Pain used to make me feel alive…
A couple years ago I realized something about the correlation between what made me feel alive, and what my life looked like as a result. It started with music…
As a music lover, I listened to a lot. Old, new, vinyl, cd, famous, local…I was also a bit of a music snob. And of course I had my top 20 faves! These songs had become a soundtrack to my life, especially during break-ups.
Why did these songs so perfectly illustrate my life and move me during the hardest of times?
I loved these songs. They made me feel alive. The pain they expressed moved me to tears. The pictures in my head made me feel like I was there. That’s a damn good song.
I loved listening to Love Ridden by Fiona Apple over and over, imagining the pain in her song as if it were my own. I even loved it when it reflected MY OWN pain.
Again, I felt alive.
However, there came a time where I was ready for alive to mean something else.
When I hit my breaking point about two years ago–recovering from the trauma of yet another shocking betrayal and breakup–I was willing to do anything to shift my perspective and change my life.
I took responsibility for the parts of my life I didn’t like and thought of creative solutions to bring more of the things I did like. I wanted to feel something else. I was tired of that sappy, brooding, BS.
Universal law, like the Law of Attraction, states that like attracts like, meaning what you surround yourself with, what you absorb, what you obsess over, what you give a ton of attention to, is drawn right back to you.
Was it possible that something as small as a song could have that much influence on my life?
I decided to test it.
I looked at my top 20 favorite songs, and what did I find? Breakup songs. Angst and brooding passion. Was it any surprise my life had been brimming with such themes up to that point?
I moved on to recognizing how books, media, tv, and movies made me feel. I recognized what people in my life had positive and which had negative impact.
Wait, wait, wait…did I give my old favorites the boot? Did I scrap my top 20 and start listing to feel-good family songs? Did I put on mom jeans and trade Stranger Things for Fuller House?
However, I made a conscious effort to keep from getting swept into the energy of the songs, movies, shows, and people that represented the aspects of life I didn’t want.
I stopped feeling the breakups in sad songs. I stopped visualizing the heartbreaking images those songs expressed. I made an effort to ground and center myself after a jaw-dropping, heart-stopping, gore-filled episode of Game of Thrones.
I now enjoy all my favorites for what they are–entertainment–while allowing myself to take hold of new favorites at the same time.
I now have new definitions for what makes me feel alive: the feeling of meeting my word count goal with ease, laughing with my daughter, the smell of roses my boyfriend bought me, sunlight peeking through clouds, and LOVE.
I may have lost some cool-kid points with the music snobs (I now shake my butt to Taylor Swift’s Shake it Off just fine, thank you) but it was well worth it when my real life began to shift in response.
Same applies to books, art, movies, and more.
While I still enjoy darker content (a lot!), I maintain a balance and give plenty of attention to the things that make me feel alive in the way I WANT to feel.
How does this apply to writers and creatives?
As writers, artists, and creatives, we often express dark or dramatic content. And there’s nothing wrong with that! If it brings you joy, then do it!
But if you find yourself depleted or falling into that depressing, brooding “tortured artist” mindset, where your art only feels fulfilling and REAL if it’s painful, then ask yourself how you can bring more play, lightness, and balance into your daily life to counter the darker energies of your writing.
Does that resonate with you? Have you ever felt the need to shift your focus in such a way? Comment below and tell me about it!
If you find yourself where I was years ago, ready to shift your mindset, find more play in writing and life, and learn to attract what you TRULY desire, I’d love to help! You can read all about my coaching services and set up a free discovery call here.
Looking for a way to relax, clear creative blocks, reduce stress, and balance your energy? Try a distance Reiki session with me, from anywhere in the world! Read all about my Distance Reiki for Writers.
Love, light, and all the magic,
Author. Coach. Unicorn.
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