Sunday, November 30, 2014

Metal Element Playlist

When most people think of songs of the season, they think of the holiday cheer that has bombarded the speakers of every store and coffee shop. But instead of feeling like decking the halls, most of my friends, family and patients are still experiencing the grief, wonder, and reflective stillness of autumn's Metal Element as we transition into the deep Yin of Winter.   

Every fall as the leaves turn gold and red, my daughter observes the solemn autumn air and announces, "I miss Pop", her grandfather who passed two years ago.  With confusion around Gaza, Ferguson, and the Native American Day of Mourning in many of our hearts, the Metal Element invites us come to terms with both our personal grief and collective loss.   

Yet the Metal element also gifts us with inspiration, present presence, and transcendence, which we can all tap into at this time of year.

Holiday magic and cheer is just around the bend, with Christmas, the Solstice, Hannakah and spiritual traditions the world over celebrating the return of light after a period of darkness. But first, let's get to know the ancient Metal element through a contemporary soundtrack, and key flower essences to balance the waves of emotion that may flood us in the Fall:

#1-  Star People by Fertile Ground
We keep missing, and missing, and missing, and missing the point... 
Of who we are and why came.
And as this reality deceives us, we get caught and lose our aim.... 
We get in the way of ourselves and we dismiss the call.  
We get in the way of ourselves, and make it so hard...  
Star people come down we are preparing to be with you again.

Don't judge me. I know there are at least two Fertile Ground songs on every one of my element playlists.  But what can I say? The group is cosmically in tune!  And there's no denying that Star People is a Metal element classic. Not only does it honor the beings of light that have passed on or are getting ready to be born, it reminds us to look skyward and to connect to our true purpose.  The Metal Element reminds us that "We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience." Star Tulip flower essence helps us to listen to the subtle whispering of our souls, allowing us to slow down enough to reconnect to why we are here and what we are really up to.

#2- Sueno Con Ella (I Dream of Her)  by Buika
The aching, gut wrenching wail of Buika in this song gives voice to the profound grief or longing of the Metal Element. Whether through death, divorce,  or plain ole' universal wisdom, the pain of losing someone we cherish is undeniable.  In Sueno con Ella, the singer dreams of her beloved- reliving their experiences through the ephemeral images stored in her heart.  In the same way, Forget-Me-Not flower essence helps us connect on a soul level to those who are no longer with us, affirming that our bond to those we've loved and lost is never truly broken. 

#3- Growing Old/ 13th Floor by OutKast
Something's got to change....
Sounds of laughter and happiness turn my teardrops to rain. 
Been bearing this burden for too many of my days - 
Looks like breezes of autumn done finally blew my way... 
Like memories of yesterday...
oohhhh....  in typical Metal Element fashion, the ATLiens album brings up waves of nostalgia for the 90's-  the golden era of hip hop and an equally magical time in my life. This somber tonality of Growing Old and the chorus brings me the quiet, inspired, stillness of the Metal Element.  It reminds us that in order for change to happen, we must let go of something...  like the famous Lao Tzu quote, "When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be".  In fact,  Sagebrush flower essence helps us to do just that.  It supports us in releasing what no longer serves us (negative emotions, bad habits, or simply clutter in the house) so that we become all that we might be.

#4- Hallelujah (the Matthew Schuler version)
And even though it all went wrong
I'll stand before the Lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah...

I do not know how this brother lost The Voice.  But I do know his performance of this song last season was EPIC.  There are numerous historical biblical references in this song, but Hallelujah makes the playlist because the power of surrendering our pain to a higher power is universal.  Songs like Amazing Grace and Peace Be Still, Buddhist chanting, the Sri Lalita Sahasranama, and spiritual songs from every culture around the world remind us of the transcendent nature of our souls.  In a similar way, Borage flower essence lifts our hearts with the courage to praise life itself- with all it's pain and suffering- and step into the light of divine gratitude. Hallelujah.  Amen.  Om Shanti. Ashe. 

#5- Tsunami by Res
Ride, ride this wave of mine... There's brighter things out on the other side... 
Ride, ride this wave of mine... I know that things are gonna be alright...

In my opinion, this is one of the best songs on Res's debut album.  In it, she invites us to the ride the waves- the ups and downs of life experiences and her emotions- knowing full well that everything will work out in the end. In the same way, Gentian flower essence restores our optimism that things will work out for the best, especially after a period of setback or obstructions.

#6- Like You'll Never See Me Again by Alicia Keys
I don't want to forget that the present is a gift... 
And I don't want to take for granted the time you may have here with me... 
'Cuz lord knows another day is not really guaranteed...

The Metal Element teaches us how to live in the moment, to truly bow to now, honoring what we have before it's gone. It requires that we bring our full presence to our lives.  Now that smartphones and the internet and all kinds of gadgets can take us instantly to another time and place, it's easier to not be fully in the moment.  Star Ruby is a gem elixir that helps ground more fully into the present , so that we are able to focus on what's right in front of us.

#7- Lost Ones by Jay Z featuring Chrisette Michelle
Lost one...  Let go to get one... lose some to win some...

Business partners.  Friends.  Lovers.  Family.  Everyone is in our life for a reason, season, or lifetime. And whether by choice or by circumstance,  there may come a time to part ways.  No matter the cause, the appropriately named Bleeding Heart is a widely applicable flower essence for self-containment in the face of separation from another.  Its helps us when our hearts are so extended that we begin to lose the boundaries of where we begin and they end. Also worth noting that grief does not always show up as sadness- I love this song because the dance of Metal and the Wood Element in Lost Ones give us a different picture of how we move through loss.  And who better to illustrate how to keep the Ego forces intact in the face of lost ones than Mr. Carter?  #justsaying

#8- Say Something by A Great Big World f/ Christina Aguilera
OK. Speaking of Bleeding Heart, can I just say this song is one of the most heartbreaking songs I've ever heard? Sheesh! Straight tearjerker.  It opens with piano chords that remind me of autumn leaves gently surrendering to the earth, just as the lyrics represent that final moment of letting go. In times like this, I recommend Yerba Santa flower essence, which helps to release deep grief and sadness that constricts the chest. 

#9- More to Life by Fertile Ground
All the pain and stress, all the bills and the tests, 
those things can't hurt me...
Cuz there's more to life. So much more to life.

The Metal Element gifts us with inspiration, the ability to see beyond the everyday to the quintessential divinity of all life.  But sometimes in our day to day routine, we lose sight of that inspiration, giving rise to fatigue and Monday morning blues- everyday.  If your days are feeling mundane and overwhelmingly uninspired, try Hornbeam flower essence to give your soul an inspired lift.  

#10- Angel by Sarah McLachlan
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of the angel, 
may you find some comfort here

The hauntingly angelic and breathless voice of Sarah McLachlan in this song is oh so Metal. Through the Metal Element we find redemption, freedom from suffering as out experiences are refined and transmuted to the highest good of humanity.  In our deepest moments of loneliness and despair, Angelika flower essence helps us to remember that we are never truly alone. Our ancestors and guardians stand ever ready to support- or carry us- through tough times. 

What other songs on your playlist evoke the Metal Element?

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