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Music Fills My Soul

In life, we can get run down, feel unmotivated or deflated, or just lose a little of our mojo from time to time. It happens and is a perfectly normal response to the stress and chaos that can surround us. In those times, we have choice in how we respond (well, frankly in all times, as our response is the only thing we have any control over) and in how we allow these outside stresses and chaos to continue to impact us.

One response is to continue to stay in a lower energetic space and to continue to feel that low motivation or desire to progress. This is a normal and acceptable response for a period of time because it allows us to take some time to reflect, focus on the root cause and protect ourselves from any additional harm that might come our way.

A second option is to accept the situation for what it is – tolerating the stress and/or chaos – and taking the approach of “it is what it is”. This tolerance will enable taking control of thoughts, feelings and actions and will allow greater control of reactions reducing the impact of the outside stresses.

And finally, a third option is to find a way or ways to revive oneself. This combination of self-care and inspiration potentially provide for a little more pep and energy, a fresh outlook on life, and a renewed sense of self. For some, this might be a spa weekend with pampering galore, for others, it might be meditation, reflection or yoga to name a few options.

For me, I find that being surrounded by friends and family (i.e. great relationships and connection) is one way that I can begin to refill my tank again. But to really amp it up, I need a creative outlet and a source of inspiration that I not only admire but also am moved by.

This past weekend, I spent three days attending the 50th Anniversary New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. I had no expectations other than sunshine, music, dancing and time with a really great friend. And those expectations were definitely met, but I also was blessed with inspiration and the soul lift that I needed.

While I continue to have to fight Allstate and Farmers Insurance to rebuild my flood damaged and uninhabitable condo, I was able to take those 3 days and turn off those stressors and truly enjoy my surroundings – in sight, sound and taste too. My Jazz Festival experience was a combination of gospel choirs, brass bands, African dancing, rock, alternative, folk and good old-fashioned classic music. From artists like The Bleachers to Better than Ezra to Leon Bridges to Van Morrison, I enjoyed the range of songs, sounds and entertainment. The sun shone brightly EVERY.SINGLE.DAY which always is an added bonus for me. And, of course, no New Orleans festival would be complete without food like jambalaya, crawfish po’boys or crab on everything! Not to mention a hurricane or two (or a newfound favorite along the way Pirogues Punch) and time with one of my best friends to boot!

During those 3 days, my heart was filled up, my soul was stirred, my mind was inspired and I was reminded how much I love and need creativity in my life. With the influence of the arts, I can begin to feel whole again and I feel inspired to take on whatever I need to tackle to be successful.

Certainly, I will come down from this high, but am reminded again how to fill myself up; and how necessary it is for my own sanity and survival.

So, when you are feeling a little low, a little out of sorts or a little tired, what are the activities, surroundings or sources of inspiration that will fill you back up again? Is it quiet time or with a group? Is it the arts or intellectual stimulation? Is it pampering or sweating it out? Take some time to reflect on what it is that you really need to rejuvenate yourself and then take the time to actually incorporate those things into your life. You deserve to be happy, healthy and filled with passion, energy and enthusiasm – and if you’re not feeling it, figure out why and what you need to shift.

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