Let's Start With Music

Music is a universal language that speaks to the soul. It only takes a good rhythm to get people smiling (inside/out), nodding, or swaying to the beat.

Music not only speaks to the soul, but I believe it opens up the soul and seeps into our spirit, attitude, and feelings.

Multiple studies have shown a correlation between music and your well-being. Music was a major part of my #CaliforniWakening trip to California. I wanted to make sure my spirit and my mind were filled with peace, positivity, and things that are good.

Mission accomplished.
246 songs later, and my "CaliforniWakening" Spotify playlist was complete.*
17 hours and 12 minutes of bliss.

It didn't feel like a lot when I had to start skipping songs each time I restarted my Spotify app in the car, but I am still pleased with my musical selections. Check it out on shuffle if you want to chill, reflect, go for a drive, or simply need a reason to smile.

The variety of genres should give you some options to tune to (hopefully) without being dissappointed. Here are my top 10 picks from the playlist (via YouTube) you should check out.
  1. Shake It Out | Florence and the Machine - This song got me in the mood for dancing and moving around every time (and I played it at least 20 times on my 12-day trip). What a reminder to let go of the past! "It's hard to dance with the devil on your back, so shake it out!"
  2. Weekends | Urban Cone - Another great dance tune that makes it feel like the sun is shining brighter. Everyday feels like the weekend when you're on vacation. "Can you feel it? I can feel it!"
  3. The Beauty in the Ugly I Jason Mraz - Who are you and who do you want to be? I want to be true to me. Jason is my #1 favorite artist/musician, so no doubt he would make this list. But this song is from the show "Ugly Betty" and speaks volumes about not losing you by "leaving normal just to satisfy demand."
  4. Flaws | Bastille - Discovering the beauty in the ugly means looking at flaws as a beautiful part of the Me puzzle. I'm okay with wearing my flaws on my sleeves. It makes me human and they don't need to be counted...just recognized as step one in self-awareness. "There’s a hole in my soul, I can’t fill it"...but I know who can.
  5. Akeda | Matisyahu - Self-discovery is only part of the equation. I realized that unless you know the Creator, it's impossible to truly know yourself. This journey has been traveled with Matisyahu by my side, since I won tickets to his Philadelphia concert in December 2014. The beginning of me starts with Love. God is Love, and I am His. His daughter, His friend, His lover, His servant, His vessel to move and speak life on the Earth. Now I realize it begins with [these] words. Even if perfection is not expected or required, it feels like my flaws are hauntingly "telling the same story," and holding me back from fulfilling all I am called to be. The way Abraham trusted..."Teach me to love."
  6. Love Invincible | Michael Franti - *This order is connecting better than I thought it would!* The thing about love is that there can never be too much. :) I am addicted to love and the idea of what it can do. "When we feel impossible, show us what is possible. Teach us love invincible."
  7. Brokenness Aside | All Sons & Daughters - What stops us from loving to the max? I think it's us. "Will your grace run out if I let you down? Cause all I know is how to run... "If it's not one thing, it's another." My thoughts exactly. I want to love invincible. I recognize my flaws keep me from feeling enough sometimes...but I know there's a Savior that takes my flaws, my brokenness, and my imperfections to make them beautiful. The beauty in the ugly is that there is so more happening with "the ugly" than our eyes can see. And the process of gaining self-awareness, humility, and meekness makes the ugly brokenness become a beautiful masterpiece that screams, "But don't forget, my child, I love you."
  8. Born Again | Josh Garrels - I realized I'm a runner. Acknowledging my insides has never been a priority, but has always created a fight or FLIGHT reaction when I couldn't explain it. That's part of my flaws. Being 'born again' is all about receiving an internal change that is an available gift of freedom for anyone who wants to accept it. Featured in an article in this month's edition of Relevant magazine, Josh seems to have been in a similar place that I am in—where I realize some "deep areas" of my life simply need to be flushed out...and not something to run from. "It took me a while, but my time has come to be born again...I am ready to feel the power of change."
  9. Wonder (Spontaneous) | Bethel - I feel some type of way listening to their live music. I can feel that Spirit wanting to change and stir things up in {my} spirit. It's so beautiful to feel. It's almost like I can touch the wondrous beauty of this God. This Savior that loves and wants me just as I am...flaws and all. I NEVER want to "lose that wonder."
  10. Now I Know | Stephen Marley - This came on the car stereo in LA and one line made me think, I need to add this. "What used to be unbreakable, thought this bond would never break. But nothing's permanent in life, all except for change." I have a tattoo that I designed stating the same thought...Nothing but change (and the God trinity -) lasts forever, but all things must come to an end. "Now I know."

These songs not only came up multiple times, but they spoke to me. I am in a place where I understand that I am loved for eternity, yet now I am reflecting and searching for something good to give back to the world.

After my #CaliforniWakening adventures, I recognize it starts with my words. "Words connect us to our destiny. Speak life." (And in this case - Hear/Sing Life! via DC Metro Church). This playlist was perfect, and I hope you enjoy!

*Note: You may need to create a free Spotify account to play the playlist from your computer or Premium for on-the-go!

Things are going to change.

I love writing. It's a part of who I am. Even as a child, I would prefer to write out my thoughts and feelings in a letter, poem, song, and eventually blogs. I realized that writing is more than a hobby—even if it feels like work sometimes—it's a gift.

The thing about gifts is that they should be shared and never abused. Gifts should feel good to do.

Things are going to change.
Rather than focusing on my super eventful, non-parent approved adventures, I want to share #wisewords that may actually help you or someone you know. More life lessons.

For one: never have expectations. But what you can expect is honesty and authenticity – not that it ever lacked. You can still expect stories, but only when relevant. You can expect a variety of topics from travel and budgets to good food, music, friendships, relationships, spirituality, and just good ol' words of wisdom. All from the prospective of a young professional.

I expect to have better frequency in posts  hopefully you'll see 2-4 /month for now. I'll start the next as a tie-in to my #Californiwakening trip. It certainly was awakening and revealing...I guess that's what a lot of alone/God time will do!