Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Series: My life is like a Jewel Album PART I

Every morning my alarm rings at 5:00. I have to leave with a coffee in my hands to walk to the train to be sure not to miss it at 5:45. So I get up brush my teeth all the way into the kitchen grind my coffee beans, and start a brew, wash, get dressed, grab my coffee and my lunch and go.

I arrive in the city at 7:25 and walk or bike (I LOVE BIXIS) to work depending on the season. By the time I get to work it's about 7:53 and I have just enough time to go to the washroom and log in and get a coffee in time for work at 8:00am.  

All this to illustrate how little time I have and explain why it is that...

I just re-discovered the joy of listening to a whole album. I just didn't seem to have the time anymore. 

I know that sounds ridiculous but I'll explain. The main place that I could enjoy an album in full was in my car. I don't use my car to get to work anymore so I don't get to enjoy that.

Ipods don't encourage listening to a full CD. I always end up listening to a podcast or something.

When I have dinner with my family we will often pop on an album but my husband is usually in control of what we listen to because during those times we just want some nice sounds to support our interactions with each other and he's good at finding that. 

If I play music that I choose, I end up in my own musical and I am just on stage by myself. I can't help myself! 

I have to sing it is a requirement to enjoying the music for me and that is not very interactive. It is actually the opposite and makes my teenagers and husband run except for my sweet "bonus daughter" K who will enthusiastically have me write the lyrics down to sing with me.

But I digress.... I wanted to talk to you guys about how an interesting thing happened when I popped in a CD that I used to listen to about 10 years ago. 

I realized that I had embodied my interpretation of the messages from all my favorite songs off the album.

These songs became my mantras in times of loneliness and despair. I sang them with all my heart and they changed me.

In this series I will tell you about the life lesson I took from each one of my favorite songs! Aren't you excited?!

So for PART I of this series we are going to talk about the first song on the album: "Deep Water" on "Spirit" by Jewel;  This excites me because just the title alone evokes so many things. If you haven't heard it and wanna listen to what I am talking about here it is. 

You find yourself falling down
Your hopes in the sky
But you heart like grape gum on the ground
And you try to find yourself
In the abstractions of religion
And the cruelty of everyone else
And you wake up to realize
Your standard of living somehow got stuck on survive
When you're standing in deep water
And you're bailing yourself out with a straw
And when you're drowning in deep water
And you wake up making love to a wall
Well it's these little times that help to remind
It's nothing without love
You wake up to realize your only friend
Has never been yourself or anybody who cared in the end
That's when suddenly everything fades or falls away
'Cause the chains which once held us are only the chains which we've made
When you're standing in deep water
And you're bailing yourself out with a straw
And when you're drowning in deep water
And you wake up making love to a wall
Well it's these little times that help to remind
It's nothing without love, love, love
It's nothing without love
We've compromised our pride
And sacrificed out health
We have to demand more
Not of each other
But more from ourselves
"Cause when you're standing in deep water
And you're bailing yourself out with a straw
When you're drowning in deep water
And you wake up making love to a wall
Well it's these little times that help to remind
It's nothing without love, love, love
It's nothing without love
It's nothing without love

 Lesson Learned: Self Love; Learn to love yourself in this deep down way.  

In my thirties realized that I had a lot of compassion for others but not for myself.

I would look at old pictures of my self during the critical ages of about fourteen to nineteen and remembered how much I sincerely didn't like myself. 

I realized I was so mean to myself. I still had self defeating messages that carried on into my thirties.

I had been bullied in elementary school but I was free of that now and I still found a way to perpetuate it. 

I became my own bully. 

When we have a victim mentality we think that others are the enemy and get stuck in blaming others. 

I decided to take control and stop being my own worst enemy. It was easy form me to understand this intellectually but it took me a long time to embody it or feel it in my heart.

But I did and you can too! 

When I talk to my friends about these experiences I try to give as many details as I can to help them make the switch in their mind that liberated me. 

I hope this helps but keep on reading because if it doesn't I will give you a trick to stop those pervasive thoughts when you get them.

I still get these pervasive thoughts when I am not doing well.They go something like this: "You're a loser; What is wrong with you? Why can't you...". 

This is no way to elevate yourself to be all that you can be whether it be on a personal, inter-personal, professional, spiritual, physical or unnamed happiness you are trying to achieve when you don't have love for yourself.

You paralyze yourself. 

The song "Deep Water" may be interpreted in many ways but the way it spoke to me was:  "If you cannot love yourself you have no life at all. You are only existing, compromising your health and well-being and it is not up to anyone else to change that but yourself."

There are times when you feel like you are just spinning with bad self defeating thoughts and the worst part about it is that even if you do care about yourself and have some measure of self love when or how do you stop the pervasive/bad thoughts that I like to call "noise"?

The noise stops with self love and you have to demand it from yourself.

Here is my trick to get rid of the noise: think another thought that is positive. I know it sounds over simplistic but it works.

It is actually really hard to do because bad thoughts are like biting your nails. Often times you don't even notice you're having them they aren't even conscious. I'm not telling you to perform miracles but when you do notice the noise:"You're a loser" change it to a positive thought:"I'm worthy" and say it to yourself instead to banish the noise.

Songs are really helpful in that way. Songs are also pervasive and they can help you associate good memories with them depending on who you listened to them with or by reminding you of a happy period in your life when you listened to them.

You don't have to be a Jewel fan to overcome those pervasive BAD thoughts. Just find your own song or take mine I am willing to share and I'm sure Jewel is too.

With my interpretation of that song every time I sang: "It's nothing without love." I was able to concentrate on the song, the conversations I've had with it playing in the background send myself love every time.

A final thought to leave you with on synchronicity. 

I have been mulling over the idea of writing this blog series for several months. I had started writing it and knew what I wanted to say but did not finalize it yet.

Today on the day that I decide to finish writing my first post I got my thought for today newsletter from Oprah and the subject was: "5 ways to find peace in less than 5 minutes; How to stop bad thoughts". 

When I read it number 3 was:

Head It Off With A Decoy

When our brain insists on reminding us of that awful thing we said at the party last night, most of us react by suppressing the thought (and perhaps groaning). This often works, found British neuroscientists Roland Benoit and Michael Anderson, who used an MRI machine to trace the brain activity of people who were trying to forget something. In a study published in the journal Neuron, they explained that when we push a memory out of our head, activity in the hippocampus, the region of the brain critical for remembering the past, is inhibited. However, there's always the threat that the thought will pop up again... and again. Another trick that the scientists tested was thought substitution: Whenever you start rehashing the night, tell yourself instead to think about your vacation to Aruba, or reimagine every bite of a meal you enjoyed. Doing this will induce frenetic activity in the parts of the brain that need to work to retrieve memories and along the pathways to consciousness. The two thoughts will literally compete for your attention, so make the substitution memory engaging and pleasurable enough to win.
This is my act of spiritual activism this week what's yours?

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