Dorothy Cresswell, Helen Fortier, and Katie Tolles - Offering the magic of singing together
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Dorothy's Blog

I stand all amazed!

Like the rest of humanity, I have never found a word that adequately names the Un-nameable, that is generally referred to as God, YHWH, or Abba.  I think the Native American term "The Great Mystery" comes closest for me.  What I do have confidence in is that there is a deeper, wider, higher, and wiser SOMETHING that I am saying more and more "Yes!" to, doing my best to step out of my doubt and allow it to move through me into this hurting world.
That said, I am a witness. 
Leadership does not come naturally to me.  Being in the younger bunch of a family of eight, I always had others to set the agenda and to cooperate with.  Being a twin who strongly resembled my twin sister (family debates on whether we were identical or note went on for years), I blended in and it might have been me or my sister at any given moment. At home we were called, "the twins" and at school when we were in the same class and raised a hand the teacher would call out, "Mary/Dottie, Dottie/Mary, whoever you are!" I got used to being this blurry person. Liked well-enough, but not exactly a stand-out!

So it has taken a lifetime to unlearn those early experiences.  Living 1000 miles apart from my sister now, nobody mixes us up anymore. But my inward "hide in the crowd and watch and go along with"  rule of the day has taken much longer to shake. I missed the incognito mode of being lost in the crowd and had to start taking responsibility for what was or wasn't happening in my life!

Fast brought lessons of curiosity.  I hung around with people learning about energetic healing.  They could see auras, hear channeled messages, see movies inside their heads that they felt were spiritually inspired.  I was fascinated but didn't experience those things.  Occasionally I felt a bit of heat in my hands.  That's it. I wished I had their gifts! But I didn't.

Then, one chilly winter January day five years ago, a friend at church invited whosoever would to go over to the local nursing home and sing Christmas carols with the people there.  Sure, I thought, that would be a friendly thing to do.  

That day changed my life. When singing in a sunroom where several residents were hanging out, one woman started crying. She explained that the young woman in the wheelchair next to her was singing! In four years since that young woman had been placed there after a tragic car accident in college, she had never been able to speak! And today she was singing!!

For a year I went around telling people about that powerful experience.  Music, the act of singing, could heal!  Could reach places medicine couldn't and free the soul! We must do more of this!!  The simple act of singing was within reach of anybody any time!! We must do more of this, especially with people who are hurt, in body or in soul!!  Let's do it!! Let's do it!!

And I waited for someone else to name when, where, and for whom we would do it.
One day I finally got it.  They weren't going to do it. This call had been laid, planted, and nurtured in my heart. Not someone else's.

 I was filled with self-doubt.  I felt there were so many stronger musicians than me who would be critical of my efforts. I just felt smaller and less smart than the many capable people who led other projects at our church.  I felt embarrassed to stand up and say I was doing this and would others please  join me?

But then I thought of the woman who had been trapped in a silent world until our singing visit.  I knew there were others who could benefit.  And it was really such a simple thing to do....

Well, for the first year it was as I had feared.  My wife came in support of me, and two long-time friends. Occasionally one other woman would drop by.  But that was it. 
We hung in there, the four of us, until I got very sick and was bedridden for months.

But something we couldn't see was happening during that inward time.  When I was strong enough to return to this intention, there was new response. Now we have a thriving circle called The Healing Circle Singers, where 9-18 people come together weekly for one faithful hour to sing and pray and do hands-on healing for one another and the world.  It has a life of its own and I am clear as a bell that it is in our opening to Spirit, the Great Mystery, moving through us, and our willingness to open our hearts and voices, that healing love and energy is channeled.

I know that God works with the small and the weak.  It does not need to be any bigger. This is abundant and enough. 

But God is doing a new thing!  Wednesday we had someone new visit for the second time.  She loved it and wrote about it on Facebook.  An alternative healer, an oncologist in Columbia, South America, saw it and contacted me. Yesterday we talked, and next Wednesday she will be starting two different healing singing circles, one of 15 people, and one with ten!
I stand all amazed!

We bring what we have, some loaves, some fishes, what we've got.  And God will do the multiplying.  It's an old old story, and I am reading it in a brand new way.  Jesus knew what he was talking about!  Blessings to all.

51 Comments to I stand all amazed!:

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Clara Tehada on Saturday, October 26, 2013 9:54 AM
Hi Dorothy! As I told you yesterday, the Universe just opens up when the intention is from and for the light! since yesterday I had 2 more calls from cities near mine women who need healing and ask for us to go help them trough our loving women's healing circles. It is growing, and it has been possible thanks to the support I received from you and Toby Monte. Many many bleesing to you!
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Dorothy Cresswell on Sunday, October 27, 2013 1:22 PM
HI Clara! Your spirit has been so near these last few days! I am amazed to hear how swiftly the Spirit is spreading the word in your area, and that you are ready and willing to give shape to the circles there in Columbia!! Blessings galore. Do stay in touch!

