I so appreciate you finding your way here. May our association help both of us dive deeper into the healing currents of love's presence.

Let's begin with two songs of mine, Teach Me How To Love, and It Takes Courage. They will get you in the mood....

1. http://ia700404.us.archive.org/10/items/TeachMeHowToLove_725/01TeachMeHowToLove.mp3

2. http://ia700400.us.archive.org/4/items/ItTakesCourage/08ItTakesCourage.mp3

(sample more at www.scottsongs.com)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Singing John Denver

By Scott Kalechstein Grace

I was presenting a lecture and a workshop on the healing power of music at a Mind, Body & Spirit Conference in Spokane, Washington. The Exhibit Hall outside the conference rooms was a thriving marketplace, complete with psychics, healers, and crystal salespeople offering their wares to shoppers looking for a tweak in their reality. Guitar in hand, I occasionally strolled the grounds, asking assorted attendees if they would like a song. One such woman replied with gusto, "Yes. Please sing me something from John Denver!" I graciously informed her that I was a prolific songwriter in my own light, and that I would much prefer to sing her one of my own. "John Denver!" she replied in a demanding tone that grated on my nerves.

Unconsciously, I tried to match her energy, in an attempt to protect mine. With a louder than usual voice bursting with cockiness and just a hint of arrogance, I suggested to her that she give me a topic, anything about her world or her life, so that I could instantly improvise a song just for her.  "John Denver is what I want!" she exclaimed with a sense of entitlement that had officially begun to piss me off.

Abandoning what was left of my patience, I blasted her with a direct hit from my ego's bullhorn, informing her that I had nine wonderful CD's of my own, thank you, and that if she wasn't so fixated on John Denver she might have a peak Rocky Mountain High experience hearing something new from someone who might very well be the next up and coming John Denver!

"John Denver, please." 

I felt heat rising up my neck. I was starting to take this a bit too seriously. Tempted to move on to greener pastures and more flexible ears, I took a breath, and asked for help in surrendering the power struggle that had infiltrated my nervous system. I looked into her eyes, and before my prosecuting mind could continue its case against her, began to play her Annie's Song, one of my favorite John Denver ballads.

As I started singing "You fill up my senses…" she began crying. In fact, she was openly weeping, with a big grin on her face as well. There we were, sharing an intimate and touching moment, right in the midst of the busy marketplace. Her tears were confusing to me. I thought about stopping the song to offer my support, but her beaming smile told me she was quite all right.

When I finished she practically crushed my guitar in her efforts to hug me. I was hoping for a few words about the depth of her feelings, and she didn't disappoint. "I met John Denver once in Colorado and he serenaded me just like you did. I will never forget the personal interest and warmth he showed me. Your song brought it all back. I needed that today. Thank you so much."

I went back to my booth, stirred up by the experience. I reflected on how close I came to passing her by and not honoring her request.  She asked me for love in the language she could best receive it, and I was grateful I had summoned up the willingness to give it.

I thought about the potential moments of connection I have missed, the times I have refused to speak somebody's John Denver, insisting on communicating in the language of my own comfort zone, rather than seeking to learn a bit about their dialect.

When I coach and counsel people, I want to converse in a way they can best hear me. If ‘inner child' is a foreign concept, or if the word ‘God' closes the mind, I try to remember there are an infinite number of ways to say the same thing. Could I say it differently? Can I be linguistically creative and flexible?

Recently I had a session from a woman who could only communicate in lingo she had learned from a personal growth workshop she was involved in, one that I had not taken. How frustrating! How limiting!

In matters of the heart, it pays to learn a second language, especially the one of the beloved in front of you. A person with painful sunburn does not enjoy receiving love in the language of a bear hug. Someone with a pressing fear of abandonment may not speak the same love language as a person who leads with a fear of entrapment.

Have you ever noticed that these two, one expressing abandonment fears and the other frightened of losing freedom and autonomy, tend to be irresistibly drawn to each other? These are matches made in Heaven, a divine language laboratory with mighty potential for healing and growth. "Don't leave me" and "I need space" join in holy friction so that the two can grow through and past the language barrier between them.

As Paul and Layne Cutright, authors of You Are Never Upset For The Reason You Think, remind us: "Relationships live or die in language." Most relationship problems can be traced not to a lack of love, but to a lack of language skills.

When I take my work to foreign countries, the people are so pleased when I make an attempt, no matter how clumsy, to communicate in their native tongue. My intention is always warmly and graciously received. Marshall Rosenberg, international peacemaker and teacher of non-violent communication skills, is constantly reminding his students that our heartfelt intention to connect is always more important than our skills or lack thereof. He encourages us to always put connection before correction.


The language of love is the language of the one before us. In all our relations, whether between countries or partners, it is our sincere intent to learn the language of the one we are communicating with that builds a bridge between hearts, making us multi-lingual lovers and personal as well as planetary peacemakers.

