Life has changed. Fear and worry permeate our society, from the firing of guns on innocent people, the trolling hatred on social media, the degradation of our commander in chief, and to the shaming of groups of people (anyone different from ourselves). Whoa, we all need to take a step back and take a deep breath. Why are we all so ready to fire off? Patience and contemplation are really good things.
I don’t want to make light of the horrible acts of violence that have taken place around the world at seemingly breakneck speed. I am, as we all are, in shock. Why? What could possibly motivate a new mother, who has experienced the miracle of birth, to mow down a happy celebratory group of human beings? Heart beating, family connected, loving individuals who all politely chatted with one another, filled their plates with food, and probably longed for their vacation less than a month away. Why?
The only thing I know to do at this weird, wonky time in our world is to purposely live a life of joy. I want to defy the fear mongerers and naysayers of the world and find the people who seek life and life affirmation. I want to move , move, move forward, clear my mind and try to find solutions. So I decided to do things that comfort me in times of worry. It won’t solve anything except maybe provide you with an itty bit of comfort and peace of mind.
My happy guide to joy
Are you ready to embrace life and move toward love and away from fear? Step right up to my simple solutions. Start with hugging your loved ones often, then….
1. Find a playground and a giant swing. Pump your legs with abandon and the moment you become airborne while the wind flows through your hair, you will realize nothing bad can penetrate that moment. There is an internal power which is generated in that freeing swing through the air. Pure joy.
2. Put your bed cover in a warm dryer on a chilly night, and when it has tumbled to perfection, pull it out and wrap yourself in the loveliness of its warmth, cocoon style. Close your eyes and soak up the pleasure.
3. Stop what you are doing and pet, a pet. Throw their ball/toy, confess your undying love as you rub their sweet spots, and then feed them a sweet treat. If you don’t have one, go to a local shelter and just watch the animals play, sleep, and feed. Pet them and maybe even consider adopting an animal. They give love so unconditionally and teach us so many valuable lessons in life.
4. Take a favorite book and randomly leave it in a place where people linger. Remind yourself about the power of words and ideas. They can be shared without any expectation. Maybe even read it again, before you share it…..books are a lovely distraction and a dreamy escape.
5. Think of a song you adore and play it on repeat. Even if you already own it, spend another 99 cents and send the message of love to the band that they are viable and important in your emotional life. Creativity should be celebrated and appreciated because it wraps around our ears, serves up love and interesting thoughts on a platter, and lastly helps us tap our toes while easily forgetting the crazy world outside.
Let me know what you might add to this list. I have a feeling we are going to need every idea possible.
This is my song for today….okay, true confessions, I have been playing this band on repeat for many weeks. The words make me curious, the guitars sing a special language directly to my soul, and there is a surprisingly smart tempo change at the end of the tune…..I can’t help but have serious appreciation for this young band and their poignant, inventive sound. The song, “Cinnamon” twists and turns somewhat like the times we live in today. One moment seemingly bouncy and light, it then clearly pushes the sound to an abrupt, stretched out, slowdown. Whoa.
Palehound is Ellen Kempner (vocals/guitar), Thom Lombardi (bass/backing vox), Ben Scherer (guitar/backing vox), and Max Kupperberg (drums). The Boston foursome is headed by Ellen’s skillful guitar playing and ever changing voice. The Palehound buzz all came from an impressive show at the CMJ Music Marathon, and of course years of honing the guitar and songwriting skills. The beauty of this band is the fact they are really just getting started.
Now that is music to my ears.