Declare War on Negative Thoughts, One Song at a Time.
There are more love songs than anything else. If songs could make you do something we’d all love one another. ~ Frank Zappa
Think about all the songs you hear on a given day. Go to the radio and scan. (It’s okay, no one is watching, and I can wait.) Amazing, isn’t it, how we feel so disconnected from love…yet it’s broadcast on every station?
When I was a kid, there was a radio show called Love Tones, featuring a velvety-voiced woman playing dedications from callers. I often wonder who she was, and if she knew middle school kids were using those soft rock ballads as social weapons.
Here’s how the battles went: Girl makes fun of your amateur use of hairspray and/or your Keds aren’t white enough. That week on Love Tones, “Right Here Waiting” by Richard Marx would be dedicated from Girl to Boy Who Picks His Nose in Homeroom. Karma’s a bitch, though. Sometimes you had to insist you did not send “Forever Your Girl” by Paula Abdul to Boy Who Peeks Up Skirts in Sunday School.
Back to the Zappa quote—with all these love songs, why don’t we get it?
Perhaps it’s that the question “why don’t we love each other?” starts with “why don’t we love ourselves?”
Through yoga practice, we go to the mat to learn how to forgive and love ourselves and, in turn, forgive and love others. We discover we would never talk to others the way we talk to ourselves.
You’re so awkward.
I can’t believe you wore that today.
Why would that person want to talk to you?
I can’t believe you have to take child’s pose right now, you’re missing out weakling!
Imagine hearing someone in public talking to a child like this. Why do we permit ourselves to do this to ourselves?
I participated in a 40-day yoga immersion program that included weekly group meetings. One day, we sat in a circle and were asked to close our eyes, to imagine sitting face-to-face with our four-year-old selves. What would we tell that child? We wrote down affirmations and passed them around randomly. With our eyes closed, we went around the circle, one by one and whispered affirmations to each other.
You are beautiful.
You are safe.
You are amazing.
A lot of us were in tears.
What if we used love songs as “weapons” against those negative thoughts? What if we took love songs and dedicated them to…ourselves? It’s a wacky idea, maybe one you have heard before, but one you can test without anyone noticing. Like kegels. (You’re doing them right now, aren’t you?)
The more love you accept in your life, the more you have share. Make a playlist for yourself. You’ll smile more often and see the beauty in this world unfold in front of you, one song at a time.
Go ahead, lover, you are the one you are longing for.
Take it or leave it. Here’s a playlist I made just for you. Let me know how it goes, and if you have a song to share with all of us (to dedicate to ourselves).
Emily Taggart is completing her first 200-hour teacher training program in Sacramento, California. She collects thoughts on yay, moments, and tweets as yaynamaste. She loves facilitating or immersing herself and others in experiences when she’s at work in the performing arts, at home in her historic neighborhood, or living it up in Sacramento’s vibrant, creative yoga community.