“What did you learn about these women?”
“We all have the same insecurities and we all have the same abilities and we all NEED each other. I love my husband but, there’s nothing like having a conversation with a woman who understands you….
I’m always thinking about women and what they need to hear. It’s hard being a woman there’s so much pressure – we need that support and we need that escape sometimes.”
If you’ve been to my blog before you already know, I like Beyonce. Chart–topper, glamour wife, style icon, filmmaker, new mom, business mogul—Beyoncé is at the height of her powers and writing her own script. What’s not to like?
And I think the majority of the world can agree – that now we can’t help but LOVE you even more!
Bravo for your bravery! And for reminding us all that even the most FLAWLESS of superstars are just as human as the rest of us!
While in labor with her first child, the songstress formed an instantaneous bond, an experience that was music to the mom-to-be’s ears.
“I felt like when I was having contractions, I envisioned my child pushing through a very heavy door,” Beyoncé, 31, recalls in Vogue‘s March issue.
“And I imagined this tiny infant doing all the work, so I couldn’t think about my own pain. We were talking. I know it sounds crazy, but I felt a communication.”
In a simple sequence showing tall trees, sunshine, and grass, Beyoncé talks about religion in her Documentary Life is But A Dream. “God lives inside me,” she says.
“Everything happens for a reason,” she says more than once. She uses those words when she finds out she is pregnant to question what lesson her pregnancy is supposed to teach her.
The overworked cliché “music is the universal language of mankind” begins to take meaning by looking at the word universal itself. Especially when describing motherhood. Universal is a big word and a dangerous word. At the same time that it implies likeness, it also implies diversity. Michelle de Montaigne (1533–1592) remarked that “the most universal quality of man’s universality underlies his diversity.”
Music has had an illustrious position in the course of human history: not only as an art, but also as a medium for healing. Only recently has there been growing interest by the research community in trying to understand how music affects patients and physicians.
The ancient man perceived the sound of the wind, rustling of leaves, and undulating tall grass as desirable, appealing sensations. Persuasive theories suggest that the early man’s speech, like the natural occurring sounds, was sung. Children’s conversation and communication is in rhythmic sing-song syllabic mode. Ancient Egyptians describe musical incantations for healing the sick.
Music effects the human body in subtle, but powerful ways.
A well established fact is the human body and mind can be controlled and altered with music. Many scientific and medical studies have proved conclusively the tremendous effects of music upon the human physiology and anatomy. Music is used to lower blood pressure, treat mental illness, depression, mental retardation, insomnia and many others.
“It’s really a powerful drug. Music can POISON you, lift your spirits, or MAKE YOU SICK without knowing why.” (Family Weekly Magazine, January 30, 1983, p. 12, article by David Chagall)
The view that music is amoral or neutral with no inherent power to effect is completely proven false by extensive research performed on plant life. Rock music, with it’s hard driving beat, played to plants will kill the plants – while soothing classical music causes the plants to grow twice as fast.
“Paradoxical as it may seem, music’s effect upon the more primitive vegetable kingdom is one of the most convincing methods of all for proving that music does affect life, including human life.
Within the past few years, human and animal studies have examined the psychological and physiological effects of music. Yet a fundamental question underlying the role of music in health is also to ask why music developed in the first place and why it produces an emotional reaction and attenuation of the human stress response in the listener despite serving no essential biological need.
One of the ‘secrets’ of the universe, is the creative application of sound frequencies.
The human body is naturally attuned to the Earth’s electromagnetic field, which is required for optimal health, but man-made electromagnetic fields create energy disturbances within the body that prevent this attunement. When the body is grounded in the Earth’s electromagnetic field, it can more easily throw off the energy disturbances created by man-made electromagnetic fields.
Inspired music, the expression of universal intelligence, has the power to heal and enlighten us. The power of music to heal has become increasingly well documented. Inspired music, like beautiful art, conveys and transmits the energy and message of love itself. Love, the universal healing power, frees the mind of negative thoughts and emotions. Listening to and absorbing inspired music has a direct and positive effect on the creative super-subconscious mind.
The earliest conventions of Western music held that “Music on earth was a reflection of the greater ‘music of the spheres’, a harmony created by relative distances and rates of motions of the planets – a harmony that was constantly present, if only people were sufficiently sensitive to hear it” (Yudkin, Jeremy, Music in Medieval Europe, 1989).
The idea that the heavenly bodies make a sort of celestial Music of the Spheres, and that music can serve as a gateway or bridge to realms beyond the world of the senses, was already very old during Plato’s time. It has been reasonably refuted time and again, but it is still with us, and not merely as an anachronism.
Aristotle was deeply engaged in understanding the effects of music, but deviated from the Platonic approach of using music to refine the aesthetic, and instead focused on the cathartic properties.
He believed that music allows one to overcome “feelings such as pity and fear, or enthusiasm”, and that mystic music allows one to “heal and purify the soul”. Although they held disparate beliefs on how music affected man—both philosophers believed in the ability of music to heal.
