Why 7-Eleven Plays Classical Music in the Parking Lot, Or, A “high-vibe” life


In the past couple of decades, classical music has been used as a deterrent against loitering (in the parking lot at 7-Elevens), punishment for mis-behaving (at a school in Derby, England) and a tool for relaxation (at the Port Authority in New York City). The same song used for a variety of purposes. How so? Maybe it has to do with the song’s vibe in relationship to yours. Meaning, at home after work, Mozart may help facilitate calm as you sip wine to unwind. But if you’re in more of a go-go-go state – at a nightclub, for example—then the same sonata might seem aggravating as your body yearns for faster-paced tunes to match its mood. It all depends on how you resonate…and how you want to.

Resonance – in simply physics-speak—is a phenomenon in which one vibrating system (e.g. a song) compels another system (e.g. your body) to move at a specific frequency. Frequency describes the rate at which the vibration occurs. And vibration is one way to explain the movement of energy.

It’s all about vibration, by the way. Anything you hear—from Mozart to Marilyn Manson—starts as a pressure wave that travels into your ear to strike the eardrum, causing it to vibrate. This vibration is, in turn, turned into electrical signals that are received by the brain and interpreted into sounds you are familiar with, from whispers to wailings.  In other words, what starts out as a vibration in your ear appears in your awareness as Justin Beiber’s latest hit.

Mind you, sound is only one type of vibration. Sound’s counterpart a bit farther down the electromagnetic (EM) spectrum is color, which is another type of vibration that our brain—via our eyes (versus ears)—interprets as red, green, gold, etc.

Sound, color, bodies, – we are, and live in, a world of vibrations. Really. Everything in the known universe (which represents a mere 4% of the total) is made of atoms. Atoms are energy and energy vibrates…which means that you do, too. So when you read popular blogs about a “high-vibe life” or hear friends talk about “resonating” – or “not resonating” – with another person, idea, outfit, etc., it’s not just groovy talk from the sixties.

It‘s actually our living, breathing reality and one that’s ready to pop out of the books and into our daily lives. For the past several centuries, we have written and read scientific textbooks that explicitly describe our energetic composition. But then we end the chapter, close the book, and go about living our lives as if we were solid matter with a finite start and end. And, yet, we’re not. Because we’re energy. And trying to understand how we can better align our lives with this scientific reality is kinda a big deal because a lot of good could come from it.

For example, as a community, we may shift our m.o. if we realized – while sitting on the subway – that our heart’s electromagnetic field was intersecting with the person sitting next to us. Which is actually happening, as studies have measured this field to extend several feet off your body. What would you do if you knew that the woman next to you was somehow part of you? Or that you were part of her? I like to think that we might be kinder to each other. More likely to smile or offer help. More able to realize that we are truly connected even if we can’t see the connection.

We might also make different choices, aware that we can consciously choose one song or color to help us relax and another to invigorate. We may realize that the power of our words affect us, as well as our intended audience (and a super-advanced crew may even study Sanskrit, a language based on vibration).  In addition to what comes out of our mouths we might also alter what goes in, as we add more leafy greens to elevate the vibe of our meal or more meat to ground it. Of course, these are just some hastily brainstormed ideas; heck, this is just a 1-page blog, a byte-sized conversation (I haven’t even touched upon the sub-atomic space yet!). But with deliberate thought and application of resources, I believe that we could conjecture healthier healthcare, education, organizations and lives around the implications of living as energetic beings.

I know it’s a kicker to truly, viscerally get that we are energy even though we intellectually understand it. So here’s a short and awesome video from well-known physicists explaining how (spoiler alert!), when you think you’re sitting on a chair you’re actually hovering on top of it. Even crazier is that you and the chair are made of the same ingredients (protons, electrons, neutrons), just in a different arrangement…

But what’s important as a first step is to understand your arrangement. Not necessarily of atoms or frequencies but of your energy at a general level, as well as situations that affect it. For instance, what people/places/things enhance your energy (e.g. the beach)? Dull it (e.g. washing dishes)? Shift it (e.g. playing with a child)? The best way to experience you-as-energy is to take the concept out of the books and into your life. To become a self-scientist and start sensing your energy, becoming increasingly cognizant of what it is, what it means for you and what you can do about it. At the end of the day, there’s no better person to discover your depths than you. And, who knows, you might even find your personal recipe for a life of what the Beach Boys call “good vibrations.