Cheryl Beer

Cheryl Beer
Award Winning Creative Director making social change through the mediums of sound, story & mantra

Sunday, 24 November 2019

Woman Needs a Temple at People Speak Up, Ffwrnes Fach, Zion Chapel




Had a great time interviewing Eleanor Shaw at Ffwrnes Fach where she has founded the Award Winning People Speak Up

Eleanor's contribution will be aired at Oystermouth Radio as part of my Series 'Woman Needs a Temple' where she will be joining the conversation about human spirit & well being by talking about Storytelling.

You can access my radio series
 at 7.00pm on Sundays at this link ... 


And the follow up visual podcast here ...





If you like my BLOG
 then why not pop over 
to my WEBSITE





NEW PODCAST: Woman Needs a Temple: Conversations About the Human Spirit & Well Being. Episode 1




Missed the First Episode 
of my Radio Show? 

Don't worry, you can catch up
 by watching the visual podcast
 at Welsh Connections



If you enjoy my BLOG 
then why not pop over
 to my WEBSITE









Woman Needs a Temple: Conversations about the Human Spirit & Well Being: ARTS & CRAFTS


Very pleased to announce that my Special Guest on my show at Oystermouth Radio next week n 2nd December is my dear friend, Caroline Lane who will be joining the conversation about the Human Spirit & Well Being by talking with us about her passion for crafts, in particular WOOL and how it changed her life. She'll also tell us about her company Hembra Crafting and how she helps others re-tell their yarn through crafting.



NEW RADIO SHOW: Conversations about the Human Spirit & Well Being


Oh my days, my new Radio Series just launched at Oystermouth Radio and will air every Sunday at 7.00pm for the next 6 weeks. I am so thrilled. 

I feel so blessed to have such inspirational guests who will be joining me, women who have moved me by their dedication to help others through their own practice. It feels important to create a platform for them to share their story because it may help others listening to think of new ways of lifting their own spirit. Above all things, this is what makes the long hours of filming and editing worthwhile.

I have recorded the entire series on my phone and a tiny hand held tascam recorder. Despite my hearing impairments, I have managed to edit the radio shows and podcasts by myself, allowing space for the women to simply 'be' and truly shine. It is my deepest desire that everyone who listens, is able to take something from it for themselves.

Dates for your diary ... every Sunday at 7pm from 24th November onwards - full details at www.cherylbeer.com including links to Oystermouth Radio & Welsh Connections.

Week 1: We launch with My Story & Introduce the series.

Week 2: my special guest is Caroline Lane talking about how she turned her crafting into a workshops that help others

Week 3 is Shamanic Healer Willow Jordan about her work at Driftwood Hollow Therapies

Week 4 is Kiera L Jones, Soul Midwife and Nurse at Skanda Vale Hospice

Week 5 is Eleanor Shaw giving us a personal insight into how Storytelling helped her to heal and how she went on to set up the Award Winning People Speak Up

Week 6 is Ger Kennedy, renowned Artist from Ireland, telling the story of her artwork, which she kindly gave me permission to use as my album cover artwork.

www.cherylbeer.com
Oystermouth Radio
@welshconnections

Friday, 1 November 2019

Woman Needs A Temple : The Human Spirit & Well Being



Most musicians will acknowledge that their work is a labour of love, but 'Woman Needs a Temple' is more than that to me. The making of this album over the last 2 years, has actually healed me and my deepest hope is, that it might help you to feel better, too ... 




After a 30 year career as a singer/songwriter, when I became suddenly hearing impaired 3 years ago, I seriously thought I would never make music again.

It was not so much the hearing loss that stopped me in my tracks, more the tinnitus and a lesser known condition, Hyperacusis, a crippling sound distortion which renders even my own voice as a distorted mini mouse on helium, scratching like nails down glass inside my head. Music and singing, the core of my being, became excruciatingly painful. So, I completely stopped  I used to describe it as being in a beautiful garden, but constantly being stung by wasps ... you'd soon stop wanting to be in that garden, no matter how beautiful. In many ways, by being silent, I stopped being me. Having said that, it left space for me to see who I really am, a sometimes painful process.

After about 9 months, I began to yearn for singing, to feel my voice in my body, to 'be' what the Universe had put me here to be.  So, very gently, I started chanting ancient healing mantra in Sanskrit. It had always been my passion. I first learnt mantra in an Indian orphanage where I volunteered as a musician and storyteller about 20 years ago, the children taught mantra to me on the roof top during bajans. As I chanted, so my cells started to hear me. I didn't need my ears to FEEL my soul sing again.

