What Happens When You Allow Yourself to Actually Listen to the Music?

What Happens When You Allow Yourself to Actually Listen to the Music? How to Lay the Foundation of Being Truly Present For Joy in Your Life

I recently had the pleasure of having Laura Li, a transformational life coach and the podcaster behind “Quietly Bohemian” join me on the podcast. You can listen to the full episode by clicking here.

We had a really fun discussion about how she’s inspired by the band Depeche Mode, which is a Brit synth pop band (similar to my beloved OMD) and we talked a lot about how the lyrics have inspired her to choose the titles for each her podcast episodes. Much like poetry, the lyrics of music (especially those written by songwriter Martin Gore, who also sings in the band) deeply inspire Laura.

I loved getting to have this conversation because I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed having some musicians on the show: Danny Wood of New Kids on the Block, Fred LeBlanc of Cowboy Mouth, Morgan Bolender, and Kerri Powers. Often, those conversations weave in and out of the creative process of being a singer / song writer, and some of my favorite parts of those discussions has been asking the artists about their choice of lyrics.

I could really relate on a deep level with Laura when she was talking about how Depeche Mode inspires her; for this first season of her show, she’s taking inspiration from an individual Depeche Mode song and using that to discuss and look at the world of personal growth and transformation.

Looking at Your Foundation As a Place to Start for Growth

The first thing that really stood out for me about the discussion I had with Laura was this: so often in the podcasting, blogging, life coach and self improvement space, there’s a lot of focus on looking doing the next big thing, about setting and crushing goals, in doing more and growing bigger and better.

In listening back to the conversation I had with Laura Li, I was inspired to see that she was mindfully and intentionally looking to the things around her, that inspired her, and using that as a starting point to begin something new. This gave me a new appreciation for what is means to lay a “foundation” which is my word for the year in 2020.

It struck me that instead of pushing to create something new, from scratch, Laura slow is slowing down. She’s tapping the music and the lyrics of Depeche Mode, something that has inspired her for a better part of her life.

As you look to lay the foundation for your year or your business, or your life, I encourage you to take inspiration from this: how can you look back, and take inspiration from your past?
From the things that have been a foundation for you as you have grown and changed?
And what can in your past can inform you to create a brand new foundation to move forward on?

The Inspiration, Intention, and Action You Can Take With Your Favorite Music
Inspiration: Actually listening to music
The question that I ask each guest at the end of our time together is “What are three things that you can think of to jumpstart joy in the world, in your life or in other people’s lives?” And this week’s Inspiration comes from her answer,

“I have to say listening to music, don’t I? And when I say that, I mean actually listening to music. So not just having it on in the background. I remember when I was a kid, my older brother, Saturday mornings, he would listen to music. He would stand in the middle of the room. And he would just stand there for an hour or two and listen to music.

I used to do that and I’ve stopped doing it. But listening to music and really getting into that, definitely is a joyful thing for me. As an introvert alone time is a joy for me. And I think that is really important because once you allow yourself the time to take a step back and recharge your batteries, it allows other things to become more joyful in your life as well. So recharging your batteries is joyful in itself, but it allows that joy to kind of diffuse through.”

Laura Li of Quietly bohemian

I’m inspired by the idea of slowing down, and very intentionally taking time to immerse yourself in whatever brings you joy. It allows you to really, truly be present. It’s an invitation to bring the joy (music, in this case) to the forefront, instead of letting it play in the background while you do something else.

Intention: As you look setting a foundation your year, or your life, how can you set the intention of being fully present for the things that bring you joy?

Action: Immerse yourself in the full experience of delighting in something.

The other night, after thinking about Laura’s words, I decided to crank up some of my very favorite music and enjoy it. I listened to U2’s “Where the Streets Have No Name,” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” I sang along loudly to The Shins’ “Girl Sailor,” and “New Slang.” I allowed myself to be truly present in the music.

And, I found that by being truly present, I was flooded with memories of other times I’d listened to these songs. From Santa Barbara, to Seattle, to a phone call with my sister, I could remember the times and places I’d heard these songs before. It was as if I was back there in a moment. If I had just put that music on in the background, I would not have noticed those details.

My invitation to you for this next week is the action to take is really allow yourself to sink in and be truly present with something that has inspired you.
Maybe that is a song or an album you love.
Perhaps it’s the written word, in the form of a poem or a story you have loved.
Set aside the time and the space and be with the music or the written word, and let yourself sink into it.

Laura Li in Episode 222 on Jump Start Your Joy
Laura Li’s podcast, Quietly Bohemian
Depeche Mode
U2: I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For
U2: Where the Streets Have No Name
The Shins: New Slang
The Shins: Girl Sailor
The Eagle by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Short Stories by Penelope Fitzgerald