June 20, 2011

The Calm Mind

“The calm mind allows one to connect with the inner self, the Soul, the very source of our being. That’s where the music lives.” ~ Clarence Clemons

I was particularly saddened by the passing of saxophonist Clarence Clemons this weekend.  He was a big man on stage with Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band; and, he was an ever bigger presence when he cranked up out his powerful, soulful, and melodious solos.  Whenever I had an opportunity to catch a clip of Clarence cranking out a solo, I was in – absorbing his immense sound.  He also brought a lot of energy and joy to the stage with him and was his total presence that will be missed by the band and their fans.  This post is dedicated to Clarence.

In these turbulent, unsettling, and rapidly changing times, many of us are struggling to find a safe haven, to find peace, and to find ourselves.  It seems as if one challenge immediately follows another one and then another; and, it becomes increasingly difficult to escape what feels like negative energy all around us.  Simply saying that we are not going to pay attention to this negativity does not mean we are not exposed to it or still don’t hear it.  It merely means that we are cognizant of its potential to derail us and deflect us from staying on our path and the promise of our journey.

Today’s quote particularly resonated with me in the sense that our source for peace and security lies within us.  What goes on around us has the ability to affect and influence us; however, what exists within us defines who we are and how we utilize it. Reaching inside of ourselves and leveraging the energy, the power, and the unique skills that make us who we is also what makes us great in any situation.  For who we are is defined by our gifts and our effectiveness in utilizing them; not by what goes on around us.

Being calm when all around you is chaotic comes from the inner strength and confidence of knowing who you are and what your passion and purpose in life is.  I have found intense strength in my mantra, “This is not the trip I have signed up for; but, it is the journey that is designed for me…” This saying gives me the calmness to engage in a situation where I am open, receptive, and willing to learn from the experience before me.  I have discovered that while I cannot change all is going around me, and to me, I can find the strength to embrace the opportunities being presented in the form of chaos and learn from them so I can share them with others.

It is the ability to find calm in the storm that enables me to relax enough to explore, discover and internalize the experience and from there, I am able to learn and grow and find opportunities to be successful along the way.

Life will always provide us with challenges.  Sometimes there will be more than we desire or believe we can handle.   The challenge is to leverage the power of our unique gifts—the music that lies within us—to be a source of inspiration and peace that enables us to embrace the moment and grow.

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About Dave Cooke

Dave Cooke is a dad on a mission. His mission is to help parents get control of their lives over the powerful, destructive influences of a child's addiction. As the father of a son in a ten year heroin battle, Dave knows all to well the challenges parents and families face. He also knows there is a way to find peace in the chaos. It is his mission to help parents discover their path to a healthier, balanced life even if a child's active addiction is still part of their daily journey.