Monthly Archives: August 2016

An Anthem For Adulting

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Welcome to my twice-monthly feature about anthems, the songs that inspire us.  You can listen to the songs on my Spotify playlist, Carry A Watermelon Anthems. New Anthems will be posted here the 1st and 15th of each month (usually…this post is a day late because Summer Brain).

Please welcome Suzie Bichovsky to our playlist.  Suzie and I have been friends for over ten years.   I’m agonizing over how to describe her, so I’m going to say the first thing that came to mind: she is like a piece of baklava – layer upon layer of goodness, a little nutty, very sweet, and always comforting.

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“What we think, we become.” ~ Buddha

Music permeates and seeps into the mind, body, and soul. If we are what we eat, then we must also be what we hear. I use meditation music to get my day started and to get grounded.

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If meditation music slows me down, then my anthem speeds me up. When cleaning, paying bills, jotting quick writes, I turn to Express Yourself  by Diplo featuring Nicky da B. For real.

I was first drawn to this for its beat and a misheard lyric on my part. “Express yourself…release your goal.” (The real lyric is “Release the glow.”) A real lyric I love is “Put your back in it.” This is what I do. I use my voice to express myself and support others in doing so. I step fully into choices that make my goals a reality instead of dreams. I give my all to what I am committed to and passionate about.

When the words drop out and the musical frenzy kicks in, my inner hip hop goddess emerges. My dance moves are epic and private: I’m all head, shoulders, hand movements at the chest level, resting think face. That’s right- Resting. Think. Face. I zone out and get pumped.

I can take on the world!

Or…my to do list.

While it might be expected to have more moments of clarity when tuned into stillness, lively and vibrant beats often reveal inspiration to me.

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” ~ Deepak Chopra

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Suzie Bichovsky is a burnout prevention coach, an urban educator, and a professional development provider. She also likes cats. You can find Suzie online at suziebichovsky.com or follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn.

 

 

 

Don’t forget to follow Carry A Watermelon Anthems on Spotify for  a playlist of additional inspiring songs!

Anthem: Float The River, Forget The Paddles

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Welcome to my twice-monthly feature about anthems, the songs that inspire us.  You can listen to most of the songs on my Spotify playlist, Carry A Watermelon Anthems.  Today’s Anthem isn’t available on Spotify, so please enjoy it by clicking on the links below. New Anthems will be posted here the 1st and 15th of each month. 

Please welcome Kristin Weller to our playlist.  Kristin and I met over a decade ago through the Penn State Lehigh Valley Writing Project. We wrote together in a writing group and the rest is friendship history.  Her writing is full of grace, rhythm, and beautiful details. Enjoy!

 

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Photo: Flickr Commons

As a writer and a teacher, I often find myself stuck upstream without a paddle. The washer leaks all over the place, the telemarketers just can’t get enough, one of the dogs pukes on the carpet – again, and my work-in-progress lays open like a wound ignored. My mind spins and leaks just like my wonky washer. It is times like these when I call upon music to set me back to rights.

I had my first Brother encounter as Musikfest more than a decade ago. That first time, I entered the crowd that was building like a heatwave beneath a white tent. During soundcheck, one of the kilt-clad brothers grabbed his bagpipes and twiddled a partial reel. A pack of red-headed girls let out a riff of shrieks and whoops, a mic squealed. And when the concert really started, we were awash in a wall of sound – beefy bass beating, a vibrating blast from a didg, a halo of harmonic voices unifying.Their sound and artistic energy made a complete circuit with us, their undulating fans.

A few years later, Brother released River. It personifies the struggle with resistance we all encounter at one time or another when we choose to jump into our  passions. Its chorus begins:

When I’ve been asleep so long…so long/I woke up cold…and I… I woke up.

To me it means that even when things go wrong, it only takes a small act, to wake up — to reignite passion and possibility. The chorus concludes with:

If we’re a river, let it flow… and don’t climb out the window, when I’m at your door

which is  a love-note to the self to be brave when opportunity knocks, to trust-fall with intent into passion’s currents.

The paddles are not required.

Just, float.

And, I do.

Special Note: Since Brother is a self-publishing indie band, River is only available through their artist’s website. You can sample River and purchase it here.

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Kristin Weller is a  writer, poet, essayist, and English teacher in the Lehigh Valley area. She facilitates Write Nights,  a community-based writing group for adults which meets every first and third Monday at the Nazareth Center for the Arts from 7-9 PM.

 

Don’t forget to follow Carry A Watermelon Anthems on Spotify for  a playlist of additional inspiring songs!