I couldn't play my trusty old guitar, because moving my fingers on the strings was far too painful for my ears, so I visited a handpan maker and brought home an instrument that matched my hearing tolerances ... 

SOUL INK is the first song that came to me through my meditative journey with the handpan. My Daily Practice of Meditation by Chanting had begun, and with it, came more and more healing songs ... 




I found my quiet voice. I had been a bit of a belter. I think we all were in the 80's. PA systems weren't what they are now and you had to sing your lungs out to be heard over the drummer. I found that if I sang really quietly, I could hear myself without distortion. You try singing really quietly, it's not as easy as it sounds. I learnt how to use every muscle in my body, linked with the chakra, to channel the energies to my quiet voice, becoming intimate with breath and placing.

And then, one day, I got my guitar out of the case, just to look at. OK, so I couldn't change chords because of the painful noise, so ... why not play without changing chords, using the guitar as a drone. I couldn't strum anymore, it was too loud, so I picked the strings; I couldn't play the higher notes as they distorted, so ... I didn't! Slowly, I began to celebrate what I could still do instead of mourning for what I couldn't and these small joys became my Daily Healing Practice, re-connecting me to a sense of joy.

Once I had accepted myself for who I was in the now, more songs came, giving my meditation shape and form and I could feel myself healing from the inside, out.

And now, I am sharing that healing with you ... 




If you would like a copy of my new album Woman Needs a Temple, it is available as a pre-order at my website www.cherylbeer.com

Thank you for taking the time to read my story. This is just the beginning. Come back soon and find out what happened next ... here's a clue!



Be sure to add me as a chum on facebook 
for daily updates & chit chat ... 


Saturday, 1 June 2019

Preparing for Lazzmataz Book Fair



My dear friend, fellow author and musician, Lazarus Carpenter is doing a remarkable thing this weekend. He is holding his AMAZING annual Music Festival in The Castle Hotel in Llandovery, but for tomorrow, he has organised a Book Fair, which I am very happy to be a part of.


 There's lots to do today, in getting ready to go. First of all, what on Earth am I going to wear! 


I am plumping for something loose, cool and cotton. I have new shoes for the occasion, which could be disastrous if they blister. 


It can be a long day at a Book Fair, even though I'll probably be sat down for most of it, so I am going to throw in my good old flat sandals, just in case.


Talking of sitting, I have decided to take my canvas chair with me. It is very comfortable and the colours are very jolly, so when I am not sitting in it, it will look lovely.

Ah yes, and what books to take?


I was going to just take my Children's Books. I have 3 new stories to launch ...


But then I decided to take some of my other books, too. I have about 62 different ones to choose from ... These 2 are written in collaboration with older people living with dementia and raise funds for my work at Sound Memories Radio, so I'll defo take them along.





And then I thought I would take these 2 books. I literally have a handful left of the Special Edition run I did last Summer.





And I am going to take the only sheet music I have ever published, notated for me by my close friend, the late Susan Berry. It will be as if she is with me, in some small way. She would have loved the Book Fair, chatting to everyone, maybe playing her harp.



And I might put a few of these guided meditation booklets out, too.


These are 2 books from way back when I first started Parlour Press Publishing  ... 



I have had some little Special Offer price fliers made for my children's books so peeps know the prices. 


And all I need to do now is a last minute blog about it (which you are reading), share this on my facebook and insta, do my best to drum up some support for all of us that are preparing today to load our cars an pootle off to Llandovery early tomorrow morning to unpack and make our book stalls look lovely for you. There'll be lots of authors of all types there, live readings, storytelling and Spoken Word. 


If you love books , stories & poetry, if you'd like to chat with authors about their work, publishing and the joys of writing ... then come along, you'll have a great time.

Right, best iron my dress ... see you there, folks.






Wednesday, 29 May 2019

The Quest for a Deaf Friendly Friendly Shruti Box


 ... And so my journey back to Self continues. Increasingly, I have become more confident in living with my hearing impairments. This is without doubt, due to my own daily healing practice of chanting mantra and listening to gentle devotion music from around the world. 


For instance, right now I am listening to a beautiful Sufi mantra by Dilpreet Bhatia,  based on a profound poem by Baba Bulleh Shah, Kaalam, to remove ego from the heart.



It is in this stillness of Self that the desire to chant and make healing music has returned to my heart ,soul, body and spirit, awakening the very cells of my being.One of the things I miss the most since my hearing deteriorated, is my shruti box. It was too loud for my hearing aids. The sound distorted and was too painful for me, so I re-homed it ... but then today, after 3 years without it, I wondered, would it possible to find a shruti box that could be played quietly? Was there a way to find a sound sensitve shruti box, in a low enough key that my ears and hearing aids could tolerate?

