Mantras, Manifestos, and Music

My mantra for most days, weeks, months and years since d-day has been “Keep going.” When the worst would happen, I would tell myself “Keep going.” When I wasn’t sure where I was heading, I would tell myself “Keep going.” When I feel alone and invisible and useless in this world I would tell myself “Keep going.” I could not even imagine what was ahead, or whether it was good or bad. I only knew I had made a decision not to die, so I had to keep going—wherever that took me. That was and remains my mantra.

I didn’t have a manifesto. Although the Bill of Partner Rights Lili Bee has on her website is pretty darn good. You can find it here on the lower right of the homepage. But I did have Youtube music videos. There were a few songs there that captured the spirit of my commitment to myself, and the message that I needed to hear. They remain important to me now. I still go back to them and listen again and am inspired to continue when I wonder if this is still my work, if my story is still important, and if I am really any better than I was when I first found out what reality really was, and where that left me—heart, body, spirit, mind.

So I thought I would share five of these music videos with you, and say a few words about each one. If you don’t have this kind of inspiration in your life, feel free to borrow mine while you poke around looking for your own.

I'm sorry but I can't get the videos to load as links, so you have to copy and paste into your browser.

Bonnie Raitt   I Will Not Be Broken

But I know where I’m not going

I will not be broken

 This was a song that was important for me in facing down the prevailing misogynist treatment industry and model. It was clear to me that the goal was to break women by calling them ugly names, silencing their experience and their knowledge of what that meant, insulting and manipulating them, disempowering them, using their core values of compassion and forgiveness against them—just as their husband or boyfriend had. An important song for me to hear over and over again.


Susan Boyle  I Dreamed a Dream   Britain’s Got Talent 2009


Most people know Susan Boyle’s story now and how, even after achieving fame and recognition, her struggles continued. But this video that shows her awkwardness, her unlikeliness, and her moment of overcoming her own demons to sing her song in a way that revealed the greatness within her—it has given me courage to keep going. With everything that was working against her, Susan Boyle, put herself out there on that stage and sang. But even proving her greatness and having opportunities afterward did not mean she was not still dealing with the same struggles. She just lived her greatness and her frailties both, and that has given me courage to do the same. Perhaps in doing so, we are healed slowly and steadily. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about being true to your greatness and having compassion for your weaknesses.


Martyn Joseph    Let Yourself

Just let yourself be quietly drawn by stronger call of what you really love

And let your soul, the one that you brought with you safe to this moment in time,

Let it whisper to your fear, and let it wrestle with the noise of the night

For you.

 In every way that my experience with a man called a sex addict destroyed my morale, and the spectre of the treatment model wanted to dispirit me completely, this song serves as a mighty antidote. It says what I need is within me, and that the love within me can overcome my fear, and that is the power that will wrestle for my life, "wrestle with the noise of this night” and win.


Sara Bereilles   Brave

 I stumbled onto this video in a list of suggestions YouTube made for me. I felt like she was singing it right to me. Show me how big your brave is. Why don’t you tell them the truth?  It’s all about finding my voice, forming my message, and being brave enough to put my name on it. Eventually, I accepted the challenge. Your turn?


Voces 8  Lux Aeterna

This is always a weep-worthy moment for me. Even though this is a Latin text that is a prayer for the dead that “Light perpetual shine upon them” it consistently calls me back to life—my life so broken and clumsily put back together but still leaking grief so that I cannot ever be sure of anything but the truth that owns me. It only takes eight young voices to convince me of the beauty that persists in spite of everything that dies—a beauty that is nearly a century old in the music and truly ancient in the text—yet there it is, fresh as their wondrous voices and reaching down my throat to hold my heart and say “keep going, Diane, keep going.”

It was worth it—that whole “keep going” thing. I’m living the happiest days of my life.

If you want to talk about how to “keep going”, use the special price trial session and contact me:

With you,




Diane Strickland