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From the Muse

Long May You Run

Moving your body will help you up your game.

Whatever they say about exercise releasing endorphins, it’s all true. Moving one’s body has blissful and liberating benefits that will help you up your game. Whatever that game is.

Substitute the cardio of your choice, but for me, it’s running. Whenever I run (not coincidentally the title of a song I wrote with Keith Urban), whatever was holding me back minutes before no longer has any power over me. I’m a racehorse at the starting gate. Chomping at the bit. And when that gate opens, I’m transformed.

When I run, my blood sends all those juices to my brain. Creativity unleashed! The gap is closed on that lyric that was impossible to take full circle when I woke up in the morning, and now I know exactly how to approach it. Its story unravels before me in slow motion as if it were on a screen and I was watching a movie I directed.

Ten minutes ago I was invisible; now I’m Superwoman. I’m at pace with my drummer, nobody else’s. I’m able to fill all those half-empty glasses in my head — the ones that have left me so thirsty. They overflow with detail and tangents and color and possibility and positivity. Whatever pains me, heals me. I get stronger. And if I need to forget a certain something or somebody, it’s not as hard to do — at least for the rest of the day.

Why didn’t I feel this way before breakfast? Am I the same person?

I notice a F6 chord in the song I’m Shelly Peiken selfie photo with a lake as background.listening to. What a lovely alternative to an otherwise generic 1-3-5 triad! Its nuance takes me to a slightly more nostalgic place — a welcome diversion from the ordinary. It’s the lime in my gin and tonic. The garnish on my dessert. I’ve always loved a good 6 chord. Why don’t I implement them more often? Have I been playing it too safe? Would I be asking myself these questions if my body were not in motion?

Running is my drug. It’s my fuel. It makes me fierce. Confident. I stop worrying about what anyone else thinks or says about me. I stop chasing that last hit and ask myself how my heart feels. What’s that Oscar Wilde saying? Be yourself; everyone else is taken. I believe this more than ever whenever I run.

I may wake up tomorrow and feel blocked, defeated, deflated, downtrodden, overwhelmed. But I know that I can get back on track and in the middle of my first mile, I will be revived. I will remember who I am.

Is it all in my mind? Perhaps. But that’s all that matters.

Free your mind. The rest will follow.

 

You can read a new From the Muse blog on the second Monday of every month. Check out Shelly’s other postings.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shelly Peiken has been a behind-the-scenes force in the music business for more than two decades. She is best known for penning female-empowerment anthems such as Christina Aguilera’s Number One hit “What a Girl Wants” and Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch.” Her book “Confessions of a Serial Songwriter,” a memoir that chronicles her journey from a young girl falling under the spell of magical songs to writing hits of her own, earned her a second GRAMMY nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. Shelly is a fierce advocate of creators’ rights with her grassroots organization, SONA (Songwriters of North America). She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, daughter and two cats.

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