Music is curative. It soothes the soul and quiets the mind. It awakens the senses and reminds you that you are alive. It makes the heart sing and the spirit swell. It can lull you to sleep or jolt you awake. It can be enjoyed alone or with others. It is free.
It is an elixir that has been known to man for millennia… yet we so often forget to utilize this healing tonic!
As soon as I turn on music, I can feel every fiber of my being relax into living. It does not discriminate me because I am disabled; it reaches out its fingers of cohesive notes to massage all of my senses. It stirs pleasant memories from the past and teases me with the prospect of creating even more memories in my future. And, that’s it: to me, music is filled with possibilities.
I’ve recently been reading a powerful book by Paulo Coehlo (author of The Alchemist) with deep purpose. This book is the chronicle of a woman who lived life fully, and freely. Unfortunately she died before reaching 30, but one can tell by the interviews in this book that she left an indelible mark on the people she met. Most of her passion was in experiencing life sensually. And I don’t mean sexually, I mean by engaging all of her senses, and encouraging others to do the same. One portal to the divine that she patches into over and over is music, as well as the expression of music, dance. At first, I felt sad reading her account. For I was a trained dancer growing up and then danced my way through life until my body could no longer keep up. If there was music to be heard, my body couldn’t help but physically respond! I started to feel less than and got stuck in the “woe-is-me’s.” Then I reached an acceptance point. I can still move my body (maybe not as fluidly as before, but movement is movement!). And I certainly can remind myself to incorporate music into my daily life. It has once again, become one of my most important therapies!
Here are the passages that stirred my soul into action: an excerpt from a conversation between Pavel Podbielski and Athena, the divine female focus of the novel, The Witch of Portobello:
“Everything moves, and everything moves to a rhythm. And everything that moves to a rhythm creates a sound. At this moment, the same thing is happening here and everywhere else in the world. Our ancestors noticed… [that] things moved and made noise. The first humans may have been frightened by this at first, but that fear was soon replaced by a sense of awe: they understood that this was the way in which some Superior Being was communicating with them. In hope of reciprocating that communication, they started imitating the sounds and movements around them – and thus dance and music were born.”
“Yes, when I dance, I’m a free woman, or rather, a free spirit who can travel through the universe, contemplate the present, divine the future, and be transformed into pure energy.”
I find that quote supremely beautiful. It shows how music has the power to get us in touch with the root of our being, that which is entirely Pure Energy. We become the people we are meant to be. Music touches me in such a visceral way, that it’s hard to put in to words. I read the above passages during the days I was in the throes of my neuropathy situation (see previous posts!). And I couldn’t imagine how to even begin utilizing the curative force of music, let alone dance. But, I was both desperate, and open. I had gotten on my stationary bike to gently move and free up my stiffened joints. I had music on softly and was reading when I realized I needed to just close my eyes and let the music take me to wherever I was meant to go. I tried to free my mind of thoughts and just listen to the purity of sound, to feel the music resonate in my body. A clear visualization of a chrysalis lying on stones came to me. As I leaned in to inspect, an exotic butterfly emerged, stretching her wings. She floated up into the air and silently begged me to follow her. With no mind, I discovered that I was gracefully flapping my arms like the wings of the butterfly; each beat a mirror of the music’s tempo. My journey of flight took me deep within, to the base of my spine, to my root chakra. I intuitively knew I was completely out of balance, and the power to restore harmony to my body was in my hands and mind alone. That butterfly, floating on the wings of music, helped me to shift and align each chakra, travelling up and down the spine that just minutes before was in the midst of a spasmodic episode. But I no longer felt any pain; my body was floating, light as air through the universe, both in the present and in all the time before and yet to come. My journey ended in the middle of my forehead, at my third eye. I visualized what I can only describe as the “Superior Being,” more beautiful and radiant than anything I had ever seen. We became one, and in that moment, my journey was done. I opened my eyes, and looked wearily around. My pain was not gone forever, but for the next hour my third eye tingled with life and energy and I felt at one, at peace.
And since this experience, I have been consciously placing music front and center in my days. I allow my body to move at is able, just like I did when I imitated the graceful path of the butterfly. It may not be dance in the “traditional” sense, but it is my body harmonizing with sound, which is the purest from of dance. No matter who you are, with your unique combination of abilities and dis-abilities, you can harness the Miracle of Music!!
~ MUSIC HAS THE POWER TO CREATE “ECSTASY”: WHICH ORIGINATES FROM THE GREEK AND MEANS, “TO STAND OUTSIDE YOURSELF.” AND THAT’S THE MIRACLE OF MUSIC TO ME… TO STAND OUTSIDE MY AILING BODY, MY ACHY LIMBS, MY ANXIOUS MIND, MY POST TRAUMATIC THOUGHTS… TO EXPERIENCE FREEDOM, IF ONLY FOR A SONG ~
Curious about the scientific evidence re: the curative powers of music? Look for more on this topic in my next post . . .