Years ago as a single mom of three, I experienced firsthand the dramatic effect of music. As I stood at my kitchen sink in a highly agitated state, beautiful piano music filled the room. I literally felt the stress leave my body as the healing power of the music surrounded me. The music was coming from my tenant, who had permission to walk in my house and play the piano. He had no idea I was home.
The effect on me was immediate, whereas if I had taken a pill to calm down it would have taken time, not to mention the possibility of adverse side effects.
Music heals. It improves moods, creating a more positive state of mind that can help keep depression at bay. It stimulates brain cells, resulting in sharper concentration and more alert thinking.
Music can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure, thus lowering your risk of stroke and other related health problems. While negative emotions may trigger our pain response, music taps into the neurochemical pathways of healing, releasing endorphins that act as natural painkillers.
According to a study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing, listening to music daily can reduce chronic pain by up to 21 percent. The study also revealed that listening to music allowed people to feel more in control of their pain, thus less disabled by their condition. (1)
Music evokes strong emotions and can alter how we perceive the world around us. It can stimulate certain areas of the brain, speed healing, decrease anxiety and increase optimism. Is there a drug on the market that can claim to do the same without potentially harmful side effects?
Why does music heal? Very little is known about why it has such healing properties. However, there is an ancient philosophical concept, commonly referred to as the harmony of the spheres. Pythagoras believed that the sun, moon and planets all emit their own unique hum based on their orbital revolution and that the quality of life on Earth reflects the tenor of celestial sounds that are physically imperceptible to the human ear.
For me, that is exactly why music is such a powerful force. It has the ability to touch us at a deep level, ever-reminding us that we are a part of a greater whole, which operates in perfect harmony. It reminds us that our natural state of being is harmonious and helps us realign when we’re stressed and in a state of discordance.
Below is an excerpt from an article called “Music in the Nursery” by Kate Mucci that elegantly describes the miraculous healing power of music.
A tiny infant lies in a neonatal ward. The heat of an incubator replaces the warmth of her mother’s arms; tubes filled with nutrients replace her mother’s milk. Every breath is a struggle. Her underdeveloped heart beats erratically. All around her are other infants in distress — the monitors attached to them bleep in time with their struggle to live. Fear is on the faces of anxious parents hovering as close as possible. Nurses scurry to and fro, dealing with crises every moment…
In the midst of this, a harpist enters the ward. She begins to softly play an ancient lullaby. After a few moments, the monitors steady. Nearly all of the infants breathe more easily; their heart rates steady, and they rest. Many of them fall into deep sleep — the first they have had since the harpist last was here. The nurses relax, and smiles of relief grace the faces of the parents when they see the tiny souls absorbing the healing power of this beautiful music.
Yes, what the world needs now is simply more and more beautiful music.
1. Siedlecki, Sandra L. and Good, Marion. “Effect of music on power, pain, depression and disability.” Journal of Advanced Nursing Vol. 54.5. June, 2006: 553-562.
Journal of Advanced Nursing Press Release, 5/24/06
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So what’s the difference?
When you actively look for a sign or message, you’re setting yourself up for being misled, confused and overwhelmed.
You’re actively looking for a sign on whether or not you should take the job, move to a different city or end your relationship, and next thing you know, everything’s a sign, and you still have no idea what you should do.
You see a dog crossing the street with a blue collar and think, “Yes, that’s the sign! I should move to a place near the ocean!” Then you see a commercial with happy young folk in the city and wonder, “Hmmm… this could be the sign. Maybe I should stay in the city.” A roll of paper towels falls off the counter, must be a sign. Someone knocks on the door so many times, a sign. Do you see where I’m going with this?
When we actively seek out signs and messages from the Universe, we’re letting our mind do the work. Your mind can easily argue, sway and support each option or direction without any problems. It’s logical, rational and can weigh the pros and cons like a champ, but it can’t feel what’s right for you. So when you let your mind do the sign reading, suddenly you’re even more overwhelmed by the possibilities and potential signs.
When you state your question clearly and then release it to the Universe, allowing yourself to be open and receptive to the answers, you find clarity, synchronicity and guidance. It never fails.
Get clear on what it is that you need support and guidance around…
Should I move to a new city, or is this the place for me?
Is this the right relationship for me?
Do I really want this job, or do I want something different?
Ask the questions, take a deep breath and release it to the Universe. Stop thinking about it and engage in the present moment. Go to work, be with the guy, do what you normally do around the city. Don’t go into your head to try and “sort it out” or seek a sign. Just be… and be open.
