Tag Archives: Music

A Song Broken Down…

Any form of art we create, has its own life, which is carried by those who receive it with any of their senses. Its life lies in connection with a memory, feelings, a recognition of, and a relation to past experience(s) of the person who is engaging with it, be it via visual or auditory (or taste etc) stimulation. We are human beings. What makes us truly human, in my opinion, is our ability to FEEL. Emotions, feelings, are part of our human experience.

 

Photo ©T.Nikic, 2012

Photo ©T.Nikic, 2012

A very important side note: Our souls don’t ‘feel’. Our souls are a distinct energy which allows us to develop a spiritual awareness during our human experience. We are able to ‘recognize’ souls we’ve met in a previous life or those souls we are inherently connected to (i.e. soul mates). But our souls, even at the moment of recognition of another, do not have the experience of FEELING. But our humanity does. Our souls simply experience an elevation of the vibrational frequency of their energy at this time. That’s something we as humans can FEEL as part of our human experience, but our souls just have an energy ex/change. That is all.

Why am I talking about art, souls and the ability to feel as part of our human experience?? Because of a song I just stumbled upon. Yes, it’s that deep. Why am I going to the extreme of writing a blog post about it? Because it matters and because I recognize our human tendencies of getting caught up in emotions which can subsequently lead to an emotional roller coaster ride. Remember Adele’s Someone Like You? Whitney Houston’s I Will Always Love You? Or even bits of Rihanna’s Stay ft. Mikky Ekko? If experienced in a misinterpretation, rather in a state of being that is in an uncentered emotional turmoil, those songs could lead to a prolonging of (or the creation of) an attachment to a feeling which is fleeting, as all feelings are. ALL FEELINGS ARE FLEETING. This song, to me, is a more mature, aware, grownup, male version. Oh you’re wondering what song I’m talking about? Read on, please. 🙂

When I first listened to it, I found the song, like parts of the aforementioned songs, ego based, because initially I felt that it was written from a space where there was an attachment to a person/feeling (as the songs above were). However, after watching the video, and listening to the song on repeat for a few hours, just reflecting and connecting to it, I realized that (or interpreted that) this piece of art was rooted in honesty. I felt that it wasn’t a song about longing for a lost love but a realization that one missed out on the experience of love because he did not allow himself to be vulnerable. He realized too late that his fears and ego prevented him from experiencing LOVE, because he was scared, for whatever reason, and now he is in this melancholy, not regretful, but a very mindful state of awareness: TO EXPERIENCE LOVE, WE MUST BE VULNERABLE WITH ANOTHER, AND OVERCOME OUR FEARS.

 

 

In relationships with another, irrelevant of the intensity of the connection, we have to be emotionally naked in order to truly experience LOVE, with another. After all, in order to receive a hug, we must give a hug. The difficulty for some lies in showing love, but more often than that, it lies in difficulty in receiving love, of ‘allowing’ another to love us. The reasons for this can be complex and are often rooted in our childhood ‘misinterpretation’ of love. But it basically boils down to feeling unworthy of someone loving us. That’s a painful and damaging lie we carry with us, unknowingly sometimes. But this song, as simple as the lyrics are, describes that realization, of the fact that he did not experience that closeness with her because he couldn’t go there with her, on an emotional level. His ego led him to think that she’d come running back to him, but she found happiness with someone who wasn’t scared to go THERE – to be open, and honest, and vulnerable on an emotional, spiritual and mental level. He held on to that ‘ego thought’ until he realized that the reason it didn’t work out between them, was because of his fears and ego holding him back from that soul baring nakedness, that is needed to experience such closeness with another human being. He is grieving the death of his fears, as he realizes that those fears are what was ‘killing’ him, his spirit, and his ability to experience LOVE, with another.

 

I have shared my breakdown of this song because I wanted to remind all of us that in order to experience LOVE with another, we MUST not just be vulnerable and courageous enough to love another, but also be vulnerable and courageous in allowing another to love us. I wrote this because I want to see people engaged in mindful, loving, and emotionally fulfilling relationships, myself included. Of course there is more to relationships than this – they take work. But imagine if we based them on, and built them in a sacred space of honesty, vulnerability, and soul baring nakedness? I bet there’d be more happy people walking around…

Love liberates. Love doesn’t bind. Love liberates.

