I talk a lot about how much music and sound can help us and so you may have seen or read similar from me before. We can all use a refresher on certain things from time to time though haha so you might as well read it again ūüėČ

I run several community music projects and the changes I see in people who join us is wonderful!

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The benefits of music and sound therapies and activities are immense. Many studies have shown improvement in;  

  • ¬†Asthma¬†¬†
  • COPD¬†¬†
  • Memory function
  • Depression¬†¬†
  • Blood¬†Pressure¬†¬†
  • Boost our immune systems¬†
  • Reduce pain¬†
  • Reduce stress and anxiety¬†

 

Singing helps by improving lung function and capacity. Listening can slow our heart rate so we feel less anxious. Sound therapies using specific tonal frequencies work by engaging the brain waves in such a way that they can put us in a sort of hypnotic trance that potentially aids healing.   

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I do truly believe that music, especially in a communal setting can help so much. 

I’ve seen how music can alter moods and bring people together. People who ordinarily sit in silence will start interacting, maybe even singing along it’s just so beautiful to see.¬†¬†

This engagement can lift our mental health so much and it’s definitely this community spirit that needs to be focused more on. Today’s society encourages us so much to be individualistic. Solitude and time on our own¬†is¬†valuable to recharge and re-energise¬†but being disconnected from our communities is where things start to go wrong. We must keep our local connections to feel a part of the world. Get involved- if you have elderly¬†neighbours, check if they’re ok or want a chat. If there’s a local school fair, see if they need a hand setting up. Animals, contact a rescue and join them!¬†We all have valuable skills that we can put to use to make the world better.

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I wanted to do this “refresher” blog as I’ll be sharing some individual stories with you over the next few months and showing a more personal side to how music can help. So with this little overview you can see the possibilities on an abstract scale and hopefully I can take you on a more human journey with what magical things music do!

 

Best Wishes,

Bexi

xx

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Surround Yourself With All People!

I listened to a presentation this week where we were told that we are the average of the people we spend the most time with. This echos the ever popular (and slightly cringey!) “Your vibe attracts your tribe”.

I understand this mentality, I really do. It’s great to surround ourselves with inspiring people and boost each other.

However, there’s a danger that this mentality is going too far. Imagine if a nurse told her patients they can’t be around sick people, “bad vibes, soz babez!”

Imagine if every husband that cares for their chronically ill wife decided to tell her he couldn’t be around her as “you’re bringing me down, love!” and vice versa.

Every parent with a difficult teenager told them they had no time for them as they’re not in a positive enough “zone”.

I have personal experience with this having had depression myself and living with my boyfriend Tim who has dealt with deep depression for years, and we’ve both only begun to heal the last few years of our near ten year relationship. He could have easily left me, saying I was bringing him further down, but neither of us thought like that. We know we love each other and wanted to grow together and get better.

I do actually believe that we attract the people in our lives. Sometimes though, we attract them so we can help or they can help us. So we can learn. So we can grow ourselves and help others grow in return.

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With my amazing Tim!

Apply this attitude of only surrounding yourself with positive people to the way we think of money. Money is energy too so it’s a good analogy. Only associating with rich people and helping those who are rich means the rich get richer and this is how people get pushed further and further downwards.

We need to surround the people you think of as “low vibe” people with love and support even more so, not decide they are bringing us down and abandon them! Yes of course, protect your health and only each of us truly knows our individual situation so there is no blame being thrown here on those who do choose to separate from others. Do what you feel is right and the best for yours and the other persons’ good.

I know this blog is a bit of ramble sorry, it all came pouring out quickly! I’ll probably edit it soon to make more sense haha!

 

Best Wishes,

Bexi

xx

Filling in…

I return after another extended break from my writing here!

It’s been a beautiful year so far, lots of travelling with Mind on Music, some wonderful,¬†gigs and much sharing of our messages! What will follow will be a very self indulgent post haha as I reflect on what I’ve been up to since I last wrote to you all. Just look at the pics if you don’t fancy the read!

I’ve still been writing a fair bit, just had a break from the blog as it was a challenge fitting everything in but I’m ready to share again and looking forward to it!

Here are some photos from the last few months to show what I’ve been up to…

 

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Set up a monthly Pop up Tea Party for people living with dementia!

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Delivered lots of Dementia Friends Sessions!

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Travelled to India!

I’ve been so lucky that this year has been wonderful so far (tw). The travel challenge has still been that- a challenge- but I wanted it to be and I’ve been learning so much. I’ll post about that properly soon. I’ve made lots more space this year for learning and have been on several courses, workshops and have been studying at home for an online course in Song Therapy and also have been learning piano and guitar at home!

