Music (Posted on behalf of Shana Frankel)

Music is one of my favorite ways to cope with both general life stressors, and especially during the emotional stress that occurs during the end of a semeste. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are the artists that have specifically guided me the most in my academic quest. I think it is safe to say that it was love at first listen when I heard the song Vipasanna (which literally refers to a teaching in Buddhism). I find the lyrics of this song to be so inspiring and they resonate with a lot of the feelings I have towards life. I’m going to break this post down by my favorite quotes throughout the song.

“Expectations are resentments waiting to happen.” This quote was introduced to me at the perfect time in my life. I was in a situation where I was setting ridiculously high standards, and ultimately knew I was setting myself up for disappointment. When I would get disappointed, I would end up being more frustrated with the situation. Pure proof that expectations are resentments waiting to happen. Of course expectations, to a certain extent, are crucial for productivity, but I have found it to be equally as crucial to really evaluate the realistic expectations that should be set in a situation before outdoing oneself.

“I don’t control life, but I control how I react to it.” As someone who likes to be in control of all situations that come her way, this quote was very humbling. I have this quote written down in my phone, and when something comes up that seems to be devastating or hard to handle, I read the quote and many times it helps me change my outlook. While it is hard for me to accept the blatant truth that I cannot control so many situations, it is liberating to know that I can relax a bit but still control my reactions. This is much easier said than done, still working on getting over the fact that I can’t control everything!

“I use my veins to create the colors I paint from, delve into self until my heart becomes my paint brush.” The message I take from this quote is that it is so important to be introspective about oneself and really take an interest in the self in order to learn who one really is at the core. Macklemore is clearly stating that the words he raps are coming from inside of him, and no other outside influences. The only way I see myself living the life that will have the most meaning and purpose involves delving into self until MY heart becomes MY paint brush. Even though the process of getting to that point (and I think there is no actual destination, because one is constantly evolving) might be challenging, and mentally painful at times, Macklemore reminds me that the journey has a reason and learning about the core of oneself is pertinent to growth.

“I was put here to do something before I’m lying in that casket, and I’d be lying on the beat if I said I didn’t know what that is. The world’s a stage and we play a character, I found him.” Macklemore’s belief that he was put on this earth to fulfill a specific purpose is similar to that of the Jewish concept that everyone is born with a certain ‘task’ to work toward. Macklemore figured out how to go about making his mark on the world and leaving it a better place than when he came into it and I hope that I can follow in his footsteps.

Do yourself a favor today, listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkZwZ5xBye4

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