Music Wednesday: Let your light shine

I realized as a part of last weeks thankful/lessons post that if I want to be the beautiful mosaic, I must live a life that causes it. I can’t sit and wait for life to happen to me, but I must go out and act upon it. As I’ve written before, action is not an issue for me. Typically it’s inaction that’s an issue. Sitting around causes me to be the child with Tourettes on the roller coaster, but I’m learning how to balance. How to know what I have to be patient about, and what I can intentionally act towards.

I’m also learning, though, that in both scenarios I have a chance to let my light, my true self, show. The fire within me, the parts and pieces, the paint on the canvas. Especially in action, but even in inaction.

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Katy Perry has a song about just that. About the power of a person’s being. About letting your light shine. I heard a church sermon given on this song and the Matthew 5:15 verse; it was probably one of the best sermons I’ve ever experienced.

“You don’t have to feel like a wasted space
You’re original, cannot be replaced
If you only knew what the future holds
After a hurricane comes a rainbow

Maybe you reason why all the doors are closed
So you could open one that leads you to the perfect road
Like a lightning bolt, your heart will glow
And when it’s time you’ll know

You just gotta ignite the light and let it shine
Just own the night like the 4th of July

‘Cause, baby, you’re a firework
Come on, show ‘em what you’re worth
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y

Baby, you’re a firework
Come on, let your colours burst
Make ‘em go “Oh, oh, oh”
You’re gonna leave ‘em all in awe, awe, awe”

In my concern about the present, the suck that has been this year of climbing and cursing towards happiness, I sometimes forget that the storms and hurricanes bring rainbows and clear skies. That in the storms you must not cower, but stand strong and let your light shine to guide you safely on your journey.

That you are worth the fight of the storm.

You are a beautiful firework on the path to your perfect place in the sky, even if you don’t know what that path is yet. The colors on your canvas, the shine of your color burst, is and will be stunning. You are too beautiful to cower in the storm or sit idly as life acts upon you.

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There will be people who tell you you can’t do things. Events that seem to cause the path you though you should be on to become blocked. Setbacks. Heartache. Moments feeling lost.

In those moments, especially, we must let our light shine. For in those moments, the ones that take the deepest of courage, we show what we are made of.

Shine away, darling. And grab your shades. There are rainbows in your future.

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{Happy} Friday funday with a splash of music

I watched the first :30 or so of this video and  set it up as a saved draft for next Wednesday’s “music wednesday”. As I finished watching the video, I realized I couldn’t wait.

Thank you to Fast Co for bringing the initiative of this video to my attention. Just watching the promo clip made me smile from ear to ear and start tapping my foot along to the beat. The lyrics hold true, too, to what I’m trying to accomplish in my life and what I think I’m writing about searching for in this blog. I think a lot of people will be able to relate. I mean, look at the chorus:

“Because I’m happy

Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof 

Because I’m happy 

Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth 

Because I’m happy 

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you 

Because I’m happyClap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do”

Sometimes we let others or the things around us get us down. Sometimes we let those things seal us and our happiness potential into a space too small….a room WITH a roof. We deserve to be happy, and we can be. We just have to act towards the things that make us that way and cast aside or ignore the things that don’t.

I am really excited to see the full 24hr production and can only imagine the fun they had making it. The article mentions that this will be the first 24hr video produced and talks about the creative obstacles related to that. Pharrell actually has a really good quote about how creative obstacles are the best kind because they force us to push ourselves and think in new ways.

“The best work comes from people who are motivated by crisis–when something stops the original idea, they respond by coming up with something even better. Existence is all mathematics,” he says. “There’s an equation for success in every obstacle.”

I think this is true with every obstacle in our life, creative or otherwise. Thinking about, taking action, and overcoming something that was a hurdle in our life’s path causes us to be an even better version of ourselves. And probably happier too!

Happy Friday guys.

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Dance party Wednesday

For this week’s music Wednesday, I thought I’d share a track with you that immediately lifts my mood and always gets me up bouncing around. Even if I’m by myself, in the car, it’s my own little dance party.

This past week has been stressful and this song helps remind me that sometimes you just have to shake it off and dance it away.

Happy dance party, everyone!

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Give a little

I know I’m a day late on Music Wednesday. I blame the plague that visited over the weekend. Anyway…

This song makes me want to boogie around the apartment in my undies. It’s got a great beat, and I think the message applies in all aspects of life, but especially love. If we all focused on giving, making others happy, TRULY happy, I think most relationships – personal, business, friendships – would benefit greatly.

This will be a struggle for me having had to take care of my own happiness for so long, but I already see how happy I am currently and am becoming as I grow in my new life. It makes me excited to find the person out there who will willingly and gladly be my equal and give happiness to me as I will give to him.

But for now, dance party time.

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Real vs Perceived

I saw a tweet the other day that spoke to me:

Sometimes it’s hard to live the life that would make you happy instead of the life that would make other people think you are happy.

I think it pretty well sums up some of the kickback we received after letting people know of our decision. A lot of people, when they found out, throw all sorts of “fix” ideas at us. Like they somehow thought we wouldn’t have tried everything in our power. I am beginning to understand it’s their own version of a coping mechanism in hopes to be helpful because they don’t know what else to do. But it’s tiring to have to re-explain and convince them that we did our due diligence and made the decision we think is right.

Most of this has calmed down, but I do think it is a continuous struggle to remember, after trying so long in a different vein, that I am worthy of living the life that makes me happy.

