"...Turn the beat around
love to hear percussion
turn it upside down
love to hear it
love to hear it..."
Using Gloria Estafan's "Turn the beat around..." as the keynote for a piece about detaching ourselves from messages of pain, depression, fear, etc...may seem like a stretch, a spiritual version of a very demanding yoga stretch, but please bear with me.
I was sitting at an outside table, at a small bakery/café around the corner from our house, wondering if there was anyway to contact the person I had gone there to meet. My head was pounding, and I really wasn't sure if I could stick it out until she arrived. I'd been praying all morning, and although I was certain that I had every right to be free from pain, I wasn't feeling it.
Then, just as I was looking through my contact list for her number, a tricked-out car with a huge sound system...bass notes lo pounding and thrumping loudly through every molecule of my being...pulled up at the stoplight nearby.
At the same moment my phone rang. It was a good friend who was struggling with some very deep emotional issues (she has given me permission to refer to this experience) and wanted to talk.
I also noticed, in that same instant, that my foot was tapping out the beat of the song on the car's stereo system, as I was feeling the percussive bass tones within my chest. Right then and there, I decided to make myself stop tapping my foot, as I realized that the pounding and thrumping of the car's bass speakers, was not IN me. It was originating, emanating, coming from, the car...not my chest, or my thinking. It was not part of me.
With that realization, I was also able to disconnect from the belief that the painful pounding I'd been dealing with all morning, was in me...in my head. And that even though it was something that had seemed so much a "part of me," it wasn't. It was originating outside of my being...outside of my thinking, outside of my body of knowledge or belief. It was a suggestion...just like the car's music was suggesting itself from the stoplight. And not only did it originate outside of me, I could decide to NOT feel it...just the way I decided not to feel pounding of the car's bass tones. And more importantly, I could see that my freedom started when I chose to stop tapping my foot...reacting to the feeling that the rhythm was in me.
I decided that peace was the natural state of my being, and was all that was in my body, constantly flowing as a clear undercurrent even before the car came along. The truth was, that the kingdom of heaven was all that was within me, within my body, long before, during, and after the pounding in my head "drove up," and tried to get me to believe that it was "in me" and that it could make me react to its noise, causing me to cancel my appointment...or tap my foot.
And believe it or not, all of this happened in the few moments that the car was stopped at the red light. And the most wonderful part was, that I was able to share these insights with my friend. We both laughed at how we'd been hoodwinked into believing that our pain, and sadness, were within us. Her heartache ceased and we talked briefly about how we'd both felt as if we were helpless to oppose what we thought was truly and actually in us, originating as a broken head or heart.
Lately, whether it is pain, heartbreak, anger, fear, or depression...it has become so clear to me that it is not...and never was or will be...originating in the mind or body of a child of God...mine or anyone else's. The only thing singing through our being is the song of peace, the poetry of stillness, the Word of God.
Or as Mary Baker Eddy says:
"Beloved brethren, to-day I extend my heart-and-hand-fellowship to the faithful, to those whose hearts have been beating through the mental avenues of mankind for God and humanity; and rest assured you can never lack God's outstretched arm so long as you are in His service."
I also love that she encourages us to:
"...feel the divine energy of Spirit, bringing us into newness of life with regeneration..."
and to trust that:
"... the music of Soul affords the only strains that thrill the chords of feeling and awaken the heart's harpstrings."
This is the only beat I am allowing to be what sets the rhythm of my life. It is all that I am accepting as the driving beat in my heart. It is the only syncopation that can cause my being to dance...the music of the spheres. Peace is not the absence of noise, it is the presence and power of a divine voice, a constant, conscious awareness of God's presence. It is the "sound" we hear, as we lie still in Her loving arms, and feel the soft beating of Her heart whispering, "Peace, be still my child...peace, be still." This is really all that is "in" us...because it is all that is "within" Her...and we live, and move, and have our being within the sanctuary, the kingdom of Her love. Unless what I feel "within" me has the nature and character of Her voice...peace, beauty, kindness, trust, satisfaction, joy....it is simply a suggestion, a projected noise from outside of the "I AM" where I am one, in perfect, harmony with the rhythm of Her being.
It's time to turn the beat around and reclaim it for our God...for Love...the only source of all that is constant, persistent, and ceaseless in our lives. Can't you feel it...can't you feel it....can't you feel it?
always with Love....and still at camp (and still love, love, loving it!!)...
Kate Robertson, CS
And here is an additional link for those of you who might prefer the original version of Gloria Estefan's "Turn the Beat Around."