Guest Blog from Eliza Mallouk

July 7, 2021 at 6:16 pm Leave a comment

 “Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy.  The birds still remember what we have forgotten, the world is meant to be celebrated.”                                  Terry Tempest Williams  

From my first reading of When Women Were Birds, Fifty-Four Variations on Voice, I have always loved this quote which is from the final chapter of her memoir.

I think what appeals to me about the author’s words is the simplicity of the instruction “to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk” …that this would be enough to heal the world through joy.

Wow! Really? Not so sure.

All one has to do these days is turn on the news and hear of the deaths from the pandemic, violence, devastation of land and resources, poverty and homelessness, racial and social inequities, greed and lack of conscience of people in power….heartbreaking news throughout the world and we can be stricken to our knees in despair and inaction.

How can we recover ourselves from the overwhelm of collective trauma that permeates the air that we breathe. How can we care for ourselves in ways that help us hold and heal the world.

Here’s what helped me with this question this past week:

I held my brand new, one day old granddaughter, Violet, and I was instantly brought to a state of wonderment and awe. The only choice it seemed to me was to be fully present in this moment of sweet connection. New life! Her fragile being nestled in my arms or draped over my shoulder…all of my mothering instincts gently engaged…love pouring from me to her. After my visit, I walked and felt full with relief and yet grounded and at peace that all had gone well with labor and delivery and that my daughter and her husband were entering a new chapter of their lives together. All good news. 

Being conscious and present to all of this was a choice. It was and is an act of self care. A recovery of myself and in this recovery a small step towards healing the world.

Another story…

The other morning (and it could have been any morning) I awoke early, came down to our family room where each day I sit with my coffee and look out at our beautiful garden, lush with the colors of lilies, hydrangeas, lavender and cone flower.

When I opened the sliding glass door to bring in the morning air, several mourning doves that I hadn’t seen took to flight from the patio! The sound of cooing and flapping wings startled me into delight and awe. In an instant, I was brought to my senses and a deep appreciation of our natural world. I went about the rest of my day a tad more slowly, aware and grateful. To move through my day with this attitude is an example of care of the self, care of my true self, my essence and a small step towards healing the world.

The principles of the Alexander Technique have guided me throughout my life journey. On any given day and depending on who I am speaking with, my definition shifts and changes. The simplest version…or today’s version is that AT teaches me to do all that I do with more ease, presence and gratitude. In this process habits of physical and emotional tension, thoughts and behaviors that no longer serve my wellbeing or the wellbeing of others dissolve. There is more room within me for healthy choices, clear thinking, self compassion, joy, gratitude and love.

“The world is already split open, and it is in our destiny to heal it, each in our own way, each in our own time, with the gifts that are ours” 

“To sing at dawn and to sing at dusk is to heal the world…”

Perhaps it CAN be this simple.

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

But Before You Do….

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