Cool Down Rewind – Forgive yourself and heal that longterm agony

Cool Down, Rewind – Kirsty Almeida – The song that helped me recover from one big clusterf*ck

I was introduced to Kirsty Almeida‘s music in 2011 after what I’ll call…a string of personal disasters in my life – what I’ll call one giant clusterf*ck – most of which was the result of actions I had taken in some senseless attempt to figure myself out after the stock markets crashed down on my life savings in 2008. I’d lost my fortune (almost $100k), made some bad decisions in love and was utterly bereft, regretful, self flagellating and brokenhearted, though good things were happening, too. Yet that just somehow was not enough to make up for what I’d been through.  Continue reading “Cool Down Rewind – Forgive yourself and heal that longterm agony”

Tilted – Be Your Beautiful Self and Do What You Want

Tilted – Christine and the Queens

 

 

I discovered this song like all of the music I now find today in this tempestuous sea of digital music that swirls all around – via my favourite streaming service Spotify, in a playlist called UK Hits found on the Spotify UK site (which is what I subscribe to – the music is better – I never thought I would ever say that – but I have become European – the pop music is better – but music is universal, of course).

It suited my mood perfectly yesterday as I was feeling like a complete anomaly staying put in Saudi Arabia for the better part of my summer while expats hi-tail it out of here to be with family and friends in their home countries. I’ve chosen to stay here, save money to fulfill a mission: to buy my first home at 50. How crazy is that? Well, just call me ‘crazy lady’. Because I have lived my life…as I see fit.

What I love about this song is everything said in this Times article about it – it’s about living your life despite how others see it, being yourself no matter how weird it gets and no matter what others think of you. But this feel-good number also gets at all sorts of themes like surviving a relationship ending, which we all have, because you wouldn’t be alive if something didn’t die somewhere along the way. This song reminds me that when life is off kilter and out of whack “I’m actually good” and – guess what – I can’t help it if I have done and do things a little differently from the rest. Continue reading “Tilted – Be Your Beautiful Self and Do What You Want”

Music

Blues Run the Game – Jackson C. Frank

Catch a boat to England, baby
Maybe to Spain
Wherever I have gone
Wherever I’ve been and gone
Wherever I have gone
The blues are all the same
 
Send out for whisky, baby
Send out for gin
Me and room service, honey
Me and room service, babe
Me and room service
Well, we’re living a life of sin
 

Hello, everyone.
 
I am a songwriter. My name is Lorelei Loveridge – and I hail from Canada, left my country in 1996 and headed out for the world in hopes that my dreams could be found in the wild blue yonder. I’ve listened to music my whole life long and admired the artistry of a great many.
 
From the time I discovered Joan Baez and began to cover her version of ‘Let It Be’ by the Beatles and fell in love with the sounds and spirit of Tracy Chapman, Sarah McLachlan, Sinead O’Connor, The Indigo Girls, Ani Difranco and so many more on the festival stages of Western Canada…I found the courage in these women – to take their instruments out into the world and make beauty where tragedy lives – heroic. They sang about things, too, that made me laugh. But their capacity to touch my heart and heal the places where I cried had that strange effect that music does: it lifted me out of my melancholy.
It gave me fire, too, and sold me on my destiny to go out into the world and sing my songs.
 
Some of my greatest influences have been:
 
Joni Mitchell
Loreena McKennitt
Melissa Etheridge
Melissa Ferrick
Cris Williamson
Holly Near
Mae Moore
Jann Arden
Janice Ian
Dee Carstenson
Jennifer Berezan
Sheri Ulrich
Jessica Schoenberg
 
On the other side of the Atlantic there have been two others who have inspired me. These are Manchester’s ‘first lady of music’ herself Kirsty Almeida, born in Gibraltar, and banjo-picking trans-Atlantic songwriter Zoe Mulford from the U.S. who first showed me the ropes as we toured the surrounding area of my chosen home Manchester, England all the way down to Southhampton and up to Northern Scotland.
 
I would be remiss to mention the comfort of travelling with a band of women and one creative photographer who have made this journey about so much more than music: Rosanna Lea, Heather Greenbank, Debbie Busby and the person who documented much of that journey Anna Simon. They have been my troubadour companions and we should all have some. We were not meant to move through this world alone, really.
 
