Cultivating hope through music, imagery and poetry

rainbow reaches from the sky into a tubular wave in the ocean | hope music connection | Tempo Therapy and Consulting

20 Apr 2022

In these uncertain times, it is easy to get caught up in the heavy waves of helplessness that come with a world facing a pandemic, war, climate change and the ensuing tsunami of mental ill-health. Connecting with presence and hope through music, imagery and poetry can help us to open to a sense of possibility and connection with ourselves, others and the world around us.

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Mature or 'holy hope' is an attitude of the soul that’s open and receptive to how reality is unfolding through our unique human forms; being fully available to this life.

Tara Brach

As discussed in the recent blog 'Finding Hope in Healthcare and Education', presence and connection with ourselves, with others and with the world around us are a gateway to hope.

Whilst this requires us to sit with difficulty and pain, it equally requires us to be open to joy, awe and goodness.

Given the challenges we all face on a personal, environmental and international scale right now, this blog offers an invitation to sit with what supports you, fills you up and brings you a sense of connection to wonder and joy.

In honour of stepping out of our left-brained, overthinking tendencies you are invited to pause, find somewhere comfortable and allow yourself to let go of your to-do list and to BE with words, imagery and sound.

The arts have long been a source of support, connection, nourishment and hope.

We only need to look to the use of music and art to

  • celebrate and connect
  • marks special occasions and rites of passage through ritual
  • rally troops to battle
  • support connection with the divine or spiritual, whether for you, this is religious, connecting with nature or finding your own way to inner peace.

Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.

Emily Dickinson

An invitation to connect with presence and hope

Your are invited to select of one of the three options below to focus on:

  • the imagery in 'What a wonderful world' by Louis Armstrong
  • the flow and meaning of the words in the excerpt from the Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
  • the sound of the cello in the prelude from Bach's Cello Suite #1 (G major), performed by Yo Yo Ma

Some tips:

  • notice what is happening in your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations before you take this moment for yourself
  • make yourself comfortable
  • turn off your phone!
  • you might like to watch or listen to the videos a couple of times: watch the video / listen with your eyes closed and notice what happens in your body
  • try reading the poem silently and out loud

What a wonderful world

Louis Armstrong

Excerpt from the Tao Te Ching

Success is as dangerous as failure.

Hope is as hollow as fear.

What does it mean that success is as dangerous as failure?

Whether you go up the ladder or down it,

Your position is shaky.

When you stand with your two feet on the ground,

You will always keep your balance.

What does it mean that hope is as hollow as fear?

Hope and fear are both phantoms

That arise from thinking of the self.

When we don’t see the self as self,

What do we have to fear?

See the world as your self.

Have faith in the way things are.

Love the world as your self;

Then you can care for all things.

by Lao Tzu (translated Stephen Mitchell)

Bach Cello Suite #1 (G major), performed by Yo Yo Ma

Some considerations

Would you like to sit quietly, paying attention to your body, breath and feelings afterwards?

Would you like to draw, move or journal your response?

Do you notice a difference in your thoughts, feelings and physical sensations, compared with before this experience?

How do you feel?

Do you have a sense of connection to yourself, or the world around you?

Do you detect any difference how open you might be to possibilities?

If you'd like to share your experience, I'd love to hear - feel free to send me a message here.

I think that dreaming requires action on your own part.

Elizabeth Gilbert

Related Resources

Header image: Lucie Dawson