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The Three Songs That Helped Me Through 2020

The Three Songs that Helped me Through 2020

Music has a unique ability to bring people together. From a national anthem to a church hymn, or your favorite rock or hip-hop song, music has the amazing ability to unite us, to pull us together as we listen, sing, dance, and rejoice in the pure beauty of the notes and melody suspended in the air. There are three songs that helped me through 2020.

2020 was the year when everything and nothing happened at the same time. Each of us has our own coping mechanism when dealing with difficulties in life, mine is to put some music on and let the rhythm of the notes and the lyrics take me to places I want to go.

There are three songs that helped me go through 2020:

1. ‘From Hero to Zero’, a song featured in Disney’s animated movie Hercules.

2. ‘Let It Be’, a song written by Paul McCartney  when he was part of The Beatles

3. ‘How Far I’ll Go’, a powerful ballad from Disney’s’ 2016 animated film Moana, performed by Auli’i Cravalho

The first song that helped me through 2020, From Zero to Hero, Hercules

Song that helped me through 2020. From Zero to Hero. Hercules, The Greek Hero. This song teaches us that we can survive our own tribulations and become the hero of our own life. Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

One of the most popular heroes of Greek mythology  is Hercules. What makes him so popular is the fact that he is half-god and full of flaws. His life was far from perfect and filled with tragedies. He endured many trials and completed many daunting tasks, but the reward for his suffering was a promise that he would live forever among the gods at Mount Olympus.

From zero to Hero – Hercules – Cover by Alize Reed

From Zero to Hero Lyrics

Bless my soul
Herc was on a roll
Person of the week in every Greek opinion poll
What a pro
Herc could stop a show
Point him at a monster and you’re talking SRO
He was a no one
A zero, zero
Now he’s a honcho
He’s a hero
Here was a kid with his act down pat
From zero to hero in no time flat
Zero to hero just like that (snaps)

When he smiled
The girls went wild with
Oohs and aahs
And they slapped his face
On ev’ry vase
(On ev’ry “vahse”)

From appearance fees and royalties
Our Herc had cash to burn
Now nouveau riche and famous
He could tell you
What’s a Grecian urn?

Say amen
There he goes again
Sweet and undefeated
And an awesome 10 for 10
Folks lined up
Just to watch him flex
And this perfect package
Packed a pair of pretty pecs

Hercie, he comes
He sees, he conquers
Honey, the…

Hercules is the son of Zeus, ruler of all the gods on Mount Olympus and his mother was Alcmene (Zeus’ mistress). Hercules’ personal problems started before he was even born. When Zeus’ wife Hera heard that her husband’s mistress was pregnant, she flew into a rage and used her supernatural powers and a whole range of nasty spells to try to kill the baby before it was even born, but to no avail. Hercules survived but was stripped of his immortality and told that he would have to become a true hero in order to reclaim his full divinity and seat on Mount Olympus among the other gods.

Hercules was raised on earth but retained his god-like strengths, which, although useful, sometimes became a disadvantage. His life was not always a happy one, it was full of disappointments, tragedies, trials, and tribulations. Hercules learned that those disappointments and dark times were part of his human experienceand were meant to teach him life lessons. He became the champion and the protector of the weak.

Hercules’ inner strength and ability to endure hardships made him an inspirational figure to the people and a symbol of stability in the midst of chaos, even if it was chaos that he himself caused. Hercules fought against monsters, titans, and all sorts of formidable adversaries, but it is his self-sacrifice to rescue his love Meg which made him a true hero.

The myth of Hercules teaches us that everyone has monsters they need to conquer, seemingly impossible tasks that they have to accomplish, and tragedies that they have to overcome. When faced with some difficult situations in life, one can take comfort in the stories of Hercules who went from zero to hero, we can survive one’s own tribulations and become the hero of our own life. Hercules encapsulates the hero that anyone can relate to precisely because his life was far from perfect and his character was less than ideal.

