Music for the spirit

I have always been a very musical person. To clarify, that means I’ve always been moved right to the core of my soul by music. Not that *I* can create that music. I love singing but the only one who likes listening to me sing is the dog (not the cat). The most entertainment my singing has ever brought me is watching the looks of mortification on the faces of my children while I sing and dance around the kitchen singing loudly to some 80s song. It actually brings me a lot more enjoyment than it should, doing that.

This morning I was driving to my walk after dropping the kids off when I started watching the lady at the red light across the intersection from me. She was maybe in her early 30s and was all dressed up so I assume she was going to work. Usually I pass people on their way to work and they already look so exhausted and unhappy. I often think what a miserable way to start the day off, big frown of stress, coffee in one hand, cigarette in the other, cell phone going (yes, I’m aware that that’s more hands than we have – you should see the drivers here, it’s insane). But back to this lady. I don’t know what she was listening to but oh man she must have loved it. She was full on car dancing. Hands waving up in the air, head flinging around, mouth singing. She was having a blast. She had an advance green while I was still waiting and I smiled as I watched her happily sing her way through the intersection. I don’t know where she was going or what is happening in her life – but for that moment in time she was radiating happiness. I was having kind of a groggy morning and she lifted me out of my fog and put a big smile on my face that I carried through my cold morning walk.

The power of music.

Music has always been able to enhance my moods. When I need to get myself up and moving, I have a song for that. When I’m feeling melancholy, I have a song for that. When I’m homesick, I have a song for that (Alberta Bound by Paul Brandt – I just had to stop and watch that 3 times – now I really am homesick. That is where my soul lives while the rest of me is stuck elsewhere). When I’m happy I, I have a song for that. Songs bring back memories of good times – every time I hear Billy Idol I see my badass little pony Pirate bouncing his head along to White Wedding.

A few years ago I was lucky enough to go to a JourneyDance at Kripalu which was probably the first time I spent 3 whole days dancing – in public – to the rhythm of my soul. I remember Toni Bergins saying something to the effect that she didn’t need therapy as long as she could dance. Very true. I loved it – and I’m not really one usually to be shaking my moves in public. I could tell things were going the wrong direction for me when I was back a couple of years later and couldn’t do the lunch time dance because I could feel there was so much sadness in my body and I couldn’t stop and deal with it then. I’m dancing again now though!

Every morning the kids and I listen to Deva Premal  on Pandora. Every once in a while the ipad is missing or I forget to turn it on and always the kids say “mom, don’t forget to turn on your yoga music. It makes me feel so relaxed and ready for the day.” The morning whining and fighting has all but disappeared since we started listening to her to begin our day.

I was first introduced to her music 8 years ago in Quebec at my first yoga class. The Gayatri Mantra affected me in a way that no other piece of music ever has. Without being able to understand a single word of it, it reached right into the core of my soul and shone some light. It made me feel safe, happy, warm, relaxed and at peace.

GAYATRI MANTRA (from Deva Premal’s website)

Om bhur bhuvaha svaha

Tat savitur varenyam

Bhargo devasya dhimahi

Dhiyo yonah prachodayat


Praise to the source of
all things.

It is due to you that we attain

true happiness on the planes
of earth, astral, causal.
It is due to your transcendent
nature that you are worthy of
being worshipped and adored.
Ignite us with your all
pervading light

I listen to that song at least once – and often many more times – a day. It lightens my soul and makes me a happier person. Day 3 of my 44 days of happiness was brought to me by that lady car dancing at the light. I’m thankful she gave me the opportunity to reflect on what joy music brings to my life.