There’s a common thread running through the biographies of truly great musicians; their belief that it is not they who are responsible for their work; they are merely the instruments of God.
Religious overtones in musical expression continued to hold importance into the Middle Ages, when the necessity of music for compounding and sustaining wellness was so highly regarded that law mandated those aspiring to study medicine to also appreciate music.
The greatest musicians of the past were among the strongest believers in God’s existence. Geniuses like Beethoven, Mozart, Bach, Handel, Haydn, Rachmaninoff, Puccini, Mahler, Liszt etc. had an absolute certainty in God’s existence, deep reverence for His creative powers, and a total acceptance of His sovereignty.
Just as in as seance the medium has the sensitivity to tune in to those in the afterlife (unless they are charlatans), is it possible that composers of wonderful music are simply used by God to give His music to the world.
Musicians have a reputation for being sensitive types, finely tuned to the emotions of those around them. Researchers at Northwestern University have found that the more years of musical experience musicians possess, and the earlier the age at which they began studying music, the better their nervous systems are at interpreting the emotional content of sound.
One of the prominent “virtues” of high sensitivity is the richness of sensory detail that life provides. The subtle shades of texture in clothing, and foods when cooking, the sounds of music or even traffic or people talking, fragrances and colors of nature. All of these may be more intense for highly sensitive people.
Of course, people are not simply “sensitive” or “not sensitive” — like other qualities and traits, it’s a matter of degree.
Living in a culture that devalues sensitivity and introversion as much as the U.S. means there are many pressures to be “normal” — meaning extroverted, sociable and outgoing.
Creativity researcher Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi also commented on this in his article “The Creative Personality” – saying, “Creative people’s openness and sensitivity often exposes them to suffering and pain.” A greater response to pain, discomfort, and physical experience can mean sensitive people have the potential, at least, to take better care of their health.
The trait of high sensitivity also includes a strong tendency to be aware of nuances in meaning, and to be more cautious about taking action, and to more carefully consider options and possible outcomes.
They also tend to be more aware of our inner emotional states, which can make for richer and more profound creative work as writers, musicians, actors or other artists.
Scientists already know that emotion in speech is carried less by the specific meanings of the words being used than by the sound of those words. The most obvious example: I know instantly by the way my children call “Mommy” whether I need to leap to my feet or whether I can reply, “Just a second” and mosey over a few moments later.
Doctoral student Dana Strait, who conducts her research in the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at the university (and who is herself a pianist and oboe player) led a study.
What they found was that the musicians’ brainstems locked onto the complex part of the sound–the part with the most emotional content–but de-emphasized the simpler, less emotion-conveying part. This was noticeably different from non-musicians’ response.
In other words, musicians’ brains responded more quickly and accurately to the emotional content of a sound than the brains of non-musicians.
This is in line with previous research that has shown that musicians are more sensitive to the nuances of emotion in speech than non-musicians. A study by one of this study’s co-authors, Richard Ashley, associate professor of music cognition at Northwestern, found that musicians may be able to sense emotions in sound after hearing them for only 50 milliseconds–just 1/20th of a second!
Sensitivity to the sound, particularly the more complicated part of the sound that contributes most to its emotional content, was measured through scalp electrodes, which allowed the researchers to track brainstem processing of the sound’s pitch, timing and timbre.
Interestingly, the authors of the study note that the acoustic elements that musicians process more efficiently than non-musicians are the same ones that children with language disorders, such as dyslexia and autism, have problems with.
This suggests that musical experience could be of benefit to these children–and the benefits might go beyond language processing.
As for the rest of us, it just goes to show that for once, Hollywood may have gotten something right.
That soulful singer and expressive guitarist really are more tapped into their feelings than the rest of us.
In fact, the more years of musical experience people have, and the younger they began their music training, the better their nervous system is at processing emotions in sound.
“It would not be a leap to suggest that children with language processing disorders may benefit from musical experience,” said, neuroscientist Nina Kraus.
This isn’t the first study to find links between music and emotions. Previous research found that people who are more familiar with a piece of music are more likely to get chills and goosebumps from the performance, indicating that they experience the emotion in the music more deeply. Another study found that even babies can distinguish between happy songs and sad, revealing that recognizing feelings in music comes naturally to humans.
The very act of expressing ourselves is a healing power, as Beyonce says; a power to mend the heart. This power, moreover, isn’t limited to her alone but extends to those receptive to what she has to express. And this is the miracle of art.
Music makes us feel like we are back in the arms of our mother, the ultimate source of love and security. When all is said and done, it is Socratic elenchus of self examination and self acceptance (how we feel internally about ourselves) and external love; mom, music, warmth, fresh air, and support of the family bring us security and fulfillment of our maximum potential. I, for one, am grateful for the gift of music and Beyonce as a vehicle to take us there.
We all now have the golden opportunity of filling our hearts and minds with light and music. In so doing, we can feed ourselves, our cells, with the spiritual nutrition necessary to “Inspire, Delight, Heal and Enlighten” all levels of our being.
Live and Learn. We All Do.
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