Home Renos, Staying in Love and Using Music Intentionally – Whew!

Home Renos, Staying in Love and Using Music Intentionally – you’d think it might be hard to weave all those things together but we managed to do it and I hope that you will agree there is lots of valuable information in this post and in the podcast link at the bottom, if you would prefer to listen rather than read.

Listen to the podcast of our show here:

Home Renos, Staying in Love and Using Music Intentionally

Gina (my 20 year old daughter) Tweeted – “My parents, who are usually very much in love become extreme enemies when they do home renos – every time.”

Ah from the mouths of babes. Well, she is partially right – we do love each other very much and we do not look forward to home renos  – does anyone?

In an case we usually try to figure out how many ‘swears’ this project will elicit and if it’s more than ‘four swear job’  we can generally agree that it’s worth paying someone else to do it.

This week however we ignored our own rule and even though the last time we tried to put up a ceiling fan we just about got divorced we still took on the dubious task of wallpapering together. Not just any wallpaper mind you , delicate seagrass wallpaper that had to be lined up and treated like a fine cashmere sweater. urghh.

Insert swears here.  More than 4.

But … they say things are only a failure if you don’t learn from them, so I guess you could say this wasn’t a failure because here is what I learned (or was reminded of) and I hope it serves you as well:

  • you get what you expect – if we expected things to be an awful, hairpulling mess -guess what – it generally will be.
  • bad energy is contagious – like a flue bug, your mad, makes me mad and when’s mom’s mad – well that never ends well.

So next time, we are going to have a pre-reno conference and here’s what we are going to do:

Ask, one a scale of 1-10 what experience do we want this reno to be, let’s say I’d be super happy with an 8,

Discuss – what do we need to do to create a 8 experience?

  • start with a good attitude and a good kiss
  • put some music on that we both like
  • agree on regular breaks
  • compliment each other as we are going along when the other person does something right
  • put on our patience caps
  • ensure we have all our supplies before we start
  • watch the YouTube video on how to install it again  – even though we watched it two weeks ago
  • plan for a little reward when it’s done

All that is likely to combine to make an 8 experience rather than the 3 that we had.

What experience would you like to create? What job would you like to shift your attitude about. On a scale of 1-10 – what number would you like the experience to be when you are done?  What do you need to do now, to get to that number.

This one little tiny preparation, could be better than all the wall primer in the world.  Try it and see how is works for you! let me know.


In honor of my 25th anniversary (Sept 17), I thought I would take the liberty of spewing a bit of relationship advice, based not on science – just on personal experience!

 Staying in Love:

  • let them be right once in a while – or at least let them think they are right
  • once in a while be on your best behaviour – like when you were dating this may mean no tooting, beltching, nose picking, jock scratching or other unmentionables in front of your partner – that’s why bathrooms have doors, excuse yourself and use them. Women – you too!
  • surprise him or her with something that they love but you hate, tickets to ultimate wrestling or the ballet, dark chocolate or white chocolate, a romantic movie or a thriller, you will get bonus points for the effort especially when they realize it’s truly a gift for them
  • forgive the little things, shhhh, just shhh, you don’t have to comment out loud all the time, say oh and let it go, everything in your head does not need to be said ,  shhh – is it really that important?
  • i love you are nice words to hear but ‘you’re right’ and ‘great idea’ are also real sweet spots – find out what your honey loves to hear and say it –  a lot!
Using Music Intentionally
Jennifer Buchanan, author of Tune In – Use Music Intentionally to Curb Stress, Boost Morale and Restore Health, was my guest on Your Life, Unlimited radio today. Listen to our conversation to discover some easy way to tap into the powers of music and enjoy her guest post below as well.

TUNE IN: 7 Considerations When Using Music at Work and Home

American Idol, The Doctors and many news reports have recently featured the impressive work of music in health and education centres across North America – and all thanks to the fMRI machine and the researchers that work endless hours to prove their claims of boost in mood and decrease in stress.

Science has finally caught up with what music therapist’s have been witnessing for many decades – that music can change the way a person feels, thinks and behave….and so much more:

1. Music Aids in Learning (link to http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/memory-medic/201007/music-training-helps-learning-memory)

Music relaxes the mind and lowers stress levels that can inhibit learning.  Music stimulates creativity by boosting blood and oxygen flow to the brain – going from sleepy brain to teachable brain. What seems to be the most important consideration is to use music that is pulsing to something close to 60 beats per minute. This heart rate speed of music is ideal to spark discussion and creativity.

