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What We're Reading Now

Sing Yourself to a Better Place

14 August 2012

Allison pressed repeat on Brent & Co.'s song, Breathe, and found herself feeling better.

Tags: allison read, balance, brene brown, communication, happiness, mindfulness, music, ted

Our blog is called What We’re Reading Now but from time to time we write about what we’re listening to (Mercy by the Dave Matthew’s Band) or watching (The Muppets movie, the last episode of Oprah, or Brené Brown’s famous TedTalk). This week I found myself needing to write about another song.

There are all sorts of things to like about Charlottesville, including shopping at Whole Foods on Thursdays after work and enjoying live music outside the store. On July 26, I paused on my way to pick up dinner when I heard Brent Peterson of Brent & Co. Here’s their description from Facebook, “A bit like a small child with their finger on the shuffle button. Rock, country and reggae all in one place at the same time.” That’s my kind of fun and I happily paid $5.00 for their new CD.

I enjoyed a lime popsicle on the way home while listening to the five songs on the CD. When I pulled into my driveway, the fifth track, Breathe, started to play and I had to stay in the car. You know how certain songs just speak to you from the first note? Not only did I love the tune, but I found the lyrics to be especially powerful. I had just blogged about mindfulness and meditation the week before and shared many of the tools I teach to help people relax and reset the message in their minds. Breathe became the perfect addition to my toolbox and I’ve been listening to it every day for the last three weeks.

One of our closely held beliefs at Allison Partners is that words matter. A lot. It’s important to choose your words carefully when you’re communicating with others and perhaps even more important when you’re talking to yourself. Too often the things we’re saying quietly to ourselves are anxiety producing, worrisome, mean and sometimes downright toxic. You’d almost never talk to another human being the way you might often talk to yourself. It’s important to try to change that inner dialogue to be encouraging, supportive, curiously inquisitive, and in search of positive solutions. However, before I can get to that state of mind, I often need something to help me stop the negative refrain in my mind and great music often helps me do just that.

Now, you have to be careful about the music you pick. Some of my favorites are powerful and poingnant but have all sorts of lyrics that are moody, blue, and downright angry. There’s a time and place for those tunes, but for this mental exercise, I’m looking for something peaceful and happy. Songs like Breathe are what I'm talking about and sometimes I just press repeat. A long time ago I learned that my Daddy does math problems in his head or sings one of the hundreds of hymns he learned as a child when he wants to feel better. As Mama says, "No wonder he's so cheerful all the time." Whether you add Breathe to your playlist or sing a childhood song, I encourage you to find something that helps you to change that inner tune when you’re worrying or being negative. You just might feel better.


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