Songs to make you feel good – Part 2

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“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.”
– Plato –

Back in June I posted Part 1 of Songs to make your feel good and I have had such good feedback about it that I thought I would create a Part 2.

I said that I would share 5 songs every month, and July was a little busy for me and 5 songs might be a little much, so I’ll commit to sharing 3 songs every month from now on, and we’ll create a nice big list of happy songs at the end of the year.

Here are my Top 3 Feel Good songs of the moment for you. Enjoy!

Avicii – Wake Me Up 

Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros – Home

Rudimental – Feel The Love

Lots of love, hugs and light,

Kat x x x

Image reference – http://www.flickr.com/photos/emilybean/1216468104/

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Songs to make you feel good – Part 1

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“Music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy.”

 – Ludwig van Beethoven –

As you’ll all probably have guessed by now, I absolutely love music. It’s an important part of my life, and I also think it can be very powerful in lifting our spirits if we are having a tough day, or reinforcing a really happy moment. Plus it is scientifically proven that listening to or playing music can make you happy, because it causes the brain to release dopamine, which is a feel-good chemical.

I have recently joined Spotify and am loving it, and I tend to create playlists which contain ‘feel good’ music, so I thought I would start to share micro playlists with you of my Top 5 ‘Feel Good’ songs of the moment.

I’m going to aim to share at least 5 songs every month, so that over time you can create one big uber playlist of awesome upbeat, happy, positive songs to listen to when you want to feel good and raise your vibrations.

So here are my Top 5 Feel Good songs of the moment for you. Enjoy!

1. Matt Corby – Resolution

2. Rudimental feta. Ella Eyre – Waiting All Night

3. Empire of the Sun – Alive

4. Robert DeLong – Happy

5. The Lumineers – Hey Ho

Lots of love, hugs and light,

Kat x x x

Inspiration for this post

My favourite positive, feel good music of the moment (see above)

Why music makes you happy – news.discovery.com

Image reference – http://thinng.com/671-music-makes-me-happy-by-plastickheart

We only get one life, best make the most of it

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“You say the more you think you know what’s right 
The less you do what you feel inside 
So I won’t pretend that I always know 
I just follow my heart wherever it goes 
And I may not always get it right 
But at least I’m living coz I’ve only got this…

One life, one life, one life, I’ve got this one life.” 

– James Morrison –

While I was travelling in 2011 I was listening to all sorts of music, which provided the soundtrack to my escapades, and I came across James Morrison’s album The Awakening at some point along the way.

I’m not entirely sure when it was or where I was, but it had a pretty profound effect on me. And three songs in-particular: ‘One Life‘ and ‘The Awakening‘ and ‘The Person I Should Have Been‘. This also came at the time I was listening to Mumford & Sons ‘The Cave‘ a lot, especially during my time travelling around New Zealand.

“Cause I need freedom now
And I need to know how
To live my life as it’s meant to be”

 I remember sitting on the Kiwi Experience bus as we bombed about the North Island, zipping through luscious green fields, passing by herds of sheep and hay bails with All Blacks signs attached to them in support of their National Rugby Team for the World Cup. And as I sat and stared out the window a-gasp at just how incredibly beautiful a country could be, the soundtrack to my travels filled my head with thoughts and ideas about what I would do when I finished travelling.

I knew I wasn’t going back to the UK, but wasn’t going to share that thought with anyone until I knew what the plan was. What I really wasn’t sure of was where I was going to end up. My initial thought had always been to finish my 9 month trip in California, head straight to Silicon Valley, ditch my backpack at a hotel, buy a nice dress, head straight to the Facebook offices and stay there until someone in their Marketing Dept agreed to meet with me and not leave until they had offered me a job.

However, I hadn’t planned for a $5000 surgery bill in Singapore (of which I only got some, not all back from my insurance company), and 6 weeks worth of hospital trips to treat an abscess wound in my leg. To cut a long story short, I was 6 months into my trip, running out of money and running out of puff.

So, at the end of my one month travelling in New Zealand, I had a decision to make. Either I could carry on travelling and spend two months in South America and a final 5-6 weeks in the USA and Canada and end up back home in pretty bad debt. Or, I could apply for my Working Holiday Visa for Australia and head back to Sydney.

My head said, Kinnie, finish what you started. Keep on travelling, you’ve only got 3 months left, use your credit card if needs be and you can get a job easily when you get back to the UK and pay it off.

My heart said, Kat, you need to go back to Sydney.

Don’t ask me why it said that, or what it meant, as I really don’t know. All I do know is that the overwhelming feeling that I had, was to head straight back to Australia, and to Sydney in particular.

