My Album of The Year

american dream

As you all know from my blogs music plays an important part in my life. I take music with me wherever I go. Whether that be on my run, on the way to work, in my office and in the seminar rooms just before teaching. Music can provide a narrative to what is going on around me. When I rediscover a piece of music I have not listened to for a while it evokes feelings and memories of the time I first listened to it. Music can also create a mindful state to help me reconnect with myself when I have been over thinking. In essence music is my safe place. Therefore the music has to be pretty special to evoke these feelings.

I have chosen 10 of my favourite albums that have been released this year. At least 2 or 3 of these albums will live long in my consciousness and evoke feelings and memories in the future. All of the albums have provided me a safe place throughout the year. However my number 1 album this year I have no doubt will be a favourite of mine for some time to come. This from a band that I have paid little attention to for the past 10 years, and it took them to split up and reunite to produce in my opinion a classic album. If you have not listened to American Dream by LCD Soundsystem then I implore you to do so, every track is a delight,

So here is my top ten albums of 2017

  1. American Dream-LCD Soundsystem
  2. Pure Comedy-Father John Misty
  3. Popular Manipulations-The Districts
  4. Villains-Queens of The Stone Age
  5. I See You-XX
  6. Little Fictions-Elbow
  7. Deep Understanding-The War on Drugs
  8. Stranger in The Alps-Phoebe Bridges
  9. Everything is Forgiven-Methyl Ethel
  10. Sempa Femina-Laura Marling

I derive a lot of pleasure from music as many people do. So by putting together a top 10 list and talking about it, I am celebrating a positive part of my life. It is so important to consciously acknowledge what is positive in your life on a daily basis. It is so easy to dwell on what is not going well and miss what is good. I am not saying ignoring what is going wrong is the way to go far from it. If you look at what is good first you start to feel positive and put yourself in a far better frame of mind to tackle what needs to be addressed rather than just feeling about what is going wrong. There is always something positive in your life.

 

 

Is social media getting you down?

0150c9d48e1d292d81438f3294df6a9ca70ec4a850

Social media such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are wonderful, for sharing what you are doing with your friends, connecting with customers and keeping in contact with friends and family far afield.

If we are doing something  exciting or different we love to put a picture on to let everyone know what that we are doing something of interest. Or if we do something as a group we can tag all involved so we can all share the fun we had. This is all positive we feel good because we had a nice time and we wanted to tell people, and your friends feel good because they can see you having fun.

However there are times don’t you agree where you can start to think that everyone you know seems to be having far more fun than you, going on more expensive holidays, than you, are far more photogenic, have more intelligent better looking children than you?

This time of year can be worst with everyone jetting off to warmer climes, taking the obligatory photograph of their naked feet pointing towards a pool with a fancy cocktail and the must read novel just in shot. Don’t forget the photograph of the 6am pint of beer at the airport. Don’t get me wrong, I am overjoyed that my friends are having a lovely time on holiday, and it is nice to see where they are getting sunstroke this year, it is just that when I am getting ready for work on a cold rainy August morning my envy neurones (might not be scientifically accurate) become activated, and resentment starts to kick in. Then I feel bad that I am having less than charitable thoughts about my friends. So now I feel bad because my life is shit and I am a miserable mean-spirited man. Thanks Facebook!

When this happens, which is often (daily in the summer, and Christmas, and in during the Winter, also around Bank Holidays), I have started to look through my own pages on Facebook, and Instagram. You know what? There are an awful lot of statuses where I am basically boasting and bigging my life up, just like everybody else, apart from these posts and me trying to drum up business for my coaching (if you are interested in being coached just message me). That is exactly how it should be, when I go on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram I am not looking for statuses telling me they had an alright day or a picture of someone sat with a cuppa looking bored, I want to see someone’s toes near a swimming pool, or a drunk at 6am in an airport.

What we have to do when we are looking at these statuses is that they do not represent the everyday reality of our friends but just the best bits they want to share with the world. We are always going to feel envious, however we don’t have to let it make us feel bad. Once you start to feel that way, examine your own life looking at what you have done, where you have been and how much fun you have had. When it all boils down we are all essentially the same.

As ever if you want to discuss how you approach your life and might be interested in having some coaching get in touch, the first hour is free and you don’t have to make a commitment to continue in advance.

matt@mattycoach71.com

Walking Through Treacle

4081740-african-elephant-with-hind-legs-stuck-in-the-mud

It was like walking through treacle going to work this morning.

My chest was tight, my legs felt like lead, and I had a feeling of impending doom one minute, then a feeling of complete indifference the next.

