I, like many people, did not find meditation easy when I started at age 17. Over the years, I have added sound and music in various configurations and discovered that it took me to a much deeper place. So, I started experimenting on myself and on others. I should explain. I like to think I can be a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, and that I can keep secrets. I certainly have friends who had done this for me when my world was unraveling. I've curated music for friends going through chemo, for yoga classes, guided meditations, and even when a friend was going to use music during labor. Experimenting has shown me that music can be an access point to a deeper state of consciousness. Breathing changes, body language, stress seems to diminish, voices changes, flexibility can be increased, pain can be decreased, and we can slip more easily into sleep.
So, what's going on here? Music and sound, which are sustainable, accessible, and practical, have been shown to have remarkable effects on the neurological system. And studies around mental health issues have shown the benefits of sound.
As a lifelong musician, I have always felt these things. Now I want to share my journey as I discover the hidden benefits of music beyond just entertainment. And most of all, I want to help you choose music and sound to benefit your health and state of mind. I've been interacting with sound in my own life and am excited to share the benefits.
Using music to focus or relax my mind, I've really noticed my body relax. I've felt good chemicals start to flood my system. When this happens, my mind seems more capable of thinking more expansively. I can get in touch with very positive feelings, in contact with dreams, desires, and creativity.
And getting into the creative mindset, that dreaming and playful state of mind, you come into 'the flow.' You are feeling the joy of being alive. Then, when you open your eyes, you find that your body and mind feel different.
You can get this positive state of mind, this good feeling to linger. You can go back to that at any time by just closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing. In fact, you are re-wiring your brain to becoming accustomed to this elevated mindset.
We all know life can be challenging, and many things can happen to disturb your peace. The practice of meditation and using music to relax your mood can bring you back to a feeling of balance. You can experience a 'walking meditation' with music, observing nature in a state of gratitude. It's all good!
And best of all, you are re-wiring your brain every time you do it! It becomes your 'special place,' an expansive mental space where you can feel connected to something greater and more impressive than your beliefs about yourself. This is the mindfulness, the self-awareness, the self-care you can do. And music can become an enjoyable tool to assist you.