Roger Conant on Saturday, October 26, 2013 11:17 AM
Just this morning I had a deep conversation with a friend who spent a weekend in Ashfield, in a singing workshop led by four African-Americans, with 100 whites in the workshop. It was not only a time of fun, joy, and spirituality, but at the end - skipping details - a time of very great racial healing. When we sing together, we come together in some very deep mystical way.
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Dorothy Cresswell on Sunday, October 27, 2013 1:27 PM
Dear Roger, That is wonderful to hear---how much healing we need in the area of racism. What a testimony those 100 white women and 4 African Americans have to share. I bet it was the workshop in Rowe on Columbus Day weekend? I know two people who were there. Music goes where even we don't consciously know, until later...what a blessing to keep inviting others to sing, as you do each month!

LeslieScott on Saturday, October 26, 2013 2:02 PM
Hi Dorothy Beautifully expressed! I have always resonated with the phrase "the Great Mystery". For me this means something far beyond what I can wrap my human brain around to define, categorize, describe. Thank you for this invitation and for being a witness. Leslie
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Dorothy Cresswell on Sunday, October 27, 2013 1:29 PM
Thanks for reading the blog, Leslie, and for writing. I had a CD for you last week, but will save it for next time. We use a lot of Helen's music at the Healing Circle. Helen comes when she is able.

ivy on Saturday, October 26, 2013 4:11 PM
God is so good, all the time...
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Dorothy Cresswell on Sunday, October 27, 2013 1:31 PM
Thanks for reading it, Ivy, and for your own statement of faith/experience. Amen, my sister, amen!

Dorothy Cresswell on Sunday, October 27, 2013 1:35 PM
Oh, Mary, you are such an affirming soul! Funny how others see us versus how we see ourselves...I'm grinning at you pulling up that song of mine from over 20 years ago!! We were beacons of light to one another, you and Linda and me. And I know our spirits have only grown since then. Blessings on all you set your heart on, my dear friend.

Mary Ginley on Saturday, October 26, 2013 7:52 PM
Ahh. To me, you have always been beautiful and brave, strong and afraid of nothing. I have gained strength from your courage and your compassion. Your inner light has been a beacon for me for so long. Thank God we're more than we thought we were...right?
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Dorothy Cresswell on Sunday, October 27, 2013 1:40 PM
Well,Mary, I sent you a comment, but it attached to Ivy's, just above your. Sorr! I tried to get it back, but it won't let go! So please read my note to you, after Ivy's!

Miriam Berkman on Sunday, October 27, 2013 12:17 PM
Just reading this Dottie filled my heart and soul with that "Great Mystery." As singing does. Best on this work. Peace.
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Dorothy Cresswell on Sunday, October 27, 2013 1:44 PM
HI Midge! What a wonderful way to connect meaningfully. Thank you so much for reading this and for responding from your open heart and soul. I am beginning to appreciate the reach and possibility of this new technology!! You always bring me joy. Friends forever!

Shannon Gamble on Sunday, October 27, 2013 3:11 PM
There was so much open hearted LOVE just pouring through your post Dorothy. Thank you so much for taking the effort to express so beautifully your appreciation and wonder. I agree that the healing of the planet will happen just like this, one person at a time, reaching out to others. Thanks for reaching out. With love.
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Dorothy Cresswell on Monday, October 28, 2013 8:19 AM
Shannon, I follow your beautiful posts of your beautiful family and say to myself, they sure have made some great choices. I am happy to say that I feel like I'm making some good choices too. Life is like going to a smorgasbord of choices, and sorting out which things to put on our plates, isn't it? Thank you for reading my blog and checking out my new web site for what I've put on my plate at this point in my life. What I'm amazed at is what God does with what we tentatively put there! Love and blessings to all of you!

Peggy Kornegger on Sunday, October 27, 2013 5:12 PM
Dorothy This is just beautiful!! I have tears in my eyes reading it. I feel all that you say deep in my heart and soul. What is interesting is that I've been having a somewhat similar experience with my writing and just with my life in general. Something greater than me is moving me beyond my own occasional desire to remain invisible. I believe we are all being called to be our soul selves in the world in whatever form that takes--and to share the journey with others! The power of that is at the heart of the Great Mystery: Amazing Grace!!! I love you and your beautiful soul--thank you for sharing this! Peggy
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Dorothy Cresswell on Monday, October 28, 2013 8:22 AM
Peggy, what a loving reply. Clearly we are sisters in love with the same Mystery. In our own way we share it with others. Your blogs have been soooo encouraging for me and I thank you for your willingness to write what you are living....and Anne's art and Dusty's books are all intermingled with something beyond what we can ever know. Love and blessings right back to you, my friend.

Anne Katzeff on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 4:00 PM
What a beautiful story, Dorothy, very inspiring! When we follow our passion and listen to what's in our heart, unexpected things will happen.
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Dorothy Cresswell on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 6:24 PM
Yes, Anne, I AM learning the blessings of this internet age! This is one of my favorite information age connections! Tomorrow the women in Cali, Columbia will hold their first circles (two, and two more cities have contacted her since she called these two together!)inspired by our little faithful crew...too amazing! Blessings on your beautiful expressions of your own call through art and color and beauty.

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