Over at ‘Cauldrons and Cupcakes‘, the lovely Nicole has challenged us to various activities aligning us to slowing down, being mindful, being kind to ourselves and enjoying the moment. She reminds us to spend time on what matters – “family, friendships, fun and the priorities and projects dear to our hearts”, but also concedes that “all of this behaviour can be so very hard to embrace when we have been used to work, work, work, stress, stress, stress, busy, busy, busy”.
As you may have gleaned from my very new and young blog, this is the crux of my soul searching at this time – to find that happy and healthy balance of a busy and productive life tempered with peace, joy, tranquility, serenity, bliss and all those beautiful sounding words! This can be elusive for many people, myself included, and the pursuit of this balance is the focus of my blogging journey.
All of the challenges Nicole has put forward are, to me, essential facets of the life I want to curate. A number of the topics were already in my mind as areas I soon want to explore further, notably ‘nature’ and ‘scent’. And I covered ‘number ten’ yesterday with my account of a day off from life’s normal routine and the respite this provided.
However, ‘number 7’ is my focus for today (and already was prior to reading Nicole’s post – but her posts have a habit of speaking directly to what I am already thinking about. She is psychic, after all). She talks about ‘re-charging the batteries’ through napping or reading, but also through music, which is what I want to touch on tonight…
I mentioned in a previous post that I have had trouble with ‘meditating’ in the past. This has become such a loaded word, instilling pressure and trepidation and an inevitable feeling of failure when one can not simply ‘turn off’ their thoughts, a nigh-on impossible task for many. I spoke of my preference for lying comfortably (in darkness or by candle-light), choosing a favourite oil to diffuse, breathing deeply (no specific count, but always exhaling for longer than inhaling) and allowing myself to be completely absorbed by a piece of music. The choice of music is, of course, deeply personal. But I wanted to share mine…
When I listen to this, I am absolutely mesmerised. I don’t know what it is – maybe it connects me to my Celtic ancestry – but, whatever it is, it overcomes me and I find that not only am I not thinking about work or tasks or appointments, but I’m not thinking about the ‘good’ stuff either – books or films or dinners or travels, all the things that are lovely and fun but are nevertheless stimuli and a different kind of stress.
When I listen to this, I am not thinking at all. I just ‘am’. I’m part of the elements – the earth, the stars, the moon, the waves. I don’t need or want anything else. If that’s not meditating, I don’t know what is…
As an aside, I went to see Aled a few years ago with my Mum. Ticket sales were not as successful as first anticipated and his performance was moved to a very small venue. It was later acknowledged in local media that his show had not been appropriately publicised and promoted, which was a shame. However, it did mean that we were treated to an extremely enjoyable and intimate show, with Aled taking requests and chatting with the audience like we were at a dinner party. What a lovely man – he was charming throughout, even if he did have to field a few too many annoying questions about ‘Escape to the Country’.
Science confirms that humans are hard-wired to respond to music, even before birth. It touches us, heals us, calms us and is used in a myriad of therapies for young and old. It changes our brain waves, eases pain, relaxes body and mind and is universal to all human culture.
I would love to hear what song or tune is your ‘go-to’ piece, and I sincerely hope it soothes you profoundly.