From Zero to Hero in no time flat!

The second song that helped me through 2020, Let it Be, The Beatles

Let It Be – The Beatles. This song teaches us to accept the bad things that have happened or bad decisions we made, especially if there is no way we can change the situation. Photo by @freepik via freepik.com

Let it be, was The Beatles’ highest-debuting single on the Billboard Hot 100, and their final single before Paul McCartney  announced his departure from the band. The song, written by McCartney, was inspired by a dream he had of his mother who died of cancer when he was fourteen. 1968 was a tense period for  The Beatles , they were recording the White Album but tensions within the band was rife with members asserting individual artistic agendas. This is when McCartney’s mother came to him in a dream whispering these wise words, “It will be all right, just let it be.” Paul McCartney, in a later interview, recalled waking up, remembering the dream and turning it into a song ‘.

Let it Be Lyrics

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom
Let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Mary was McCartney’s mother’s name. McCartney’s decision to leave Teh Beatles came shortly after the release of the single.

What I learned from this song is that we should practice the Art of Acceptance, or the philosophy of Let it be; it can help us accept a difficult situation or the ups and downs we experience in everyday life. Let it Be means let go, relax, don’t worry about your troubles. These words of comfort remind us not to think about sad things too much, to accept the bad things that have happened or bad decisions we have made, especially if there is no way we can change the situation. Let it be is a beautiful reminder that you do not hold all the strings, you are not always in the driver’s seat and you are not responsible for everything.

Misery is not just an absence of pleasure but is also caused by unmet expectations and aspirations, and by a continuous need for approval in our personal and professional lives. These disappointments, some big and some small cause some people a lot of stress and anxiety and may result in depression or other Mental illnesses. But despite the imperfection in one’s professional or personal situation, psychologists and therapists believe a lot of this struggle and stress is avoidable with a simple technique, acceptance, or to let things be.

When we recall happy memories, we are often nostalgic, and remind ourselves how things used to be. When we recall less happy events, there is a tendency to hold on to those unhappy memories too.

“What you resist, persists.”

Carl Jung

Accepting the reality of our situation allows us to move forward and gives us more energy to focus on the present moment, to feel grateful for the people and things we have now.

Does acceptance mean conformity and mediocrity? By the time I was at high school, I’d already resigned myself to the idea that I was not put on this earth to be a mathematician, astronaut, or engineer, and scraping through an algebra test with a bare minimum passing grade used to make me really happy. Fast forward to today in Seoul where my two daughters go to school, it is a regular occurrence for high schoolers to score 100% not just on math tests, but across all the science subjects. Did my acceptance make me mediocre? I don’t think so.

Acceptance doesn’t mean conformity and mediocrity

If it’s within your ability to do better in math tests, or a sports event, then you should do better. Acceptance shouldn’t be a drain on ingenuity and growth. If you are born poor and underprivileged, acceptance is not going to take you very far. Acceptance is not the defeatist way of saying, that’s the way it is, there is nothing I can do about it, it’s not about being lazy, but it may be about picking the important fights and forgiving past mistakes.

There are times in our life where circumstances force us to accept the way things are, to accept our own limitations, to accept our current situation. There are times when we should be philosophical and be grateful for what we have.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.

The Serenity Prayer

The third song that helped me through 2020, How Far I’ll Go, Moana

Song that helped me through 2020 . How Far I’ll Go, Moana. This song teaches us that we should not focus so much on how often we fall, but to focus instead on learning, having new experiences, picking ourselves up, and seeing how far we can go. Shine your ligh as far and as bright as you can.

Most people don’t dare to think big and follow their dreams because of the fear of failure, or of being ridiculed and rejected. The end result is that their dreams will always remain just that, a dream. The dream made them feel good while it lasted, but their ideas will remain known to them only. Their songs will only ever be sung in their heads, with no audience to listen to and no one else to appreciate them. The books they could have authored remain only thoughts.

