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Old Melodies

It was an eerily awesome Friday night in 1983. I was grounded, but my parents were out of town so I was up to some mischief. I had talked everyone at home into seeing the movie Eddie and the Cruisers (on opening night!), and I had devised a clever plan to run into my friends who were surprisingly at the same movie (can you believe it?!). I can still recall feeling a wild and powerful energy coursing through my body as we walked across the parking lot toward the theater. Back then, I thought it came from being excited that I was getting away with something, but now I see the more simple truth: I was feeling the phenomenal rush of energy that comes with manifesting my beliefs in real time. I was instantly busted (of course) – but moments later, I was exactly where I wanted to be – sitting in the theater surrounded by my friends, watching a movie I had been dying to see. Even though the adults in the room saw right through my plan, I can still recall feeling a deep sense of gratitude that it had all worked out so well. I can also remember how completely unfamiliar that felt from my regularly self-centered and defensive outlook. I was just shy of 15, living in a world of epic self-absorption and tight parental control. I fully believed that if my parents had been there, I would have been sent to the car while they watched the movie. Looking back now, is that really what would have happened? I can’t be sure…

My cousin Bill was the guy in charge of us in their absence, which meant I was testing boundaries far and wide. Turns out, that was the only time they asked him to stay with us because he was a total pushover. It’s not that he didn’t know what was up; he just viewed this type of behavior as a natural step in my development, and he let me slide without consequence. He was one of a few adults in my circle who secretly encouraged my occasional rebellion, and I am grateful for his soul-affirming support. Cousin Bill walked that fine line of angel/devil like a seasoned master, and despite his incredibly privileged upbringing, he was one of my formative mentors. Because of it, too, I’m sure. There are some fantastic stories about him, however, they are best told at parties with a forgiving audience in order for the very dated humor to shine through… there is now a minefield of potential triggers in those once-comedic details.

Toxic masculinity wasn’t defined as such back then, it was just the generally accepted way that the world worked… and that’s nearly impossible to fit our minds and/or bodies back into 40 years later. This fact/reality often inhibits our ability to look back with a perspective that isn’t confused and/or angry about the ‘truths’ we have swallowed, for generations upon generations, as we have evolved, collectively, to this point in time. Right now, a lot of us are watching our once-opaque roots systems become more transparent and clear every single day. This exponentially grows our curiosity and understanding of our world and our place in it. When you can’t accept what’s come before without extreme judgment, it’s easy to feel like everyone is just scrambling to cover their tracks (and many of us are!). This mindset challenges our beliefs about how we view our personal safety, and compromises our ability to trust. Somehow, these ideas must shift if we are to embrace a partnership with something more universal. Reworking these beliefs are an essential step toward finding and feeling our spiritual connections so that we may learn to trust from a vastly broader point of view.

Music has always been able to bridge that gap for me, and I truly believe it exists as a means to remind all of us, over and over again, that we are solidly connected to each other, even though it can be really hard to find common ground. I think it explains why, 40 years later, Eddie’s cheesy declarations from 1983 still mean something soulful to me. Speaking to his bandmates, The Cruisers, while disagreeing over their future direction, Eddie declared they needed the combined magic of “Words and Music, Doc…Words and Music…”, and I’ve been enthralled with that basic concept ever since. The blend of music and lyrics, no matter what type, is always striking somebody, somewhere. I now recognize that 1983 evening as a massive gift straight from the universe to my soul, but it would be a long time before I could see how it has affected my life. The soundtrack to Eddie and the Cruisers played on repeat in my bedroom for months, and I give some credit to those embarrassingly angsty songs for tying my heart directly to the spiritual qualities and benefits of the music we encounter along the way. The universe has always shown me (and all of us) what is possible if we own and align our motives, we are just too stuck denying our uncomfortable feelings to see the energetic resources that exist right in front of us.

Because I can recall so many symbiotic things that happened that night, those songs continue to be a huge resource: reminding me exactly who I am and showing me what is possible. It’s part of the lyrical imprint that supports our personal energy bodies. Words and Lyrics feed our intellect and the Music itself moves our bodies. Together, this force of movement has natural, practical applications for our overall health and well-being, but over time we have ‘forgotten’ how to use them inherently. Currently, we are so busy looking outside of ourselves for the ‘right answers’, that we have become unable to trust our internal tools, even if/when we become aware of their support. This is exactly where I find myself – still testing in areas I know I ‘should’ be trusting.

My own long-term efforts to achieve mind-body balance were largely centered around yoga, but somehow more focused toward the guilt I embodied when I wasn’t meeting my practice goals. That mental preoccupation has led me to become inattentive to the fundamentals, compromising my physical structure with unnecessary strains and constricted breathing, even when I thought I was doing it right. Our awareness remains the X factor in how we get to live our lives and what we believe about our world and how it works.

There are undoubtedly more methods to achieving mind-body connection than I am aware of, but the Pillar of Music is definitely one of the most simple and direct. The vibrations we are able to feel through Music allow us to hold our Ego/Soul/Mind/Body in a way that encourages our breath to do what it’s intended to do: clear our energetic debris so that we can stay healthy and connected while we are all experiencing this very separated way of existing together, here on earth. We each approach life with a different set of values and ideals, and we are each bound to certain beliefs because of our own personal experiences. Music is often a direct expression of those events, deftly moving us from disbelief to curiosity, from curiosity to acceptance, and sometimes even from acceptance into understanding!

I believe this is why singer-songwriters have become my favorite genre. I love getting to try on so many different characters and experiences as if they were my own, and it has seriously curbed my natural judgments. I’ve consciously developed much of my own character by pulling all of their best qualities into my own behavior, and being willing to recognize the worst of myself in others with increasing grace. Most of our pain has been generated by our original soul separation, and we find ourselves in dis-satisfaction and dis-ease as the natural effects of ‘forgetting’ that ancient bond play out here on Earth. We know that we exist as wholly separate bodies with a unique set of experiences, but we might not be aware of how energetically connected we still remain, making it difficult to find a lot of common ground – unless we go looking for it. Music has a way of making us eager to dive in, but rarely gets the credit it deserves for being such a consistent spiritual guide for humanity.



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