A year ago, I declared to the Universe that I wanted to find a community. A community meant to me a family, a place where I could be my truest self. I can honestly say that the Wayfinder Life Coach training that I completed over the past year delivered exactly what I declared.
I get to experience the joy of each client’s message and passion and I feel truly blessed to work with each one. It’s quite the magical gift and in many of these experiences, I find an authentic resonance with their stories.
Most recently I was discussing music with a client who is a classically trained musician, scholar, and Certified Wayfinder Life Coach. Her passion project, The Music of You, brought me the wonderful “confirmation” tingles when we discussed the effect music has on my life.
My life has been punctuated with music that has been a constant companion and barometer along my journey. My parents indulged me with all types of music – from my first vinyl album by ABBA to country greats like Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, and Motown melodies from The Four Tops, The Temptations, Diana Ross and of course, Michael Jackson. Music was not only a huge part of my life, it was also a huge piece of furniture! [insert pic here] Our music played from a heavy wooden floor unit that must have weighed at least 200lbs and had speakers built-in. Ours had many fantastic knobs that I loved to adjust to see how the sound was affected. This giant music box also played 8-tracks! But the sound from the vinyl is, and will always be, undeniable.
I swear I wished so hard twenty years prior that the iPod would come into existence. Being a computer nerd as early as age seven and knowing what those binary digits were capable of, I dreamed of a compact device, approximately the size of my cassette tape walkman, that could digitally hold music. Those walkmans did serve a great purpose. Once I got a fancy dual cassette deck stereo of my own, I spent hours in my room making mix tapes. Since my fancy stereo also had a record player, I could convert some of my vinyl to cassette to carry with me. Music was weaved into my soul already.
I remember the joys and frustrations of CDs. A CD walkman was no good unless it had skip protection. I knew this intimately because I was tasked with mowing our 5-acre yard and music in my ears to offset the vibration of the lawnmowers was my best chance at making that task enjoyable. Forget it once the CD was scratched!
Throughout my single digits and into my early pre-teens and teens, music crept into my life, whispering its lyrics gently into my ears. I loved hearing the words. I loved opening a new cassette or CD and reading all the lyrics to every song. I wanted the music to mean something when I heard it. I wanted to feel what the artist was feeling too. And I did, in my own way – and my life would be connected to certain experiences like a movie soundtrack.
What a time to grow up in the 80s. One hit wonders we hated to love still play on repeat on today’s radio stations. My daughter has many songs from my childhood on her own playlists. It seems silly now but at age thirteen, I got bit hard by the hair band bug. I remember it like it was yesterday. My cousin was having her fourteenth birthday party at a Pizza Hut. There was a great jukebox at this Pizza Hut, and as we celebrated the birthday, a song I had never heard before started to play. The guitar wailed on the first few notes and the hair rose on my arms. Thirty years later, I still recall being frozen in my seat, barely able to turn to someone to ask, “What is this song?” I wasn’t sure if I was loving the song or hating it but as the first notes were sung, “She’s got a smile that it seems to me, reminds me of childhood memories… where every day was as fresh as the bright blue skyyyyyyy”. That was it, I was done. Guns n Roses catapulted me into hair band music for several years.
I was experiencing significant childhood trauma during those years as my mother was dying at an age too young in front of my eyes and these long haired rebels knew the words and screamed them so that I could, also. Some people don’t understand the attraction to Hard Rock and Heavy Metal, and I can say it was quite the amazing outlet for me at that time in my life.
And then the 90s. Oh the 90s. I think it started with Depeche Mode, whose lyrics resonated with my lament about my hormonal views on life. The hair stopped growing and the glam turned to grunge. The harder the sound, the better I could release the inner angst I was experiencing. It wasn’t just about rock and metal for me at that time. I started to hear songs by Dr. Dre and Snoop Dog that caught my attention.
I’m not sure if I would have been able to handle it if my parents had allowed me to go to concerts when I was young. There have been many times when I just started crying when the show started because I was simply so happy to be there. My first concert was supposed to be Guns n Roses, but I had a chance to go to Florida for Spring Break, and I thought there’d be plenty of chances to see them again. Little did I know it would be almost 25 years before they would tour again.
