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Arianna Huffington Arianna Huffington political powerhouse. media mogul. author.

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Seth Godin Seth Godin author. speaker. linchpin.

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Krishna Kaur Krishna Kaur yogi. philanthropist. dynamic teacher.

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Sophie Chiche Sophie Chiche mom. big dreamer. lady in red.

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Mastin Kipp Mastin Kipp Writer. Entrepreneur. Daily Lover.

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Zainab Salbi Zainab Salbi author. ceo. humanitarian.

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Sean Stephenson Sean Stephenson speaker. psychotherapist. life embracer.

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Kia Miller Kia Miller yogi. meditator. teacher.

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Simon Mainwaring Simon Mainwaring creator. writer. idea geek.

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Shannon Bindler Shannon Bindler Strategist. Writer. Life Coach.

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Mathieu Bitton Mathieu Bitton Designer. Art Director. Passionate Creator.

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Jorge Perez Jorge Perez Agent. Producer. Photography Enthusiast.

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in concert

Christine Stevens Christine Stevens music therapist. speaker. drum healer.

Christine Stevens is an internationally acclaimed author, music therapist, and speaker. She founded UpBeat Drum Circles, offering personal growth seminars and programs for corporate teambuilding and diversity training. [www.ubdrumcircles.com]

PostSTEVENS

Christine has graciously included a song with her feature. It’s a chant from the Congo which loosely translates as “come to the circle/party/song.”

What’s most meaningful to me is music. It’s an infinite composition I get to live. Sometimes I’m in harmony with other pieces and sometimes I’m a soloist. It’s less about what I play and more about how I become an instrument. What intrigues me is to march to the beat of my own drum, to find my rhythm, and to balance that uniqueness in harmony with others. To live in concert.

Rhythm is defined as the element of music pertaining to forward motion, so I often find that the drum shows up as people are changing and moving into a new phase. Percussion and drumming are universal. They’re a passport to indigenous cultures and even global diplomacy, in that the drum is used for communication. Drumming is accessible. It’s inclusive. Everyone can do it. It builds the morale of the team. It calms the child. It holds the mother’s heartbeat. Rhythm is a primal force.

In a children’s rehabilitation center in Iraq, there was a little boy whose legs had been blown off by landmines. He looked so depressed, slumped over in his wheelchair. But when I handed him a drum and he joined in our drum circle, his face brightened and his eyes started to twinkle. His family’s jaws dropped. After I collected the drums and was walking away, I heard a beat. I turned to see him tapping a pen on the side of his wheelchair. He was saying, “The beat is not in that drum. It’s in me.”

It takes courage to put yourself out there in music. You can’t hide. And sometimes I do get out of rhythm. For me, getting back into rhythm requires a pause, which is an element of rhythm. The silence between beats recalibrates my groove. Maybe I need to be alone and silent, or to sit and drum by myself, setting aside the idea that music is a performance and remembering that it’s transformative.

Music is inside us. Music is something we receive and give. So listen to music constantly. Pick music that inspires you and has a good message. Choose your music, and then be part of the music. Bang on the desk at the office. Sing in the shower. Let music go both ways.

We need music. Its powerful heart-to-heart, soul-to-soul connection transcends barriers. Music is the language of the future. How else can this many people have one common language?

– Christine Stevens

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