I think reflecting and writing down what we’ve been doing is a nice way of seeing how much we’ve grown as sometimes living day to day we become impatient. I was actually feeling a little down this weekend, that growth is not happening fast enough but when I see how I was this time last year, I can see a big difference in my attitude and in my understanding.

Setting up the pop up tearoom has been a big change, as I’ve loved being involved with others’ events but I’ve wanted to contribute more personally for a long while so I feel much more connected in doing so and I hope it will be the start of several projects that I set up myself through Mind on Music.

Two months ago, my partner Tim and I travelled to India which was a dream of mine for many years! I’m so glad we went and I have future posts to speak more about our time there so I won’t say much now other than, again, I learnt many lessons whilst there!

Great, now we’re caught up on my side, let me know what you’ve been up to and then I’ll get back to posting regularly again ūüôā

 

Best Wishes,

Bexi

xxx

Winter Well-being!

Winter can be a challenging time to keep our well-being up and our health balanced, here are the best ways I find to stay healthy and happy during the darker months of the year! 

  1. Stay hydrated. Even though it’s not as warm as Summer, we still need to keep our water levels up. I aim for 2-3 litres a day, but mainly drink this in herbal teas which have the added benefit of keeping you cosy too. You can find water in lots of great foods too, so plenty of soups and warming gravy dishes are great if you’re struggling to drink as much as you need.
  2. Get outside!¬†Obviously¬†we have less sunshine hours and overall daylight in winter so it’s even more important to make time to spend time outdoors to top up our vitamin D levels and boost our happiness. Make it a double well-being boost by taking a walk in the woods or on the beach- any time immersed in nature will make you feel better.¬†
  3. Following on from that, a walk is good exercise too and it’s vital to keep up exercising in Winter too. It’s definitely more difficult as we often want to stay wrapped up indoors rather than heading to a gym class or a run in the rain, but if we want to stay fit all¬†year round¬†we should aim for at least 30 minutes a day!¬†¬†
  4. Keeping in touch with people. It’s easy in Winter to fall into a cycle of staying in and not seeing anyone. Darker evenings make us feel it’s later than it is and the cold can discourage us from venturing out. Turn your mind against this thought pattern though and aim to stay connected with others and to keep attending any events, groups, meet ups that you would in summer.
  5. Saying that though, any extra time spent indoors is a great opportunity for re-organising your living space. Having a good clear out will translate to a good shake up mentally as when our surroundings become cluttered this can be a reflection of mind clutter. So getting rid of what we no longer need can be so helpful for our mental health. It seems like a chore at first but once you get going it feels great and you can donate lots of things to charity shops too!

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Hope these tips help keep you feeling good over the winter months! Come back soon for updates on my Mind on Music Travels!

Best Wishes,

Bexi

Everything at the Right Time!

Hi all!

Writing this during the second month of my year long tour to share the benefits of music and sound and raise awareness of chronic illness.

I’m travelling the North East this month and so far it’s really smooth (touch wood) lovely nice hospitals and a few lively community groups which have been a lot of fun! These few months have really opened my eyes to how much control I wanted over life and I’m learning to let that go now.

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Everything will happen at the right time when we’ve set things in motion. Earlier on in the tour, I was emailing and emailing places, ringing round and chasing myself in circles most of the time. It was no one’s fault- people have a lot to do and my emails probably just slipped through.

But then, slowly, replies started coming back and they were from great places that I was excited to work with- community groups and hospitals.

Things that are right for us can’t be forced and the right path won’t show itself at the wrong time because that would be a big chaotic mess! This is indeed why people who “should” be happy aren’t- they think they have the right ingredients- money, success, power but they took their cake out of the oven before it was ready, So they’re left with an underbaked life that needs more time to mature before they see the full picture!

So let things flow, of course put things out there and make plans, ideas but don’t worry about time frames and goals too much. This has been one of my lessons this year anyway!

I’ll do a more full update when we reach the end of this stage but wanted to pop by and say hello as it’s been a while!

I’m looking forward to a bit more time to write and share some ideas I’ve been thinking about with you all and I’ll be doing that very soon!

Best wishes,

Bexi

Get Turned Off: How I learnt to switch off the TV!

One of the great things about the Mind on Music travelling is that it has left me with a lot less time for idly watching random TV. My mind is much clearer and happier for it!

