Monthly Archives: March 2017

‘Who We Are’ – song lyrics

spark at centre

This song is dedicated to everyone who’s going to be involved in ‘Reconnecting Education’, our global movement for education that focuses on igniting Deep Love in people’s hearts by helping them reconnect with nature, creativity, community and their authentic emotions.

Reconnecting Education will be launching on March 20th, Spring Equinox, with a dedication ceremony shortly after 12 noon at the beautiful Chalice Well Gardens in Glastonbury, England.  On the same day, our Patreon platform will go live!  I’ll be posting more information in the next few days to let you know how you can get involved, but meanwhile please feel free to e-mail me if you’d like a sneak preview.

Enjoy these lyrics while I am still getting up the courage to post the audio. I’m aiming to do that before launch day.  One step at a time…

WHO WE ARE

There’s no dream too big for us, and in our souls we always knew it:

We’ve waved goodbye to doubts and fears, and now we’re certain we can do it…

We’ve seen the way that things can be, now it’s our time, the world is waiting…

With shining eyes we spread the word about the vision we’re creating.

Now the spark at the centre of our spiral is alight, and we’re on fire,

And the energy of love flows through us, bringing all that we desire…

Now we’re spinning in space like a cosmic superstar,

Now we’ve woken up and remembered who we are.

Touch a heart, transform a life: for us it only takes a minute.

And if we don’t know where we’re going, let’s just trust, and then begin it…

Let’s make some miracles today, we are the source of hope and healing:

We’ll sing it all from soul to soul, there is no language for this feeling!

 

 

Now the spark at the centre of our spiral is alight, and we’re on fire,

And the energy of love flows through us, bringing all that we desire…

Now we’re spinning in space like a cosmic superstar,

Now we’ve woken up and remembered who we are.

 

 

Who you are is who I am, and who we are is the beginning,

We are the light, we are the love that keeps the stars and planets spinning,

We stand united and we know the time has come to reconnect now,

And we’ll create an education built on justice and respect now!

 

 

When the spark at the centre of your spiral’s set alight, you’ll be on fire,

Let the energy of love flow through you, bringing all that you desire…

Join us spinning in space like a cosmic superstar,

For you’ve woken up and remembered who you are.

 

By Gemma Burford, 2017.  Shared under Creative Commons: Attribution-ShareAlike (BY-SA).  This licence grants you permission to share freely and make derivative versions, translations, etc., provided that you cite Gemma Burford as the original author and require all future users to do the same.

 

 

Advertisements

Solving the mental health crisis demands an education revolution

Education in most industrialised societies is failing to generate human well-being.  We all know it.  We see the evidence everywhere: soaring rates of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, stress, abuse, addictions, self-harm and suicide, especially among children and adolescents.  And it’s not likely to get better any time soon.

Even if we didn’t have that evidence, we’d still know in our hearts that the combination of English, maths, science, geography, history and a modern foreign language – the subjects endorsed by the British government as its ‘English Baccalaureate’, on which schools’ performance is judged – isn’t enough for people to thrive.

These subjects might (or might not) be useful, but they don’t set our souls on fire.  They don’t light us up inside with joy and excitement.  They don’t spark the kind of power, passion and purpose that’s needed to keep us mentally healthy.

What our young people need is nothing less than a global education revolution.

Yet when we start with policies, or with curriculum design, we get it all wrong.  As Helen Keller once put it, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be eflt with the heart.”

As educators, our first and most important duty is to learn to thrive.

dscf3834

We need to put Deep Love at the centre of all our education systems – not love in a Hollywood romantic sense, but a `Love with a capital L’ that’s based on acceptance, forgiveness, compassion and gratitude towards ourselves, other people, and the world around us.

We need to reconnect with nature, creativity, community, and our own emotions – knowing that these four inter-related processes of reconnecting have a two-way relationship with Deep Love. When we reconnect, we increase the love that we feel for ourselves, other people, and the world.  And when we start from Love – whether in the context of a recognised religion or spiritual path, or just from our own personal practice and experience – we increase our ability to reconnect meaningfully.

gem pics aug 2012 313

Has your light been dimmed recently?   Are bureaucracy, exam preparation and marking bringing you down?  Are you overwhelmed, under pressure, exhausted, overworked, swamped, stressed?  If so, please treat the relighting of your own inner spark as an emergency. 

Write your own prescription – whether it’s a walk through the woods, a couple of hours spent on a creative activity that you love, a gathering with friends who understand you, or even just quiet time to work through something in your personal life that’s been bothering you.

Then take it one level deeper. 

Instead of just walking through the woods, walk in and with the woods.  Listen to the birds; engage the trees in conversation.

