Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and enjoying the Fall Season.
This week we simply ask:
This may be a simple question, but there is certainly no simple answer.
Consider our overachieving world today, it’s full of noise, and while some of it is very helpful, we hear so much about how we may improve and optimize our lives, become more effective and more efficient; learning how to accomplish more and more. Think about stories or movies you’ve seen of the past, there’s not so much noise, but there’s lots of music.
So where does music fit into an achievement focus?
Why is music important at all?
Why do we enjoy it as much as we do?
I believe it’s because life itself has a rhythm. If we would slow down enough to listen, there is always music; in the blowing leaves in the trees, certainly the singing of the birds and in the beats of our hearts.
I believe music has become more important than ever as a vehicle to bring us into the present moment- where life is lived. A mind overly focused on the past experiences brings depression and if overly focused on the future brings anxiety.
Music, brought forth by the heart, can only be enjoyed NOW; requiring us to be present to enjoy it.
What initially inspired this writing was the thought to share my morning practice of listening to music and how it charges me up for the day. I often begin a day early listening to classical guitar on Pandora - keeping it at a peaceful low volume. The day will bring more than enough words, not to mention those that too early can crowd out a peaceful morning.
Then to the gym, with time during or after my training to add to my gratitude list and read a couple devotionals. And then on most days, I play my favorite playlist titled Fun Fuel. If I’ve learned anything this past year of living, is that life is best lived in celebration. Nothing like enthusiasm and enjoyment to fuel a great day. Among my very first thoughts in the morning is a request to “grow and give” with the reminder that to inspire others to an abundant life, I am called to live one.
All three of my children love music.
I asked each of them why music was important to them. My oldest son Gavin, now age 17, said that music touches him more deeply than words alone could accomplish. He said music is a more profound language than speech - if you say something with music there is a more profound impact. He also experiences how certain music connects him to his heritage in ways he can’t describe. Music is deeply personal to him.
My daughter Gabrielle, now age 15, got particularly excited by the question. Here is what she had to say about music:
“Music isn't just important to me it's my passion, it's my inspiration, it's my tears of sadness, it's my happiest moments of joy. Music can bring me back to reality and take me away from it! Music is what you make of it! At least for me, each song gives a vibe, and this vibe can bring up emotions of joy, feelings of longing, loneliness. Music is a way of life. Music is everything in life expressed through instruments, sounds, rhythm, and rhyme! Music says things that just can't be said verbally or in writing! Music is different, special, unique, music is me!”
And from my youngest son Grayson, now age 13:
“Music feels important in my life, from jazz to pop to rap, music resonates in your body and fits the mood you’re in.”
Studies have shown your heart replicates and has a symbiotic relationship with a powerful beat you hear.
Music can express a story, a whole life experience, a day, and is relatable. Music can bring back memories, and help you deal with things that happened in the past. Music is motivating and powerful.
Think far back to your ancestors, the tribal ceremonies, the solid beat of a drum, feeling the steady repetition of the beat. Music has always been important and influential through history and reveals emotions. Music is powerful and can be important and helpful in your life.”
Why is music important to you?
Why does your playlist contain the songs it does?
Why not turn to your music all-the-more when the past and future move you from the present moment?
Consider being even more intentional with music in your life; allow it to soothe you and of course to pump you up.
Here are a few songs from my Fun Fuel playlist that are particularly invigorating, especially for me on mornings before giving a speech:
The first song is my most recent addition, reminding me of my Mother who loved music and sang all her life,
High Hopes by Panic! At the Disco
Here are some of the other songs:
Higher by The Score
Migraine & Ride by Twenty-One Pilots
Natural, Believer, Roots & Whatever it Takes all by Imagine Dragons
Feeling Good by Michael Buble
Champion by Barns Courtney
Something Just Like This by The Chainsmokers & Coldplay
Right Now & Top of the World - Van Halen
Feel It Still by Portugal
And of course Happy by Pharrell Williams
In Africa, at the end of every long day climbing Kilimanjaro, the locals sang and danced, with an enthusiasm that was truly inspiring to watch and hear; they celebrated life! Their cares and worries were set aside with song and dance.
Music reminds us that there is so much more to experience and feel in this life than just what we think about life.
Music can get us back to this present moment, into the glorious rhythm of life, and thus help bring us all together.
Wishing for you more joy through music.
Make it a great, music-filled week!
Oh, and don’t forget the Halloween music!