Earlier this week I talked about a simple life, but now I want to share thoughts about a colour life with you! Something that brings me so much joy when experiencing other cultures, is how much colour there is and … Continue reading
My first blog post here was to tell you my thoughts on the New Year and how we are all too harsh on ourselves at a time when the natural world is being slow and nurturing. Now the evenings are brightening and the temperature rising, this is a far better time to begin all those goals that most discarded after a week or two in January. I’ve made a some big changes and I feel great for it, a fresh start in line with the season change!
Here are a few ways we can take inspiration from nature to align ourselves with the change of season and create goals in a more natural way than the New Year…
- Get outside! You knew this would be one of my top tips as I’m a huge advocate of spending time in nature and being outside. Being out in nature is proven to boost mood, endorphin levels and lower heart rate and blood pressure. This will make you more productive to achieve your goals but is so worth doing just to see the beauty of the world. See more health benefits here and get out there today!
- Get your body going! If you don’t already, start shaking and waking your body up after the slower months of Winter. Start yoga, walking, dancing, swimming…whatever feels the best avenue for you. Just as the animals in hibernation are stirring from their nests, we too can break away from the slowness of winter and start to warm up for a more energetic time. Know that you don’t need to join an expensive gym to get active though, all the suggestions above can be done at home or out in nature.
- Create! Spring is a time of rebirth and new life and so a truer time for a new start than January. This is the best time to start new projects, dream up new plans, and flow with the energy of nature to guide you on your way! This is the time to create new works. My new creation for this time is to expand my music project into a full charity. I’m so glad I waited until now, instead of starting on the 1st January. I feel far more motivated and ready to do this now than two months ago. More info on the charity is here
- Have a clearout! All the fallen leaves of winter are being recycled back into the earth ready to feed the growth of Spring and Summer and you can do the same in your home. Sort out old clothing that no longer suits and take it to a charity shop so someone else can find joy from it, cut up old towels to use as cleaning cloths, start making more natural cleaning products by using things you already have (vinegar, bicarb, lemon, the peel from eaten oranges…) Wellnessmama Blog is great for tips on natural cleaning!
- Connect with others! Spring is typically the main mating season in the natural world and whilst I’m not suggesting that you copy that precisely (unless you want to!!), it is a great time to reconnect with friends and family who you may have seen less of during the cold months and difficulty travelling due to storms and snow! Join community projects- garden and clean up work will be starting now and loads of sports activities will be getting going if that’s where your interests lie. Animal centres will be inundated now due to that mating season and will need foster homes, help with fundraising- anything you are most drawn to. Helping others will always benefit you as well and is the foundation for a beautiful world so get yourself involved!
I hope you have a beautiful Springtime and that these tips helped on the way! I’m so excited for the changes I’m making and I know this was the right time to do them. Don’t take my word for it though, listen to your own instinct and follow the path that’s right for you. That may mean that January is a good time to get things started or that you may prefer to hold back until Summer when you feel fully rested. Whatever time you choose though, keep that Spring energy in mind, it is the time for revival so take that feeling and dance with it!
This week I’d like to start talking about our current relationship with music. As some of you know, I run a music for well-being project called ‘Forget Me Never’ which started out as a way of helping those with Dementia but has since expanded to work with people living with other chronic illnesses such as Cancer, Chronic Pain and Mental Health Issues.
I truly believe music has the power to aid healing but that in our present society, this is not recognised. So much emphasis is placed on conventional medicine and whilst I would advise each of us to follow the path that feels right, no information is given about holistic healing practises and so how can people make an informed choice if they’re only supplied with half the information?
The proven benefits of music extend to and are not limited to;
- Decreased heart rate
- Lessened depression
- Improved mood
- Improved concentration
And I’m sure there are many more benefits that haven’t been officially recorded! Many studies have been done researching the effects music can have, including a recent 2015 study here in the UK at Brunel University that showed music reduces pain and therefore the need for strong painkillers in post-operative patients (Meads et al (2015) The Lancet)
We need to reclaim our lost practises. If we look to the past, to ancient cultures and those still active today in a traditional way, we find that nearly all of them make song and dance a key part of their philosophy. Yes we have music but it has been mutated into the form we find on the radio today, it’s far less of a communal experience and even the very tuning has been altered from its natural state so that what we hear sounds more dissonant and less natural than we would have experienced a century ago.
Our traditional culture has been erased. I was in a book shop the other day and found a book entitled “The History of Western Music” and thought it might be interesting. According to this book, the history of Western Music, our history of music, started with the Romans and Greeks and then nothing apparently happened until Mozart was born. This is NOT our history! Our past is a vibrant amalgamation of traditional cultures, of dancing and multiple instruments, all of which have been suppressed by the societal norms of today.
Singing is mainly elevated to a performance state, where one person is able to enjoy the act and others must sit in silence or have stern looks cast upon them! I never ask for silence at my gigs…singing, dancing and even chatting is actively encouraged as long as the atmosphere remains upbeat and joyful.
We can get this back though. It is not so lost that it will become a forgotten tale of times gone by. There are some incredibly talented musicians and artists working to piece back together our healing practises and enable us to progress in a natural manner and thus help ourselves. We can all do our bit though by supporting local music events, joining our choirs, encouraging school children to take up instruments and play for the love of it, not for fame and fortune but for the joy of mastering a skill. Or not mastering it perhaps because being bad at something doesn’t have to stop you loving it! I’m not a fantastic painter but I really like playing with colours and creating something and that’s the point of it, not necessarily the finished product.
Embrace this creativity inside of you, sing sing sing! Do not be ashamed of your voice or hide it as it’s an expression of you, of your beautiful soul and so it should be beamed out as bright as your smile.
I have so much to share on this subject so this was just a small introduction, can’t wait to show you what music and sound can do!
Have a beautiful, musical week all!