Archives for anthem

2018 needs an anthem

Music by Jesse Kruger on Flickr

3-5% of the world’s population is apathetic to music…  This post is for everyone else.

I saw posts of heartache from a young woman who had been cheated on. She was exactly the age that I was when my cheating boyfriend and I finally broke up. Only, I was over it pretty fast. Once the full truth came out, I was determined to get back to me.

I went on dates, hung out with friends, especially my guy friends, and started a band with the friend who introduced us. Music was instrumental (no pun intended) in helping me heal and rebound. I remember the P!ink song “There You Go.” Not only was it constantly on the radio, but it was in my head, making me feel powerful and fierce. It was my anthem.

I met my husband within 4 months, even though I wasn’t looking for a relationship. We fell madly in love pretty fast. When I did see him again at a mutual friend’s engagement party, it was like the song was coming true.  That was a beautiful redemptive moment.

I wish I would have thought to use music the same way when I was laid off in 2002. I think if I would have had an anthem, I would have stayed motivated, even when three different companies strung me along for months waiting for financial approval to hire me. Instead of desperately holding on to hope and giving up my power to those companies, I might have charged forward, making things happen as I know I can do now.

The better we feel, the more we can take on.

Do you have an anthem for 2018? If not, I invite you to check out the songs below and adopt one of these. I offer something for everyone, and my reasons for including them.  I have included them on a YouTube playlist so you can play them in succession, as well as individual hyperlinks.

  1. Here Comes The Sun, The Beatles

I have to start out with a classic, one I think most people know, recognize, and a song for which most people have some memory association. I used to sing thing song to my babies as I changed their diaper in the morning.  I would open up the curtain and see them smiling at me.  It makes my heart happy to remember how blessed I felt to start my day that way.

  1. It’s a Beautiful Morning, The Rascals

This is another classic tune I would sing to my girls, and I still do. Sometimes the sun would shine through this weeping willow tree and give the whole bus stop a glow. I’m not a morning person, so I need a little extra help to rise and shine.

  1. One Moment In Time, Whitney Houston

This was recently resurrected for me watching the U.S. figure skating national championships. You might remember this song as the theme song for the 1988 Olympics in South Korea, and it was chosen as the anthem for an up-and-coming future Olympian, Starr Andrews. (She had a viral video 7 years ago.) She, now 16, actually skated to a version of this song that was sung both by her and Whitney Houston. Watch the video and try not to be inspired as she is overwhelmed by one of many moments in time.

  1. Fight Song, Rachel Platten

If you are a music snob like me, you might resist this song because it’s a pop song. I changed my mind when I learned that she was a 34-year-old married woman when this song, her first hit, finally broke through. That is an unheard of age for a breakout performer!  This was literally her fight song. Everyone in her life was trying to help her see that she had to pick a consolation career and this song is her middle finger. I’m okay with my girls loving it and playing it incessantly. It’s a guilty pleasure. Go, Rachel!

  1. Don’t Stop Believing, Journey

I hate to be cliché, but Journey’s Greatest Hits is one of my first CDs. I am a child of the 80s, and I was a small town girl. Eventually, I was also the singer in a smoky room.  We are living just to find emotion. There’s no happy ending in this song, just a call to action to be present in the moment, winning or losing, and to keep hope that a better life is waiting.

  1. Three Little Birds, Bob Marley

The beach is my happy place, and I have fond memories of Jamaica. You don’t have to have travelled there to appreciate Bob Marley and his music, but being there did make an impression on me. It made me wonder if the constant playing of Bob’s music throughout the resort was meant to induce a benevolent brainwashing. If you ever feel like an island, as troubled as that island might be, remember you are a beautiful island, and every little thing is gonna be alright.

  1. Like the Ceiling Can’t Hold Us, Macklemore

I’m going to start to get a bit more niche with this song and the ones that follow. You may not be a rap fan, but this song describes a triumphant journey from poverty to prosperity, from addiction to redemption. Macklemore is a comeback story, an underdog story, and so far has a happy ending. He has repaid loyalty to his girlfriend, now wife, and best friend Ryan Lewis. He used his rising fame to propel a performer, Wanz, who had killed his dreams to test software back into music. Wanz won 2 Grammy Awards for his part in Macklemore’s “Thrift Shop” hit.

