Practice Your Own Song

“The birth date comes from the first time the child is a thought in its mother’s mind” – Jack Kornfield.


In his book “A Path with Heart”, Jack Kornfield recounts a story about a tribe in East Africa where women go off alone to listen for ‘the song’ of their future child before attempting to conceive.  The mother learns that unique song and then teaches it to the father, family members, mid-wives and eventually the entire tribe.  The song is used to invite the child during conception;  to sooth and celebrate the child while in the womb;  to reassure and encourage the child while  being born; to comfort the young child when hurting;  and then, as an adult, to honour the person during important social occasions like marriage.  It is sung for the last time when that person dies.  In this way, throughout their entire life, each person is celebrated for their unique being.


While this practice is obviously not transferable to most cultures in the Western world, it opens up questions about how we love and support ourselves and how we love and support each other.


When I stop to reflect on what ‘my own song’ might be, I am led to ask myself what is it that I might sing; what is my unique expression in life?  There are many different ways of exploring this question. One approach is to ask yourself what you do really want in life.  Things like a new car, a better job, more money, to be happy, etc. are reasonable responses, but how do they relate to your unique being?  If you imagine yourself in the future lying on your death bed and looking back at your life, what do you think that you would say was most important for you in the life that you led? What were you really looking to get out of life?


Explore for a while what you really want from life and what gifts you have to make this happen.  Drop into your body and slow down your mind. You just might discover your own song and then you just might start practicing it.


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