 

And no, it will not eradicate powerful art. If anything, it may feed and fuel the creation of more art, that’s even more touching and powerful.

 

Oh and about the song that inspired this post? Click here to hear it.

Peace and love,

T

 

 

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EXIT

I’ve been practicing Bikram hot yoga (at Bikram Hot Yoga Center ) since September 2009. Not consistently or as frequently as I’d have liked to, but nevertheless, I feel that it has been challenging, engaging and beneficial enough to my body, spirit and overall well-being, that I’ve attended the 90-minute classes (held in a  40 degree Celsius room of about 40 percent humidity), for almost five years. And it’s no small feat to captivate my interest for that long – I LOVE being challenged and this yoga practice is very challenging.

 

I receive the BYC email newsletter and in the most recent one, I saw that two intermediate classes with music were added to the schedule. With music, captivated me. In fact, when I went to practice a few days ago, I asked a teacher if I’d be eligible to take it, and when he said yes, I immediately made the commitment to my Self, and to him, to attend.

 

Today, was the very first class offered at an intermediate level with music at BYC. Was I excited? Yes. Was I nervous? Yes. Was I scared? Absolutely! Even after all those Bikram yoga classes I’ve attended, I still did not feel as if I could always get into the deepest expressions of some of the postures nor have I ever done a head stand. But I stuck to with music and that helped me calm my nerves down…a little bit.

 

Unlike regular Bikram yoga classes, this one did not have verbal instruction, but we all were to move in unison with our instructor. It was simply incredible to practice yoga in synergy and with music which included Hindu chants, prayers and songs of Shri, Krishna Das, as well as the music of the band Stars, Leonard Cohen, Eva Cassidy and Dan Gibson! The absence of verbal instruction and correction from the teacher made me feel more accountable to my own Self awareness – body, posture and position, as well as mind/thought and feeling. The few new postures which are a part of this class were challenging but surprisingly enough, I was able to do most of them…except for the head stand. I mean I did try to set it up, and even though it was something I’ve always wanted to be able to do, it was just too scary for me to do it on my own, for the first time, in this class.

The group of us who attended the class, were told at the very beginning to bring our mats in towards our instructor, as we were meant to be much closer together than in a regular class. Somehow my yoga mat ended up directly in front of the EXIT sign and door. After the standing series, I was faced with that EXIT sign every time I laid down for the Shavasana. I started thinking about the word itself. EXIT goes with escape, with letting go, with some form of freedom. And I realized that I did not allow my Self to EXIT my own thoughts which made me apprehensive about doing or attempting something new, something different, something scary. Although there were other things in my life this applied to, in this case, that was a head stand. Well, remember how I told you that I love challenges? I asked for some help and this is what happened:

I did it!

I did it! (Source BYC Instagram page)

I realize how powerful our thoughts are – they can help us face our fears or nurture them. I chose to literally EXIT the realm of CAN’T, with music, and some help. Like the mural at the BYC studio states: “Be afraid not of growing slowly, Be only afraid of standing still.”

 

Love,
T


Slow Dance

Nat King Cole’s voice, his music, his words, make my day better when I hear him. 

It makes sense it’s interwoven into a dream, right?

Dance well.

T

********

I want to slow dance
While Nat King Cole plays
In the background
With my best friend…
In our living room….
Amidst the chaos the day has left behind –
Toys, bibs, papers, – the results of lives
Our love has created.
I want to look into the eyes of my best friend
Before we embrace for our slow dance
And see his heart, his pain, his soul, his love….
I want to still see myself.
As he holds me close,
I want to rest my head on his shoulder
To take in his comforting familiar scent,
In gratitude,
And remember all that it took
For us,
To get to that present moment,
With the knowledge that it was all worth it.
I want to slow dance with my best friend…
Dance…
Slow…

 

Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gETTFM2PCYg


Amazing. Incredible. Soulfood.

