“Help Us Love,” by Johanna Beekman & Mikey Pauker, available now!
I’m a writer of songs, not an essayist. And even if I were an essayist, I wouldn’t know how to begin to make essay-type sense of Love. That’s why I write songs. It started when I was nine. The first song I ever wrote was called A Little More Love. And love is still the center spoke of my wheel, the foundation of every single song I listen to, create, or sing along with.
As a matter of fact, singing along with your favorite tunes is a great place to begin when it comes to Love. Because when you open your throat and sing, some powerful juju kicks in. In the world I’ve been running in there’s a whole branch for the practice: Bhakti Yoga, where chanting is simply an act of devotion to the power of universal love. Over many years I’ve discovered that chants continue to be the very best way to access the heart without the pollution of the mind. It’s become my favorite form of prayer.
I discovered this years ago when I was hit by a drunk driver. I was a new yoga teacher who now couldn’t practice, so I sang and added some gentle movements. I got better. Eventually, I developed my own brand of yoga, Lullaby Yoga™.
These classes focus on coming home to the love that is always within, through nurturing movement and sound, or mantra. As I lead my students through these classes, my intention is always to first nurture the heart. From there everything else flows. All of these practices continue to have a powerful effect on the music I write. Because when all is said and done, everything comes from and returns to Love:
Beyond Birth, Beyond Color.
Beyond Love…is only Love.
(copyright Johanna Beekman, 2018)
Something magical happens when we sing or pray or practice together. We become entrained with others in the practice. When I started noticing this process I wrote a song about it: “Heart Beats One.” This feeling of connection with others has become such a big part of my life that I decided to change my name to Johanna Beekman. It’s my own little way to honor each uniting heartbeat we share. My song “Heart Beats One” says it better than the words I could write.
“Heart Beats One”
In our short sweet lives we’re all searching for the light
The same light that helps trees thrive
Our roots grow down, branches reach for the sky
I know Inside that you and I share
The same heart, the same soul, the same love, and I know
My heart beats One
Your heart beats One
This heart beats One
Our hearts beat as One
Feel the Heartbeat
Be the Heartbeat
Share the Heartbeat
Of the World
A Prayer for Help with Love
The Golden Rule, a key to most world religions, would have us love our Neighbors as Ourselves. This has become even more imperative (and difficult) in the last few years. And so on Feb. 14th I’m releasing a song that I co-wrote with Mikey Pauker, a cry to “Help Us Love.” During these times of increased negativity in the world and division in humanity, the two of us came together to write a song featuring the sacred Hebrew language, beautifully translated into English and arranged in an accessible, hook-filled tune called “Help Us Love.” Join us for the release of this Heartfelt single:
Help us Love
“Help us love love love…
Ahava Veahavta Lereacha Kamocha Ahava
Great spirit help us love
Our neighbors as ourselves
Great spirit help us love
With all of our heart
With all of our soul
Help us love love love”