When you orchestrate a song, you don’t construct it overnight. Like a plant, a song is cultivated from seed and goes through many rehearsals just as a plant goes through many storms. Your song is a form of connection within yourself and to others, just like plants are a form of communication with all organisms on Mother Earth. Songs can be rewritten a thousand times, just like plants can morph into many different forms, and IT all depends on the external AND internal environments. For your song to emit powerful energy, you must analyze your experiences. You have the ability to turn your struggles into a soul song. BUT, it isn’t easy with the seemingly never-ending overflowing obstacles that life throws at you, resulting in EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE AFTER EXCUSE!
Janie Terrazas’ and Luis Santiago’s (The Love Coaches) book, Soul Song, centers on the art of illuminating your mind, body, and soul to create the best life YOU can possibly give yourself no matter the reality you are given! AND, guess what: There is NO ONE way to achieve happiness in your life. There is no scripture, no amount of money, no occupation, no societally acceptable relationship that will provide this for you. Happiness is created from within, not from somewhere/someone else. Soul Song equips you with insightful exercises and questions to implement into your daily life which will lead to the prospering of your soul song.
I’ve read sections of Soul Song several times, each time gaining different perspectives, which parallels with how life happens. Hopefully, all of you want to flourish from the crappy events and struggles and not just sit there like a slug and do nothing. (And if you are this slug, this may be the book you really need), but I recommend this book for every person out there, period!
Soul Song is divided into two revelations:
1) The art of learning about your soul.
2) The art of learning how to develop your song.
Without giving the book away, I will provide you with 5 powerful aspects that have contributed to my burgeoning (in no particular order).
1) Listen to your body:
The first step to achieving any sense of growth is to BE AWARE of all of the little anxieties, worries, and uneasy feelings your brain is telling you, including FEAR, a.k.a. “False Evidence Appearing Real!” Janie and Luis recommend literally making a list of these. Tell yourself it is OKAY to have this list and OKAY to have had these experiences. I guarantee you WE ALL have a list and it is normal. After you have made this list, ask yourself how these are holding you back. Then, create a word/term/reason that is opposite of the conflicting emotion/feeling. For example, your list may have included something like “I’m not enough.” What if you changed this to say “I am enough because I have gotten this far.” By doing this, you can sequentially ask yourself what tools you have utilized to have gotten you through your hard times and try to apply it in your present life. Check in with yourself routinely. Do not let society’s obligations be an excuse.
“Unhappiness is a form of feedback.” – Soul Song, quoted by Deepak Chopra, author and co-founder of The Chopra Center for Wellbeing.
On a personal note: I am currently going through an emotional roller coaster of what I should be doing for a career, as the job I was doing for 11 years, medical transcription/editing, is nearing extinction. On top of this, my pay is going to be significantly cut and theoretically going to get paid similar to what a high-school student can get paid for no education/no experience (not enough to support myself; I’ll tell you that). I am feeling hopeless, confused, insulted, scared, and angry. I am very educated, experienced, and skilled and deserve what I’m worth. And, if you are reading this, I’d love to be your social media manager for your health and wellness business, so hire me! 🙂
2) Have you ever stopped and thought about how a plant has the ability to almost always get back to homeostasis?
WE CAN DO THIS TOO! Plants have hormones just like us, which induce regeneration and rejuvenation. Let the hormones do half of the work for you! This is the internal environment. BUT, in order to change our internal environment, we must pay attention to our external environment. Just like a plant, there are different dimensions that contribute to maintaining and sustaining balance. A plant needs sunshine, water, nutrient-rich food, and the right kind of soil. If any of these elements are off balance, this can be detrimental. The aspects that affect an individual’s sense of well-being can include sexual, physical, nutrition, spiritual, social, financial, outlook, rest, etc. Scale these 1 through 10, and think of something small you could do to improve it by one point at a time. Set small goals for yourself. These little goals are tools YOU choose to create. Every little bit will help you move in the right direction.
Personal note: Your family is not always derived from a biological aspect; it’s derived on who helps you flourish as a human being. Distance yourself from negative people and negative energy!
3) Who is in control? You or the people around you?
These questions are essential to your well-being and the relationships you have. Sure, you react and respond because of things around you all the time, but when you are in control, it projects authenticity. Authenticity is a strength you should learn to gain and sustain because this is how you can define your healthy boundaries. Authenticity also helps you define who you are and influences how you decide for what is best for you, and not to please others around you. When you are truly authentic to who you are, life is more fulfilling.
Personal note: I get bullied, a lot, still ‘til this day. You would think those days would have been over in middle school. Let me tell you that bullies exist into adulthood, usually in the form of manipulation. I know many of you personally experience these individuals at work, at home, or in the periphery of your relationships, etc. Narcissists/sociopaths (formal term for “bullies”) feel their life is out of control if they are not in control of others. Bullies feel good when they know they have “gotten your goat.” If a bully knows he/she is getting to you, this means YOU HAVE LET THEM take control of some aspect of your life. Bullies want that, so don’t give it to them!
This is why IT IS SO important for you to learn how to be in control of yourself and not let others control you.
4) Tell yourself change is okay!
We need to get rid of the notion that life is planned out for us. Divorce, job loss, pain, deaths, breakups, trauma/accidents happen. There is no script in life that defines how you should be living and feeling, and whoever says that is ignorant. Stop staying stuck by telling yourself “that was the plan 20 years ago” or that “I must make six-figures in order to happy.” If you don’t go through transitions or change, you do not grow as a human being. Sometimes resistance or entitlement (out of fear), is your worst enemy. So what if you have to learn a new program at work? So what if you get into a career you never imagined yourself being in 10 years ago? So what if you join a new circle of friends? There is always going to be a place for you to flourish no matter what change you are embracing. Experiencing many changes and taking on new challenges in life only makes you more intelligent and well rounded. It opens your eyes and gets rid of the “one-track” mind. Being stuck in the same routine thinking and tasks year after year will only allow for missed opportunities you once judged.
Personal note: I recently moved to a city I never imagined being in, especially a city infested with crime, hot weather, and ugly scenery. I am used to living in rainforests with mountain spectacles where everything seems magical every day. But as an adventurous person, I told myself I was okay with change, and I am. I figured I would be happy anywhere as long as the essentials on my list were able to be provided: Safety (living in a safe part of town or get a security system), local coffee shops, a small gym, quiet neighborhood, a place to grow a garden, and exposure to water (river/lakes/rain/snow/oceans/beaches) within a short driving distance.
TIP: Create a list of your essentials which can be available anywhere. This helps create a healthier perspective of what “change” means to you.
5) Communicate how you define your gender role with your partner.
Discuss your anxieties and fears that come with gender stereotypes. For example, many women feel they need to be physically beautiful or put out to please their male partner out of fear he will cheat, based on the typical male stereotype. Insecurities never result in a secure relationship. I’ve also encountered many women who talk about their male partners, stating “he should’ve” and “he could’ve.” A lot of times this resentment builds up due to barriers that didn’t allow good communications as well as holding certain expectations based on gender stereotypes. Talk to your partner and get those pre-made gender stereotypes, and expectations out of your head. Society shouldn’t define your gender roles; YOU SHOULD.
Janie Terrazas and Luis Santiago strongly emphasize what it takes to empower ourselves to create our “Soul Song.” It takes practice and it takes many paths and tools to create your delicate, fascinating, yet strong and glorious sound. YOUR song is the fundamental energy force you need in order for you to connect within and with others. Soul Song is the necessary fertilizer for your voice so you can formulate a healthy relationship within and for others.
“You can choose to sulk… Or you can rise above… and learn the lessons” to create your Soul Song.