In your painting, poetry, dancing or singing, try something you’ve never done before. Push the boundaries of what you think is ‘acceptable’.  Don’t just settle for creating the nice fluffy thing that everyone loves: make art that means something to you.  You don’t have to publish / share / broadcast / perform it to the whole world, if you don’t want to.

With your friends, don’t just chat about the weather: create a safe space for sharing your dreams, hopes and goals for the month ahead, and genuinely listening to what they’re saying too. Explore whether there’s something you can start to build together.

And when you find that quiet place, take the risk of melting the ice a little bit, and letting yourself feel the feelings that you’ve been shutting off for so long.  Cry it all out, wail and howl out loud, as long as you can get to a place where it won’t upset the neighbours.  Yes, it hurts like hell.  But in the long run, your mental health will be better for it.

WP_20160811_20_22_24_Pro.jpg

Allow yourself to love deeper than you ever dreamed you could.  Melt yourself down, if you have to, and start over.  Become more vulnerable.  Become more passionate.  Become more raw and messy and outside-the-box.

Become more alive.

Become the educator you wish you’d had as a child.  And if the inspector, or the principal, or the dean doesn’t like it… make your own path.

Be a freelancer.  Be a homeschooler. Be a tutor.  Be a mover and shaker.  Be the founder of a new kind of educational initiative that’s never been seen before.   But whatever you are… be yourself.

 

 

‘Taking that one small step’ – song lyrics

Since I quit my full-time research job last November, I’ve found myself writing songs.

No, that’s not quite the right way to explain it.  It’s not as if I write them out in music notation.  I could probably do that if I really tried, but it’s been a quarter of a century since I last had anything to do with formal composition or music theory. It feels more as if songs have been finding me, and I’ve been singing them into existence.

Sometimes I start with a line, and sometimes with a melody: but one thing that all the songs have in common is that they’re intended to inspire and motivate. This weekend, on Sunday 12th March, I’m taking one small step: hosting a workshop called “Sing Your Dreams Into Reality”.  It’s an

This weekend, on Sunday 12th March, I’m taking one small step: hosting a workshop called “Sing Your Dreams Into Reality”.  It’s an event for anyone who wants to use the power of song to rewire their brain for success, happiness and well-being.  When you think about it, it makes perfect sense.  How many times have you had a song going round and round on a continuous loop in your head – even one you learned as a child?  And how many times have you been told that ‘affirmations’ are the way to train your subconscious mind to overcome fears, change your habits, or stop repelling money?  So instead of just repeating the affirmations, why not sing them instead?

While I was on a train to Brighton earlier today, this line started singing itself in my brain: I’m taking this one small step.  If you’ve ever had the misfortune to be on a train from Southampton to Brighton, you’ll know that it’s a very long and very slow journey.  The train, which is nearly always running late (although, to be fair, it was on time today!) seems to stop at every little seaside village on the south coast: Durrington-on-Sea, Goring-by-Sea,  Shoreham-by-Sea, and everywhere in between.  So by the time I got to Brighton, the lyrics to the entire song had unfolded.

Here it is: I hope you enjoy it, relate to it, and put it into practice!  If you’re in the UK and would like to learn to sing it, please come along to my workshop on Sunday.

th

One Small Step

 I’m taking this one small step beyond the world I know:

Today I will reach a place I’ve never dared to go,

And I just don’t care what people say,

I’m gonna feel the fear and do it anyway:

I’m taking that one small step that lets my passion grow…

 

Because life was meant for living, for exploring and forgiving,

Doesn’t matter if they call me mad or weird or strange:

For I may never get another chance to join this wild and crazy dance,

I can’t keep waiting around for someone else to change!

 

I’m taking this one small step that brings my soul alive,

With barriers breaking down, my heart’s in overdrive,

Don’t you tell me that it can’t be done,

‘Cause I will not give up before I have begun:

I’m taking that one small step, just watch me learn to thrive!

 

Because life was meant for living, for exploring and forgiving,

Doesn’t matter if they call me mad or weird or strange:

For I may never get another chance to join this wild and crazy dance,

I can’t keep waiting around for someone else to change!

 

I’m taking that one small step: oh, can you understand?

On days when I don’t feel brave, will you please hold my hand?

Will you show me that I’m not alone,

And will you find one step that you can call your own?

For when we step up together, we can change this land!

 

Because life was meant for living, for exploring and forgiving,

Doesn’t matter if they call us mad or weird or strange:

For we may never get another chance to join this wild and crazy dance,

We can’t keep waiting around for someone else to change!

 (Repeat final chorus to fade)