Music. It is sometimes referred to as a universal language, communicating across even the barriers of differing understandings of the spoken word. If a song is composed just so, the deepest of emotions can be conveyed to the listener. The right tempo, timely chord changes, space left for the listener to ponder, can all combine to form the most electrifying, or calming, or deeply satisfying piece of art.
Maybe take a moment to think about what kinds of songs, or even just sounds out in the world, bring you joy when you take the time to give them your undivided attention.
A good friend of mine reminds me that sometimes we want to listen to a specific genre, even just one band, because it either matches a mood we are feeling and other music wouldn’t quite fit the bill. Another friend offers that we can sometimes point our mood in a particular direction – hopefully a useful one – by listening to something that will encourage a mindset shift. This is particularly useful for me if I can find the mental fortitude to choose something that provides scaffolding to climb up and over whatever might be keeping me down at a particular time.
This can be true of things we want to do in life too. Some physical activities are necessary for continued existence. Eating, drinking water, social interaction, exercise of a variety. Other things are required to maintain our mental and spiritual wellbeing. These differ from person to person. A few of these things for me are writing, listening to music, playing music, prayer, watching episodes of nerdy-ass voice actors playing Dungeons & Dragons, spending time with my girlfriend, sleep, and choosing to do nothing sometimes and be ok with it. Other important things are ways of earning income to pay for things in our life, such as paying rent and making sure we have enough food. Whatever the work we do for this, sometimes what we have to do there will seem furthest from what we actually want to be doing.
Balance. It comes down to organising our life so we have the mental capacity to do the right things at the right times. Now, this doesn’t mean forcing ourselves to do something we don’t have the energy for, or something we can’t physically or mentally do at a particular time. It will mean doing things that are difficult, even overcoming obstacles that seem insurmountable, by problem solving with the skills we have and those of others around us.
The concept of ‘notes’ makes sense in a musical context in an obvious way. It requires a bit of work to find the right chord, or the right run when writing a guitar solo, or the right word in a vocal phrase. In terms of writing the same sort of concept applies. Finding the right way to phrase something, or in a more direct way notes can be taken while researching for a particular story or paper. At work notes can help illuminate a particular project we’re working on for someone else, or help us ask for someone else’s expertise. Writing in our own journal can provide notes for us to read over later, or help us work through something with God, or help us make sense of things that are confusing for us.
One thing to remember, is we don’t have all the right notes the moment we need them. At these times we can identify what we don’t have, figure out if they’re important, and put a plan in place to find them. Either through our own research, asking people we trust, or realising we need the help of an expert.
Some things are not easy. Some things never will be, no matter how much we practice doing them. If you’re having trouble sifting through a full mind, try emptying it out first. Talk, write, pray to God, or even take a nap.
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Is there something front of mind that is causing undue distraction?
What are some types of ‘the right notes’ you are searching for at the moment?
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I don’t have any words of wisdom like I usually might here, but keep on. Your journey is yours to take.