Listen to the lyrics and maybe it will all soak in….

Sep 07

I had the good fortune of getting a last minute invitation to the  Zak Brown Band at Red Rocks on Monday night.  Typically I make all kinds of excuses when things come up spontaneously.  I like to plan things out.  And I am definitely not spontaneous if I don’t know anything about the venue, restaurant, etc.  I didn’t know a thing about the Zak Brown Band and neither did my friend with the tickets. But I’ve been trying to lead my life as more of an adventure since returning from Kilimanjaro so I figured “why not?”  I didn’t think I would know any of their music but how bad can a beautiful Colorado evening at Red Rocks be?

Two hours after the call we were climbing up the steep hill and ramp to the entrance.  Turns out our friend, Dagmar, had front row center seats.  I have never been on the front row of a concert before so this was definitely going to be more of an adventure than the typical concert.  At Red Rocks the front row is just about level with the stage and maybe 6 feet away from the edge.  It is like having a concert right in your living room.

I had looked up the band on the internet just before leaving the house.  Since I didn’t recognize the name I was sure I didn’t know any of their songs.  I would classify them as Southern rock/country but they even had some reggae and rap thrown in.  I could go on and on about how good they were but that’s not the point of this story.  Suffice it to say that they can play the guitar and fiddle like nobody I’ve seen in a long time.  With seats so close to the stage  can really appreciate how amazing their playing is.  I was really enamored with the fiddle player.  I could feel the emotion he put into every note he played.

Like I said though, that’s not the point here.  The point is all the messages I was getting from the lyrics of the songs.   It was almost like the concert was designed to reinforce many of the issues I have been reflecting on for the past 4 or 5 years and am still struggling with in some ways.

The first song to grab my attention was by the opening singer, Nic Cowan.  The title was Money don’t make you happy  and it was these lines of the chorus that caught my attention:

Money don’t make you happy/I ain’t that savvy but at least I know that/Your only here for a minute/So go on an live it/While you still can

The overarching theme most of my life has been chasing the almighty dollar in an attempt at false security.  But the more money I made the less happy I was.  So I quit chasing money for the most part and am trying to chase something that I love doing, like writing.  Well if the lyrics to that song weren’t enough, the Universe thought to emphasize the point a few more times over the evening with the other artists.  Next up was Sonia Leigh and her song was My name is Money and the lyrics that drove it home were these:

I can make a woman weak / I can make a small man stand tall / I can start wars / And I can put an end to them all / I can chain you down and I can set you free / I can make you feel so high and bring you down to your knees/My name is Money / Money is my name / Well hello my name is money / Money is my name

Now I’m not saying that I can do without money and just give it all up.  But I am becoming more and more aware that money and/or the pursuit of it can really get in the way of true happiness.  Looking back at different times in my life some of the happiest were when I had the least amount of money but plenty of love and good friends.  So I don’t really need all the stuff that money buys – good friends and their company are free, as is a walk in the woods or down to the corner store.  I need enough to be comfortable but not so much that it gets in the way because I am too busy keep track of or taking care of all the stuff that it buys.

After these two opening acts Zak Brown came on stage and the theme shifted just a little bit but the messages were still coming.  If you listen to any country music radio stations you will probably be familiar with their song Knee Deep  I was familiar with it but have to say I never paid attention to all the lyrics of the song.  The chorus is pretty popular but it was the closing line of the song that I heard this time for the first time that really struck home.

When you lose yourself you find the key to paradise

This is exactly what I found on my climb up Kilimanjaro.  On summit day I lost myself in every way and reached the most complete state of joy and euphoria I have ever experienced.  So here was another reminder of that.  Don’t get all caught up in yourself.  Just let go and catch the waves and see what happens.

The last set of lyrics that were knocking me on the head were from the song No Hurry  I have been in a hurry for most of my life.  In a hurry to get somewhere, be somebody, make more money, absorb more information, and on and on.  Since my Dad died in late 2007 I have really been trying to slow down and enjoy life more.  It has been a struggle for me and I often worry if I am just “sitting and being” that I should be “doing” something productive.  Well here are the lyrics reminding me that it is okay to “just be”

Ain’t in no hurry/I’d be a fool now to worry/about all those things I can’t change/and the time that I borrow/can wait till tomorrow/cause I ain’t in no hurry today

I was still thinking about all these lyrics on the ride home in the car at midnight and woke up thinking about them again this morning.  So at least for today I tried to take the advise.  Each day is a new challenge – letting go, reconnecting with myself and finding a passion for life.  It’s all there I just have to take the time to pay attention.

What about you?  Are you taking the time, finding your passion and paying attention?

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