Healthy Boundaries in Relationships: A Different Approach – [Part Three]

Before I get into the nitty gritty of today's blog post - which is part three in a series I started a few weeks back in relation to a tweet reply I made to Dr Nicole LePera: I want to reiterate a few things:

  1. Music and songwriting have been proven time and time again to be a time when art and science come together to create an awareness, an accomplishment, and a breakthrough.

  2. There has been extensive research to prove that music therapy can decrease pain, anxiety, fatigue and depression.

  3. There are four different areas of music therapy:

    1. Compositional music therapy [when a client and therapist or coach work together to generate an original, permanent musical piece]

    2. Improvisation music therapy [where the client and therapist relate to each other through the act of making up music on the spot - either through instrumental or vocal expression].

    3. Receptive music therapy [where the client listens to music – live or recorded – and responds to the experience silently, verbally, or via another modality such as art], and

    4. Re-creative music therapy [a music-centered approach in which the client is encouraged to play or sing along to a pre-composed song in a manner that supports identified goals].

  4. My specific area of expertise [especially when it comes to the issue at hand: boundary setting] is focused on compositional music therapy.

I also want to reiterate a quote I read recently in a book by Steve Chandler: Reinventing Yourself, and that quote is as follows:

"Therapy is for healing your past... coaching is for building your future".

What is Creative Leadership?

Creative leadership is the ability to create and realize innovative solutions especially in the face of structurally complex or changing situations. In business, examples of this might be with the likes of Elon Musk, Jack Ma, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Walt Disney, and James Dyson, but you, dear reader, also have the tools and abilities to be a creative leader in your world as well, because creative leadership is literally the ability to think creatively when it comes to problem solving, and strategizing in both business and personal life.

And do you know one of the best ways to ignite the creative spark? You guessed it: through the art of music and songwriting.

I've said this multiple times [including in my TEDx Talk on how music and songwriting saved me after having had ten brain surgeries], but music alone stimulates multiple areas of the brain, including:

  • The nucleus accumbens and amygdala - both involved with how we respond emotionally to music and events

  • The hippocampus - which is involved in our memories, experiences, and the context in which those memories and experiences occurred

  • Our prefrontal cortex - which is what's in charge of our behavior, expression and decision-making in response to events.

.... in other words: music is basically the life coach we all need from time to time when it comes to creating the life we want to lead.

Songs like:

  • "Wasted Years" by Iron Maiden inspire us to never let a day pass without embracing it fully.

  • "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson inspires us to look at, and love ourselves honestly.

  • "Brave" by Sara Bareilles encourages listeners to be true to themselves and to speak their truth.

  • "Confident” by Demi Lovato encourages listeners to be proud of who they are.

  • “The Champion” by Carrie Underwood empowers listeners to never give up and to keep pushing forward in the face of adversity, as does "You Can Make It If You Try” by Sly & The Family Stone.

There's so many songs that we listen to that we could arguably use as a form of receptive music therapy... but it wasn't long until I realized that that specific approach to creative coaching could only do me, personally, so much good after a while. I needed to step into a different part of my creative brain, and - quite literally - take control of building my future.

With creativity.

With music.

Think of the most successful creative people the world has known…

They each have their own theme song.

  • Elon Musk recorded a progressive house number in 2019, dropping in early 2020 as his production debut via LA's Emo G Records: a song called Don't Doubt your Vibe where he literally just repeats: "Don't doubt your vibe because it's true"

  • Jack Ma recorded a song called "Feng Qing Yang" which alludes to a Mount Hua swordsman from legendary novelist Louis Cha’s famed Smiling Proud Wanderer.

  • Bill Gates even paid The Rolling Stones a reported $14million to use their song "Start Me Up" in the very first Microsoft advertisement.

Music speaks to us... music inspires us... music motivates us... and music helps us to stay on track when it comes to creating a future we want to live and lead.

But We Can Take it One Step Further

[And Write the Songs Ourselves]

It's one thing to listen to other people's musical compositions, but my approach to creativity coaching is to work with, and empower my clients to not only identify the pain points, triggers and struggles in their lives, but to also find the right vocabulary to describe their emotional responses to those struggles, and then actually rewire and rewrite those same emotional responses in order to create a more empowered narrative for their future.

This is what I did with my most recent musical release: Barbed Wire - a song I wrote when I was 15years old about sexual assault

... of course: the boundary that I began to establish as a result of writing this song was one that gave me back ownership and autonomy of of my body.

I established another boundary through the art of songwriting and music when I wrote my song SOLD [Take a Shot]: about my refusal of being taken advantage of in the music industry.

And - of course - there's boundaries I had to set with myself, when it comes to refusing to acknowledge and take on the judgments and opinions of others... which is exactly why I wrote my song I Am

After all: what other people think of me is none of my business... how I respond, on the other hand, means everything. And how I let them treat me also means everything, because the way that people treat us is often a reflection of how we are treating ourselves.

PLEASE NOTE: I'm not talking about the ways in which people treat us when we're children... Young people are incredibly vulnerable to the manners and actions of others, but if you're reading this right now: chances are, you're not a child. You're an adult. And while we are never to blame for what happens to us, we are absolutely responsible for how we respond, heal and grow in the face of said trauma.

As podcast host, author, motivational speaker, former lawyer [and one of my personal heroes] Mel Robbins says: "You are not to blame for what has happened to you in your past, but you are responsible for healing yourself and creating a new future... Whatever it is, you are not to blame for what happened to you. You DO have an important responsibility to heal yourself. You DO have the responsibility to change the way you think and to change your habits. This is such an important lesson for you to learn. No one else has the power to change your life but you."

Get started with a taster sample of the holistic creativity coaching experience…

And this is why I established Empowerment through Songwriting coaching. Yes, it's predominantly for teenagers, because I believe it's important that we foster our young people with the tools, verbiage, and permission to identify, simplify, and overcome their stress, struggle, anxiety and trauma so that they are more likely to grow into happy, healthy, and high-functioning adults... but truth be told: we could all benefit from a creativity coach.

Everyone can benefit significantly from leading a more successful and creative life - and using creative tools like music and songwriting to help them rewrite and recreate the narrative of their future in spite of some of the adversities we all come across in our lifetimes.

Music Therapy Heals your Past - but Music Coaching Builds a Future

If you're struggling with your own creative blocks, or you're searching for innovative ways to step into your own creative leadership, re-focus on a positive and empowered future, or learn new ways to turn your challenges and struggles into success strategies and superpowers: I'd love to chat with you about how compositional music coaching might be way forward for you in your journey to better boundary-setting, decision-making and life-building.

Your life is a collection of songs that create an album that represents you and your authentic truth. Make sure each song is an accurate reflection of who you are, who you want to be, and who you're becoming.

Click here to get on a free discovery call to find out more about how I can work with you to ensure that album is a masterpiece.

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