I would describe my life as interesting. Every day brings something new – a lesson, a memory, a different point of view, a reflection – and I welcome it all with much gratitude. June 28th, 2011 was no exception…

My thoughts upon waking: Tonight is the Sade concert! Sade tours once a decade and her music has helped me through some rough times. AND I love music and I love going to concerts! I bought the tickets last October, before I went to India, for this much anticipated event. I’m going with my friend D. who loves Sade as well, and I’m very excited! I have my outfit together – off-the-shoulder black cocktail dress paired with my Michael Kors heels. I have a busy day ahead of me – go to work, hit the gym, then get ready for the concert! Whoohoo! I am excited although I didn’t sleep very well last night. My neck hurts and I see that I have messages to check on my phone.

I got ready for work, boiled a few eggs and left my house around 7am. I checked the messages on my phone as I walked to the elevator. One was from my aunt who currently resides in Bosnia, informing me that my grandfather had ended his short battle with colon cancer last night. I phoned my youngest aunt while walking to work. We spoke about her, my dad’s and their oldest sister’s departure later that evening for my grandfather’s funeral in Bosnia. We also discussed the importance of living life and not allowing certain things to stress us out. We had a similar discussion last week as one of her friends (whom I also knew) passed away suddenly, while at work, at the age of 50. The conversation ended with us agreeing that we need to live life to the fullest and do what makes us happy. When I got to work I emailed my dad after failing to reach him on the phone.

As the day went on I thought if it was appropriate it was for me to go to a concert of one of my favourite artists knowing that my grandfather passed away the night before. I talked to my friends, I talked to my mom, I even had conversations about it with people on Facebook and Twitter, and it was unanimous – I was to go to the concert and enjoy it.

My friend D. and I met up at the Air Canada Centre, and as her cab took her to the wrong entrance, we ended up walking in after John Legend was already on stage.  Our seats were in section Floor Left, row 13, seats 3 and 4.*** As we were ushered to our seats, sitting directly behind me in row 14 was my friend M! I hadn’t seen her in a VERY long time (her and I worked at a clothing store for some time, years ago but we keep bumping into each other randomly) and it was really lovely being around another person (who I knew!) who has a great energy. (I might not have mentioned but D. is really cool peeps!) We thoroughly enjoyed John Legend’s**** performance and I caught up with both M. and D. before Sade stepped on stage.

As you will see from the videos I took (links posted below), Sade’s concert was absolutely amazing…incredible…pure soulfood. I loved every second. It is so refreshing to experience an artist perform live and instead of a huge stage production (i.e. dancers, crazy  special effects, etc), the use of lighting and simple video projections which complimented the music, enhanced the entire concert experience. It is hard to describe what I mean, but I do think you’ll be able to appreciate this from the videos.

After the show was over, before I even left my seat, someone tapped my shoulder. I turned my head and met the gaze of a man who said: “I came all the way from Nova Scotia to watch the concert and my camera broke. I noticed that you were taking a lot of pictures and I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind emailing them to me.” Of course I said yes, and he handed me a piece of paper (he was well prepared!) with his email address written on it. I carefully put it in my clutch and bid him goodnight.

D. and I said goodbye to M and off we went in hunt of a taxi. Our taxi hunt was a challenge (imagine the number of people who just attended a sold-out concert and were also trying to hire one) so we decided to walk a little ways in our search. Five minutes later, a lady approached me and said “Excuse me, but were you sitting in row 13?”. I confirmed and she said: “I was watching the pictures and videos you were taking with your camera and you must share them! Upload them on YouTube or something!”. I told her that I plan on doing just that and I offered to email her the links once I’ve done so. She gave me her card, thanked me and we bid each other good night.

After getting home, I was filled with so many different emotions but sadness wasn’t one of them. Yes my grandfather was gone but I work in healthcare and I know what cancer means – great pain. Although death is never a happy thought, I was not sad as I knew that he was no longer suffering or in pain. People grieve in different ways and mine was a celebration. A celebration of life. In addition to all of that, I was also able to give to complete strangers. I felt incredibly grateful to have life and to be living. And this could be my own way of making myself feel better, but I think that my grandfather would not have been upset in how I celebrated his life…

As I promised to the two strangers who approached me, I’ve uploaded the videos I obtained at the concert and I’ve made a slideshow of some of the pictures as well. You’ll have to excuse my shaky camera work – I did my best! I hope you enjoy my compilation and I hope that you’re living your life.