  1. Shine, Trey Anastasio

Trey is the lead singer of Phish. Phish is a jam band, which means they play improvisational rock much like Miles Davis played improvisational jazz. In my personal opinion, listening to this song on YouTube is 1/100 of the experience of seeing Trey or Phish live. (Yes, I have also seen the Dead, several times, but not with Jerry.) Though you may feel uplifted by the song, the live experience is other-worldly. Being in a musical experience with a large crowd is one of the most connecting experiences there is on the planet, and this is an audience that is for the most part awake to that, which makes it a level-up experience. Yes, listen, but experience it if you can.

  1. Going In the Right Direction, Robert Randolph and the Family Band

It was a Sunday morning at the first Bonnaroo, a mega-musical festival in Manchester, TN.  Robert Randolph was playing. I was raised Catholic, but don’t practice. I had always kind of wished I was Southern Baptist, because they really seem like they are in the music unabashedly. What a way to worship, I thought.  Seeing Robert that Sunday morning put me in a state of glory I had not yet experienced. I would go every Sunday if Robert played!

  1. You Get What You Give, New Radicals

The video perfectly depicts my early work experiences at the mall. The song and video are a plea for the downtrodden, the underemployed, and the suicidal to give the world a chance and recognize your own worth.

 

Share in the comments on your favorite anthem, and listen to the complete playlist, which will be updated with your suggestions.

How I saved myself from me

I beat myself up pretty bad sometimes. Last week was a doozy.  It seemed like anything that could go wrong did go wrong. Usually I know what to do to take myself out of a tailspin; I’ll plug my phone into the radio, and play some motivational, informational YouTube video try to find my center and gain a better perspective, perhaps Tony Robbins, Stephen Covey, Jim Rohn or Deepak Chopra, etc.  This was a futile effort, similar to when I try to meditate for just 15 minutes while I hope my kids play safely and quietly in another room, but I’ll hear them fight or get hurt or break something, and it’s as if I should never have tried to meditate in the first place. It’s as though I’m even more angry that I can’t just have 15 minutes to restore my energy and focus. Every attempt to find my center last week was interrupted by a variety of saboteurs: kids misbehaving, things breaking, technology not working, weather changes, unnecessary messes, plans being broken, sickness, infestations – you get the picture. I was looking forward to making progress on four major initiatives. There were client projects that I was excited to start or complete. I had administrative projects, like my taxes, that I was anxious to get done. On top of that, the dishes in the sink were piling up, the messes my kids were making were beginning to accumulate, and the cat box was in desperate need of changing. I was defeated and disappointed in myself. I felt swallowed by chaos. Been there?

 

Having shared with you before and knowing well that resilience is the number one quality of successful people, I garnered my grit. In spite of how I felt, I was somehow able to keep going.  Once I was over what I hoped to be the worst of it, I decided that I would make a list of everything that I was actually able to do that week in spite of the relentless kamikaze challenges.  After I made this list I felt powerful. Without my permission, Katy Perry’s Roar was playing loud in my head like an anthem. I was in awe of myself.

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obstacles and achievements p3obstacles and achievements p4The next day, it was almost like I was challenging something to go wrong. I had my game face on, the one I learned to give pitchers when I finally gained confidence at the plate as a senior. I was like, “Go ahead and try me.” Coincidentally, it was one of the best days that I’ve had in a while. Things went pretty smoothly, until my throat became sore. I knew I was getting strep, because my girls just had it. I almost asked myself, “When will this ever end?” Then I laughed at myself – out loud.  The answer is: it won’t end. The good news is, I’m getting better at dealing with what comes while keeping my focus forward. I had no idea I was improving like this until I made that list.

 

We all beat ourselves up from time to time. That list of things we want to do does not seem to get shorter, and maybe it shouldn’t. The list of what we have to do will never be completely done as long as were alive. That’s just what’s so. I realize with magnified clarity that I am a warrior training to be able to handle bigger problems so that I can do bigger things in this world. That is how I choose to see it, and as long as I do, I have the power.  So, bring it!