Monday, December 28, 2009

The Healing Sound of Music

Music is truly the one universal language of mankind. Music is a universal language that transcends boundaries and bonds people even thousands of miles apart.
This article is exploring some of the many applications of music and how it can help us to live happier and healthier lives.
Music helps you to tap into your most primal emotions; it can change your mood, it can help relief stress, and it can even heal your body. Whatever may be your reason to enjoy a happy tune, it can move you at the deepest level of your being. Why is music so universally binding? It is that man is more than just flesh and bones. You are a spiritual being with emotions, and you vibrate at certain frequencies. Music responds to this inner essence and brings you in balance with the tunes of nature.
There is even a very practical reason that music is called the universal language. All music is composed of just 7 main notes. It doesn’t matter what instrument you play or what part of the world you are in, the performers are still only using these same 7 notes. Music can express more than just words because the melodies and rhythm can reach the deepest part of your heart and soul. Music can vocalize the inexpressible. It is used to lament, to worship, to heal, or to make a social statement like in rap. Shamans of the past as well as healers in the present day are seeking assistance from the spiritual realm.
Music therapy is even effective on animals and plants. Studies and Kirlian photography have shown that plants and trees grow better in company of good music and show a better growth. Animals too, reflect their behavioral pattern much better when exposed to music. Masaru Emoto from Japan, proved through his photography what influences music has on water crystals and how consciousness can transform water at the molecular level.

Additionally to the different occasions for playing and listening to music there are the many different styles of music. Music is truly the one universal language of mankind. Throughout the world's history many styles have developed. Music can be divided into genres in many different ways. You can distinguish songs by musical instruments or by ethnical or geographical origin.

What kind of music is stimulating to you? What kind of rhythm is getting your juices flowing? You are never too old to experiment with new tunes. Music can truly add to the joys of life and promote healing to your ailing body.

1) Nursery lullabies
There isn’t a parent in the world, who hasn’t sung a lullaby to a fussing infant or spend the night singing to a sick child. The sounds of lullabies are sung by parents to calm their children, either to put them to sleep or to comfort them in time of upset or a nightmare. The lyrics are simple words like: Hush, little baby, don't say a word. Papa's gonna buy you a mockingbird. Often the words don’t have a deep meaning, but the soothing sound of the music puts the baby at ease and allows you to get the needed sleep, too.

2) Kids love silly songs
Children love to sing silly songs. You sang silly songs when you were children and now your grandchildren enjoy singing funny and silly songs! Enjoy some tongue twisters or funny rhymes with any young one and he'll be your friend for life.

3) Play music while you work
Most offices or stores play music during the day. If not bring your own and enjoy your favorite tunes while you accomplish a maybe not so favorable task. Whistle why you work can also be a nice break-up during a work day.
If you want to stay healthy this winter while everyone around you is coming down with colds and flu, sing the birthday song while you wash your hands, and don't stop scrubbing until you've finished the last "happy birthday to you."

4) Play music while on a road trip
Put an end to road rage by playing your favorite music in the car. This can be during your daily commute or on a trip across the country.
I am sure you have your own favorite music list for your family road trips. It is best to choose music everybody loves and knows to sing along. Our family’s favorites are country music songs by John Denver, Allan Jackson, Tim McGraw, Celine Dion, The Judds, Josh Groban, Michael Bouble, and others like The Beatles, etc. It became almost like a ritual, we had to play these songs while driving to Grandpa’s house.

5) Play music when you are sad
Everyone has a favorite sad song or two that reminds them of a special someone or maybe just a special time in their lives. Sad songs have been around for years and are surely here to stay. Sad tunes take many people to a special memory to relive something they thought may have been gone.

In modern times, blues music can make you feel good by listening to songs about bad times.

6) Music as stress reducer
If you are looking for an inexpensive and quick stress reducer, listen to music, sing or hum your way through work or stressful situations. Music helps you relax and release stress. Have you ever been to a restaurant where they don’t play music? Playing happy music is to help you to have a pleasant experience eating. Soothing music triggers a relaxation response which can lower cortisol levels, making it easier to digest food.

Playing classical music while eating helps you eat less, digest better and enjoy your food more.

7) Music Therapy as a Healer
In the recent years a new field of therapy has develop using the healing sounds of music. The Mozart Effect has been used to raise smarter children as well as support healing patients in hospitals. They use it as pain management, to ward off depression, to ease muscle tension, or calm kids with ADD. Music therapy in its many applications allows people with emotional problems to explore their feelings. It can help to change your mood, help in solving problems, make positive changes in your mood, and resolve conflicts. Music can also strengthen communication and physical coordination skills. Or it can help those with neurological or development disorders to improve their physical and mental functioning.

