If you cannot give this to yourself don’t expect to be able to truly give it to others

7-Joyful-(celebrate) Practice joyful thoughts which will lead to joyful acts and expressions.

8- Generosity- Think generously of others, of yourself, practice ways to give freely-give of yourself to others-be of service in some way

9-Hopeful-Cultivate a hopeful attitude, think thoughts rooted in expectations of the positive–replace the negative/fear based thoughts

10-Forgiveness-do not nurture resentments. If someone has done a wrong thing this does not relieve them of responsibility for their action. But you cease being judge and jury. I’ve met far too many people that have become so invested in the story of their being done wrong that they are smothered by it! Holding on to grudges and resentments is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

11- Presence - staying in the present moment, being aware, be where you are! Not in a past that no longer exists or a future that may never come- Be HERE NOW- this is MINDFULNESS and this will keep you on track in practicing all these other HABITS of THOUGHT.

Because that’s what you will be doing-it takes repetition of doing a thing. From what I understand it takes 21 days for a habit to form. So I strongly suggest you develop habits of thought that will not only benefit you, but all those you come in to contact with.

There you have it-my suggestion for a “Scale of Life” to create the song you’d like your life to be.

Like any good piece of music, some notes get played more than others.

You’re the songwriter-you get to choose.

And whatever it is will be, it will be your own unique version-a one of a kind.
That’s part of why you and I are here in the first place.

Each of us has our own unique quality of “sound” just like any other musical instrument.
But an instrument must also be maintained and cared for in order to transmit the note properly.

And just like a musician who wants to make music, we also have to practice.
Mindfully choosing thoughts and states of mind to cultivate.

Thoughts are mysterious things and they show up out of the blue - we don’t necessarily choose what shows up ( as a matter of fact, most times we don’t- they just pop in)- but if we pay attention, practicing awareness
( mindfulness) we do get to choose which ones to keep and expand on. AND this is the KEY.

The world will change AS we change.
In my experience we change when our thinking changes - and that only happens ONE thought at a time - but with this we can truly change our tune.

So, can paying attention to what you think about change your life?
Can it REALLY be
that simple?

Yes, it can.
Simple is not necessarily easy, but most worthwhile things aren't. But they sure are worth it!
And just think: you get to call the tune.