Inspiration; the power of music and art

Watching the documentary on Alice-Herz Sommer,  (See “The lady in Number Six”)  the concentration camp survivor who survived because of her music, is a wonder.  She was a wonder.  Surviving the camps, and thriving with her music until the age of 110.  Always happy.  She was a lucky person in many ways, because music became an important part of her life when she was a child, and music is the reason she survived the camps and always had happiness in her life. It’s a very beautiful and inspiring documentary and can be yours to watch whenever you want for $10.   I’m not promoting it.  I’m telling you that all around us for free or for pennies are amazing things that can be drawn upon in your moments of darkness to pull you through.  Surrounding yourself with such pieces of art and beauty can transform your existence.

Ally Mcbeal was a popular sitcom on TV at the end of the 1990s that went off the air in 2002.  I love the show, because I identified with her internal struggles and insecurity.  There was also one important notion I got from the show.  Many of the show’s characters at the time choose theme songs to help them through periods of their lives.  The songs they choose gave them inspiration and courage to deal with things that were challenging in their lives.  I tried to pick one for myself at the time, but could never quite find the right one.  Still at that time in my life and still, I do spend money on developing and having prepared a play list of music that moves me or calms me when I need it.   When I briefly performed my “Happiness Class”, I had a specific play list for the time before  and during breaks of some of my favorites.  If you haven’t already done so, this might be a wonderful opportunity for you to consider creating one.  When important people pass in our lives, we often create a kind of shrine in a space to revisit their photos and our memories to feel close to them.  When I counsel patients who are going through difficult times, perhaps feeling overwhelmed at some points in their lives, I often encourage them to create a special healing space and fill it with things that are particularly warming or encouraging to them, where they can quiet and isolate themselves in this space that is only theirs.  Sometimes it’s a corner of a closet.  A place to be alone with what sooths you. Creating a “play list” of your favorite music can help you create a special space like that that can be taken anywhere with you.  So I thought I’d share a few old and new music items that you might want on your own “playlist”.  (Remember the ipod?  Apple also makes a “Shuffle” small enough to clip on a shirt collar, and about $30).   By going on iTunes or other music sites, you should be able to hear them and decide if they might be ones that might help you create your own healing moments.  I would love for you to make your own suggestions in comments.

Some of my favorites:  *1 is for strength; *2 is for contemplation, *3 is for heartbreak

  1.  Rachel Platten : Fight Song        *1
  2. Katy Pery :  Pearl     *1
  3. Orianthi:  According to You     *3
  4.  A Great Big World: Already Home   *2; Say Something *3
  5. Pink:  Beam me  Up *2;   Just Give Me a Reason *3
  6. Sarah McLachlan: Beautiful Girl *3
  7. Mary Lambert : Body Love Pt.1 and Pt.2 *1; She Keeps Me Warm *1
  8. Megan Hilty: Dare You to Move *1; The Heart of the Matter *3
  9. Ingrid Michaelson:  End of the World  *2
  10. Jewel:  Foolish Games *3
  11. Shawn Colvin: Get out of This House  *3; Polaroids *1
  12. The All American Rejects : Gives you Hell  *3
  13. Tim Buckley:  Hallelujah  *2
  14. Edward Shrpe & The Magnetic Zeros:  Home  *1
  15. Christina Perri: Human *3;   Jar of Hearts *3
  16. Lee Ann Womack: I Hope You Dance *2; Why They Call It Falling *3
  17. Oh Honey: I Love You Will Still Sound the Same *1
  18. The Pretenders : I’ll Stand By You *1
  19. Sara Bareilles:  King of Anything *3
  20. Michael Andrews: Mad World *2
  21. Kelly Clarkson:  Piece by Piece (Idol Version) *3
  22. Josh Groban: So She Dances *1;  You Are Loved (Don’t Give Up) *1
  23. Five for Fighting: Superman *1
  24. Jackson Brown:  Take It Easy *1; These Days *2
  25. Adele: Hello *3
  26. Addendum: Add my new Favorite: Andra Day “Rise Up” (watch the YouTube video) and from Kevin, Antony performing “If it Be Your Will”

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Inspiration; the power of music and art

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