I did a google search, thinking I would spend weeks searching the world for such an instrument but straight away, as if it had been waiting for me, up pops www.shrutibox.co.uk who make customised shruti boxes, sensitive to volume and special foot pedals, which means I could sit away from the box itself.




And where do you think this company is? India, maybe? No, they are in Ceredigion, literally the next County to me. I rang up and spoke with Natasha. Her partner, Stephan, the musician, actually makes the shruti boxes and pedals, right here, in Wales!


Stephan is so busy, I have to wait until July for my visit, but it feels promising that, when the time is right, I will have a shruti box tuned to the tolerance of my hyperacusis and tinnitus, as well as volume sensitive to my hearing aids. It feels like a miracle. Somewhere deep inside me, I can hear my lovely Nan saying to me,' Where there's a will, there's a way.' and indeed, as ever, she is right.

All love dear ones
Cheryl




Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Are you Ready to OM?




I am very happy to feature this song from my new album 'Woman Needs a Temple' now available at Bandcamp and today's Meditation Incantation is 'Are You Ready to OM?' 

Recorded during my sacred and personal healing practice, shared now to help and inspire others to heal from within. Here's the track, have a listen and if you like it, why not pop over to Bandcamp to hear the other tracks, too. When you buy a download, it enables me to continue my work, sharing my healing practice to help others. Thank you for your love.



Full details available from my website ... 


Humans are Healers


2 weeks ago, I cut my hand really badly. I had smashed a glass and left it broken in the bottom of the waste paper bin and then stuff had been put on the top of it. When I came to empty the bin, I forgot about the broken glass and it went right through the fleshy part of my hand between my thumb and index finger. It didn't really hurt but there was so much blood, I thought I would pass out. I managed to put the flap back and bandage it back together. Today, you wouldn't even know that my hand has been cut. We have the most remarkable capacity to heal, not just cuts and bruises, but heart, soul, mind and each other. I am a healer and so are you. We Self heal without even knowing. We have this immense super power that we completely take for granted: Humans are Healers. Just imagine what we can achieve when we step into that power.


Monday, 13 May 2019

Womb Song: Woman Needs a Temple

Following a beautifully quiet and graceful launch of my new meditation album, Woman Needs a Temple, I share with you here, one of the tracks entitled, Womb Song, an opening to Mother Earth, a reply to her constant hum, an invitation for her to connect our Divine Spirits ... in the morning or the evening, when the moon falls or the sun rises and all time inbetween.




I love this little film made with Esther Arends, the Founder of Embodiment of Self. Her beautiful  dance with nature, fits so well with Womb Song.




If you would like to hear my whole album, 
please feel free to visit by clicking this link ...


Or you are welcome to visit my website ...


Saturday, 11 May 2019

In search of 9 Extraordinary Ways to Meditate




It's quite a thing, recording personal meditation because the two things don't really sit well together, the spiritual and the technical are in different realms, except that when one is chanting, it is as if this world is transcended and nothing else exists, such is the blissful healing of it. 


In preparation for my new album release, Woman Needs a Temple, I have redesigned my website, my bandcamp and this blog. I have found instruments to heal my ears rather than hurt them, learnt how to play guitar in new ways, made a special drum beater to enable me to play my djembe, re-trained my voice to use other partes of my body, found new keys to chant in and spent time developing techniques that enable recording in the studio. It has taken me 2 years to reach this point. As I explained in my last blog post, having a 'launch' in the traditional sense, did not feel appropriate, but I would like to celebrate the tremendous achievement of actually producing an album as a hearing impaired artist.

And so, to this end, I have decided to explore the possibilities for 9 places within which to Song Meditate and Chant my new album, a song for each space. I want the spaces to be extraordinary places of spiritual connection, so if you have any ideas, it would be so cool if you could please drop me a line via my website.

What I have learnt from this is, that even in moments of complete darkness, we can be assured that the light is ever present.


Woman Needs a Temple Album Launch





It wasn't your ordinary kind of Album Launch. There was venue, no guests, no press release, no fancy marketing, just me and my open heart, letting the bird out of the cage, to fly off to wherever it is supposed to. It will be interesting to see if anyone even notices.

This album is so much more than a collection of Song Meditations. For me, it is a celebration of the almost impossible. Truthfully, I didn't think I would ever record an album again. Not after losing my hearing, my head swamped with tinnitus 24/7 and even my own voice distorted by hyperacusis, but by dedicating myself to a daily practice of chanting, creativity and self care, I have learnt how to sing without hurting my ears, found instruments that soothe instead of soar, developed recording techniques to capture personal moments of inner peace, so that I may lovingly share them with you, because perhaps, in the nourishing of my own temple, I can help you to hear and to heal yours'.