The Universe works through people, and signs can come in many forms. A video that your friend forwards you with an underlying message that sparks a sense of knowing in your soul. A series of status updates, shares or tweets that you’re able to feel a common thread between. A question in an advertisement that sparks clarity. An article, billboard or random string of conversations that raises the hairs on your neck.
This is knowing.
Knowing doesn’t come from seeking and forcing.
Knowing comes from…
1) Being clear on where you need guidance. Ask your question clearly, where exactly do you need support, answers or guidance?
2) Releasing it to the Universe. No more weighing the options in your mind. Send it off and trust that it’s been heard.
3) Engaging in the present moment. Just be present in your life and tuned into your body. Your intuition lives in your body, and if you want to know the answers and be able to receive them, you have to be engaged in it, not your mind.
4) Staying open and receptive. If you have to think about whether or not it’s a sign or guidance, it’s not. You’re forcing it. If something is said or comes on your radar that sparks a physical reaction — a clear sense of truth — you have your answers.
So tell me…
What do you need guidance and support on?
Use the steps above to find your answers.
Stephenie Zamora is the founder of www.stepheniezamora.com;, a full-service, life-purpose development, design and branding boutique. Here she merges the worlds of personal development and branding to help young women build passion-based businesses. Click here to download her free guide, “The Unexpected Trick to Transforming Your Life With ONE Single Question.”
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In reality, how is it our job to hold others accountable? Meaning, what exactly do we do to enforce it, when we speak that statement?
Punish them for not coming through, by yelling, the silent treatment, ignoring them, complaining… taking one of their toys away? What exactly are we doing by being their parent or punisher?
Many of us think if we speak words of personal conviction it actually means something to the other person. It might for a minute or two, but when we continue to act in ways, which contradict or don’t support our own words, the other person thinks we don’t mean it.
I’m not talking about threats and following through on them (that’s what I call controlling manipulation). I am talking about our making statements about how we need something or how we feel… if our own actions don’t honor our words, how can we expect anyone else to?
If we ask our mate to do something or show up in a certain way and they don’t, what can we do?
It helps to first gain some clarity. If our mate disappointed us by not following through on something they agreed to, then we need to discuss it with them. We need to listen to what they want to tell us (not what we want to hear, but what they want to say), and then we need to accept it.
At that point, we need to honestly state our truth without beating them up. We share from the focus on exactly how we feel now, not the other 32 times they let us down by not cleaning the litter box. Some people will not want to hear our words. Some may try to tell us our feelings are not valid (and right there is a great place to insert, “I’m sorry you feel that way, but I feel how I feel.”) And others may apologize, but yet take no action or make false promises.
If there is true understanding and desire to have the relationship remain healthy, then it is can’t be pushed under the rug. There is always an impact on the relationship when disappointment has happened… and it is an opportunity for two people to work together or it can push them further apart.
Communicating all the time, so everyone is clear is great, but again, let’s say we have a conversation about being disappointed and our partner continues to let us down, what do we do if we don’t punish him or her?
We ask ourselves how we feel. Many of us have a sore feeling of lack, which is why we hold our mates accountable. They need to show us we’re worthy and when they don’t come through, for many of us it is an indictment to our level of self-worth. Our mate has once again proven how unlovable we are when we stand in lack.
When we gain some clarity, we can ask ourselves deeper questions. Are our needs met in other ways? Is this a significant incident in the overall treatment we receive in the relationship — is it the standard operating system of our partner to not respect us? Do we feel we’re swallowing our honor or our value?
Then we turn the questions inward on ourselves and ask, “Are we meeting our own needs? How do we treat ourselves? Are we respecting our own boundaries? Are we saying what we mean and backing it with action?”
If we’re remiss in how we treat us, so are others. We must practice self-care, love and respect. In self-care, we shift the control of ourselves from waiting or wanting someone else to fulfill us, to making sure we are honoring ourselves. We must begin with self-acceptance, which includes where we may judge ourselves harshly too. Often, those who have a huge inner-critic also are home to a badass judge who perceives others with a heavy gavel.
Self-care doesn’t mean we do everything on our own. It just means that we’re willing to do what we need to make sure we’re taken care of and that includes having boundaries for how we want to be treated.
It always comes back to us when we’re talking about accountability. If we’re serious about a relationship, we need to be clear on those boundaries and what it means to uphold them.
And if we’re not treated appropriately by others and we’re treating ourselves with respect and love, then it is probably time to re-evaluate our expectations of what the relationship is giving to us. Settling when we really love ourselves is not an option, it’s when we don’t really love ourselves that we want to hold everything outside of us accountable for that lack.
In conclusion, speak up with love, look within our thoughts and feelings to get clear follow through with action to back up our words, thoughts and feelings.