Thoughts from a songwriter…
It’s easy to feel helpless and fearful after ingesting daily news headlines. It can all take a toll on our mental well-being. Here in New York City – an epicenter of the U.S. COVID-19 crisis – essential workers are literal heroes that keep the city alive and moving. And day after day here, healthcare workers in particular have faced the unprecedented and unimaginable. How do these heroes manage it? Who is taking care of them? And what is the source of their courage? How dare I complain about being bored and isolated while social-distancing at home? I’m safe here on the sidelines.
But like other everyday citizens in countries across the globe, I’m finding myself asking valid questions regarding my own inner peace: why am I not motivated? I’m not even sure what day of the week it is. What’s the difference if I just stay on the couch? How long will it be before I can safely travel to see my family? How did I take my own courage for granted when everything seemed “normal”? Where did my courage go?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic was ever a thing, I composed a song called Get Brave with my friend and frequent collaborator, Mark Petty. It’s interesting to reflect on the song’s message NOW, given what we’re all currently coping with. Here’s a glimpse into the four lines that make up the refrain of “Get Brave” and how I interpret them today:
“Don’t hide who you’re meant to be.”
Now, perhaps more than ever before, it’s our inner beings’ time to shine. The “fake it til you make it” route can get you so far, and it may even be a healthy way to get through certain dark days. It’s easy to want to avoid or suppress feelings. But there is a benefit to letting ourselves embrace “all the feels,” especially in times of prolonged uncertainty and fear. Find peace by allowing your authentic self to just “be” a bit more. Fewer self-judgements, deeper breaths… In this moment, you are enough.
“Find the strength inside of you and set it free.”
Focusing on the positive aspects in your life each day is an act that requires strength and courage, and discipline. But conscious, purposeful thinking is a superpower that is inside all of us. And unleashing it can provide an immediate sense of control for us and for the people in our lives. In her book Letter To My Daughter, Maya Angelou writes ‘You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” Make connections virtually. Do something for others. Find purpose in helping the people around you. Make someone laugh. Be the source of someone’s smile. You can set your inner courage free with simple acts of kindness.
“Feel it beating like a shockwave.”
Positivity spreads. Joy spreads. In this era of the 24-hour news cycle, hope is needed more than ever. And little seeds of hope planted by each of us daily can grow into a huge forest. In their New York Times article “The Science of Paying It Forward,” Milena Tsvetkova and Michael Macy studied 600 individuals in a experiment focused on generosity. The authors concluded that observing an act of kindness is likely to play an important role in setting a cascade of generosity in motion. More importantly, they found that it was RECEIVING help that sustained the cascade as it spread through the group of participants. Think of the power we can wield with a simple act of kindness during this time. It only takes a small ripple to create a shockwave of positivity.
“Just get up and get brave.”
Not only do our bodies thrive on physical movement, but our spirits do, as well. Utilizing what she calls the “5 Second Rule,” renowned motivational speaker Mel Robbins emphasizes the importance of a simple physical movement. “If you have an instinct to act on a goal, you must physically move within 5 seconds or your brain will kill it.” Robbins recommends counting backwards from 5, and as you reach “1,” push yourself to move. Positive action leads to confidence, courage, hope and peace. Just. Get. Up. Chances are you’ll be glad you did.
Recording artist and voice teacher Alexa Green has just released our song Get Brave as a single. As Alexa states, “The message of the song is really important right now. It’s an anthem for everybody. It’s a feel-good, empowering song – when you wake up in the morning and need to get that bravery to conquer the day. But it’s also for the big moments, the big, scary, tough things we all face.”
Hollow Spirit Studios, the incredible record label I work with, produced both the song and video for this project, and they absolutely knocked it out of the park. Their platform and passion for creating great content with and for artists is really exciting. For the Get Brave music video, we decided to feature people finding and sharing their everyday courage while staying home, staying safe, and staying positive. Watch the inspiring video here.