On at least 2 occasions on my way to work I considered turning around and going home and go back to bed. On both occasions I ignored myself and carried on. It would have been so easy to run back to bed and hide. I was dreading going to work, the thought of speaking to people made me feel sick. But I carried on. I sat on the bus holding back tears, and not knowing why I felt emotional. But I carried on.

As the bus travelled down Anlaby Road I let my mind wander I started to look around me, taking in the different people on the bus, most of them regulars on the bus. Then looking outside of the bus I took in the familiar sites of the K Com Stadium, the church at the end of Boulevard (sorry don’t know what it is called). The sun was shining, it was a beautiful morning. The negative unpleasant feelings had left me.

I arrived at work and walking up the stairs to my office the ruminations and treacle legs started again, until I got inside my office, opened my emails and started work. I was in the moment again away from my negative thoughts.

Throughout the day Foggy and his ruminations have come and gone, on the whole it has been a shitty day. If you asked anyone I met today if they thought I was struggling, they probably would not have noticed. I was determined not to let him rule my day and my life. 2 years ago this would have been the first day of a long run of giving into the depression and taking time off work. Not anymore, they are only feelings, I can let them rule me or I can rule them. I liken it to running, every time I started running it hurts and I want to stop, but I carry on and quite quickly the pain lessens and I can complete my run and reap the benefit.

As I said it is too easy to give into the feelings, but then I would always be a slave to them and never move on. They are just feelings the same as the positive feeling I have, no more or less powerful so why should I pay more attention to them than other feelings.

No doubt tomorrow will be just as bad, but if I don’t give in I know I will have good days very soon.

If you recognise any of this, don’t suffer by yourself, talk to someone, get some support. If you know me, come talk to me, you are not alone. Most of all talk to your Doctor and get some professional help as well as talking to friends and family.

 

Enjoy The Moment

DSC_0804

What a gorgeous weekend it has been. The weather has been truly wonderful.

I was cutting the grass this morning and was looking around my garden and thought to myself how lucky I am to be here right now enjoying the sunshine, listening to the birds singing and smelling freshly cut grass.

We spend so much of our time worrying about what we have and have not done, and planning what we are going to do next that we can miss what is right in front of us. The events of the past few weeks should make us all stop and take stock, as our lives can be snuffed out or changed forever in a blink of an eye. Live every moment, pay attention to what is all around you.

Now planning for the future is important, but it should never be at the expense of the here and now. How do you know what you want if you don’t really know what you have.

I am as guilty as the next person for ruminating on what I have done and what I am going to do. When I find myself doing this (usually in the morning), I start looking around me, I pay attention to my surroundings, what is next to me, what is above me, below me, and in front of. Before I know it I am appreciating what is happening to me now. My mood lifts immediately. I am alive, I can sense what is around me. As my mood lifts I feel more confident and more creative, and therefore more productive.

It is really important to plan and strive for a brighter future, but don’t forget to enjoy the journey.

My Summer Mix Tape

DSC_0733.JPG

As I have said in a previous blog it is vital for our wellbeing that we have at least an hour of happiness. As you may have realised music is a great source of happiness and contentment to me.

As summer is just around the corner and that the weather for the past week has been so lovely, I thought I would put together a mix tape of music that represents my summers past and present.

Our Summer- All About Eve

California Dreamin – The Mammas and The Pappas

Here Comes The Sun-The Beatles

Day Tripper-The Beatles

Bank Holiday-Blur

New York City Serenade-Bruce Springsteen

Hot Hot Hot!!!-The Cure

One Day Like This-Elbow

Pumped Up Kicks-Foster The People

Country Song-Jake Bugg

I Wanna Prove To You-The Lemon Twigs

Sit Down-James

Indian Summer-Manic Street Preachers

Sunburn-Muse

Day Is Done-Nick Drake

Peaches-The President of The United States

For The Summer-Ray LaMontagne

Strawberry Letter 23-Shuggie Otis

Cool For Cats-Squeeze

Couldn’t Stand The Weather-Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble

Breakfast in America-Supertramp

Infected-The The

 

 

The Mix Tape of My 90s

As I mentioned in my previous blog when I tasked myself with putting together the soundtrack of my life so far it ended up being over 7 hours long, so I decided to imagine I was putting the music of a C90 tape, therefore restricting what I could include. That has been the best bit, going through all my music to come up with a playlist that at the moment best expresses my memory of that particular time in my life.

During the 90s I was in my 20s, I finished my Nurse Training both General Nursing and Children’s Nursing, met Lisa, bought a house and got married. Music was an important part of my life and at one point for a moment I tried out being in a band, after one gig I left that dream behind.

