Must Listen Music - February 2016 by Chel Wolverton

Sit back, get your headphones on and take a few minutes to chill to these amazing artists. Like? Have music to share? Hit me up via Twitter, Facebook or IG.

First up, we've got Lukas Graham. This one comes from the fabulous DJ Joe Bermudez and is KILLER. Let's talk about the vibes - bittersweet, upbeat, and nostalgic, Lukas writes about his version of growing up in a way everyone notwithstanding their age can relate. This is on repeat in my ears as I write this post. ALL THE FEELS.

The Wind and The Wave continues our journey of bittersweet feels with their cover of Snow Patrols' Chasing Cars. I love Snow Patrol, but here their voices are gold and makes this cover evoke the daydream of laying in bed with someone you love on a warm spring day windows open in the middle of nowhere with the world rushing by.

I'm not normally an Idol viewer, but during my trip to Cali I watched with friends and was introduced to the amazing talent that pours from Thomas Stringfellow. The only viable clip I have of him is his American Idol audition but mannnnn, his voice and style made him my instant favorite. Skip to 1:00 or so into this video to get to the good part. I hope that win or lose he finds a way to keep making music for our enjoyment.  

Enjoy? Or know someone who should be be featured here? Let me know in the comments. More music makes my world go round as hopefully these songs do for yours.

xo - Chel

3 Words to 1 for 2016 by Chel Wolverton

Bidding farewell to 2015, a year full of ups and downs. It started out rough and had an unfortunate detour in the middle, but even the detour taught me something priceless.

What I learned last year was more worth the rough patches. These past few months I've felt like Julia Roberts in Runaway Bride. You know, when she's trying eggs all the different ways possible to have them to finally figure out which way she actually likes the damn things without being influenced by her many fiancés view on the matter. I understand more about who I am than ever before, what makes up me, what I like and dislike, and what I want. Yes, I think some of it was propelled by that car accident. Oh, how lucky it was that it didn't turn out worse than it did. Even better, it opened the door to where I am now. 

While I feel like I've made significant headway. I feel there is a long way yet to go, more to explore. After all, it's more than just how I like my eggs that I'll need to figure out.

This year, rather than 3 words, I'm choosing just one because it is at the heart of everything else I've timelined out with Jennifer's help this year (if you need some guidance on where to get started, talk to her now). I've been planning for the next 6 months over the course of November and December so it's perfect timing and planning to roll into 2016 and execute.

My Word for 2016

Limitless. 

In every aspect of my life I need a constant reminder that I only have the limits that I impose on myself. I can come up with many other words, but understanding and embracing who I am and making the plans to fulfill what I'd like to do with the knowledge is what comes next. To do that, I need to stop imposing limits on myself or letting Evil Taylor Swift (imagine the opposite of the real Taylor Swift, not sweet, not positive) do it to me inside my head.

Here's to being limitless. May you breach your own limits and find happiness on the other side. Happy New Year, loves.

Love, emotion and music as a drug by Chel Wolverton

Photo via Unsplash

Photo via Unsplash

“Everyone says love hurts, but that is not true. Loneliness hurts. Rejection hurts. Losing someone hurts. Envy hurts. Everyone gets these things confused with love, but in reality love is the only thing in this world that covers up all pain and makes someone feel wonderful again. Love is the only thing in this world that does not hurt.”

― Meša Selimović, (I think), not sure which book, but would love to read the English translation

Often what we want out of a connection with another human being isn’t at all what we get. There are beautiful moments in each relationship in which one’s goals are aligned with what the other half of a duo wants — goals, companionship, comfort, lust, to be held, love, affection and so on.

When they diverge is when discontent happens and in the spirit of love arises a question to be answered — is it worth working through the divergence together? At the risk of stating the obvious, making the choice to let go can be tough, because we genuinely care for another person. Not want to cause pain or feel pain. Sometimes the decision is forced upon us by death, then we have no choice but to deal with the relationship as it was in that moment without resolution to be gained as a pair.

In any case, Love isn’t the source of the pain. We love so eagerly as a fix to pain. Love certainly opens the door to feeling pain, but we shouldn’t weigh love down as being the source of pain. Let’s not confuse it with the hurtful moments in a relationship.

Emotion is the source of pain when tied to divergence of reality — unrealistic expectations and outcomes desired on our part when when we know they aren’t a choice a partner can or will make. Whether it be because of an unwillingness or inability to compromise/find a way forward together. Pain is what happens because we resist reality rather than making a decision seated in reality.

All of this was inspired by a friend posing the question “is music a drug?”, which led me to conclude after some thinking that our emotions are the drugs. We get punch drunk on love. We dose ourselves with pain over and over. We CHOOSE to feel each emotion. We choose pain and we choose love (and music helps elevate each of those feelings).

But if we can manage our expectations, look at what’s real — and thus avoid drowning in what we want to be true —choose to seat ourselves in reality, we find our relationships are much better as a result.

17 years later... by Chel Wolverton


And the pain is gone, the pain is gone.
I recognize it but it's unfamiliar.
Now the pain is gone, the pain is gone.
I recognize it but it's unfamiliar.

I don't usually bring up this day often anymore, but I am this year as it's a terribly symbolic anniversary to my family. 17 years my little brother existed in this world in tangible form, now for 17 years he's only existed in memories.

While to be sure, my parents lost something far greater than I - my brother Zach and I felt our worlds shatter on that day, too. Zach because he had to face death with his gentle heart at a young age and I because lost the "friend I was forced to have", the person who shared every part of my childhood. When I think of that day, I hear whispers of lost chances.

I learned some valuable lessons from that terrible time that have been behind in a lot of my choices this past year. At the heart of it, over years I've evolved into being a stronger, smarter, confident, and bolder Chel. In this last year, that force has become even stronger.

Two lessons I will impart for you from my own experiences in hopes that you may find them as valuable as I have: 1. Always say what you're thinking to people you love, even and especially when it's hard. 2. Make bolder choices because you have a single life. Every word I say is true. Every path I choose is a little more of me. You can make those choices, too.

It's one way I can honor a memory still haunting me 17 years later.

I still miss you, little one.

Humanwire #GivingTuesday by Chel Wolverton

I woke up to the best news this morning on #GivingTuesday. Haineyehya's family is fully funded to receive the donations made on her behalf. Thank you. To everyone who took a moment to read about, share, and donate to this campaign - your support is what makes things like this possible. 

Now that the campaign for Haineyehya has ended, that only means there are other families out there that can use your help. Humanwire is doing just that as rapidly as they can. While most people are just starting to hear about the refugee crisis on a regular basis, there are families  who have been living in camps before 2011 and they need our help.

Humanwire can help these families directly and you see the results in photos and videos that show you just how grateful they are that someone in this world cares. Andrew has done a phenomenal job in creating this rapidly growing charity to take on the problem.

Once the money is raised, the families as assisted in getting the goods (food, heating, etc.) that the money was raised for - receipts and other documentation provided to the donors - along with direct contact with the recipients. A valuable connection that makes a mark on each person's life.

Every time we reach out, donate, make the world a little bit better - some of us feel a loss at how to help on a large scale. The world doesn't need only large scale help. Sometimes all it takes it one family at a time. It's not an all or nothing game.

It's heart. Take one step, take another, and before you know it we can make the world shine a little bit brighter for families around the world. To yell and shout about this or that on our social profiles takes little courage - it's the steps we take to rectify the problems we see in the world that makes it a better place.

On this #GivingTuesday, please take a moment to support a family on Humanwire