Mood, Music & Me

Music has been a huge part of my life…IMG_3018

Age 3…I played harmonica to the cows in our backyard…and apparently they liked it because they would line the fence and listen.

Ages 6 – 10…We made multiple treks to Cincinnati to visit family. Long, 8 hour trips. I had an amazing Walkman with cassette tapes that ranged from kids records to Chicago (my mom’s favorite band). I also joined chorus and felt chills as we would sing “I’m proud to be an American”.

Music continued for me in middle and high school as I played trumpet and then explored other avenues…like the time I wrote a play based on my high school experience and tried to develop my own theme song…and yes I may have sung that song into a tape recorder and then replayed it for my mom. And she might have laughed aloud after hearing the first stanza…all in love, of course:)

I love the way music transports you to various times and places. It swirls around you and makes you tear up, or laugh, or a variety of other emotions.

Music moves me.

Healthychildren.org states, “An analysis of 5 studies on music for depression concluded that music therapy is not only acceptable for depressed patients, but it actually helps improve their moods. Music has proven useful in helping patients with serious medical illnesses such as cancer, burns, and multiple sclerosis who are also depressed. If it can help in these situations, it may be able to help you and your loved ones experience more positive moods.”

I believe it. I have had times where I have needed to put on music to change my mood – or to focus me. When I attempted running I needed music that would keep me motivated and pumped up. When I’m writing a sad section of a story, I want music that gets me in that mindset. I’m loving the my new workout, Country Heat, because the music is upbeat and not twangy so I find myself singing as we go which makes me more inclined to continue it to the end (there have been yoga videos I’ve done where the music was too crazy for me so I was more inclined to turn it off than to finish).

How do you utilize this knowledge to your advantage? Put together song lists so that you can instantly grab them when you need them. Happy songs – motivational songs – inspiring songs. When you’re at work, working out, driving to the store you can put them on and be transported to a happier place no matter the time  of day.
Not sure what moves you? Spotify is fantastic. You can go to their website or app and click on the mood your in (or the mood you WANT to be in) and instantly it will play music that falls into that category. Some of their categories include: Brain Food, Celebration, Chill, Mood Booster, Happy Hits, Songs to Sing in the Shower, Calm Down, the Cure for Loneliness, etc. In those moments where you feel like you can’t get out of your funk – remember – you have tools around you to help…it might not get rid of it completely, but it can definitely improve it!Signature_Pink

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Rhythm vs Balance

The sermon from Sunday was SO on point with where we are as a family. For a long, long time I feel like we’ve been struggling to find balance in our weekly schedule. It has been a struggle to say the least. The first line of my notes from Sunday read:

Balance is a myth - Rhythm is where it's at.

Not the exact words, but pretty much how I interpreted it.

It was freeing to write down. I’m not sure that we’ll ever find balance…but rhythm? Rhythm is something we can work with!

Rhythm allows the ebb and flow of the season. Similar to a musical ensemble gets together to jam – the rhythm and speed change based on where the muscians feel like it should go. Together they sway, making the music flow – never the same, but always in sync. This is how life has become for us. The seasons call for different speeds, different movement. Sometimes it’s chaotic and sometimes it’s not, but we are in sync (for the most part!) constantly striving to do what’s best for our family.

The sermon was truly about the Sabbath and taking time to actually have one…not because we are required too, but because we should – it’s what God called for in the Old Testament and what the disciples and a policy the early church followed. The full sermon is here and worth the listen, but for me, the takeaway – the tiny nugget I embraced was to be comforted in not find balance…work vs family life is hard…finding a rhythm can make all the difference in the world…

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