Music indeed provides a backdrop throughout our lives.
We are transported back in time as a song flushes out memories, imprints of experiences eternally held in a capsule deep within us.
Some make us smile as we still know every lyric, pump our fist or dance in the car as we relish good times: the first record we bought, the skating party, our first concert, driving with a car packed full of friends with windows all down ready to raise some hell on a Friday night and kiss some cute boys.
Some make us cry as we are taken into feelings around events and moments
known and unknown.
known and unknown.
As I began to dismantle the home I had sold, taking down pictures stretched across the walls, packing what would make the trip, donating hundreds of books, giving away furniture and doing all that was required, I found myself listening to Sheryl Crow over and over and over again. I have been a fan of hers since she became a household name in the 90’s cranking out hits but had never felt compelled to listen to her on a daily basis until now. There are other fierce female artists that feed me like Jennie DeVoe, India Arie, Miranda Lambert, LeAnna Troyer, Dixie Chicks, Stevie Nicks and countless others but Sheryl Crow has been helping me channel my inner badass as I step into this new life.
Unconsciously, I began to invite Sheryl’s badass energy into my life as a companion for this transition. Selecting her on my playlist at the beginning of this journey was no accident. If I was a rock star, I would want to be her. Standing on the stage of my life, playing the role of Kathy McHugh, I see that she mirrors for me the power of being who I am wholly, soulfully, joyfully, playfully, as I unfold more. Her music will forever represent this time in my life. Soak Up the Sun used to remind me of being at the houseboat with my late-husband, John, my sister, Angie and her husband, Chuck who would blast this song as we headed out to ski or for a cruise around the lake but it has a new layer woven into me stirring my insatiable need to remember I am here to come alive, to savor life – all of it – for as long as it lasts.
Organizing my new kitchen which is perfectly sized for this non-cooking girl, Steve McQueen was cranked up when I found myself kicking my legs up karate chopping the air as I sang: I aint taken shit off no one. Baby, that was yesterday. I’m an all American woman making my fast get away…The spontaneity of this not only entertained me but physically displayed my excitement over the badass vibe that is pulsing through me. It was an outward expression of me living out loud in new ways.
A Change Will do You Good says it all. That one line sums up how damn good I feel from making the changes necessary to arrive at this point in my life. And how change is constant and to continue to trust that it is all good, leading me on new paths within myself and out in the world.
Her version of The First Cut is the Deepest makes me weep even as I dance around twirling and hula hooping. It makes me feel the depth of all that has been cut away in order to free me. Each cut plunging deeper into me, killing me so I could live, stripping what was inessential – all that couldn’t come with me as I let go of what was and began to reach for more.
Me and Sheryl Crow, we are quite a pair – two badass women with everything to give and nothing to lose; and nothing to prove only life to live as we dance with it all hands in the air and hot tears pouring down our cheeks. Recognizing fully that life hands all of us our asses from time to time and discovering the beauty and vitality that even those experiences hold. And recognizing that going into all experiences with eyes wide open receptive is what really makes us badass as we no longer resist what we would never wish for. And using all that bubbles up from the well within us to write because we simply must attempt to language this shared story of the human journey.
The invitation this day is to listen to music and experience the power it has to enliven your mind, body, heart and soul. Tune in to your need to dance, to cry, to laugh, to play, to be still. Feel it all. Use the wisdom it echoes from within you. Let the music move you into more life all of your days.