8) Sing at church to praise God
Every Sunday after the church service I noticed that whatever pain I had before was not as profound. In fact, the more I put my heart into singing and really enjoying the tunes and the words, I felt carried away. Praising God uplifts your spirit and your body responds to the high vibrations of the hymns and holy songs.

9) Music during the Holidays
During the Christmas season I learned to appreciate the uniting power of Christmas music. For a whole months everybody in our family wanted to hear Christmas songs on the radio, playing their favorite CD’s, etc. Most of these songs create a beautiful atmosphere.

10) Meditate with OM
This goes more into the relaxation and meditation mode. The sound of OM or AUM is from the ancient Hindu culture and represents you to get in touch with the creator, the creation and the creative process. There are many interpretations of the origin of the sound the fact is that it really works. People of all cultures can enjoy the benefit of humming OM whenever they need a pick-up of energy because it really entrains you with the power of God and nature.

11) Music helps you to sleep better
Rather than watching the news before going to bed, put on some soothing songs.
A study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing showed that listening to music for 45 minutes prior to bedtime helped older adults sleep better and longer. It also improved the quality of their sleep.

12) Music and Dance
Music and dance are inseparable. Moving rhythmically is innate. Dance is just another form of self-expression and has existed since the beginning of humankind. Before verbal or written communication existed, humans have used movement to communicate and to help them comprehend, shape, and make meaning of their world. One could ask what was there first music or the dance? It’s kind of like the chicken or the egg? Expressing your emotions through moving your body and swaying to the music can be very healing for some people. Most dances are brought to us through their ethnical heritage like the famous latin dances like cha-cha-cha, rumba, and tango, or the even more famous waltz. But even modern dances have their specific music composed for swing dance, twist, and hip hop.
All of them demonstrate a deep sense of expressing human feelings and emotions.

Listening to your favorite songs or music transports you to happy memories, and happy days, and more happy days that are yet to come.

Monday, December 21, 2009

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down …..

The words of this Christian hymn came to mind when I was watching the video a few days ago. During this Christmas season we are involved in a whole lot of fuzz with shopping, decorating and cooking. It is good to take some time to step out of this hassle and bussle and appreciate nature.
On a recent road trip I fell in love with the shape of trees which are bare of leaves right now and show their statures of trunks, branches and twigs. I am amazed by the balance the tree shows unless it has been trimmed by the human hand.
With this adoration of nature and the beauty of the created universe, I want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

The same God who send Jesus two thousand years ago and who’s birthday we are celebrating this week, created all of us to appreciate his creation and to attend him. This attendance has many different faces. We can show it when we go out into nature and admire it. We can go to a worship place of our choice and show our devotion there. We can also serve our neighbor by giving him a kind word or bring an extra cookie plate. Finally, we can attend God by including him in our lives in everything we do.

Surprise yourself by starting to witness small miracles. Your life will become synchronized, and you will observe a flow of events which you could never orchestrate yourself. You will liberate your Divinity in ways you have never dreamed of.

Just think about that intelligence inside yourself which automatically causes your heart to beat 86,400 times a day and creates 10 million new cells each second as 10 million others are dying off. This same intelligence causes your food to be digested while 10,000 trillion cellular actions occur in your body every second. All these things are happening while you are carrying out your regular everyday life. It only feels right to give thanks to that intelligence by paying attention to it. At your very essence you are a spiritual being who has been blessed with many intellectual and emotional functions. Most people are playing too small, only acknowledging a fraction of their mental abilities coupled with limited physical abilities. It is time for you to believe and act according to that spiritual power within you and realize that you can create whatever you choose. You are not alone in the process, that intelligence that manages everything in perfect harmony and order is all knowing and omnipresent. You must assume your own role while trusting its brilliance.

You are a miracle and a genius capable of the incredible accomplishments because that same intelligence created YOU.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy

A few weeks ago, my husband and I attended a local teaparty meeting. It was a follow-up to the big ralley they had at the Voice of America Park on September 6, 2009.
I was very impressed with the quality of people involved in this meeting and how many were willing to volunteer for the different Committees.

I ended up walking out with a booklet in my hand and I am compelled to share the main points here: Seven Principles of Sound Public Policy
By Lawrence W. Reed, President of the Foundation for Economic Education, and President emeritus of the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (Mr. Lawrence put these points together but mentioned that he is not the originator of them).
Published by Mackinac Center for Public Policy.

Here are the seven Principles:

1. Free People are not equal, and equal people are not free.
Obviously, we are here not talking about equality before the law. Free people, who are allowed to follow their dream, will create different results in the market place. Entrepreneurship in America as elsewhere has proven that some people will earn more than others. Is it equally right to pay football players millions of dollars compared to the shift worker in the factory or the cashier at the local department store?