There is nothing to me like the energy of a concert or football game. I’ve been at concerts that changed my life – like Lollapalooza in the early 90s with Jane’s Addiction, Nine inch Nails, Metallica, Rage Against the Machine, and more. I sat down and cried while at a U2 concert when they dedicated their concert to those who lost their lives in 9/11 and displayed a scrolling list of their names. I almost passed out when Prince came on stage unannounced during a Lenny Kravitz concert. I supported a friend who loved the Red Hot Chili Peppers and wore a full chili pepper costume to the concert.
There have also been notable concerts I missed – memories that come flooding back when certain songs come on the radio or Pandora station I am listening to. One particular one haunts me to this day. In September 1997, I scored tickets to see INXS. This was prior to buying tickets on the internet, so I dialed and redialed the Ticketmaster number until I got through, and got one single ticket in the first section. A week before the concert, a friend of mine pleaded with me to skip the concert so we could leave early to go on a road trip we had planned the following day. Since I hadn’t learned my lesson from the Guns n Roses concert, I set off on a trip just a short few weeks before the lead singer, Michael Hutchence, committed suicide in November of that year. I vowed to never miss another concert. Except when the weather had a different plan during hurricane season in Florida.
When AC/DC lost it’s lead singer due to hearing issues and they intended to replace him with Guns n Roses lead singer, I was thrilled. Beyond thrilled! Here were two of my all-time favorite bands coming together and this time, I wasn’t going to miss it. Of course, this wasn’t the heroin chic Axl Rose I knew from the 80s, but when he belted out those familiar tunes, I felt the music occupy my body and fill my soul. This is what music means to me. It fills me, it carries me, it can change my mood at any time.
Luckily, Guns n Roses did get back together and I got to enjoy their “Not in this Lifetime” appropriately named tour. I paid a hefty price for pit tickets and started to feel my 42 years of age after standing there for 6 hours. But, it was well worth it!
These songs and others can take me back to a moment in time when I fondly experienced them. When friends tell me a certain song means something to them, I listen – and I carry the memory of their excitement and intrigue about the song forever.
One of the tools used in our life coach training is the Body Compass tool. During this exercise, the client recalls a troubling memory to locate and recognize the bodily sensations that accompany this type of experience. They are then relieved from that memory and identify a memory that is one of the best they’ve experienced, to notice the bodily sensations that accompany a positive experience. When I first did this exercise, the memory that came to me as one of the most joyful was of course attached to music (and football).
I got to visit AT&T stadium for the first time last year and being a major Dallas Cowboys fan, this was the ultimate treat for me. I was treated to the VIP experience where I could watch the players run onto the field from the tunnel. The energy in that place was already palpable, and when the booming speakers started to play “Thunderstruck” by AC/DC as they entered the field, I felt my heart swell and tears fell from my eyes. The music from this event would always be my ticket back to that moment, and that feeling.
And that is what “the music of You” feels like to me.
I thought that would end the story, but having just cried my eyes out over the period of two hours watching the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductions, I had much more to say. I felt myself tearing up as the show opened with Depeche Mode. I’ve seen DM live and their sound is incomparable. I felt as though I was 14 years old again, lying between my stereo speakers at full blast. Those lyrics filled me with familiar feelings – connecting with the emotions these bands put into their music. I felt understood and that I had a tribe within
I’m watching it AGAIN, the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. WOW. This one was different from years past due to COVID. I actually like this format, as many other talented musicians weighed in on how these artists influenced them as well. Delicious!!!
Starting with The Doobie Brothers – I know almost ALL of those songs – they take me back to when I was young. I absolutely adore Michael McDonald too.
Then! OH then! Depeche Mode. I have been a fan for over 20 years. I have seen them in recent years and they are as bright and brilliant as they were back then.
As a huge fan, I can’t even start with Nine Inch Nails. I think Trent Reznor is a musical genius. I have one unique tattoo that only a NIN fan would get. My first concert was Nine Inch Nails. I could talk about NIN for hours.
Notorious B.I.G. – are you freaking kidding me? I guess I forgot he died at age 24. Another lyrical genius. Still listen to his songs weekly. What a great story.
Whitney Houston – I think I played her tape and CDs on repeat when I was a teenager. She truly was given god’s gift of song. When she starts those first few notes of “I will always love you”, I get choked up every time.