T

***The October morning of last year that the Sade concert tickets went on sale, I had to be at the Indian consulate to apply for tourist visa for my then upcoming trip to India, and D. had to be on the road, so neither one of us would be near a computer. Thankfully I have great friends! My friend E. booked the tickets for us online and got up early that Saturday morning to do so! E. is often one of my rainbows in the clouds and I’m thankful for him and his friendship always. 

****I was fortunate enough to have attended John Legend’s concert at Roy Thompson Hall in Toronto in 2008. His live performances are incredible.

Sade in Toronto, Parts 1, 2 &3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WxvrFmjtMU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=As7KopRduO8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEDM_KzJeWM

Slideshow of the pictures taken at the concert – unfortunately some of the picture quality was lost in compiling the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIcVUHlV1eA


The Concert Goer Part 1

 

The Birth

Thanks to my parents, I LOVED music from before I even knew of myself. There was music sung or played in our home every day. When I was old enough to learn how, I played music on the record or cassette player or would tune in to the local radio station and just jam! No matter who was around, music was playing and I was singing and dancing…

The first concert I remember going to, I must have been 8 or 9 years old. It was the pre-war era in former Yugoslavia and I had big dreams of a solo singing career and a wild imagination. It was a warm sunny autumn day and, thanks to a radio station announcement, I found out that one of my favourite bands was going to perform that evening in our town . I was willing to do anything for my parents to let me go.  I remember there was a money issue my parents discussed and my dad was against me going (I think it had something to do with my age). But I just had to go as I was to be ‘discovered’ that night! I am sure that my then talent to produce tears quickly was utilized along with the well practiced pout.

Now I don’t remember the details (of who talked to whom, how we left the house or how anyone else felt about it) but I do remember my mom and I walking to the arena where the concert was to be held. I had the cassette cover of the band’s album in my pocket as I knew that I was going to get an autograph from the cute lead singer of the group. (This speaks to the faith and dreams of children which we should never lose. It also speaks of an era – do YOU remember having cassettes?) I don’t think mama or I knew how much this really meant to me nor how much it would affect me later on in life, but I do know that she was just as excited as I was!

After purchasing our tickets, we made our way through the massive crowd and finally entered the large gates of the arena. We found some space on the wooden benches and after we sat down, I felt like I was a grown-up. I mean, I was sitting amongst them all and I was at a concert! I sat up tall so that I could see the stage well and also to make my self better seen by these scouts who were to ‘discover’ me.

The band entered the stage and the concert started. Hearing live music…I was in awe. I was moved from within as my audio and visual senses were stimulated. I felt a little light-headed but that could have been because it was hot sitting next to all those people and I was overwhelmed by the energy and the smell of the crowd. I watched the musicians play their instruments and could now see and hear their talent for myself. I could feel each note that blasted through the large speakers in the middle of the arena (our seats were vibrating!); and I appreciated the way that these talented men moved, danced and sang together. It was magical.

I knew all the words and my mom and I sang along with the band. I, of course, knew that each band member saw and noticed me amongst the few thousand fans who were there. How could they not?! I was one of the youngest people there and my mom the prettiest!

After a couple of hours of pure goodness, the concert had come to an end. It was time to get my autograph! Except that I was too little to fight through the crowd which surrounded the band so mama did that for me. With the cassette cover in one hand and a tight grip on my own hand in the other, she walked up to a band member and said “Will you please sign this for my daughter?”. I know he replied with an “I’m sorry ma’am, I don’t have a pen.” but somehow a pen appeared and these men took turns signing my cassette cover as my heart filled with joy. My mom did all of that. As for my singing career which was to begin that night…although my body moved and I smiled, I had lost my voice! In a quick second I went from a girl who was going to sing and be signed on the spot for her talent, to a complete mute! (In retrospect, it was probably a good thing I kept my mouth shut. Not all of us possess the talent of voice with which to sing in public.) I remember waving to these lovely men as they walked away and exited the building and I remember thinking “Nothing beats live music!”.

That magical evening, thanks to my mom, is when the concert goer in me was born. With my little hand safely held in hers, and the very special cassette cover in my pocket, we walked home with smiles on our faces and our spirits lifted, excited to tell everyone about it.

T


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