2. What belongs to you, you tend to take care of; what belongs to no one or everyone tends to fall into disrepair.
Private property is always better taken care of than public places. When I lived in East-Germany, most public places were run down, except the ones which the elite was paraded by. We can also look along our highways and see the litter thrown out by passer-bys. Fortunately, there are some private civic groups who go out voluntarily and collect trash on Saturday morning.

3. Sound Policy requires that we consider long-run effects and all people, not simply short-run effects and a few people.
The whole welfare system is based on this short-run effect. Is it really better to give someone a fish than to teach them how to fish? O.k. we are at times in need of some extra help. For the sake of our self-esteem and self-respect, I believe, it is better when we have to earn what we need.

"You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it." ~ Adrian Rogers, 1931

4. If you encourage something, you get more of it; if you discourage something, you get less of it.
This has to do with incentives and disincentives. Human beings like to be rewarded and recognized. I don’t why lawmakers are thinking that “the rich” would buy more luxury items or smokers would buy more cigarettes if the taxes are raised on those items. It seems more like a punishment. Did it work? Did the government make more revenue on these items? The only way to deal with a deficit is to cut spending.
Can we deal with recession and declining revenues by punishing some our citizens? A weak economy can be stimulated by allowing more business to get started who can hire jobless workers. To create more small business and give them tax breaks and get people back to work is a better solution than bailing out big corporations who don’t even keep track of where the money went. Let the doctor help the patient get well and not hurt him in the treatment.

5. Nobody spends somebody else’s money as carefully as he spends his own.
We all have heard stories that the government hires contractors who charge outrages prices for supplies like hammers and nails, etc. Government spending is truly out of control. Any bookkeeper has to keep record of how he spends the company’s money. Does the government keep records like this? I am just wondering what happened to all the bail-out moneys?

Economist Milton Friedman gives four ways one can spend money:
• When you spend your own money on yourself you make some mistakes, but they are few and rare.
• When you spend your money to buy something for someone else you still try to be smart but not always what the other person likes or needs.
• When you spend someone else’s money on yourself, like on a business trip, you try to economize but get yourselves the best (unless you have a budget).
• Lastly, when you spend other people’s money for someone else, you tend to be wasteful. That’s what government does all the time.
How are we ever going to get rid of the big deficit of $12.1 Trillion? With an estimated population in the U.S. of 307.5 Million people, each citizen shares a debt of $39,500.00

6. Government has nothing to give anybody except what it first takes from somebody, and a government that’s big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take away everything you’ve got.
If big government wants to be in charged of everything we become a true welfare state. It is truly robbing Peter to pay Paul. Free people don’t look to their government for their sustenance. Many countries in Europe have found that out already.

7. Liberty makes all the difference in the world.
Ben Franklin was quoted saying: “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.”
It is true that our government has control over 42% of all we produce, compared to 6 or 7% in the early 1900’s?
Mr. Reed like many of us, questions the policies of our country today. Let’s keep informed and not accept everything that comes from the top down. As responsible citizens we all would like to practice these principles. The past shows that America was a giving nation when it came closer to practicing these principles.
The tea party movement reminds us of some of our responsibilities.
Here are some other links, FYI:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Tribute to Jim Rohn

"Don't bring your need to the marketplace, bring your skill. If you don't feel well, tell your doctor, but not the marketplace. If you need money, go to the bank, but not the marketplace."
Jim Rohn

Jim Rohn was born on September 17, 1930 and passed away last week, December 5, 2009.
I didn't know him personally but I had the chance to hear him live during one of his presentations in Dallas, Texas, during one of the networking conferences I attended. I was very impressed with his non-nonsense kind of approach to life and business. That's why I purchased one of his courses "The Weekend Seminar - Skills for the 21st Century." I must have listened to the tapes several times because his philosophy of life is so practical.

He builds his approach on 5 Pillars:

• Philosophy - how you think
• Attitude - how you feel
• Action - what you do
• Results - measure often to see if you are making progress
• Lifestyle - the kind of life you can make for yourself out of the first four pieces

He contributes most of his success to a mentor he had very early in life, John Earl Shoaff who was a self-made businessman himself. Coming also from a farming background, Jim could relate to John E. Shoaff's philosophy of simplicity and honesty. This following video gives an account of his experience:

As many people have said about Jim, he cannot be defined but rather has to be experienced. He was one of America's great modern day philosophers, business men and public speakers. I am glad to have heard him once.
May you rest in peace, Jim

Here is another tribute to John Rohn on his official website: