It All Starts with My Mother...
I’m echoing Kendrick Lamar's masterful song “United in Grief” here when I say, for 522 days, I’ve been going through something. It started when my mom’s health crisis and dementia thrust me into a dark place where I was in crisis mode for more than a year. But slowly, I started to gain some perspective. I’ve cried enough tears (I’m sure there will be more) and now I’m wondering what life has in store for me without my best friend by my side. What's kept me going this far, is music and poetry (and my mom's incredible smile).
Creative Passions to the Rescue
Creative passions—we all have them. I hope we all do. Art, music, dance, literature—our creative sides often are what make life worth living. In my new podcast, Let the Verse Flow, I've created a mashup of two of my creative passions—writing and music—to see if they can help me live a better life. Over five decades, music from many genres—hip hop, R&B, classic soul, drum and bass, electronica, folk, disco and rock—have helped me overcome things. So it seems only natural that when my world got turned upside down, I’d turn to music. Music is one of my love languages. It’s a release from all the negative emotions that can build up inside me. Anger, self-doubt, judgment, fear. I’ve created playlists with music that inspires the podcast. Check out the Season One music playlist. You’ll find Kendrick Lamar’s song United in Grief there, among others.
After going through the hardest year and a half of my life, I slowly came out on the other side with a small but growing feeling of positivity and strength. On some days, I felt stronger emotionally than ever before, and I felt compelled to create this podcast to share these ideas with you. Some voice inside me kept telling me to talk about it. I’m not gonna lecture you on it, I’m not an expert on positive psychology or mental health. I’m just someone who decided that I didn’t want to go through all this pain for nothing. So I’m building a creative space where my new positive ideas can shine.
On Let the Verse Flow, I share stories and poetry about my journey toward positivity and self-growth. I’ll also mix in themes and lyrics from some of my favorite songs set against a backdrop of good beats and music. I’m letting the verse flow to take me to a happier place.
How Does Positive Psychology Work?
Let me ask you...
- Do you want more out of life, joy, creativity, and fulfillment, but feel overwhelmed (or underwhelmed) by tools like mindfulness and gratitude?
- Do you secretly wish you had a trusted friend to dive in first, figure out how to use personal growth tools, get it done and then report back the details?
- Are you open to the idea of learning about my journey toward personal growth as told through stories, poetry and music?
If you can say yes to those three things, then Let the Verse Flow is for you. Settle in and explore with me. This isn’t your typical personal growth podcast.
Honestly, my recent struggles have confirmed what I’ve known for a long time. I’ve been standing on the sidelines for too long. Yeah, I’ve heard about the science of happiness and positive psychology, but I haven’t figured out where to start when it comes to putting those ideas into practice in my own life. I began to think of ways to dive into happiness through creative expression.
What if I used my love of poetry, music, dance, photography, and art to lead a more fulfilling life? It was as if I woke up and realized for the first time that these creative outlets could be a way out of my pain. After all, isn’t art making, art appreciating, and feeling inspired by art a way to get out of our heads and our struggle and pain to find some joy and meaning and purpose? But there never seems to be enough time. There’s never a “perfect” time to figure out anything in life. We just have to start where we are. We just have to start where we are. Wow—I think we have our first mantra… We’re on our way. That wasn’t that hard, was it? I’m joking, but really I’m not.
The Voice Behind Let the Verse Flow
That's me, Jill Hodge. I'm your host on this journey toward personal growth and positivity (and I hope to become a new trusted friend). By day I’m a business writer, but secretly I’m a creative. I love music, poetry, art, dance. So I’ve decided to try out a new podcast format. I’ll be testing out different practices and tools of positive psychology—mindfulness, gratitude, acts of kindness and flow activities—and sharing what I find out about them through personal stories and poetry against a backdrop of music and soundscapes. I call these my reflections from the bright side of the beat.
I want this podcast to feel like we’re having a guided discussion on personal growth but you’re doing it through the language and lens of creative expression, with joyful words and music. Lots of music. I want this journey to be fun. There are no notes to take, no boring slides, no lectures about science and the why of things. We come together to get through this thing called life. My favorite artist of all time, Prince, proclaimed that idea at the beginning of his epic song “Let’s Go Crazy.” So, let’s go crazy.
Check out Let the Verse Flow
Join me here for episodes released bi-weekly, or subscribe and download episodes on all major podcast apps.
Listen to Let the Verse Flow on Your Podcast Player of Choice
I’ll be sharing stories, my original poetry and music playlists that inspire this show. Just because I’m starting first doesn’t mean you don’t have a part to play. We’re in this together, so reach out to me here on the website or on my Instagram page (Lettheverseflow) and let me know what you think and what topics you’d like me to cover. You’ll also find extras like how I create this show and what inspires my music selections and poetry. Sign up for my newsletter for all the goodies!
I hope you’ll tune in to Let the Verse Flow to hear my reflections from the bright side of the beat.