Category Archives: Family Harmony

What is the measure of a man?

Dean and kids ~~~~~Is it by the measure of his biceps? Or the amount of love in his heart?  Is it how much he can push his way through?  Or how gentle he can be in carrying his child?  I once heard the definition of a good ‘husbandman‘ (gardener) as one who knows when to plant the seed.  I would add that it is equally important to know how to care for the seed so it can grow to fullness and bear the fruits of its harvest.

I am grateful to have found such a man in Dean Evenson who has been such a good husband to me and father to our three children.  He has also been the father of Soundings of the Planet and all the musicians who have come through our studio.  The burden of a father can be heavy and we need to remember that fathers need all the love and support they can get.  So as Father’s Day approaches, let us remember to honor the fathers in our lives and let them feel supported too.

I was intrigued to learn that Father’s Day was first started in Spokane, Washington at the YMCA in 1910 by Sonora Smart Dodd.  Her father, William Jackson Smart, was a Civil War veteran and a single parent who raised his six children there.  In 1909, after she heard a sermon about Mother’s Day being started by Ann Jarvis , she told her pastor that fathers should have a similar holiday honoring them. She initially suggested June 5, her father’s birthday, but the pastors did not have enough time to prepare their sermons so the celebration was deferred to the third Sunday of June.  Its first celebration was in the Spokane YMCA on June 19, 1910.  

Take advantage of our Father’s Day sale of Soundings of the Planet music. 

Mother’s Day Began to Honor Peace Building Efforts by Women

Rose with dewMother’s Day has a long a various history but what is most exciting to me is that it was founded to honor women’s work in the field of peace building.  As early as the mid-19th century, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia started Mother’s Day Work Clubs to teach local women how to better care for their children. Later, in 1868, she organized Mothers’ Friendship Day that brought together women from north and south to promote reconciliation after the divisive Civil War.

Soon thereafter in 1870, Julia Ward Howe, an abolitionist and suffragette, wrote the ‘Mother’s Day Proclamation’ which was a call to action asking mothers to unite in promoting world peace.  The official holiday that we call Mother’s Day began in the 1900s by Anna Jarvis, the daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis, who wanted to honor her mother’s work for peace and all the mothers who sacrificed so much for their children.  In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure to make the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day but by then, the day had become so commercialized that Anna Jarvis disowned the holiday.

Needless to say, florists, greeting card companies and other retailers have benefited from this holiday honoring mothers which apparently is one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending. Mother’s Day has now spread around the world and is celebrated differently in many cultures.  The holiday has also been used to launch various campaigns to support underprivileged women and children and highlight the need for equal rights and childcare.

Whatever your path, whether your mother is living or passed on, whether you are motherless or have a full brood, we know we all come from our mothers.  Whether your mother was the best super mom in the world, or if your mother wasn’t quite what you had hoped for in a mother, we wish you the blessings of peace and reconciliation in your family.  Happy Mother’s Day.

And hopefully, not to seem too commercial, Soundings of the Planet’s Mother’s Day CD sale ends on May 11 so you can take advantage of it for yourself or a late gift for your mom.

Have you heard about children with Nature Deficit Disorder?

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  ~ Albert Einstein

4 kids in tree
April is here, the month of spring emerging and anticipation of the resurrection of all of nature.  It’s also the time that many of us acknowledge and celebrate Earth Day. But did you know that today, an unprecedented majority of children in modern societies have what is being called ‘Nature Deficit Disorder?’  That wouldn’t apply to the kids sitting in the tree pictured here though, but according to a report on BBC about a three-year study done in Britain, only one-fifth of the children aged 8-12 were ‘connected to nature.’  That means four-fifths or a staggering 80% of children have little or no connection with nature.

Why should this matter?  In recent years, a lot of research has focused on the negative effects that result from lack of contact with nature.  In 2012, Britain’s National Trust published a report on the phenomenon of ‘nature deficit disorder.’   Though it is not yet recognized as a medical condition, this lack of connection with nature can have harmful, long lasting effects on children of all ages.  With the pervasive use of technology by younger and younger children, the growth of virtual, as opposed to reality-based play is having a profound effect on children’s physical and emotional lives. Mental health disorders including depression and self-harming can often be a result of this nature disconnect.

According to Sue Armstrong-Brown, head of RSPB, Britain’s largest nature conservation charity, “improving the natural connection for children is not only good for the youngsters, it is crucial for the future of nature conservation.  If we can grow a generation of children that have a connection to nature and do feel a sense of oneness with it, we then have the force for the future that can save nature and stop us living in a world where nature is declining.”

Dean video pink flowersBecause of their deep love and concern for the natural world, Dudley and Dean Evenson have dedicated their life and work to elevating awareness and appreciation for the earth, our planet, our only home.  They remember the very first Earth Day back in 1970. And in 1972, with Dudley being five months pregnant, they back-packed across Sweden to the first United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.  There they met Native Americans who were talking about Mother Earth and saying that the planet itself is an actual living being providing for all our physical needs and we are destroying her.  The Evensons were just beginning to work with the early portable video camera so they were able to document their experience in Stockholm and all that they were learning.  These videos and others ended up in a DVD released recently called ‘2 U.N. Earth Summits: 1972 & 1992’ of their experiences in Stockholm and later in Rio de Janeiro.

