June 14, 2017

I Credit Music for my Personal Liberation.

Music makes life richer. Art makes life more beautiful.

Every time I turn some music on, pop my headphones in or turn up the stereo, life becomes instantly richer and more dimensional.

I’ve never had the ability to create music—at least not in the way most would define as “music.” So I have much appreciation for the people who have discovered their capabilities to create sounds that make our bodies move with rhythmic abandon and pull at our heartstrings. Lyrics that make our hair stand tall on the back of our arms.

Music stimulates an immense amount of reactions from within. Through the influence of music, I have turned my once stiff and calculated body into a personal vessel of great freedom. All of this simply arises through the beauty of what my soul feels when music hits my ears. It reaches deep into my core and makes me move from the inside out.

This freedom has enhanced my overall state of health. My mental health has increased with this new bodily freedom and my physical health has improved because I found exercise in something I deeply enjoy. There isn’t much in my life greater than dancing so hard I lose myself in the moment and come out the other side sweaty and energized.

Vibrancy is key to a happy, fulfilled life. Mine would be dull and unchanging without the soundscape of music in my ears.

Without music, dance would be based on the beating of my own heart. Sometimes it still is, alongside the beats of man-made creation. But now, with the sweet sounds of harmonious instruments, I match the beats-per-minute of my heart with the rhythms of the music flowing over my body.

Music gave me the freedom to dance, and dance gave me the freedom of self-expression. Now that I see this transformation in myself, I easily recognize how it has been happening all around us for eons.

Cultures from every walk of life have a strong connection to this kind of expression. I have been blessed in experiencing many cultural traditions based on music, dance, and self-expression, so I have seen just how important this area of life is for so many people. When I see many generations joined together in this kind of celebration, it reminds me where we all came from, and of the threads that tie us together as one living organism. We are bound by the way we express and connect through creative outlets such as music, dance, and story.

I’ve noticed in the past that I’ve sometimes taken music for granted, playing it in the background as filler noise. I realize now that it’s time to be more grateful for these sounds in my everyday life. Whether it’s in the background or the forefront, I am now tuned into how much music enhances my life experience.

I do sometimes appreciate the beauty of silence. First thing in the morning, when my mind and body are waking from the night of dream-time, I like to listen to the silence of my home. This silence gives my soul a moment to greet the day without any influence from the outside world. It gives me a chance to contemplate and enjoy the beauty of quiet, for without silence there would be no sound.

Then, after my personal appreciation for the moments of morning silence, I turn on the music. Sometimes not until I get to work, but often I will turn it on after my shower while I’m getting dressed. I love a good early morning dance session, so I usually choose something upbeat and groovy. Maybe some dancehall. Maybe some reggae. Maybe some hip-hop. Putting on upbeat music in the morning helps wake my body up in the most joyful way!

I have so much appreciation for the time and energy each artist puts into their craft of creating beautiful sounds. I am so grateful there are so many people following their passion and sharing it with the world. I can’t even imagine where I would be without the music they offered.

I was at a friend’s place one night with some lady friends, and at one point, toward the end of the night, she asked her sister and friends if they wanted to perform the song they had recently jammed together. These women are in their mid-20s, and at the beginning of the night had seemed a bit shy and unsure. They both sparked immediately when the request for their song was made.

They quickly and eagerly set themselves up to play and shared little bits of their souls with us. Right there, right then, all of us held rapture to their offering. The song was lovely. Catchy, funny, and well-played. What made my heart sparkle though was seeing these two ladies light up as they shared their joy with their peers. In order to perform, we must have an audience.

In order to be entertained, we must have performers. This dually-beneficial relationship is one that I am always grateful to be a part of. I support artists wherever and whenever I can. I encourage aspiring artists to get up and get out…to walk their passion into the world. I once purchased a beautiful painting of a hummingbird (one of my spirit animals) from a woman in the town I live in. It was the first painting she ever sold. It hangs on the wall of my bedroom loft and every morning I see it I am grateful for her offering to the world. That painting brings me joy, and I hope the purchase of it inspired her to keep painting.

I love to write, but I had an internal block that kept me from writing on a regular basis. The block was this false belief that my words were not as important as the words written by the next person, and that my voice was not unique enough to share with the world. These were reflections of a skewed sense of self-worth and self-love. Over time, I had a slow breakthrough. This breakthrough (which was actually more like a slow drudge through a dirty mud puddle) showed me that there is nothing I have to do to “be unique.” I am already unique just as I am. Because of this, I have embraced my unique gifts to share with the world.

One day, I will also share my music with the world. I know it’s in me somewhere, just waiting for the perfect form of expression. Until then, I’ll continue to keep writing and I’ll certainly keep dancing to all the beautiful beats created by the music makers of the world—and I’ll do it all with expansive gratitude in my heart.

Finding creative expression has brought me the most joy I have ever experienced in my life. Without it, I’d be lost. I keep supporting others’ creative expression so we may all continue on this glorious path of inspiration.

And now, whenever I feel stuck in any area of my life, I take a deep breath and remember how much inspiration there is to draw on from this big, diverse universe of ours. I inhale love and exhale gratitude for what has already been brought into being by the brave, creative souls who have been willing to share their hearts and souls with the rest of us.

I am here on this earth to inspire and be inspired.

This is one truth I know for sure.

Author: Morgan Leigh Callison
Image: Brigitte Werner/Pixabay
Editor: Danielle Beutell
Supervising Editor 1: Nicole Cameron


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