I live way out in the country, so I spend lots of time in my car. I’m also kind of an old soul, so my satellite radio is often set on the Frank Sinatra station or the 40’s station, or classical music when I need to think. I also frequently listen to downloaded podcasts or audiobooks. I’ve actually sort of developed a mild love affair with audiobooks as they afford me the opportunity to engage with something I might not make time to read. I’ve listened to books on creativity, meditation, habits, life bad-assery, and creating change. I’ll include amazon links to my audiobook loves at the bottom of this post.
Even though I love all the things I just mentioned, sometimes they aren’t what I need to hear. Sometimes I need something that speaks to who and where I am– or more directly– to who I am trying to remember to become. For a long time, Paul Simon’s “Graceland” was on repeat in my iPod and head. (And it’s where the name of my photography brand, Going to Graceland Photography, originated.). It kind of spoke to life: bad things, and feeling blown apart by life gone wrong, and the hope that I was headed somewhere better. When I was a kid, traveling from Tennessee to Florida on family vacations, we always listened to this album. It was our thing. Later, at a time when my life required “travelin’ music”, this was it.
Lately, I’ve realized how powerful music can be in not only improving your mood, but speaking directly to your soul. And sometimes, you will let music say things that you can’t hear from anyone or anything else. Sometimes, music can make joy and power (this sometimes has negative connotations– but I don’t mean it that way– I mean it as a sense that you can handle whatever comes your way) rise up with in you. And sometimes, music can make your spirit dance. One of my very favorite pieces of art is Matisse’s Icarus. I know that Icarus was the Greek myth about a man who flew too close to the sun and caught on fire. But this piece makes me feel absolute joy and vivaciousness– and it’s a close to describing “spirit dancing” as I can come. This is what the right kind of music makes me feel. It’s (usually) enough to transform even my sourest of moods, and make me in the words of James Brown, “Get up offa that thing!”
The right music can make a big difference in your workout too! For a while, I let clients bring in their favorite music for classes. One lady dearly loved hymns, and while these were upbeat versions of the hymns, it kind of halted the class mojo. But when you’ve got the right soundtrack, it absolutely can push you to new places in your workout.
I’m in a “Go Big” phase in my life (and with this blog). I’ve written before about Phoenix-ing and about being about the business of transforming. I’m trying to remind myself not to quit on my dream, and to pursue it with everything I have. Sooooo… Alicia Keys’ Girl on Fire is the one I’ve been listening to over and over. In the Spotify playlist below, you’ll find several others that have helped me rock my days or run my workout! (Fair warning: I have pretty eclectic taste!)
I’d love to know what music makes you rise, or roar, or whatever else you need to do! Please leave it it the comments. I may add it to my playlist!
Take the time today to figure out what you need to hear to rock your life, overcome your obstacles, and get on with being your amazing self. Make a playlist that helps you hear it!
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