This is not to say we didn’t start happy. We were. But something changed. I don’t know what. I don’t know that I’ll ever know what. But I know that I put in enough effort to try and fix it to be okay with our decision. And I think that this long-span time of fixing singularly, while necessary, is what threw off our friends and family the most. Because in that time I continued to act in a way that made others think I was happy, that masked the real struggle. So when we decided to change the situation, to take the step to find and live the lives that would make us happy, it was a surprise to many.

There’s a song off of Sara Bareilles’s new album that sums this up pretty well.

“Let me paint a picture for you then I’ll have to teach you to see it
Illustrate the remnants of the life I used to live here in Eden
Rolled a lucky pair of dice, ended up paradise
Landed on a snake’s eyes, took a bite and ended up bleeding

You know if I could change anything, I think I would start with the name
The truth is all those angels started acting the same
And I know there’s no going back now cause
Life in Eden
Life in Eden changed
No way to make the pain play fair
It doesn’t disappear just because you say it isn’t there
So when they ask why’d she go you can say cause
Life in Eden
Life in Eden changed”

A conversation with a friend kind of sums this up. She questioned me a month or two ago. Not out of trying to change my mind, necessarily. But out of concern and understanding. She wanted to make sure there wasn’t something she was missing…some bit that made it all make sense to the outsider looking in. In trying to explain to her, I began to realize just how shut off I had made myself in the struggle. How hidden it was, even to my closest friends and family. And I think so much of it goes back to that quote. I had tried to continue to live the perceived life that made others think I/we was/were happy, while not really being happy.
Life in Eden had changed.
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Let’s not forget we’re alive

After a gloomy couple days, I went back to a song a good friend sent me recently and took it in. The song is by Joshua Radin, from his new album “Wax Wings”. 

The day, for the most part, is what you make it. It’s time to make my days beautiful. Live life big and hard, smile lots and love strong. There’s only this one life. I plan on making the most of it.

I’m gonna wash the dust off my soul

I’m gonna listen to some rock n’ roll

No cares, come what may

I’m making a beautiful day 

I’m gonna drive my car into the sea

Swim out far cause I believe that the waves will wash the gray away

I’m making a beautiful day

But let me hear you say 

[Chorus:]

Oooh ooohh my my

I’m learning to fly

Hey hey what’s that you’re saying

Lets not forget we’re alive

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Music Wednesday: Calm down. Enjoy the ride.

This week’s song is continuing the theme of the crazy kid on the roller coaster ride vs. enjoying the moment. It is and will always be a continual struggle with me because of my planning, organizing nature…but it’s one I keep working at. Things work out. All will be well. Because I know, inherently, that it will be. I just need the constant reminder. Sometimes more forcefully than others.

And this song? I don’t know why, but it speaks to me. Maybe it’s the melody on the piano. The softness of the tones. Or just the reiteration that “All will be well”.

The new day dawns
And I am practicing my purpose once again
Keep it up and don’t give up
And chase your dreams and you will find
All in time.
All will be well.
Even after all the promises you’ve broken to yourself,
All will be well.
You can ask me how but only time will tell.
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Over the Rainbow

Today’s Music Wednesday is brought to you by a (relatively) new lady to the broadly known singing world, or at least a new face to me, and I’m so glad I found her. Yet another strong vocalist with meaningful lyrical capabilities. I present to you Alyssa Bonagura.

The song is “Over the Rainbow”, on her new album, and is a lullaby about dreams that get followed coming true. It seems, especially considering yesterday’s “Rainbows of the future” post, particularly meaningful. The lyrics are as follows:

Over the rainbow waiting for you
Is everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
Beyond the rainbow, beyond the clouds
You can have it all. Anything you want.
You have the choice
You have the time
To have a voice
To make it right
So don’t give in
When things get grim
You can make your own sunshine
Find the truth, forget the lies
All you have to do is believe in you
Over the rainbow waiting for you
Is everything you’ve ever dreamed of.
Why can’t you send me over the rainbow
You can have it all, anything you want.
You have the choice
You have the time
To have a voice
To make it right
So don’t give in
When things get grim
You can make your own sunshine
Find the truth, forget the lies
All you have to do is believe in you
Over the rainbow
Over the rainbow
Waiting for you…
 
I think it’s important for me to remember that I can do anything. I have the time to figure out what I want; the ability to follow my dreams and search out the rainbows. I have the ability to make my own sunshine and my own happiness, after so many months without it.

This bright future is mine.

And that? That’s awesome.

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Brave Part 2: The Inspiration

Everyone who knows me, knows I’m an uber-fan of Sara Bareilles. The voice, the style, the personality…it’s all there. Her music is true to herself. And maybe that’s what I like best, that self-truth. After all, that’s a part of this journey called life, right?

Her most recent single (off of her new album! eekk!!!) is the above and titled “Brave”. Her reasons for writing it are different than my reasons for finding it inspirational, but the underlying thought of courage and bravery resonate no matter the intended subject.

“Maybe there’s a way out of the cage where you live
Maybe one of these days you can let the light in
Show me how big your brave is
Say what you wanna say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave
With what you want to say
And let the words fall out
Honestly I wanna see you be brave”

I think everyone could deal with a bit more bravery in their life. The courage to know they are worth fighting for, and so are the things that matter. But to also know when to lay down the sword because the fighting is getting you nowhere.

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