Most people won’t even reach for their dreams because they are unwilling to feel uncomfortable, to have their limits tested, to live on the edge, to be outside their comfort zone, to be criticized, to be let down, and to be challenged. People should not focus so much on how often they fall, they should instead focus on learning, having new experiences, picking themselves up, and seeing how far they can go.

How Far I’ll Go – Cover by Alize Reed

How Far I’ll Go – Lyrics

I’ve been staring at the edge of the water
‘Long as I can remember, never really knowing why
I wish I could be the perfect daughter
But I come back to the water, no matter how hard I try
Every turn I take, every trail I track
Every path I make, every road leads back
To the place I know, where I can not go, where I long to be

See the line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me
And no one knows, how far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I’ll know if I go there’s just no telling how far I’ll go

I know everybody on this island, seems so happy on this island
Everything is by design
I know everybody on this island has a role on this island
So maybe I can roll with mine
I can lead with pride, I can make us strong
I’ll be satisfied if I play along
But the voice inside sings a different song
What is wrong with me?

See the light as it shines on the sea? It’s blinding
But no one knows, how deep it goes
And it seems like it’s calling out to me, so come find me
And let me know, what’s beyond that line, will I cross that line?

The line where the sky meets the sea? It calls me
And no one knows, how far it goes
If the wind in my sail on the sea stays behind me
One day I’ll know, how far I’ll go

Songwriters: Lin Manuel Miranda  

How Far I’ll Go

Moana (played by Auli’I Cravalho) is a Polynesian teenager who goes on a Quest to save her island’s failing ecosystem accompanied by a demigod Maui (played by Dwayne Johnson). Moana, is the daughter of the chief, she has a feisty temperament and discovered from an early age that she feels the happiest when she is splashing around in the ocean, she always had a deep connection with the sea, her name means deep water.

Life on the island is happy, joyful, and idyllic, until the day when the island’s fishermen stopped catching fish and the crops stopped growing. The Island was cursed. Moana finds out that the demigod Maui caused the plight by stealing the heart of the goddess, Te Fiti. The only way to heal the island is to persuade Maui to return Te Fiti’s heart; so, Moana sets off on an epic journey across the pacific. In doing so she defies her father’s instructions for his people not to venture beyond the reef surrounding the island. How far will she go? Through the whole pacific.

Moana meets the once-mighty demigod Maui, who agreed to accompany her in her Quest. Together, they sail across the open ocean on a perilous and action-packed voyage. Along the way, Moana discovers the one thing she always sought: her own identity.

How far are you ready to go in your Quest to find your purpose in life?

I would like to hear from you, if you want to share your story send your responses in the comment box below.

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For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

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Be Happy

Want to Break Social Distancing? Feel the Power of Music

Want to Break Social Distancing? Feel the power of music

Social distancing is the order of the day. Distance yourself from your friends and family, from your school teachers and school friends, from your colleagues, business partners and even from your customers! Human beings are social animals. It is not natural for us to be isolated, but this is what our governments are prescribing.

Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music. Social distancing and lock down are being re-introduced in several countries as we speak. Maintaining our health requires us to social distance, but being isolated from our friends and family can trigger additional health issues. How one can reconcile those two conflicting agendas? If you are one of those who want to break the social distancing barriers in a safe manner, I suggest that you put some music on and feel the power of music.

Difficult times often bring the best in people. The world we are living in right now has become a strange place. We have all become strangers (to each other) in a strange land. Not long ago, people used to congregate, socialize, party with friends and family. Going to school and interacting with your teachers and your friends was part of our children’s daily routine; now our human interactions are kept to a minimum, from a safe distance and preferably via a screen.

Travelling was part of those things that we used to do with ease using whichever transportation that fitted the journey be it cars, buses, trains, or planes. Planes are still flying but border controls are much stricter; so, better stay at home rather than taking the risk of being stuck in some quarantine quarters in a foreign land.