So, you see, I didn't need a fancy launch to blow air into my ego, for this piece of work is the complete opposite of that. It is me and my beautiful imperfections because they are what makes me human. Our authentic scars are what shapes us, carving us into the belly of truth.

I am small, and yet, I am the Universe.

All love to you, dear ones. May your day be blessed with a myriad of moments that bring joy to your heart and fan the light of your soul.






Saturday, 6 April 2019

The Universal Womb



Have you ever noticed what is is in the very centre of the word, womb? Tonight, I was updating my website with some of my Soul Ink Meditation Songs, one of which is called 'Womb Song' and as I typed the word, I realised that tucked away, right in the middle, is OM: an ancient sacred sound that is used across the world for meditation, known generally as the sound or voice of the universe, and if you think about it, that makes perfect sense. I think this realisation will help me to connect more fully with the internal universe, the part of us that is the whole. 

If you would like to hear my Soul Ink Meditation Womb Song, feel free to pop over to my website ... www.cherylbeer.com 

Happy Chanting, Dear Ones

Healing with Song Meditations



When I first became hearing impaired, I didn't think I would ever want to chant or sing again. I spent the first 9 months pretty much in silence. It was too painful, but as time progressed,  after a lifetime career as a songwriter, my soul became heavy, so I began singing very quietly and softly to myself. It felt wonderful to feel my voice in my body again. Now a gentle song meditation is my daily practice. I do this by putting the side of my face onto my guitar, so that my ear & hearing aid is very close to the sound hole. I find a drone that I can hear and that does not distort with my hyperacusis, nor interfere with my tinnitus and then I just chant/jam over the top, channelling self healing. It's so quiet, I doubt you'd hear me, unless you were sat right next to me. 

My husband was so moved by my fragile chanting, that he asked if he could record me, so we rigged up our old studio equipment.

It was strange to hear myself back. When music was my job, everything had to be 'perfect' and now, nothing is! My songs are not even really songs, but they are authentic, honest, vulnerable healings from the depth of my soul, calling me to accept myself, just I am.

And now, I share them with you, just incase they offer you hope and acceptance of yourself, as the beautiful being that you are. Let's face it, we all go through tough times. The seas are high and the tides, rough, so if we can share the ways in which we heal, we steady the boat together.


I have been making little films to go with my Soul Ink Song Meditations. If you would like to hear them, feel free to pop over and listen to them at my website www.cherylbeer.com

All love, dear ones ... 


Thursday, 4 April 2019

Helping children come to terms with the loss of a parent



As an author of mindful stories, I've had a few requests to write about the loss of a loved one, dying & grief to help grown ups broach the subject in a loving & mindful way with children, so I have written this poem  'On the day that Mummy died.' 

I hope it helps you to ease the heart of children when they are at their saddest. For more details of my work as The Sleeping Storyteller, feel free to click the link below ... 


Friday, 8 March 2019

WOMAN NEEDS A TEMPLE




Today is International Women's Day. With deep respect, I light candles for all women to honour and sustain the flame at our core and I pray for those women whose struggle is still, so great. 

My small, humble offering to you, on this day, is recorded in my studio, during the Song Meditations that have become my personal therapy: Woman Needs A Temple. 
www.cherylbeer.com


Sunday, 3 March 2019

The Best Careers Advice



When I first started learning to write, it was in pencil. Then, once my writing had become 'good enough' I was promoted to pen. At first, it was ink, pouring poems & points to remember but then, Mr Biro took the 70's by storm. From pens on necklaces to hang around our neck to 4 tone pens at the flick of a switch, we were tooled up for writing but it made no odds, for there is no pen greater than the imagination. 

Today, my fingers race around the keyboard or my index finger is tap, tap, tapping on the phone screen, writing stories with and for children, but nothing can replace the delicious ease of pencil to paper or the luxury of ink soaked stories.

Who could have known back then, at such a young age, that my obsession with writing stories, poems and songs would become my life. It is a real lesson. 

If you are lost as to which career to choose, the best advice of all, is to explore what made you happy as a child. What made your heart skip, when were you most content, for this above all things, is what should fill your days. If you loved to be outside as a child, go outside, see how that feels. If you loved to lose yourself in books, if you loved gardening, baking, playing with hair, making doll's clothes, painting ... whatever it was, follow this calling, even as an experiment and see if it connects you to a place you remember.

My Nan would say, 'Be Happy, love, life is short,' and only now do I understand. There is no room in our lives for following anything other than our heart  ...