02 June, 2010

My Symphony - RAOKA

“To live content with small means, to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion, to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich, to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly, to listen to stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart, to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never, in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common, this is to be my symphony.”
William Henry Channing

I stumbled across this quote one morning in May while my neck felt tight and my pulse felt high and I sought some gem from the lives and words of others.  I sought serenity in thoughts and words – words being a source of so much in my life to include serenity.  The quote caught my attention.  I wanted to share it immediately like a kid bringing home a new, bedraggled, scruffy, skin and bones, stray “Look mom!  Can I keep it?”
Rather than sharing it immediately though, I sat with it and considered  - symphonies offer serenity.  They are a wonderful combination of unlikely, yet complementary sounds and instruments brought together to create an experience for audience and musician alike.  Depending on the piece playd, I find serenity in the sounds of the symphony. 
Yet, as the quote suggests, a symphony is more than an orchestra or could be greater than a compilation of notes played by a group of musicians.  Taking it a bit further – What is my symphony?  Not only what is my symphony – but what would be my Serenity Symphony?
The RAOKA theme for May was Serenity.  Throughout the month I considered serenity and where it fit in my life or where it existed or where I found it.  What I discovered – I don’t have a great deal of serenity in my life.  I have moments of wonder.  I have joy and laughter.  I have frustration and agitation.  I even have this or that moment of peace – but serenity?
Where to find serenity?
Serenity comes from within.  It is the quieting of the mind and the alignment  of living in integrity.  It is the – for me it is the living in the moment, the letting go, and the trust of knowing that it is what it is to be. 
Serenity is the rolling of the waves as they break before racing toward the shore.
It is the wind tickling the branches of the tallest trees and sending the leaves dancing through the air. 
It is my hands in the soil or gently moving through the leaves of my plants removing the dead, caring for the living, and relishing in the colors and beauty of life in all its forms.
It is the smell of flowers – the sea – the pines… the smell of nature – nature and simple.
Oh, it is also great Italian food – the garlic, the mélange of great ingredients… simply amazing to see, to taste, to smell...
It is the feel of my daughter’s hand in mine as we walk, in silent companionship.
It is the sounds of the piano that come to me from the studios at the ballet school as I sit and allow myself the time and space to relax
All of these are aspects of my serenity symphony – the compilation of nature and love and openness that allow  for me to settle down, quiet my mind, and let go into a place of serine grace.
As I review this month, I am more aware of the lack of serenity in my life than its presence.  This, in itself, struck me.  I realize that this month has been a bit on the busy side – and the agitation I have felt as been pronounced throughout the last two weeks – so I am in the process of learning where I can remove  and minimize… where I can add nature and music – where I can open my heart and allow things to flow over holding on tightly or creating attachments to opinions or thoughts that result in greater stress over more serenity.

Where do you find serenity? 
What is your serenity Symphony??

RAOKA is founded on the idea that we can do little things to make a difference. The little things in life, the little things that we all can do and do daily – like laughter, express passion, gratitude… These acts are noted by various people in accordance with a theme chosen each month. The May theme was SERENITY – June’s theme is “WISDON”.
For more information on participating and RAOKA, please contact Lori and Jane Be Nimble!!

Other posts on Serenity:

   



14 comments:

Tess The Bold Life said...

Serenity I find it in my body, mind and soul each time I tell my ego to take a vacation;)

Love the quote...can I keep it?

The Exception said...

Tess - I LOVE that... There is peace in my life when my ego is on vacation or just stays out of it!
I love the quote too! Have a great Wednesday!

Gayze (Gazehound's Animal Communication) said...

Your wonderful words remind me, in the most gentle way, that the Whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

Wishing you the fullness of your Symphony each and every day.

Aurora said...

You hit the nail on the head for what serenity is. It is more and more how I live my life, and I am so incredibly grateful to have made it a priority/part of my spiritual search. The choices wee make can bring us there, it just depends on how much you want it and don't let 'life' get in the way:)

Mark said...

You are correct this is a wonderful and wise quote! Thanks so much for sharing. Serenity is found in the moments and it is a string of these moments which builds our serenity. Thanks for sharing your serene moments.

Lori (JaneBeNimble) said...

I enjoyed reading about your "serenity symphony" -- what a lovely way to express how you feel serenity! I especially say this as music has a deep pocket of my soul and thought of this as I read about your thoughts in the ballet school.

My serenity symphony mostly includes things from nature, but I can also find it in the kindness of others, animals, and in writing. Thanks for being a part of my serenity symphony!
~xo

The Exception said...

Gayze - Thank you. We are each part of a beautiful garden or a tapestry... or one drop in the ocean. I have to remember that sometimes as it reminds me that we each play a part. Thank you for commenting and contributing and your thoughts!
Aurora - I am glad that you are finding serenity. Sometimes it proves to be illusive in my life as my busy-ness gets the best of me. I am working to quiet the voices and hear the music.
Mark - The quote is a gem - and one I am thrilled to share!
Lori - It interests me how different music touches us or becomes part of our symphony... and I found it challenging to break out the different aspects of my serenity symphony - writing the post did help me find it!
People are a part of my serenity as well - the diversity and the laughter... I wonder if, now that I think about it, I find moments of serenity in sharing laughter with another... interesting.

Lance said...

What I think is so beautiful here: it is in what you recognized throughout the month. Awareness is the first key in guiding YOU to a different place...one it sounds like you are ready to embrace (that's awesome).

I find serenity in the quieting of my soul...and when I do that...there truly is a serene feeling within. When I don't...I feel that lack...

chaniagirl said...

I have to admit, TE, that I find serenity far less often than I would like ... and my serenity is often far too contingent on other things around me being serene, rather than the other way around. This is something I could most definitely work on.

I hear my serenity symphony best when I am at the beach. This past Sunday found G and I lying at our favorite place, reclining in beach chairs, sipping iced coffees, reading the papers, and listening to the sound of the waves. I was deliriously happy. I felt like a I could float away.

I would love to learn to be able to carry this serenity symphony into the other, noisier, parts of my life. Hmmmm ... you've definitely given me much to think about.

Mama Llama said...

A beautifully-written tribute to something with which we all should choose to infuse our lives. Thank you for the food for thought!

Have a great day, TE. Be well.

The Exception said...

Lance - May was a busy month. A lot of stuff started coming up which often happens when there is awareness... How can we learn the lesson and master it unless we are tested? ;) I carry my home with me - I am moving toward carrying my serenity with me too.

CG - Now that sounds like serenity to me! Your time on the beach sounds like something to be treasured. I am learning as I go - and like you, I want to carry serenity into my busy mind too - we can learn together!
ML - I am usually good for a plate of food for thought - or a fun lunch with a great Llama! Can't wait to do it again, hopefully before your big trip.

Wilma Ham said...

I am with Tess and your own quote about when we hurt it is the ego who is getting frustrated.
Serenity for me is being peaceful and knowing all is well and going beyond the turmoil that the ego is creating.
Then indeed we are open to see and hear the beauty that surrounds us.
xox Wilma

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