Our Nightclub of choice in the 90s was Spiders (home of the Pangalactic Gargleblaster), and was where I met Lisa. A lot of the music I have chosen for this mix tape reminds of Spiders. In the early 90s before we bought our first house we lived in an attic flat on Springbank, that used to be the old Silhouette Nightclub, and Radiohead especially reminds me of that time.

When I am coaching people who are not sure what they want to achieve in the future, I ask them to identify what their values, and their truths are to help them shape a future that will give them happiness. For a lot of people including myself this is more difficult than you think. By looking at your taste in music and the arts in general you can start to explore what makes you tick, what you think is important in life and how you think you should conduct your life. As well as raising awareness of your self it is also a great deal of fun putting together a playlist. Being happy and having positive emotions increases your creativity, therefore you are able to see more options that are available to you.

Give it a go it is really satisfying. If you want to discuss your future plans and goals get in touch I would be happy to discuss your options.

I have attached a link to each song so feel free to listen. If you have Apple Music the link to the playlist is at the bottom

Sabotage-Beatie Boys

Where It’s At-Beck

Coffee & TV-Blur

Song 2-Blur

Basket Case-Green Day

Cocaine-Jackson Browne

The Boatman-The Levellers

La Tristesse Durera-Manic Street Preachers

Enter Sandman-Metallica

Come As You Are-Nirvana

Some Might Say-Oasis

Here Comes Your Man-Pixies

Breathe-Prodigy

Stand-REM

High and Dry-Radiohead

Scar Tissue-Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Kingdom of Rain-The The

Blister In The Sun-Violent Femmes

Jeremy-Pearl Jam

Tijuana Lady-Gomez

Mix tape of my 90s

The mix tape of my teen years


The other week I shared 20 albums that have had an influence on me. I had so much fun that I thought I would compile a list of songs that I enjoy and have provided my soundtrack. To provide some parameters I imagined I was putting together a C90 mix tape, to ensure my list did not get too big and unwieldy.

So I tasked myself with putting together a 90 minute compilation that represented a soundtrack of my life. My first attempt was not completely successful. It is safe to say I got a little carried away. It consisted of over a 100 songs and was 7 hours in duration. I must admit it was great fun and triggered loads of wonderful memories. I decided however that music was too important part of my life to expect I could put a soundtrack of my whole life in to 90 minutes. So I put together an initial mix tape of my teenage years with a couple of infiltrators from my childhood.

The songs I have included do not represent important moments in my life, but are more songs that I particularly enjoyed listening then and listening to them some 30 years later has brought a smile to my face. They entertained me then and still do. What is striking is that very few of the songs I listened to at the time were contempary and were often from the previous decade. It is also interesting how much of an influence my older siblings had on my musical taste as well as my peers.

If you have Apple Music you can access the playlist via the link below.

Here is a list with some explanation of the reasons why I included the song.

She Moves Through The Fair-All About Eve: I was in love with Julienne Regan, and this is a beautiful song

Heaven and Hell-Black Sabbath: Ronnie James Dio had an amazing voice, I used to love singing along

Rosalita (come out tonight)-Bruce Springsteen: I heard this on the radio one Saturday night and thought it was brilliant

My Man-Eagles: On the Border is an Eagles album that is often overlooked, and this song is so beautiful

Joe’s Garage-Frank Zappa: Well it wouldn’t be a Matty mix tape without Zappa!

Don’t Say You Love Me-Free: Jonathon Gilmovitch had a Free album and this is my favourite song of the album

Rosie-Jackson Browne: my brother introduced me to Jackson Browne, I could have picked so many of his songs

Tangerine-Led Zeppilin: from my favourite Zep album

Mr Crowley-Ozzy Osbourne: why not

Closer To The Heart-Rush: A prog rock band with heart and soul, and Geddy Lee, the best Bass Player ever (perhaps)

Tempted-Squeeze: Eastside Story is a brilliant album

Breakfast In America-Supertramp: it just reminds me of living in Pippet Close, Gosport

Slow Train To Dawn-The The: I saw the film for the album on channel 4 and thought it was the coolest thing I had ever seen

American Girl-Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers: its such a cool song

Picture This-Blondie: my sister had Parallel Lines so I heard this song most evenings in the late 70s

Darlington County-Bruce Springsteen: this album was my introduction to the boss

Rasputin-Boney M: My dad brought me Night Flight to Venus back from Canada, it is surprisingly entertaining

Don’t Stop Me Now-Queen: Well?!!

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/playlist/mattycoach-mix-tape-of-my-teen-years/idpl.8092b5185b554891b0c1284de9a11131