2. Music Makes Moments Memorable (link to: http://www.livescience.com/5327-music-memory-connection-brain.html)

Music can trigger powerful recollections, and now brain-scan studies show us what is really happening, and why. When we use the right music we can actually help keep our memories in good working order. The part of the brain known as the medial pre-frontal cortex sits just behind the forehead. Music quickly calls back memories of a particular person or experience, as if it is happening again right before your eyes.  Music can also help solidify new memories – anchoring a person to a particular point, story or image,  helping them retain data for later.

3. Music Influences Mood (link: http://www.healthline.com/health-news/mental-listening-to-music-lifts-or-reinforces-mood-051713)

Changing a negative or resistant emotional state is at the root of getting into a positive learning state. Music can help here, however, it can also do the exact opposite – the wrong song can distract an individual and even send them into a deep funk for many minutes afterwards.  This could be in due part to their personal associations to the song.   It could also be a problem with the style of music. Style seems to have a great effect on listeners. Not every person is tolerant of pop, new age, jazz, rock, rap, or classical.  However there does seem to be some music that can transcends even the most selective listener. Music that is very familiar, and is in a “major key” – that brings a smile to the majority of faces falls in this category. Some examples may be Johnny B Good. Brown Eyed Girl, Celebration and YMCA just to name a few. There are also some soft melodic voices that tend to be “benign” to an audience (appealing to most) – Michael Buble, Norah Jones, Jack Johnson to name a few.  But even when I mention these not everyone reading this article will agree – that goes to only further my point…music truly affects people differently.  It is about finding the music that inspires you specifically.  Music that inspires us is music that motivates us.

5. Music Enhances Creativity (link: http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/musiccreativity.jsp)

Specific music soothes and stimulates (depending on what we need) and does so simply, effectively, and in a very short period of time.  Music can be used as a tool to help you get into a creative state, or to help you access moments of precious self-care.  20 minutes of soothing music has been found to equate to 10 mg of valium – that is a tremendous amount of de-stress-ment that can open the floodgates of inspiration.

6. In Music, Silence is as important as Sound (link to: http://curiosity.discovery.com/question/silent-important-music)

Just as you must know valleys to appreciate mountains, silence helps people focus the nuances in the music. Sound, continuously made, and sustained without break, can become drone.

7. Music is a Drug (link to: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/09/news/la-heb-music-dopamine-20110109)

We take music in by choice and at our own risk. Music can open doors to communication but it can also shut them just as fast. Just some of the hormones affected during music experiences includes oxytocin, (the transmitter associated with pleasure, love and bonding), dopamine (the feel good hormone) and serotonin (that helps people sleep).  The levels increase differently in all people.

All good strategies are best if used with the right intention—music is no different. Sometimes we just need a professional guide. To find a professional (registered, licensed, accredited) music therapist near you contact:

Canada: www.musictherapy.ca    USA: www.musictherapy.org       International: www.musictherapyworld.net

To consult with Jennifer further, attend one of her keynotes or workshops or to learn more about how music affects health and learning contact www.jbmusictherapy.com i

Listen to the podcast of our show here:

Home Renos, Staying in Love and Using Music Intentionally

Three cheers to living Your Life, Unlimited!  Steph  🙂

Stephanie Staples, CSP* is the author of When Enlightening Strikes – Creating a Mindset for Uncommon Success and an internationally acclaimed motivational speaker. She empowers audiences & clients across North America to bring their ‘A’ game to work and to life. Stephanie has a special interest in working with and empowering nurses and healthcare providers. She happily calls Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada home.  You can get loads of complimentary resources to help with issues such as work/life balance, wellness, stress management and happiness in general, as well as find out more information about her coaching and speaking services at http://www.YourLifeUnlimited.ca. * Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), conferred by the National Speakers Association is the speaking profession’s international measure of professional platform proficiency. Less than 10 percent of speakers have earned this credential and are recognized as some of the best in their fields. Stephanie was one of only five professional speakers in  Canada (and the only woman) to attain this designation in 2013.


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