It was the middle of November, and as mentioned I was running out of money and steam for travelling. As awesome a time as I had had, I was really longing for a little bit of normality in my life: a bed that I could call my own, a wardrobe to put a few of my things in, organic food, and even a job! I felt like I wanted to use my brain again. Plus it was getting close to Christmas, and I didn’t fancy spending it with a bunch of strangers. Despite all of the fantastic people I had met along the way and having celebrated one of my best birthdays ever in Wellington with some amazing new friends I had made, I was keen to spend time with the people who I knew in Sydney at Christmas and New Year.

So, what’s the point of this post today?

Very easy. Whenever you are needing to make a tricky decision in life, follow your heart. Always follow your heart, and above all, follow your heart.

Forget your head, forget what the logical or rational thing to do is, throw all of that out of the window and follow your heart. Listen to your intuition. We’re given it for a reason, and it’s never wrong, and even when we think it’s wrong, it has led us down a path, so that we can learn what we need to learn, because everything happens for a reason.

If you get a positive feeling about something, follow it. Just like Alice following the White Rabbit. Imagine that the White Rabbit is your intuition. And if she hadn’t followed the White Rabbit, she wouldn’t have found Wonderland. 🙂

Goodness knows where I would be and what I’d be doing if I hadn’t followed my heart back to Sydney. I’m sure it would still be awesome, but at the same time, I’m incredibly happy, grateful and appreciative of the incredible life I have created for myself here. The day that I followed my heart, was the day I stopped listening to my head and I cannot recommend this way of making decisions highly enough! It’s how I make all of my decisions on a daily basis now. I do what FEELS right for me, always.

As James Morrison sings ‘I got one life, one life, one life and I’m gonna live it right‘.

And to close this post, I’ll leave you with a fantastic quote from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland:

“Alice came to a fork in the road. ‘Which road do I take?’ she asked.
‘Where do you want to go?’ responded the Cheshire Cat.
‘I don’t know,’ Alice answered.
‘Then,’ said the Cat, ‘it doesn’t matter.”

Inspiration for this post:

One Life by James Morrison

The Cave by Mumford & Sons

Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Life is awesome when you live in the moment

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“If you are depressed you are living in the past, if you are anxious you are living in the future. If you are at peace you are living in the present.”

– Lao Tzu –

I’m just pages away from finishing The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle and I cannot recommend the book highly enough. At the tender age of 32 I have read thousands of books in my time and this is, by a country mile, far and away the most incredible, life changing and re-affirming book I have ever read.

I bought it via amazon.co.uk this time last year and got my parents to send it out to me, because books are so darn expensive here in Australia. And for some reason, even after it had arrived, it didn’t feel like the right time to read it, so I didn’t.

After coming back from the most incredible Christmas and New Year holiday in Queenstown and the South Island of New Zealand with friends and family, I started reading it this January and it has taken me the best part of 3 months to finish it.

I have savoured every last word. And I know when I’m reading a book that I really truly love, because I don’t want it to end. It was the same with Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s ‘The Shadow of the Wind‘ and David Nicholl’s ‘One Day‘.

I am literally pages from the end, and part of me doesn’t want to finish it at all. And another part of me can’t wait to finish it, so I can get started on the follow-up to it ‘A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose’. And I guess that is what life is like really. Part of us wants to hold on to the past and things that have gone before. Songs, people, times, places, etc. And another part of us can’t wait to get moving into the future. And this can happen positively and negatively.

Perhaps some of us hold on to things from our past unnecessarily, unable to let them go. Past relationships, people who have passed, pets that are no longer with us, bad feelings, tricky things that have happened, people or things that have hurt us. And this causes us pain and suffering, that if we just decided to let them go, from a place of love, and live in the now, we wouldn’t feel.

And some of us get scared or nervous or anxious about the future, which paralyses us from doing really awesome things. I remember that I was so scared to even book my round the world ticket, because I was so scared about travelling by myself, worried about getting malaria or sick, nervous that something bad might happened. In fact, I had pretty much convinced myself that I could quite possibly die on my trip, so much so that I made sure that I spent time with all of the people who I loved the most back in the UK before I left. They didn’t know it at the time, but I was secretly saying goodbye to all of them, in case I never made it back to the UK. Strange but true.

The danger of thinking thoughts like that is that what we think, we become. So it wasn’t very clever of me to have such a fatalistic view of my trip! As it happened, I did get pretty sick, was hospitalised and was taken from the backpacker trail for 6 weeks after the first few months of travelling. But I got better and made a full recovery.

And, as it happens, I never did return back to the UK (permanently), because I fell in love with Australia along the way, and this is where my heart is now. I still love the UK and everyone back home, but in a funny way, I guess I was right.

The big learning for me through all of it though, was the importance of living in the moment. There was no point in looking back to the UK, missing my friends and family, because it meant that I wasn’t enjoying the time that I had travelling. And there was no point worrying about the future, the unknown and what could or couldn’t be, because again, I would be missing out on the amazing travelling experience by not being fully present to it.

