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What Will We Do with this Chance to be Free?

Dear Friends, Fans & Family....

Late summer has given way to full-on autumn here in our valley, and JD and I are immersing ourselves in the gorgeous fall colors.  We are sending you this wonder and beauty as well, wherever you are.
We are shattered and heartbroken in the aftermath of the horrifying mass shooting in Las Vegas. On the one hand, there is always such a beautiful outpouring of help and support by ordinary everyday heroes in these situations.  And yet we have to ask ourselves how long we will continue to give madmen access to weapons of mass destruction.
Political insanity continues as well. The big question is, what can we do about any of it, both on a macro universal physical level, and also on a personal internal level. The first thing that leaps to mind for me is to stop....breathe....tune in, double down on meditation, mindfulness, and open-hearted awareness, remember who I am and what I came here for, and then show up and be an instrument for whatever needs to come through me.

We have recently re-discovered a song we wrote 15 years ago, "I Came Here for Love." It's as relevant now as it was then. "What will we do with this chance to be free?"
Interestingly, in this past week, JD and I have each stumbled upon (or been divinely guided into) interviews online with the writer and psychological researcher Brené Brown. ( She has become famous the past couple of years because of her TED talks on courage and vulnerability.)
Brené is a brilliant, wholehearted, deeply soulful, straight-talking Texan who is so real, so down-to-earth, and so personally relate-able.....and her message is so relevant....that we can't possibly squeeze it all into this newsletter. But here are some links to check out, even if you think you don't have the time or inclination.  It's worth the ride:

NPR 1A Interview
Video Interview
She talks at length about the difference between True Belonging and just "fitting in." In an age of increased polarization, she says that it's easy to fall into a kind of false intimacy with other people when we join together against a common enemy. (Does this sound cringe-ingly familiar to anyone besides myself?)  But what we are actually longing for is the internal strength and courage to know who we really are, and to find sacredness both in being a part of something, and in standing alone when necessary.

Brown's extensive research has found that we human beings are hard-wired for connection. In order to be hateful and violent to one another, we must first de-humanize our "enemies." The four practices of True Belonging require us to be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, and learn how to be with people without sacrificing who we are and what we value.  Here you go:
            -People are hard to hate close up.  Move in.
            -Speak truth to BS.  Be civil.
            -Hold hands.  With strangers.
            -Strong back, soft front, wild heart.

In her new book, "Braving the Wilderness," Brené speaks soulfully of True Belonging and Wholeheartedness in the wilds of our psyche.

"The (internal) wilderness is an untamed, unpredictable place of solitude and searching.  It is a place as dangerous as it is breathtaking, a place as sought after as it is feared. But it turns out to be the place of True Belonging, and it's the bravest and most sacred place you will ever stand."

Thanks for listening and keeping in touch.

Love from JD & Jan



        Jan_JD Backyard

         Upcoming Events

     Click here for details of all upcoming events

• November 3, 4, 5
Concert, Music & Message and More
  Columbus, OH

• November 26
Special Music at Unity of Charlottesville
  Concert in the afternoon
  Charlottesville, VA

• December 3
Music & Message at Unity of Gaithersburg

  Gaithersburg, MD

• December 10
Music & Message at Unity of Grand Valley
  Grand Junction, CO

• December 17
Music & Message at Unity of the Mountains
  Edwards, CO

• December 21
27th Annual Winter Solstice Concert
  Aspen, CO


Stay Tuned! 

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Slipstream Productions
P.O. Box 422
Snowmass, Colorado 81654

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