You Just Have to Listen

When things are not going your way – when it feels more like rapids than floating, more striving than succeeding – you just have to close your eyes and listen. ‘Cause the universe has seen it all. Whatever problem you face, whatever question ties you up in knots, whatever fear stops you cold, it’s been faced, answered, overcome before. You just have to close your eyes and hear.

I’ve only been halfway listening.

Last week, I got a cosmic telegram (in the form of a post on that said, “Be yourself, loudly.”

Sure, sure, I thought. Got it.

And went right back to my business (which consisted primarily of fretting, sweating, and measuring/sautéeing food, with heavy emphasis on the fretting).

I believe the universe was frustrated with me but, sensing my general innate goodness, gave me another chance in the form of Jason Mraz.

A great concert is like going to church. There’s singing and preaching and a sense of community, and if it’s all going the way it should, the audience is lifted up and walks away with something new to think about.

Last night at the Jason Mraz show, I heard these lyrics like I hadn’t before:

Hold your own
Know your own name
Go your own way
And everything will be fine

They’re from the song “Details in the Fabric,” the last track on the CD We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things. I’m sure the song has played in my headphones countless times at the corporate overlords’ office, but the din of typing drowned out the message.

Here’s the whole song so you can hear it, too.

And while we’re at it, here’s another favorite about how life’s contradictions are the things that define it. Good/bad, happy/sad, strong/weak, fed/hungry… can’t have one without the other.

Despite all of the above, it wasn’t a too-much-kumbaya kind of night. I mean, there were horns! And dancing! And a cover of Lionel Richie’s “All Night Long.” It was a big ol’, shake your fanny, clap your hands, smile at a stranger love-fest.

Check out the jazzy-goodness of “Make It Mine” to see what I mean. (And damn it, that little bastard J. Mraz embedded a feel-good message in this one, too!)

I don’t wanna wake before
The dream is over
I’m gonna make it mine
Yes I know it

I read that Jason Mraz spent, like, a year in Hawaii, just surfing and sleeping and doing yoga and writing a blog. Seems like it definitely did him some good.

And now, I’m listening.

Hold your own

Know your own name
Go your own way
And everything will be fine

The Best Version of Ourselves 2018

The post below was originally published in 2011, and it's been updated each year to reflect where I am in my life and the new...

Read More
A Little Respect (Strength Monday 7/8/13)

In my quest for lean superhero-ness, Dave and I are hitting the craptastic gym in our Converse to lift heavy stuff and work on skills...

Read More


  • Fontaine says:

    Nice post. I thought I was the only one who got scared by workouts.

  • David Humphreys says:

    Mel tells me, "If you're not scared of your workout, you need to make it harder."

    This doesn't stop me from having a 'head in the clouds, listening to music, watching the people and the dogs' run every once in a while. — Like this morning, for instance.

    Moderation in everything, including fear.

  • lisabender says:

    great post – love Details in the Fabric – love those lyrics!

  • Jen says:

    I needed this post today. thank you so much. It's been a month now since my husband told me he was leaving…about 2 weeks since he actually left. I'm trying to cope and put on a brave face for the kids…but tonight for some reason, was really hard. Then I saw this post. Thank you… (and that's also why I haven't been good at posting these last couple weeks)

  • Melicious says:

    Hey, Jen. Take good care of yourself, and let yourself feel sad, too. Sending a virtual hug.

  • Becky says:

    Hey Mel! I saw Jason Mraz when he was in Dallas the night before he was in Austin. I was absolutely in awe of his talent. Details in the Fabric has always been one of my favorite songs, for just that chorus you (finally) heard. In fact, I like to use it in yoga class. 🙂 So glad you got to see that concert. And I love your blog. 🙂


  • Melicious says:

    Hey, Becky! Thanks for commenting; I'm glad you like the blog.

    Now… let's talk about Mr. Mraz. Pretty cute, too, right?!

    I loved the show. Wish I could see it all over again.

  • Becky says:

    Cute and talented… what a combo, huh? At the Dallas concert, he covered Seals and Crofts' Summer Breeze. It was all sorts of awesome. When I saw he would be in Austin, I thought for a moment, hey, it's not that far of a drive. 🙂 I would see it all over again in a heartbeat.