When was the last time you stepped out of the busy nature of your life and took a moment to just listen? Not to words, arguments or the incessant and never-ending flow of information coming your way, but to the musical sounds of the world around you?
In our modern lives, our senses are too often assaulted by auditory clutter. We are surrounded by a sometimes destructive, and often distracting, array of verbal and sound overload. It shouts at us as we scroll our screens or creates buzzing noise as we go about our business. There is always something to be heard, to be understood, to be taken on board, and yet, we rarely stop to really listen, or to consider that the sounds we hear may, if chosen carefully and mindfully can provide not chaos, but calm.
Elton John famously stated that ‘music has healing power’. I would expand on this and suggest that not just music, but sound, when heard consciously can heal and help us to grow as people. Similarly, as we choose to open to certain mindful sounds, it is wise to also close to those sounds that are more harmful, or that overwhelm our delicate systems, leaving us frazzled and fraught.
As you move from youth into adulthood, you may carry with you a reference as to the types of music you adore, the artists you admire, and the songs that light you up. Music comes imbued with memory, and often power, helping us to recall our best places, people, and greatest times. Equally, music and sound can drag us into darker memories, times of loss and grief just as quickly. There is a real enveloping force within the sounds we expose ourselves to that can be transformative to our mood and well-being. Connecting to music and sound is an endeavour we can take control of on purpose, starting today!
Many philosophers and great thinkers have over history recognised the power of what we are exposed to in changing our lives for the better. Albert Einstein once encouraged; ‘match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality’. Whilst Edgar Cayce proclaimed music and sound the ‘medicine of the future’. Think for a moment about what reality you are working to create in your life. What music would suit that, which sound would evoke that… This is the ideal starting place…
How we go about creating healing and change in our own lives using sound is a fun, intriguing and interesting proposition. Plus, unlike traditional medication, or even ongoing therapeutic healing, the skill of connecting to music and sound in insightful ways is within our own hands.
I would encourage you to think through your history with sound and song. What music were you raised with? Many families would likely have an array of favoured artists that become a child’s musical staples. This then shifts dramatically when you gain control over your musical tastes, opening to musicians wilder and wider. Then, once past youth, it is likely this shifted again as you encountered other young adults, partners and the music of the times evolved.
Over the years it may be that your music taste got stuck, or even, forgotten about. Many women, consumed with life, work, family or domestic responsibility soon forget the soothing, swaying magic of those early musical experiences. Music becomes an occasional thing for many, perhaps letting loose at a wedding or recalling great memories when a song unexpectedly comes on the radio. For the most part though, music is lost to the present moment and may not be something you engage with purposefully.
It is high time you reconnected to the truly potent healing and empowering influences of music and sound. The call here is simple, it is to examine your relationship with music, and then begin to build that connection back into your world. To do this you must begin to evolve and expand your musical experiences to allow for new understandings of self, to soothe your troubled soul and to become more mindful about what you allow your ears to absorb. Here are my top tips on how a new relationship with music for your highest benefit might be forged.
High Vibe Music
Seek out the music that helps you to feel clear, aware, and happy, this is the first, and most powerful mission I have for you. Take an inventory of the kind of music you may have been attracted to in the past. What served you at seventeen, may not work these days. I recently heard a favoured song from my youth, one which at nineteen left me feeling bold and strong, but now it left me feeling flat and defeated. That song was created from a place of anger and destruction, and therefore in terms of personal growth and healing, it was not suitable for me now. You may find that you have outgrown music that provokes strong emotions in you. Brash and loud may be just the medicine for a teenager, but for an evolving soul you are better called to something soothing, loving, or feel good. Seek beyond your usual musical remit with a focus on songs and sounds that elevate your mood, leaving you feeling happy high, singing along and full of the joys of spring. I would also recommend consciously playing classical music in the background whenever you are home. There is something about the flow and pace that seems to heighten responses, bring clarity, and create a poetic beauty to all things, carrying one’s mind away from every day, to something more profound. Intersperse beautiful music with your personal remedy of magic mood-lifting music and the medicine is tangible!
Music comes imbued with the ability to lift our dopamine (happy hormone) and lower cortisol, (stress hormone) this is true across genres, receive your fix whilst mixing ballads with brass bands, reggae with rap and concertos with concerts. Open your exposure beyond your previous knowledge of music, artists, genres and songs. If you find yourself reaching for the same old thing, no matter how beloved, it is an adventure to explore different and previously unheard artists. You can start gently, perhaps searching for artists that are similar to the ones you have previously loved. After that I dare you to mix things up, to go way past your comfort zone, if you usually love pop, try some country, or if rock is your thing, experiment with soul. Find your dopamine in the whole gamut of musical endeavours and inspire your soul to new listening heights!
Make Time to Hear
Oftentimes music will find you in the most profound and unexpected ways. For us to really notice this it is important that we quieten our senses and start to carefully pay attention to the sounds making their way to our ears. As we allow the vibrations to meet us, we may find the most wonderful sensory experiences in unexpected places. A supermarket shopping trip can become profoundly enlightening as the music piped in the background meets with your mood and has you feeling all the feels. Switching radio stations might bring about that one song you had forgotten all about, but upon listening, changes everything. Allowing not just your ears, but your heart to listen for enlivening sounds can be a game changer, creating clarity and peace within that feels individual, private, and somewhat sacred.
Sound is a gift, and whilst music is a popular way of receiving that gift, there are so many other performances on this earth that we can connect to. When we mindfully slow down, breathe deeply, and choose to listen, we may hear the beauty of this earth in a whole new way. In turn, this helps us feel connected, at peace and more open-hearted than we have for some time. Take time today to just listen, it is rare that you will experience total silence. Five minutes in peace, paying auditory attention might bring you bird song, the sound of wind rustling through trees or around buildings, the patter of feet and the rhythm of your home that is so easily ignored. Take this experience outside for an even more visceral experience of sound, visit the beach and listen, be in the wilds and hear what echoes through. At this moment feel reconnected to the sweet, easy innocence that a connection to sound brings.
Music and sound are truly one of life’s greatest providers and choosing to tune in can become a life-altering experience. Herein you find the depths of yourself and create experiences of your inner self that go beyond language and words. Music and sound are a balm for the soul, a true pleasure of human life, one that is ever-present and always accessible. As you mindfully connect and begin to listen the growth and comfort you receive will be truly incomparable.