As a nation, we watch too much¬†television. There‚Äôs no arguing with the statistics that tell us the average person watches¬†five to eight¬†hours per day in front of the TV. That‚Äôs almost a third of our lives!¬†Before the¬†1930s¬†though, television wasn’t even¬†available¬†to the¬†public and during the Second World War, broadcasts were suspended.¬†Afterwards, the schedule¬†only contained three hours of broadcasting per day and obviously no catch up TV!¬†Even during the 1950s when television started to become more¬†widely¬†used¬†by¬†the general public, it was upheld as special occasion. We can¬†look to these¬†past¬†ways of living in order to enhance our present!

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Break the TV Cycle!!

Here are some simple ways from the past to break the TV cycle;

  1. Visit friends and family! This has the added bonus of helping others watch less TV too. The evenings are still light and even in Winter instead of spending your Sunday on the sofa, go for a walk with the family in Nature.  Decades ago, visiting others was a more regular occurrence as there was no Facebook to keep in touch with people!
  2. Cook. If you cook a meal with several ingredients, by the time you’ve made and eaten it, a few hours may have passed. The key is to enjoy the process of cooking for itself, not to rush through it and then hurry through the meal.This has the added bonus that you’ll know exactly what’s in your food, just as our grandparents did.
  3. Craft.¬†Learn a new craft skill or re-engage with an old pastime you used to enjoy such as crochet, or playing¬†an instrument. Hours used to be spent darning and mending old clothes but this is something we¬†don’t have to do as much¬†now.¬†However this¬†is¬†a useful skill which has largely been lost and helped keep waste down¬†so re-learning it will save you some pennies!
  4. Read. ¬†There¬†are¬†also¬†whole¬†realms¬†of imagination and information ready for you to dive into.¬†You don’t need to read classics, pick up whatever you’re drawn to and get lost in another world.
  5. Rest¬†Finally, know that it‚Äôs ok to sit in silence with your own thoughts! We feel we must be constantly entertained¬†but this isn‚Äôt true. Some of our best ideas come to us when we‚Äôre resting quietly. Keep a notebook handy for these times so you can quickly jot ideas down.¬†Years ago, people often daydreamed for hours, just wistfully sitting at a river bank, but in our ‚Äėnotification generation‚Äô we feel a constant need to check our emails, social media, what‚Äôs on TV later‚Ķalways doing instead of just being! Stop and remind yourself of this once in a while.

 

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Get Outside!!

Sometimes we get stuck in cycles, especially in the darkest months of the year¬†but Summer hasn’t left us yet so we can get outside and¬†switch the TV off, just as we used to do in years gone by!

 

Best Wishes,

Bexi

Month One of My Mind on Music Travels!

Wow, well the first month of my travels with charity Mind on Music is complete! To read more about what I’m doing with the travel challenge see here and here!¬†

It’s been an incredible journey so far! I focused the first month on the North West of England, and here I’ve met many amazing people on the sessions. I’ve also met such brilliant staff across many hospitals and venues and seen the great work they’re doing for people.

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In Huyton, Merseyside

It’s certainly been a mix of emotions. Some sessions were extremely challenging, with several having abusive and violent patients. I know this was not their essential nature, but the frustrations of their circumstances so I wasn’t personally hurt but I felt for them and their families who have to deal with the different illnesses everyday.

One of the most amazing and emotional moments for me this month, was being asked to sing whilst a lady lay dying, her family there to watch her going. They wanted to create a jolly and peaceful atmosphere for her which I hope I helped with. It was an honour to be asked and I really hope I did help that lady and her family.

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In Warrington, Cheshire

Something I’ve learnt from this first month is definitely to slow the pace for the next eleven ahead! Some days I was doing three gigs a day which was do-able at the time through adrenaline and many banana smoothies haha but really not sustainable for a year long tour. I know I said I was doing a challenge but…! Seriously though, we all need balance in our lives and working so hard you’re exhausted and feeling ill at the end of the day is not helpful for long term health or for being able to help others. We all must look after ourselves as well!

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In Manchester!

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In Lancaster, Lancashire

I’ve also had some really lovely private gigs, so thank you to all who’ve booked me as they help me continue the charity work as the donations we receive don’t cover most of the travel and session costs.

The month in summary…

People reached: 115

Counties visited: Lancashire, Merseyside, Cheshire, Greater Manchester, Cumbria.

Important personal moment: Being asked to perform during someone’s final hours here on Earth.

Lessons learnt: Slow down!

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On the Wirral, Merseyside

Next month I’ll be heading to the North East, please do get in touch if you’d like us to visit or know of any venues we could be helpful in!

Best Wishes,

Bexi