Sarah’s recording, "Everyday Bravery," offers songs that are singing biographies. They describe how people transform challenges.
The best-known new song in this collection is "Home for Dinner–for Cindy Sheehan." It's been called, "the most evocative peace song I've ever heard because it goes straight to the heart." Sarah had the privilege of singing the song directly to Cindy before she gave a speech at the University of Massachusetts. Sarah offers "Everyday Bravery" workshops to help people identify ways to tap their resources of courage.
“These are beautiful songs that speak to the purest, kindest aspect of our common humanity. They give more real support and encouragement to people facing the challenges of today’s world than any one CD I’ve ever heard!”
— Ray Korona, recording artist, NYC area.
“There is a need to live in a deep walking hope...
Divine laws are written on the human heart.”
— Emilie Townes
The courage to face obstacles and create transformation moves us both inward and outward. Inwardly we return and feel the source of core light inside of us.
In that quiet place
where nothing can harm you.
In that quiet place
we carry inside.
The heart of the world.
How do we do this? How do we welcome ourselves inside the heart of the world? How do we return to that quiet place? Maybe we watch how a friend does it. Or we go to our favorite place. We sit by a tree and listen for our inner teacher. Or we stumble and get up and try again.
Courage also comes from reaching for a force larger than us that is a citadel, a refuge, a guardian, like the walls of a golden egg protecting something very precious inside while it is growing.
Oh, I build a House of Hope,
Oh, I build a House of Hope,
where you and I can enter.
I live here,
Here in my House of Hope.
The songs in the collection called Everyday Bravery speak about many ways
people tap their source of courage.
Click here for Recording.
Sarah Pirtle provides conversational workshops, keynote speeches, and interdenominational sermons on the theme of Everyday Bravery. These are an opportunity for mutual sharing and discovery.
Together we speak about the challenge of keeping our hearts open. We look closely at how each person finds courage to transform adversity. Music and conversation build connection as the strength of each person is celebrated.
When we call up courage within ourselves, we are drawing upon a universal force that Gandhi called Satyagraha, truthful love. He said this is the strongest force in the Universe. We each have this inside us.
Read this essay: Thoughts on Everyday Bravery and Songs of Personal Courage
Sermon: Greenfield, Massachusetts
All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church
April 9, 2006,
Here’s things I keep on my desk to give me courage—a photo of Wally Nelson and a photo of Karolka Rottenberg of Colrain. Before she died, Karolka said to a friend:
I believe that we are surrounded
by the help that we need
and just to tune into that brings comfort.
I sometimes will visualize a hand on my shoulder.
And I will visualize whatever image comes to me --
the wings of the Shekhina,
Jesus, Quan Yin, whoever is there.
I’m open. Be with me now. I need you now.
What do we do when we’re afraid or isolated or facing a challenge?
What happens for you? When we reach for courage, something in life answers and responds.
We each have different ways of tapping this source. There’s things we do that are very concrete. We might call a friend. We might cook. We might read a favorite book, or take a walk. There’s also things that we do on an inner level. That’s what I want to talk about today.
There’s something unseen that’s inside us and among us and bigger than us that gives aid. We are each unique creators of courage. We each make our own journey to connect to the force that is there, and as we teach each other what we do, each of us grows stronger.
This force of spiritual courage is as real as gravity.
Workshops for Girls and for Mothers and Daughters
Every since I was a girl I’ve loved reading about the lives of brave women. In fact, in the stairway in my home I have placed 13 rocks that I laminated with descriptions of the lives of women who inspire me. Here’s what one of them says:
Ida Wells Barnett
Journalist and Activist
You campaigned against lynching.
Starting in 1892 you risked your life to speak out against
the lynching of black men, and you fought for the equality
of African Americans. You helped found the NAACP
and the first women’s suffrage organization for black
women. We picture your fearlessness going alone as a
reporter to the scene of a lynching.
Thank you for your courageous gift of truth.
For twenty years I’ve offered programs for women, for girls, and for both generations together. Each is uniquely designed. Sometimes I bring all thirteen rocks and we talk about women we know who inspire us. In an intergenerational group, girls and women write anonymous questions that are used to launch discussions. Always I include “Overturning the crusher” work which helps move disempowering beliefs so that we can stand more fully in our bigness.
Contact me if you’re interested in a having a program created to match the needs of your group.
Reclaiming our own voice is a gentle unfolding. This workshop provides a space to notice and affirm our inner invitations. Although this is an interactive workshop, there is no pressure for participation. Being prsent as a listener, without talking or singing, is a fine option. The wisdom of each person is trusted. There is singing, learning about the process of songwriting, discussion, time for private writing, and space in silence. Those who wish craft a song to anchor themselves in the insights they find most powerful.
For instance, when I led a Songwriting Workshop at the Findhorn Community in Scotland, people walked together through the gardens, feeling their response to the plants and trees, and then created songs either alone or in small groups.
We listen for the unstoppable flame of life-force as this comes forth in words and images.