Not sure that Tumblr is the right place to blog :-). I chose it because the link sounds better than the one for this blog. However, it is more difficult to put a post up. So, I post Music Monday here a little late and will stay here for now. It was worth a try I guess :-). Thanks a lot for your patience!
Welcome back, Ladies and Gentlemen.
Our first week of Music Monday Care & Love is over, and I wonder how it has been for you!
What thoughts returned to you again and again?
Have you found an issue that you want to work on?
Or was there just lots of chaos?
Feel free to let us know in the comments. However, if that is too personal, but you still want to talk to someone about it, feel free to send me an email (bee.halton(at)gmail.com). Even though I am not a professional, it sometimes helps just to be able to express your thoughts, emotions and developments to someone who listens, and who is not too close to you. Also, feel free to talk to family, friends or a professional if you feel that is necessary. To share and allow ourselves help from others when we need it is an important step to learn when it comes to self-care in my opinion.
Self-care tool “being still” led to a gentle change of perception.
For me, this week was a time of gentle changes in perception. I had the chance to either sit in the garden for a couple of minutes each day or on the sofa. Even though my mind was rather busy and occupied with throwing drama and chaos thoughts at me, I could let that urge to jump up and do something go.
I believe that is the first step to more self-esteem, and an important step in self-care: To become still and start to observe yourself. If we allow the busyness to slowly wash away, we become aware of what the issues in our lives are.
One thing that I needed to learn is that this is not a linear step by step development. Becoming aware of yourself is a messy roller coaster process where you suddenly jump forwards just to fall back into old traps again and again. But that’s ok. It shows that you work on your issues, and it shows that a lesson has not yet been learned. I believe your inner voice will guide you to the right resources, people, professionals etc if you let it talk to you.
That is definitely a huge change in perception for me because I used to think I need to do something to heal from my past and the issues I am dealing with. However, sometimes it is more important to just listen. Listen to your body, to your soul, and to your spiritual guides/to God if you are a spiritual person. Because only if we listen to ourselves, can we figure out what we really need, and then we can act accordingly.
Nature set the soundtrack to self-care
When it comes to music, I let nature set the tune. For some strange reason a bible verse was in my mind continuously:
Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Matthew 6.26
I read a lot about new thought/new age/ law of attraction philosophies which state that the universe/life/god, however you want to call it, is a force of abundance. It gives freely to us and it gives what we concentrate our thinking on. So if we mostly think about the lack of our money, we get a lot more lack of money. If we think about the blessings in our life, it gives us more blessings. I have come to believe that Jesus was delivering exactly that message just with a different language, and that religious leaders over the years have changed that message to their own needs. I believe, that we get what we concentrate our thoughts and efforts on, is a universal law that religions and philosophies try to convey in different forms of communication.
I assume that bible verse kept creeping up because that is the form of communication I grew up with, and it still resonates even though I do not consider myself a Christian anymore. I also assume that it tells me, that I do not need to worry about my needs, because the universe will provide for me. We are so used to worrying about everything, and we are taught that this is what we need to do to be a grown up that it is hard to let that go.
But if you think of it, what does the worrying help? It doesn’t give you a better job or enables you to grab yourself a better job. The only way to get that is to believe in yourself, do the training you need, and then be courageous and just go for another job. Worrying will only stop you from doing stuff. Believing that the universe/life/God provides for you doesn’t mean you stop doing or acting and wait for someone or something to do it for you. In my opinion, it means that we are encouraged to do the steps we need to do to get where we want to be.
Sounds logic doesn’t it? You certainly do not need to bring in religion or philosophy to do those steps or believe in yourself, however, this way of thinking helps many to get where they want to be. And I have come to believe that we need to allow ourselves to think in any way that is helpful to us, to get where we want to be without hurting another.
Now, this was a terribly long intro to get to music wasn’t it? Well, I needed you to understand where I am coming from because I was not listening to much music this week. My soundtrack to my life and to me just being was the birds singing.
