The Power of Music
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The Power of Music

Many, many years ago I was invited to a house concert.  I didn’t have a clue what that meant but really enjoyed an evening in the living room of friends while singer/songwriter Lowry Olafson, shared beautiful songs with his voice, guitar and violin.  I was so impressed, in fact, that I purchased all of his CDs and then, a few years later, invited him to do another concert for my friends at the Cypress Club in Medicine Hat.

Lowry’s music has not only inspired me, but it has also inspired others when I shared his tunes with family, friends and clients since then.

There is one particular song of Lowry’s that I play and recommend to others over and over again.  “One Thin Wire” spins the tale of a stallion who is psychologically limited by an electric wire that is only two feet off the ground.  The horse dreams of the pastures where he could roam if that wire just wasn’t there.  His thoughts and actions are hampered by memories of how the wire shocked him in the past.   Unfortunately, he is so focused on the wire that he forgets he has the ability to just jump over it.

Each of us, at times, has been like that horse.  We have developed fears that psychologically prevent us from doing the things that we would like to do.  Instead of dealing with them, reframing our thoughts and then creating alternate plans, we just give up on our dreams!

Often, I am saddened to hear people tell me that they don’t want to even try to do new things.  They have developed a long list of reasons why they will fail – many of which are unrealistic.   They assume that discouraging messages from others and past problems have already sealed their fate.  They give up before they begin!

As a therapist, my role is to help people to identify and move past their fears so they can reach their goals. Sometimes I teach the effective strategy of using positive affirmations.  Put simply, this means that you learn to say what you want rather than what you don’t want.

Lowry also promotes the use of affirmations.  The interesting thing, though, is that he does this by helping others to write musical affirmations called Power Songs that are customized for each person.

This week I challenge you to think about things that you would love to do.  Use a pen and paper to write down some of your dreams.  Amazing things happen when you actually put your ideas on paper instead of just randomly thinking about and then dismissing them.

Next, write down all the fears and excuses you have piled up which have stopped you from reaching these goals in the past.  Are these things reasonable and rational or are they just thin wires that have controlled you to the point that you don’t try anymore?

Finally, I encourage you to find ways to be inspired so that you will take action.  This might take the form of listening to some of Lowry’s music, connecting with a psychologist or just making a commitment to yourself that you are going to jump over the wire that holds you back.

Let me end with one line from “One Thin Wire” so you can determine if it applies to you:

“Oh, the pastures we could roam, if we only knew just how frail these fences are that tell us what we can and cannot do”.

I can hardly wait to see you on the other side of that annoying wire!

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