Thought for the Week: The Guiding Song of Sustainability

Have you ever played with the idea of having a guiding song for your life? 

Here’s a video of my Mindful Earthkeeper Thought for the Week:

Thought for the Week, January 23, 2023 – The Guiding Song of Sustainability

If you prefer, you can read the idea below:

I believe as human beings we live out many songs throughout our lives, but only one guiding song is predominant at a particular time in our life. We can choose a guiding song of sustainable or restorative living.

At a certain point in the past few years, I kept hearing the song I’m Still Standing by Elton John on repeat in my mind. I also seemed to hear it everywhere I went. That was definitely my guiding song, for awhile. It was a helpful song on challenging days. 

Maybe the song of your life is currently one of survival, or overcoming struggle.  A song of survival is a good one. Sometimes, we think we should be doing more than surviving. As if we should always be positive, happy and healthy. That’s not how life’s journey works.  

For most people across the earth, the last few years have been rough. Our collective song has been something akin to Climb Every Mountain from the movie, The Sound of Music.

A global pandemic, social unrest, rising inflation, rising greenhouse gases, the War in the Ukraine. Our 401Ks going down in value. The crypto crash. External challenges intensely affected all of us for the last three years. 

Humans have not been the only ones struggling.

The literal songs of the earth, birds, are in danger. 

Forty nine percent of bird species have declining populations. One in eight bird species is under threat of extinction now.  An Audubon Society study of 2019 concluded that two thirds of bird species are at risk of extinction from climate change in this century.

Birds are not the only creatures that sing.  Whales do as well, and those beautiful creatures and their habitats are also under threat.

We humans can sing too, and many humans on this planet are under threat from climate change and other human driven environmental and social issues.

For thousands of years, some humans, usually men, have sung the song of exploitation, greed and destruction.

We need a new healing guiding song for the earth.

Whether the birds in the air or the whales in the seas, or the song(s) of our lives, we need to pay attention to song more than we have been doing.

Unlike birds who have instinctual songs that they don’t control, we can sing many songs as human beings.

Songs are an indicator of health.

Our songs can uplift ourselves and those around us, or tear ourselves apart as well as the world around us. 

The guiding songs of our lives are powerful, and often unconscious.

But we can change our song.

One good question at this early point of the year, maybe for you, is:

What is the guiding song of your life now?

Sometimes a guiding song is obvious.

You might reading recognize that a a certain external song could represent this time of your life. 

You might not notice your guiding song, because you’re too busy with your life to notice it.   

Or you might not want to listen to your deepest songs of longing or dissatisfaction or fear. 

Right now, maybe all you need is to just honor the song that you have to move through right now. 

Especially if you’re moving through a song of grief. 

Many of us need to be able to listen to and honor our song(s) of loss, struggle and fear from the past few years.  

Maybe your guiding song is one of survival, and you can’t do anything more than you are doing.

Possibly, you may be ready for aligning with the song of sustainability.

As I have been thinking about the song that I want to guide me this year, the literal song I am choosing is the song Morning by Grieg. It’s a classical song without words. I like it because it reminds me of upbeat new beginnings.

Click on the player to hear Joe Malambri’s rendition of Morning:

What song might you choose to guide and inspire yourself this year?

Published by Karen Powers Wan

Writer, Restorative Lifestyle Coach, Sustainability Project Manager, and Meditation Instructor.

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