"I am here to be truly helpful."
-A Course In Miracles

Described as a cross between John Denver, Eckhart Tolle, and Robin Williams, Scott Kalechstein Grace has been a full time inspirational speaker, relationship coach, musician, writer, and transformational humorist since 1990, with nine CD's distributed internationally. A pioneer in the field of music improvisation, Scott creates therapeutic "Song Portraits", original compositions of voice and guitar, created in the moment for people wishing greater clarity or guidance on specific issues, and recorded onto CD. His entertaining website is at www.scottsongs.com.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Containing Our Reactors

By Scott Kalechstein Grace

What do you think spreads and kills faster, radioactivity coming from a meltdown at a power plant, or mushroom clouds of fear coming from a mind that has forgotten it's power source?

Learning to contain and cool down our ego reactors with the healing waters of love, safety, and gratitude is crucial for a happy and productive journey on this planet. No matter what is going on outside of us, we are always deciding between responding with love or reacting in fear. And whatever we choose, we can always choose differently in the next moment. And the next. We all get reactive and have meltdowns. It's how quickly we clean them up that counts.

Early this week I was sitting in the dentist's chair getting a cavity worked on, the most troublesome of three that the x-rays had found. I hadn't been in for a check-up in over two years, feeling scarce about both time and money, I and now I was going to have to pay the price of neglect and cough up some time and money. Halfway into the process my dentist looked concerned, stopping and frowning. She called an associate into the room for a second opinion and the two of them stared into the hole in my tooth. The usual playful banter and levity in the office had suddenly been replaced by a dense layer of seriousness. They left the room and whispered outside the door, just beyond the scope of my radar. When they came back, they announced in solemn unison that my tooth needed root canal.


My family and I had been going though financial challenges for over two years, and so the first words out of my numb, cotton-ladened mouth was "How much is it going to cost?" The price quoted made me wish I had had nitrous oxide instead of anesthesia. At over $2000, this was going to drill quite an unexpected hole in the wallet. My thoughts spiraled into fear as I got on a runaway express train bound for Scare City.

I told them to get on with it and get it over with. The procedure, the actual root canal, was nowhere near as painful as my protest and resistance to what  had just been served up on my plate. The drama going on in my head was louder and more invasive than the dentist's noisy drill, as my mind kept spewing out endless variations on the themes of  "NO!" and "We're Doomed!"

This day was not going my way, but, much worse than that,  I was letting my fears go nuclear.

Fear, I believe, is always a lack attack, my ego's imaginary trip into a future of worst case scenarios. It plays out as a loud, unruly conversation in my head, one that in any moment I could interrupt and end by injecting some faith and coming into the safety and sanity of the present moment, noticing and appreciating all the overwhelming evidence within and around me that all is well.

And that's what I decided to do.

Right there in the chair I performed a self-administered intervention, trading in my grievances for gratitude, starting by silently saying thank you to the doctors who were using their skills to save my tooth.  Then I gave thanks for the opportunity before me to release myself more thoroughly from fear. My gratitude soon spread to include various blessings in my life - my health, relationships, peace of mind, the beauty of this planet. Finally, giving thanks for the miraculous gift of life itself, I found myself  reclaiming my joy and becoming peaceful again. I  spent the rest of the day being playful and joking with others about my adventures with root canal. My partner told me how uplifted she felt by how I was not letting this turn of events turn down my spirit. If anything, I was more turned on! My spirits were high because I had remembered that Spirit is who I am, Spirit is the only reality, and everything else in this world is the temporary passing parade of illusion, with no power but the power I give it.

For years I had been a conditional giver of thanks. I gave thanks when things went my way, and withheld my gratitude when life served up challenges, disappointments, or other assorted  learning opportunities. But for those of us wanting to use this lifetime for growth and mastery, the situations that stimulate our fears offer our greatest blessing. Healing cannot be found when fear is held at bay in the cozy harbor of our comfort zones. The experiences our egos shout no at can be be the very catalysts for awakening, the Zen whacks from a teacher's stick that cause us to get present, release identification with ego, and  more deeply find and dwell in a peace that is not of this world.

I used to play a game as a child called Hot Potato. Now I am playing it again, this time without the carbs. I am learning to drop my scary hot potato thoughts more and more quickly, sometimes instantly.  If someone actually threw you a painfully hot potato and you caught it, you would probably drop it at once. If it is our grievances, gripes, and fearful  thoughts that cause us mental and emotional pain, why not drop them as quickly as you would a hot potato? The other choice is to nurse them, get agreement about them from others, and huff and puff in radioactive clouds of righteousness, panic, and drama.


A nuclear free world begins in our heads, spreads to our hearts, and then goes viral all around the planet. When we are planted in our authentic power, no earthly power plant can hurt us. And love, divine love,  is our authentic power, our only security and safety, our only reality. It hurts like hell to contain it, so let's not. Let's spread it together.

Scott Kalechstein Grace is the author of Teach Me How To Love. He is also a counselor and coach, a modern day troubadour and inspirational speaker. He lives with his partner and daughter in Marin, California and loves presenting at conferences, giving talks, concerts and workshops.  In his phone counseling practice, he is a relationship specialist, helping both individuals and couples enjoy more conscious relationships. You can visit www.scottsongs.com to read more about his work, to hear his talks or to sample songs from his nine CD’s. Send him an email to receive writings like this one on a semi-occasional basis.