In our last chapter, the idea of an ‘inner soundtrack’ - the song of our life - was introduced. The practice of observing one’s mind - one’s thoughts and feelings - was recommended. For anyone already practicing meditation or contemplation, this is not an unfamiliar practice. Simply including the perspective that we are witnessing our ‘inner song’ interprets the practice within a musical framework.

If you notice repeated thoughts or feelings which are not serving you, this is a call for adjustment. The way is open for potential ‘lyric revision’.

Using the same principle which developed the art of jingle-writing, distilling a meaningful intention into a compelling word phrase with a memorable melody and captivating rhythm, I invite you to re-write the lyrics of your life.

What do you want to remember at the heart of your life? What means the most, what do you want to think of yourself, what do you want to feel towards others?

To help with simplifying this process, I suggest beginning with asking yourself three questions:

What do I know is true, right now?
What do I feel, right now?
What are my senses aware of, right now?

Whatever arises in your mind, write it down. Your words need not be responding to all three questions. They are simply meant to stimulate words which are your own words, and which are true for you in this moment. Whatever comes up, that is where to begin.

Continue writing and re-writing, simplifying the words until you have accumulated several short phrases which ring true for you. Re-arrange them as you feel, until what you are reading has a good feeling. Speak the words out loud or in your mind, finding a rhythm for the words that suits your mood.

In a real sense, you are writing a poem of who you are at this moment.

To energize the words even more, I recommend chanting them - repeating them on a one - or two - tone melody.

Because we live in a performance-based culture, based on perpetually judging what we deem the best in any category of personal expression, it is wise to practice this exercise by ourselves, alone, at the start. Find a room and a time when you won’t be disturbed, nor disturb anyone else.

If a melody emerges with more than two tones, that’s fine. To avoid any self-criticism around performance, however, remind yourself this is simply an exercise in awareness. Don’t focus on ‘writing a song’ at this time.

If you play an instrument with which to accompany yourself - piano, guitar, mandolin, ukulele, harmonium, accordion, etc. - any instrument which allows you to create a simple harmonic foundation for your words - use that.

Remember the initial exercise is to simply repeat a phrase of your own choosing, born from your own intention. By giving voice to the words which issue in your own mind in response to the three questions, you are taking a powerful step on your path of self-actualization, liberating yourself from the tyranny of self-defeating thoughts, and discovering the power and joy of consciously embracing your inner song.