Summer 2020 for stories, humor and day-to-day updates click here

The Great Pause is what I have been calling this time. Because it slowed the world down as weíve never experienced in history. In my own life I have felt a lot of purpose. I know that with my songs and stories and writing and humor I can make some days better for a lot of people. I am so grateful that is possible. I just cannot think of any bigger reason to write a song or tell a story than to help someone feel heard or understood or less alone. So every day Iíve posted stories and essays and memoirs on Facebook, happy that for some they have made a difference.

I've also been making these simple videos of myself taking a few deep breaths and inviting you to join me. While Iíd love for everyone to be be meditating, which has a lot to do with why I created a meditation album last year, it can help a great deal in your life to simply pause and breathe more often. Breathe and give your attention to it. Thatís all conscious breathing is.

The first time I made a video of it, I acknowledged that it might be a little simplistic asking people to take a breath with me. Five minutes after I posted it, a man 3000 miles away wrote, ďYou have no idea how much I needed that.Ē And a woman equally far away wrote, ďI took a breath with you and burst into tears of relief.Ē So I knew then, itís impossible to be too simplistic when you are asking another human being to breathe with you. There is some kind of wonder in it and so I will continue it.

And something else in these strange times; Oh, so many emotions! When you have time to ponder your life, there are so many ups and downs of emotions in a day. I have lived that way for over thirty years, with much of my time my own. So much of this more open and quiet time wasnít greatly different up close where I live. And yet, just as you feel, I cannot forget that lives are being lost and families left in pain. And I am deeply sorry for that. If that has happened to you, my heart goes to you. When life comes to an end so fast for so many, it can feel that weíre unable to honor each person who passes. As if some giant tsunami swept in and took a hundred thousand people that day. But itís another thing that breathing can do, it can help you to move to your very core and focus there, loving, grieving, offering blessings to those around you.

As you may have seen on my homepage notice, I am beginning to offer online gatherings, classes, workshops. Iíve done them in person for nearly 30 years. All kinds of gatherings; Songwriting workshops, Creativity workshops, Gatherings for Writers and Meditators and just Friends coming together to share good will.

But now, Iím taking them online. And having explored this, video-visiting friends and seeing how intimate the experience can be, in some ways I think these will be even better for the attendees. Itís as if you and I are sitting across the table from each other. So we see and hear inflection and expression. And of course, Iíll sing a song or two each time. So weíll get a little bit of everything ó although I still have not learned to juggle. Except bags of groceries when I donít want to take two trips.

Last Winter I released Breathe the Sky - musical spoken word meditations. I have been so pleased by the responses of those how bought it and are using it in a regular practice. So many have told me of positive results almost right away. Better sleep, happier days. A man in Texas experienced a drop in blood pressure for the first time. Others have used them for relieving stress ó including some of my close friends. Some have meditated to these spoken words creations when they were ill or recovering. Some use them as a way to slow their racing thoughts, so that their lives a simpler and calmer and more peaceful. All of these things are likely if you listen and give your attention to them regularly.

I created many of them based on my songs. There is weather in them all, wind and surf and trees and blowing leaves. These natural elements calm us and call us into a quietness in our heart and soul. So I have based all my meditations on these.

As our country is opening up again, gradually allowing businesses to open and people to cautiously gather, I am hopeful. I do believe if we are smart about how we do this, we can move past it and be better for what weíve suffered. I know this; in my heart and mind I feel change, good change. But I know it will not all be easy. Still, when I know something difficult is ahead, I meditate more. I do it not because itís some religion to me, but because it helps me to access my own higher knowing, my soulís knowing. And when I do that, Iím less frightened in the world and more capable of flowing with what Life brings, and of enjoying being alive along the way. I wish that for you, my friends. Thank you so much for visiting me.
     In friendship,
   ~Michael Tomlinson 
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P.S. Iím creating a home-based video concert for posting on Youtube next month.
           Iíll let you know when itís ready.