Then in 1979, Soundings of the Planet was formed to be a voice of the earth.  Dean had recorded the sounds of dawn in the Arizona desert and added their peaceful music of flute and harp and a whole new genre of music was born.  For over three decades, Dean and Dudley have produced CDs and DVDs that focus on peaceful, natural environments.  In celebration of Earth Day, Soundings of the Planet is offering super discounts on all Soundings albums that include natural sounds including our new 4 Earth CD and 4 Earth DVD of only natural sounds.  Please share with your children, grandchildren, or just enjoy them yourself.

Power of Love to Overcome Conflict

As I prepared for the birth of my first child over forty years ago, one of the things I knew I needed to deal with was my long-standing conflict with my parents.  Ever since my husband, Dean Evenson, and I had been living together and growing our hair out and expressing our controversial ideas against war and for civil rights issues, we had an uncomfortable relationship with my parents.  Since I had begun to see the world differently from my parents and develop a more free spirited lifestyle in keeping with my true nature, we had not been able to see eye to eye and I had felt terribly judged by them.  It hurt me deeply. As I approached my own parenthood, I decided to thoughtfully look at what was going on.
Heart Rocks

One day, I had the startling realization that I had equally strong judgments about my parents as they did of me.  I judged their judgments, their prejudices, their conservatism, their materialism, and their affluent lifestyle.  It occurred to me, on the eve of my becoming a mother, that I couldn’t change them, but I could change myself.  I could let go of my judgments and love them unconditionally.  With some effort, but also with a great feeling of relief I did just that.  I let the love return that I had felt in my earlier years, and I just appreciated my parents as who they are, not who I thought they should be.  Interestingly, within a few weeks, we had the first real communication in years.  I hadn’t sent them a letter or called to announce my change of heart, but somehow, it had gotten through, and we renewed our family ties.

Years later I took a workshop that introduced the idea of ‘Changing Your Telepathic Agreement’ with someone you are in conflict with.  The way it works is this – you bring that person into your consciousness and in a meditative state you speak to their ‘higher self’.  At the beginning, you let them have it.  In other words, you say all the things that are bothering you about that person, words that you might not want to say in person but what you are truly feeling.  By the end of the first session you shift and begin to say things like ‘but I understand how you may have become this way’…or ‘I know you are trying to change.’  You do the meditation day after day with each day having less of the first part (‘you make me mad, you hurt me’) and more of the second part (‘we are getting closer to understanding, I forgive, etc.). You can also create a forgiveness mantra and sing it to yourself.  It could be something simple like ‘I forgive you and you forgive me.’  Give it a melody and sing it whenever the person comes to mind. If you do this practice with conviction and repetition, you will find that soon, your projection of the conflict is changing and no matter how much they may have harmed you, when you think of that person, your thoughts won’t carry as much charge, and eventually you will find a peaceful resolution of the conflict with them.  In any event, you will have more inner peace and isn’t that what forgiveness is all about?

The Holly and the Ivy

The Holly and the Ivy, When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood, The holly bears the crown.
~ Old French Carol

Holly-snowWhen I was growing up, this was always my father’s favorite carol.  For some reason it often brought tears to his eyes.  So when I think of it, I am remembering this sweet connection with my dad.  I have often wondered about this song and why it elicited such emotion for him so I did a little research on holly itself.

For thousands of years, holly has had special meaning with many cultures each adding a new layer of significance.  The early Druids saw holly and ivy as female and male – holly stood for the Goddess with her red berries representing the blood of fertility.  Ivy was her consort.

Apparently the Romans thought holly was given by the god Saturn and it figured heavily in the wild and sensual Saturnalia festivals.  It was used by early Christians to decorate their houses during Saturnalia in mid-December so they would blend in and avoid Roman persecution

Over the years, holly has been connected with the Christmas season.  Perhaps, due to its thorny nature, holly could have been seen as the crown of thorns that Jesus was forced to wear – the holly ‘bears the crown’.  It also looks so beautiful in the snow with its bright red berries and shiny green leaves and adds to the cheerfulness of the season.

Its upright growth and deep reaching roots speak to strength and goodness.  In the Bach Flower Remedy pharmacopeia, holly can support healing the inner soul and stimulating a loving nature.  Dean and I have several tall holly bushes outside our door which the birds love to visit.  Now that I know more about holly, I will respect this great and powerful gift of nature even more.

Welcome to Healthy Living Dreams

Welcome to Healthy Living Dreams! The official blog of Dudley Evenson, co-founder of Soundings of the Planet. Featuring helpful hints, inspiring stories and guidance on how to live a healthy life in harmony with others & the planet