So one of the biggest things I learnt and continue to instil in every day that I have on this beautiful planet is to live in the moment. Life is too short and the world is too awesome to put your energy and attention into anything else.

My goal now, every day that I wake up and in every moment that I have is to be as present as I can and my life is continuing to transform and produce more and more incredible moments. I can’t recommend it highly enough!

Inspiration for this post –

Keep Your Head Up

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“I’m walkin’ back down this mountain
With the strength of a turnin’ tide
Oh the wind’s so soft on my skin,
The sun so hard upon my side.
Oh lookin’ out at this happiness,
I search for between the sheets.
Oh feelin’ blind and realize,
All I was searchin’ for was me.
Ooh all I was searchin’ for was me.”

I went to see the very fantastic Mr Ben Howard last night at The Metro in Sydney. I love him to bits for a number of reasons, including the fact that he hails from The West Country (like me), coming from Devon. And also, after my beautiful friend Boo introduced me to his debut album last Feb when I was back home in The Shire (Frome, Somerset), it actually helped me through an incredibly traditionary period in my life.

I didn’t realise it at the time, but when I went back to the UK, while I thought it was a two-week trip to say hello to all of my friends and family (whom I hadn’t seen after being away travelling & working for 9 months), and attend a friend’s wedding, it actually ended up being more of a goodbye.

When I left Sydney, I had no real expectations about my trip, apart from the fact that I knew it would be great to see everyone. What I hadn’t prepared myself for, was that 3 days into my trip, I would be missing Sydney like heck, and referring to Manly as home.

Even more interestingly, I had lived in London for 7 years, and had never referred to it as home. London was the place that I lived and worked in, Frome had always been home. And I guess, as the saying goes, ‘Home is where the heart is’. So the strange realisation for me was that, despite the fact that I was back in my home town, Frome now felt like where I was from, but indeed Sydney, and quite specifically Manly, was where my heart was.

It was in those first few days that I had the realisation, that Australia was where I was meant to be, and that when I came back home, I would do everything in my power to get a more permanent visa so that I could stay.

The tricky thing was that I wasn’t really enjoying my job at the time. My boss was a massive stresshead, every day there seemed to be some big drama that needed sorting, the requirements for the project that we were working on changed on a daily basis and despite the fact that I started each day with the best intentions of staying positive, by the end of the day I felt empty, drained and broken. Enter Ben Howard stage left.

Ben Howard’s album Every Kingdom and quite specifically two songs in particular helped me through the next few months while I worked the end of my 6 month contract (Keep Your Head Up), and plucked up the courage to start my own business (The Fear).

I really wasn’t enjoying what I was doing, but I would listen to ‘Keep Your Head Up‘ every morning as I walked the 10 minute route from my flat in Redfern to our offices in Surry Hills. I set the intention to make the best of every day that I had left in that job, turn every negative into a positive, spend as much time as possible with the people who I loved at work and who inspired me, and go for a lunch at least once a week with my mentor.

As soon as I changed the meaning of a situation that was really quite unhappy and unsatisfactory, into an opportunity to let go of the negatives, my time at work transformed. And when I decided that I was going to set up my own business when I left my job, there was light at the end of the tunnel. I started to have more fun at work, I was still professional in my conduct and still got my work done, but I had decided that I was really going to do the best job I could at enjoying my last few months there. I’m so glad I did.

And I felt the most amazing relief when I walked out of the office building on 8th June 2012, as I left the Corporate World forever. And most importantly, exactly one week later, I registered my business, Thought Cloud, on 15th June 2012. To celebrate I bought a beautiful Triwa watch, so I would always remember the moment, and to remind me that it was time for a change.

The other interesting part of the song for me is this quote:

“I saw a friend of mine the other day,
And he told me that my eyes were gleamin’.
Oh I said I had been away, and he knew,
Oh he knew the depths I was meanin’.
And it felt so good to see his face,
Or the comfort invested in my soul.
Oh to feel the warmth of a smile,
When he said “I’m happy to have you home.
Ooh I’m happy to have you home.”

Which reminds me of my wonderful friend (and incredibly photographer) Mr Graham Binns, who took my photo when I was back in London last year. We had a fantastic day together and I gave him a good strong pep talk about his photography career too. I had the loveliest message from him when I returned to Australia saying that it was great to see me so happy and that it was awesome that I had found my spiritual home. I don’t think he could have summed up how I was feeling any more perfectly.

So, no matter how tough things might get in life and no matter what is happening right now that seems insurmountable, keep your head up, keep your heart strong

P.S.

I’ve just read that Ben was on the nominee list for the Mercury Music Award back in the UK last year, and won 2 Brit Awards for Best British Breakthrough Act and Best Male Solo Artist. Go Ben! You’re doing the West Country proud!

Inspiration for this post:

Ben Howards’ Keep Your Head Up

Ben Howards’ The Fear

Image credit