We live in a rural area and have a big garden. Our neighbours have big gardens too and while we are growing vegetables they don’t. But they have lots of established bushes and trees which make our gardens a little paradise for sparrows, housemartins, blackbirds, pigeons and robins. Especially the sparrows are some rather loud fellows who make themselves heard from morning to evening. And the house martins have some strange sounds to add to the mix. You cannot believe how relaxing birds songs can be. Well, you probably can because many of those relaxing sound cd’s or downloads are with birds songs, aren’t they? I was lucky to have the real thing, and it helped me a lot to just sit and be and to develop more listening skills.
Which music was your companion this week?
My fellow Explorers of Self-care
I was blessed this week to be on the journey with Emilia from “My Inner MishMash” and JoAnna from “Anything is possible”.
Emilia shared with us“Hilde Selvikvåg’s song “Allt For Deg (All For You)” a John Legend cover. I am rather impressed with her dedication to Music Monday Care & Love, and cannot wait to find out if her pledge to be still a little every day has worked out. Please head over to her post “Music Monday Care & Love – song of the day (23rd July) – Hilde Selvikvåg – Allt For Deg (All For You).” and say hello from me.
JoAnna is giving herself some time out from daily blogging but shared with us in the comments that singing has always helped her to keep calm. She also appreciated how far she has come in her life. Please head over to her blog where she still shares good news: “Homeless Man Finds Dog and Gives Her to His Grieving Friend. But that’s Not the End!” These posts are so uplifting. They give me a little boost to keep on going every time I read them. So please head over and get yourself some good mood boosting.
Invitation to self-care and Music Monday Care & Love (29.7-4.8.18)
So what do I have in store for you for the next week?
I encourage you to keep on just being & being still. But as an added help, I encourage you to concentrate on your breath. Try to sit comfortably on a chair or on the floor, and let your breath flow in its natural rhythm. Ideally, your belly should move out when you breathe in and the other way round when you breathe out. Just let yourself observe the movement of your body. If your mind starts wandering, don’t worry. Just bring your attention back to your breath. You can start this for a 3-minute time slot, and then do it longer and longer.
Emilia wrote in her post that she concentrated on her cat and it helped her to stay in the here and now. To concentrate on your breath has the same effect, and is used as a tool both in Mindfulness practice and CBT practice for calming down when anxiety hits.
After the photo, I have two links if you feel a little unsure on how to be still and concentrate on your breath. They guide you along and give some extra information on breathing exercises.
Self-Care Tool: Sitting and breathing
Self-Care and Music
I also encourage you to either have instrumental music when you do the breathing exercises or end the whole practice with a time of listening to an instrumental piece of music.
What do you think? Will this tool or practise be beneficial for you? Please feel free to share it with us in the comments or in a blog post.
Suggestions on how to take part in Music Monday Care & Love
- ~ I invite you to appreciate yourself!
- ~ Preferably do this at the beginning of the week but if that does not fit, feel free to choose another time.
- ~ I invite you to do this with music and to explore a self-care activity
- ~ Feel free to write a blog post about your experiences but it is perfectly fine if you just do it for yourself or if you share in the comments
- ~ Also, feel free to incorporate self-care into your everyday life.
- ~ If you write a post please leave your link here in the comments that we all have the chance to cheer you on!
- ~ Go and visit your fellow self-care explorer’s posts & blogs
- ~ I’ll share a round-up & invitation post with a self-care activity & suggestion on what sort of music to share on Sunday afternoons.
Now my dear readers,
go, explore self-care and create lots of love
for yourself and others!
I am not a health professional. My posts describe my thoughts, my experiences and my conclusions about life, mental health and self-improvement. My described actions always go alongside therapy and do not substitute professional advice by a health professional be it a doctor, therapist or counsellor.
I invite you to try out self-care tools, however, if any of these make you feel uncomfortable please stop and do not go further ahead. Also, if any of the tools suggested bring up issues that need dealing with do not hesitate to reach out for professional help.
To recognise when you need to stop and when to reach out for professional or any other help is one important part to learn when it comes to self-care.