Shift Your Mindset With Music
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All you need is love. You hear these words and you think of the famous Beatle's song.
Relax, I will not start singing it. I have many talents but singing is not one of them. Yet I love to sing when I'm alone. It makes me feel alive and it can change my mood quickly.
You probably have songs that make you smile, others that make you sad, others that energize you or relax you.
Music is powerful, and often it affects us without our awareness.
When we are watching a movie, we are not necessarily aware of the soundtrack but it totally makes the experience.
Back in the day, I bought many movie soundtracks to replay some of the emotions and feelings of the movie.
“Eye of the Tiger” from Rocky…can we even count how many workouts that song has helped?
During my teens and twenties, I used to listen to music daily. I would wake up with my alarm radio synced to my favorite rock station. I would have music playing in the background as I was getting ready for the day, while driving, or relaxing. So often I danced or exercised to the sound of music. When my heart was broken I would cry listening to Sinead O’Connor’s “Nothing Compares to You” and bring myself back together again singing along at the top of my lungs (alone) to Gloria Gaynor's “I will survive.”
When my daughter was born, I rocked her to sleep to old lullabies and Portuguese folk songs that I didn’t even know I remembered.
But, recently, I became aware that I don't listen to music that often anymore, and that made me sad. I don’t want to live my life like a movie without a soundtrack. I want the full experience.
Music can make us feel alive.
Music can help us heal our feelings, even our minds. Music therapy, anyone?
Music can lift us up when we need it most, it can energize us, help us process emotions, and yes, shift our mindsets too.
After thinking about this for a while, I watched a TED talk about music and emotion through time, where Michael Tilson Thomas traces the development of music from ancient times until today, and he says something that really captured my imagination. I’m going to read from the transcript:
“And the chords, it turned out, were capable of representing incredible varieties of emotions. And the basic chords were the ones we still have with us, the triads, either the major one, which we think is happy, or the minor one, which we perceive as sad. But what's the actual difference between these two chords? It's just these two notes in the middle. It's either E natural, and 659 vibrations per second, or E flat, at 622. So the big difference between human happiness and sadness? 37 freakin' vibrations.”
End of quote.
Small shift, big impact.
So, lately, I started organizing playlists on Spotify.
I have one titled “Memory lane” with songs that take me back in time, almost like a time machine.
Another playlist is for bi-neural music like Hemi-Sync aimed to produce a state of coherence between the left and right brain hemispheres that we can use to facilitate deep relaxation, focused attention, deep sleep, meditation or other desired states.
Or “Power songs” – my list of music to lift me up, songs from Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing” to “Firework” from Katy Perry, and “Happy” from Pharrell Williams.
This playlist also includes a very special song I’ve created with an amazing singer-songwriter from Canada, Lowry. He has recorded 9 albums and along with hundreds of his own songs, has co-written hundreds of songs with other people, individually and in groups. Honestly, until I met him, I didn’t even think about the possibility of writing a song.
I want my life to have a great soundtrack. Of course, we can select from thousands of great songs already out there in this universe, but there is something magical about the process of creating our own.
I believe that at a certain age, we have to make a choice: Do we finally express what we believe and start writing our own scripts, or do we just keep going trying to meet other people’s expectations?
For me that choice is clear, and I’m trying to walk my talk but, as you probably know, some days are harder than others. I get so caught up in the day-to-day I forget what it’s all for.
I didn’t realize until I worked with Lowry that, I could write my own power song and play it whenever I need a reminder or a quick pick-me-up.
Now I sing my PowerSong every morning – and anytime I want to re-energize and re-connect with my why.
Singing is so physical. It gets me out of my head. It shifts my mindset and allows me to be more intentional, implementing, and enjoying the process too.
As I promised, I’m not going to sing here, but I want to end today’s episode playing a version of my Power song titled “So lucky to be me” sang by Lowry himself.
I hope this will inspire you to create your own playlist of songs that shift your mindset to expand possibilities. Or maybe even hire Lowry to write one of your own.
I’m brave enough to be the light,
That sees the light in others.
The sparkle that ignites the flame,
so all of us can shine.
From here to the horizon,
I'm a beacon on the sea.
I find join in every moment.
I'm bright. I'm strong. I'm free.
There's a wide world out there waiting!
I'm so lucky to be me.
TED talk Music and Emotion Through Time – Michael Tilson Thomas
More information about Lowry’s PowerSongs at PowerSongs.ca