Music to Uplift

Any music therapist will tell you that music is medicine.  Here are three artists who uplift me, and songs of theirs that I find healing.

Matisyahu

Sometimes in my tears I drown,

but I never let it get me down.

So when negativity surrounds

I know someday it will all turn around.

Matisyahu is an Orthodox Jewish musician. Much of his music, (ex. “King Without a Crown”) incorporates religious themes. Matisyahu said, “All of my songs are influenced and inspired by the teachings that inspire me. I want my music to have meaning, to be able to touch people and make them think.” Although he no longer wears a beard, yamulke, or tzitzit, he still remains invested in his spirituality.

After days and days of waking up with negative music in my head, I cannot explain just how relieved I was a couple of days ago when these were the lyrics I heard instead. This was how I knew I was starting to regain hope.

India.Arie

I am light, I am light.

I am not the things my family did,

I am not the voices in my head,

I am not the pieces of the brokenness inside.

India Arie released her first album, Acoustic Soul, in 2001. This album, and her single “Video” were met with critical acclaim. She was the center of controversy during the 2002 Grammy awards, as India and her album were nominated for seven awards, but won none. Her music has always had meaningful themes, but now, her music has taken a spiritual angle.

“I Am Light” is the perfect reminder that we do not need to identify with our circumstances or even our physical attributes, and I have listened to it hundreds of times. All of her music is amazing and uplifting, but I highly recommend her albums SongVersation and SongVersation: Medicine, which were independently produced.

MC Yogi


When I’m lost and disconnected,

searching for a way to heal,

I remember the message you sent me-

only love is real.

MC Yogi is an independent musician who unites hip hop with eastern spirituality. Some of his songs incorporate Hindu chants, while others teach concepts such as the Eight Limbs of yoga or the story of the Buddha.

MC Yogi has also collaborated on a song with Matisyahu, “Heaven is Here.”

Although he focuses on eastern philosophies, this song, “Only Love is Real,” reminds me of one of the core teachings of A Course in Miracles- that only love, and not fear, is real. It is a very comforting concept to someone like myself who is plagued by anxiety.

These three artists come from different spiritual orientations (India Arie refers to God and angels in some of her songs),  but the meaning in their music has the ability to speak across religions and cultures. I hope these songs help you like they have helped me.

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The Twelve Deeds of Christmas, #1 and #2

Last week, I completed the first two deeds of my Twelve Deeds of Christmas. 

#1 Donations to Standing Rock: I had read that the protesters at Standing Rock were looking to gear up for winter, and needed supplies such as coats, hats, scarves, etc. I have been a collector scarves for many years, and have grown bored of many of the scarves in my collection. I knew that I had at least a few I could donate. I went to Five Below and bought a couple of hats and some gloves to throw in the package as well. Batteries were on the Sacred Stoned Camp Amazon wishlist, and I had a spare pack, so I threw those in, too. I packed it all up and sent it out to North Dakota. Based on the way things are going out there, I might be sending another package to the Sacred Stones camp before my project is over.

#2: Canned food donations: There was a collection box at church for holiday meal donations for a local family. I had planned on dropping a couple of cans in there with one Sunday. Giant was having an excellent sale on canned vegetables- 39 cents a can! So I bought some for myself, and then twice as many cans to donate! 10 cans for less than $5! Last Sunday, I added my cans to the heaping food box.