Want to break social distancing and feel more connected? Feel the power of music

Music has a unique ability to bring people together.  From a national anthem to a church hymn,  or your favorite  rock or hip hop song, music has the amazing ability to unite us, to pull us together as we listen, sing, dance and rejoice in the pure beauty of the  notes and melody suspended in the air.

Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music. Hip hop vibe

One of the many inspiring stories that went viral during the March  COVID lockdown was the  Balcony singing started by musicians and artists in Naples (Italy) ; these artists put together a spontaneous flash mob from their balconies and invited their neighbors to join in. This flash mob did more for people’s spirit and mental health than any empty re-assuring words from any authorities.  This musical interlude made everyone in that apartment building feel connected to each other, less isolated, and less alone. Music broke the invisible chains that the government restrictions imposed on everyone and makes everyone feel united and free.  Those flab mobs will be remembered as one of those lights that shone bright and clear during a dark and uncertain period of time.

Want to break social distancing and speak a universal language? Feel the power of music

Music is a universal language that can unite, heal, and set people free from their fear, their worries, their loneliness. Regardless of which language you speak and where in the world you call home, music and dance can unite and break down barriers in a magical way. Dance is a universal language and so is music. So, dance your own dance and sing your own song. Work your magic and sprinkle seeds of love everywhere you go.

Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music – Sprinkle seeds of love everywhere you go

Music is a Universal language, but don’t just take my word for it, listen to the scientists who confirm this unequivocally. One Harvard University study showed that music carries a set of unique codes and patterns which are, in fact, universally understood. The aim of the study was to explore whether or not music from different cultures could be understood universally and transcend language barriers and geography. To carry out the research, the team examined ethnographic data gathered over a century’s worth of music from across 315 different cultures. The findings show that by analyzing a song’s acoustic feature, such as tonality and tempo, it is possible for people to understand its meaning, regardless of its cultural background. So, the science is settled: music is in fact a universal language that can be understood by everyone notwithstanding language and cultural differences.

But more than a universal language, music has the power to heal. Music therapy is an established health profession. Music therapists are accomplished musicians who have deep knowledge of how music can evoke emotional responses to relax or stimulate people and help them heal. Music therapy is an effective stress reliever, it reduces pain and anxiety, it can help patients recover from brain injury and treat seizures in patients who suffered from a stroke. So, the science is settled, music heals.

Want to break social distancing? Feel the power of music. Dance like nobody is watching

Music has an amazing ability to speak to our hearts, minds and soul. It is like a prayer that stretches out into the Universe; It is quite telling that the word Universe literally means one (Uni) song (Verse). Where words fail, music speaks, there are times where words will not be enough to appease, heal and convince, so in those moments, it’s best not to say a thing; switch on the radio, listen to your best tunes and dance like nobody’s watching. Dance has been part of this world since time immemorial. Our ancestors communicated with each other through body language before they developed linguistic skills, they expressed their anger, hope and love with movement.

I don’t know if music can change the world overnight, but I know that music can help someone make it through a difficult night” – Michael Franti

The Universal language of music and dance

The Universal Language of Music and Dance
To all my sisters and brothers around the world
Dance your own dance
Sing your own song
Sparkle seeds of love everywhere you go
Love is spring eternal
It is the healer of all wounds
Do not drown in anger and hurt
When you can swim in a sea of love

by Joanne Reed

If you liked this post you can follow me on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or you may also like:

The audio version of my book “This Is your Quest ” is available. Feel free to check it out and use this special Promotion code

For more on this subject you can purchase my book This is Your Quest online at BookLocker, from Amazon or from Barnes & Noble.  The Ebook version is available on Amazon (Kindle), Barnes & Noble (Nook), Apple (iBooks) & Kobo. Check out my Amazon Author Page here or my listing on Booksradar.com.