Ramblings of a Creative Mind

Thoughts on Work and the World from an Executive Mom

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Bust a Move*

On the floor (3)I have an addiction. It’s not something that will land me on the nightly news, and while my sushi fixation may come close, that’s not it either. I’m addicted to music: not to the song itself, but rather the feeling that comes over me any time a tune has a good beat. It doesn’t matter if it’s pop, country, classic rock or EDM. It all works. If the bass is bumpin’ or the lyrics poppin’, I’m guaranteed to move.  On airplanes, it’s subtle. I rock big headphones, close my eyes and tap my feet. I’m the official Dancing Queen of the 101 freeway, discoing down the asphalt and waving as I go by. And when there’s a dancefloor, all bets are off. I’m the first one on and the last one standing. For better or for worse, I’m married to the music. I’ve just got to move.

Moving feels good, plain and simple. When the beat climbs into your bones, it’s liberating. It’s freedom. Kinetic bliss. The highest state of being. Music transcends language, culture, and age. Music unites, bringing people together when the world would tear them apart. Movement is the expression of that connection, that rapture. When we dance, we abandon “you” and “me”, “us” and “them”, and create the most amazing unit possible – WE.

Children get it. A song comes on. They smile and bounce. They raise their arms in celebration. They’re fearless. Free. Yet, things change as we age. Picture this: you’re at some event, and there’s a dancefloor. The DJ starts playing. The dancefloor stands empty. Five or six songs go by. Finally, he hits a good one and some brave souls get up (let’s face it – it’s usually all ladies). They implore and drag up a few more. A small group forms. Whether or not they knew each other before, they do now. They laugh and show off. They’re having a darn good time. Others simply stay in their seats and watch.

When you’re the one on the floor, its easy to scan the room and spot the people who want to join in. They’re smiling, perhaps moving a little with the beat. Even in conversation, their eyes keep returning to the action. Still, most never do. It makes me a little sad.

Somewhere along the way, something happened. Did someone tell them they weren’t a good dancer? Were they teased? Did a bro tell them that “real guys don’t dance,” it’s not professional, not appropriate, not, not, no? Who was that someone, and who gave them the right to take away their joy – their basic human right to music, to dance, to move?

Moving is good for you. Our bodies were made to move – not to sit still or stand on the sidelines. We were made to participate, celebrate, journey and wander. We move out, move on, and move away. We’re moved by stories. Moved into action. Moved to make life better for us and for those who will come after us. We unite in movements. Why not move to music? Why not be addicted to the beat, to dance, and to the way that strangers become friends – even if it’s just for a single song?

I’ve moved out, moved in, moved across town and around the world. I’ve moved companies and changed careers. Each move I’ve made has led to new adventures, new learnings and a new me. And, now that I’m settled, I move with the rhythm of our family and the steady drum beat of time. It’s great.

Someone told me recently that I “didn’t have an off button.” Not true. I do. I’m an introvert who needs down time to survive. Still, he was right about one thing. I don’t have an off button when it comes to the music.

We don’t always get to dance: to let down our walls and be a part of the We, or even just to BE. So I’m going to bust a move every chance I get for the rest of my time on this earth. I hope you do too.

Don’t stand on the fringe. Join the celebration. Join the moment. Just move. Meet me on the floor. After all, you never know which dance just might be your last.


*Props to Young MC for this hit, which won the 1990 Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance. Yes, I know all the lyrics, and will totally challenge you to an 80’s rap battle one day if I meet you.


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Thoughts on Theft and Things

My truck was broken into last week as I ate dinner with a friend.  I’d just returned from a business trip, so I had a lot of stuff with me: favorite clothing, my computer, headphones etc.      While I am angry that someone felt the need to do something like this, it’s the loss of one particular item that I cannot let go of: my iPod.

My iPod was tragic.  It was a second generation model that I have had easily for almost 8 years or so, battered, slightly malfunctioning and filled with the music that I adore.  I have staunchly avoiding upgrading each time something better comes out.  I want to stick with what I know works.  Yes, it has been on the fritz, but it is mine.  Each song represents a memory, a time in my life that I cannot recover, just as I cannot rebuild that music catalogue as it was on that machine.  It was set up in a certain way.  I knew its quirks.  It was safe, dependable, loved and all mine.  It was my past and present.  It is not my future though.

Losing something is never easy.  You spend time looking back, looking around and looking at the loss.  You weren’t ready for it, weren’t prepared.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not the right time to let go… to move on.

Things are just that: things.  They are possessions that ultimately possess you, if you let them.  They can hold you back with a tune that is familiar, safe and beloved.  But a thing is just a thing after all.  It has no emotions.  Rather, it acts as a mirror, reflecting back at you only that which you allow it to.  The same goes for life.  Life, career, today… it can be safe, loved and a good place to be.  Or it could be holding you back as well.  Are you leading your own life today, or are you allowing “things” to possess you – to keep you from moving forward, moving up or moving on?

Letting go is hard.  I miss my iPod.  I am angry.  I am sad that it’s gone, and have to face the fact that it will never be again. I am moving through my emotions – moving on.  There will be another iPod, another opportunity to create new memories and new magic.  I will build the next play list of my life.  While the old one feels like it is gone too soon, perhaps instead it is gone at the perfect time.  Someone else will love that iPod and fill it with their songs and their memories.  They will make it new again, just as I make mine new again.

Someone told me once that “you are a slave to what you own.”  Possessions… these things.   They shall not possess me anymore.

Today, what is holding you back?  What will hold you down no more?