A Beating Heart (re-visited!)

I have been watching a TV series called “Peaky Blinders” recently.

It’s quite dark yet beautifully made — and reminds me of a similarly high-quality series called “House Of Cards” from several years ago.

Both of them explore power and how we human beings are often overtaken and damaged by it.

Image by Gloria Williams from Pixabay

They also both opened my eyes to how complicated, interconnected and corrupt our human-created world can be… especially when our wounded hearts lead us astray into greed, retribution, domination and revenge.

I watched several episodes before bedtime; so it is probably not a surprise that I woke up in the middle of the night and was unable to fall back asleep…

So I got out of bed and skimmed my inbox — which these days means that I deleted inumerable emails asking for money from all sorts of political candidates and organizations — until I found two uplifting pieces of information.

1) News that Catherine Cortez Masso is projected to win her senate race here in the USA.

2) A wonderful blog post from Canada about the Japanese concept of IKIGAI which you can read by clicking here.

As Michelle explains it on her Boomer Eco Crusader blog, ikigai is similar to the French idea of raison d’être — which means “reason or justification for existence.”

And one can explore ikigai by reflecting upon four ideas/concepts/topics:

A) one’s own skills

B) the things one loves to do,

C) the things that the world needs,


D) activities one can be paid for.

Image by Angela C from Pixabay

Where all of these ideas/concepts/topics overlap is where one’s ikigai may be found.

And finding one’s ikigai can give one a reason to get up out of bed each morning…

Reading her blog post made me think immediately of a song I wrote called “A Beating Heart” — which I first shared in a blog post on April 29, 2014.

“A beating heart means you’re not dead.

A brand new start — get out of bed.

Your mission calls, and we all hope that you’ll succeed!

The time is here; the time is now.

So persevere; embrace the Tao.

Dear Lao Tse once decreed: only change is guaranteed…”

Image by Bohdan Chreptak from Pixabay

Deep breath in (like a whale…)

Deep breath out (like a whale…)

I have previously voiced a personal goal — which is to write shorter blog posts.

So I will end this blog post with a sincere hope that you, dear reader, are well on your way to finding your own ikigai!

And with thanks to Michelle for her inspiring blog.

And with thanks to the wonderful photographers and graphic artists at Pixabay.

And with thanks to Doug Hammer, for playing his Schimmel grand piano while also recording us at his terrific home studio.

And with thanks to Ashley Lieberman, who recently performed “A Beating Heart” here in the Boston area.

And with thanks to YOU for reading and listening to yet another one of my blog posts!

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

You are always welcome to visit my website — where you can find many songs and learn more about my musical life here on planet earth if you are curious.

You can also find “A Beating Heart” on various digital music platforms by clicking here.

You can also find me singing — with Doug Hammer playing his Schimmel grand piano — on SpotifyPandoraApple Music, YouTube and other digital music platforms.

Any song you “like” or “heart” or add to one of your playlists will improve the algorithmic activity of my music there!

Image by congerdesign from Pixabay

Another deep breath in.

And deep breath out.

Very gratefully yours,

— will


33 thoughts on “A Beating Heart (re-visited!)

  1. Hi, Will–I used a very similar image for my post-election musings blog post. I thoroughly enjoyed A Beating Heart! And I’m grateful to you for introducing the concept of Ikigai.

    And we are more easily breathing in and out now, correct?

  2. I love the message of this song. One does need to make a point of thinking about things that are cheering. Since Covid, at the end of the day, I try to review anything from the day that I’m grateful for. Always grateful for breathing, for example. I might remember that we got someone to take away stuff we were throwing out and feel grateful that it’s gone. But I’m realizing it’s the things I *don’t* remember easily, small things, that really gave me delight during the day — like seeing an unexpected nuthatch walking upside down on a tree next to a busy boulevard.

    • A list of things we are grateful for at the end of the day is a great practice. I used to do that but have slacked off/forgotten to in recent months… Hurrah for the unexpected nuthatches that pop up in our lives!

  3. Always love it when you share your musical talent with us:). And Ikigai–whoa! It’s been everywhere in my universe, showing up in my social feeds, in what I’m reading, etc. I’m listening, Universe. I’m listening. Thank you for spreading positivity through your music and lyrics. The world sure needs it!

  4. Hi Will, why has it taken me so long to visit you here. I’m so happy to listen to your music again. A Beating Heart was the best way to start my day (followed by Blackbird). I love the sentiments and concepts. Breathing much deeper and easier as I listen. Wishing you continued peace, love and musical moments my friend. I’ve saved you on my Spotify list. ❤️

  5. This is awesome, Will. Loved “A Beating Heart.” I was actually listening to talk back radio the other night as I was driving around and looking at Christmas lights and someone rang in and talked about ikigai. I thought to myself I must find out more about it – so thank you for sharing Michelle’s post. I guess it might explain why I always keep gravitating back towards working in local government – building sustainable and happy communities (well, I try at least 😊)

    • Peaky Blinders is quite brutal. And it very much reminds me of the US version of House Of Cards. They both have opened my eyes/mind to how complicated and fallible — and dangerous — we human beings can be…

    • Thank you for taking time to visit my blog and leave such a lovely comment, Holistic Wayfarer! I don’t post very often these days, and I usually aim to uplift our spirits as well as our awareness of what seems to be unfolding here on planet earth — such as climate change/catastrophe — which many of us are (understandably, because it can be terrifying and grief-inducing to learn and think and feel about things like species extinctions and floods and wildfires) in denial about. I often think about vibrations and ripples — especially when I am near a body of water — and how sound also travels in waves… Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

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