*****
 
Music has changed since then, arguably. The CD is a near relic, a calling card, but we still buy them on occasion, and I’ve noticed if there is anywhere I listen to music it’s in my car on the way to work (when I was in England – women don’t drive here in Saudi) or on the road when I’m on roadtrip (CDs or an iPod playlist). Or I listen when it’s the weekend and I feel like diving into a collection I’ve had for years that I still take pleasure in. Now I rove about with my handy dandy streaming service and continue to enjoy music in a new way. Music has a magic we’ve nearly forgotten, but not quite.
 
My point in talking about all of this is to introduce to you one thing that has been a healing force for me, and that is music. Sad music has a way of making us feel better. Why? Because it speaks to our emotions. Vibrationally, it engages us physically in a conversation with ourselves and we begin to tap and move to the beat, and in some cases feel at one with the singer or the songwriter. We might even dance once we’ve gotten whatever it is that’s in us out of our systems. How many times have I cried to a beautiful song, sad or not, attuned to my feelings? To feel is to heal. In classes that I teach and workshops that I lead, music is always present.
 
Years ago, I underwent my own transformative journey and at 19 was ‘given’ a song. It makes me smile to tell you it was Helen Reddy’s ‘I Am Woman’ and these lyrics are worth the read, for I think you’ll agree: they apply to all of us who have ever been downtrodden and come back from that into our power:
 
I AM WOMAN
 
I am woman, hear me roar
In numbers too big to ignore
And I know too much to go back and pretend
‘Cause I’ve heard it all before
And I’ve been down there on the floor
No one’s ever going to keep me down again
 
Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
 
If I have to I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
 
You can bend but never break me
‘Cause it only serves to make me
More determined to achieve my final goal
And I’ll come back even stronger
Not a novice any longer
‘Cause you’ve deepened the conviction in my soul
 
Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
 
If I have to I can do anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
 
I am woman, watch me grow
See me standing toe-to-toe
As I spread my loving arms across the land
But I’m still an embryo
With a long, long way to go
Until I make my brother understand
 
Whoa, yes, I am wise
But it’s wisdom born of pain
Yes, I’ve paid the price
But look how much I gained
 
If I have to I can face anything
I am strong (strong)
I am invincible (invincible)
I am woman
 
Oh, I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
I am invincible
I am strong
I am woman
 
It’s a very unique lyric, colored with the hope and dreams of the 1970’s an era some of us grew up in as a child.
 
Music is in so many cases inexplicably tied to story, and what we don’t often realize or consider is just how many stories we tell in a day – one liners even: I bought three watermelons from a roadside vendor and got home to find four in the van. The wind from the Levant blew the neighbour’s garbage can over and kept me up half the night. I couldn’t sleep because a parent got angry I made his kid think but the kid came to say goodbye and wanted a selfie before he flew back to his home country.
 
We have a lot going on in our minds, and we are inexplicably complex creatures, we human beings. What we think affects how we feel and behave, and this can have a profound impact upon our bodies and our lives in so many ways. It also affects how others respond to us, both in real time and over time. The state of our world is, as someone recently said to me, interesting: “There are a lot of bad leaders right now.” This was in response to current world politics. She listed off the countries we all know who are in trouble and whose leaders are stirring up trouble at the expense of, really, ordinary people. There is a groundswell of power at the bottom, but to simply count the number of women in top leadership at both the governmental and corporate level really does give me pause. It’s long been a disturbing fact and trend, and I have recently begun to believe that Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook is right: we must LEAN IN. That is, we must take our rightful place at the table. We make much in the world. But our voices are not heard. Frankly, I believe that this starts with learning to hear our own voices.
 
So, on Fridays, in a tribute to hearing the voices of the songsters and storytelling troubadours, and also to invoke an intuitive awakening in ourselves – I love that Oprah has said she lives by intuition – this is good – this is the way – I will be introducing you to some of the music that I find healing.
 
I will be posting a song on Fridays to inspire you to feel, think and get in touch with your joy, your pain, your dissatisfaction, your contentment, your deepest truths and the power behind the journeys you’ve made in life and the sacrifices you may have made along the way as well as your good fortune, too. Music: the universal language. Fridays we’re going to bathe in it. If this is your 5 minute meditation per week, maybe this is it.
Maybe this is How Women Heal.
 
Enjoy.
 
And if you like…tell me what you think. Is wisdom born of pain and is music healing to you? Who, what, when, where, how? Share a favourite songwriter or story and how it has been healing to you.