This made me ugly cry

Uncategorized Oct 24, 2023

Earlier this year in July, I wrote about slowly crawling down the highway in Canada Day traffic and how it was a gift.

I’m thrilled to share that the gifts from that day just keep on giving. During our turtle-paced journey, my daughter, Zoe, and I were listening to music and we discovered that the singer of a song that we loved (Dermot Kennedy) had more than just one good song. 

Initally, we had heard his song Rome on So You Think You Can Dance and the piece that was choreographed to that tune is one of my all time favourites from that show. Click here to watch if you want to experience one of the most gorgeois dances every created. 

Anyway, we wondered if Dermot had any other good songs and then discovered that most of his songs made us cry in a good way as our hearts melted. More than once, I clutched my chest and swoon-sighed as his poetic lyrics graced my ears. 

Once fully aboard the Dermot Kennedy train, we decided to see if he had any upcoming tours. As it turned out, he did indeed… he was coming to Calgary! We got tickets that very day. 

Flash forward to this past weekend - the big day arrived and we got to go to Dermot Kennedy’s concert. Let me tell you, it was one of my most favourite experiences in my life.

Here are my top five reasons why (which also doubles as a checklist for living your best life):

1. Passion

When Dermot performs, it’s very clear that he’s leaving it all out there on the stage. Passion just oozes out of him, whether it’s a ballad or an epic tune. His singing made me connect with my own passion and that felt magical.  

Points to consider: are you connected to what makes you passionate? Does it show up in your life regularly? Do you share your passion with others?

2. Heart

Clearly, Dermot has a big heart and he’s willing to share it. His songs are vulnerable and open. He sings about love, heartbreak and everything in between. 

Points to consider: are you being open, vulnerable and authentic in your interactions? Do you share your big heart?

3. Just Right 

Unlike many other concerts, the volume was perfect and I could understand what he was saying. To me, that’s a huge deal. When something is synergistic, it doesn’t need to be overdone. Sometimes, lyrics get lost when the music is too loud or the singer mumbles. At this concert, everything was crystal clear.

Points to consider: Do you express yourself clearly? Do you allow your authentic voice to come through? Do you tend to overdo things and if yes, could you put in less effort and still get great results? (Hint… yes you can.)

4. He created moments

After the show, Paul and the kids and I commented on how Dermot brought the audience in so effectively. He invited us to sing over and over, which made the experience special and intimate. 

After a vigorous and enthusiastic opening, he brought things down by dimming the stage lights and sitting down at his piano. By way of introducing his next song, he spoke about how memories are so important and invited the audience to bring a special memory to mind while he sang the next piece. 

Of course, it was Rome (hooray!) so my heart melted even more. Then he asked us to bring up the light. Cell phone flashlights and lighter flames filled up the stadium. The visual light amplified the glow that was already happening in our hearts. It was so powerful. 

When the song finished, Dermot was a little tearful himself. (Meanwhile, I’d been ugly crying through the whole song as I remembered the first time it sunk in that my dream of having a husband and two kids became reality.) He said that although he had performed Rome in that way on many occasions, this was the first times that he had really let in the beauty of the spectacle of light. He deeply received the precious moment and felt changed.

When he shared that tender glimpse into his inner world, the audience went wild with appreciation. (Okay, I’m starting to cry again just thinking about it.) I’ve never experienced anything like it. The cheering went on and on. Every time it started to ebb, it would just start up again and get even louder and more enthusiastic. The stadium rumbled as we stomped our feet, whistled, cheered and created a raucous brouhaha. (More ugly crying ensued.)

It felt like something really special had occurred. Certainly, I’d never experienced anything like that before. That moment has settled into a special place in my heart and I feel different and even more rich as a result. 

There’s something so special about gathering in community and letting the energy of music wash over you. It simply can’t be replaced or duplicated.

Points to consider: when’s the last time you had a moment where you felt indelibly changed? In my experience, those moments come from doing something out of the ordinary, so it’s worth considering how to get some novelty into your life.

5. Feelings were felt

Overall, the concert left an impression because Dermot made me feel things. He felt things and generously shared them. He commented several times on how amazing it felt to be so far from home (Ireland) and to still feel surrounded by love and acceptance. 

Over the course of his performance, I felt elation, bliss, satisfaction, fulfillment, joy, wonder, awe, love, passion and more. I could tell that everyone around me also felt things. I’ve never seen people dance and cheer with such jubilation at a performance. 

The power of feelings can’t be underestimated. After all, that’s why we share stories, music, movies and every other kind of art - to unearth our feelings and connect through a common experience. It’s one of the gifts of being human; a full range of emotions makes life feel extremely rich and totally worth living.

Points to consider: do you allow yourself to fully feel the feels? It’s something I’ve been working on; to not skip over anything, especially the uncomfortable feelings and to instead give myself the gift of just feeling the full spectrum of emotions. 

Dermot’s music invited me to expand the depth and breadth of the emotional experience - hence the ugly crying that was really just joy and rapture overflowing.

And there you have it. Thanks to this exceptional concert, we now have a guide for living a rich and memorable life.

1-Purposefully build passion into your life and share it with others

2-Live with a big, open and authentic heart

3-No need to overdo things when you express yourself clearly and vulnerably - you’ll be empowered without over-efforting

4-Go out of your way to bring novel experiences into your life and allow yourself to be moved 

5-Give yourself the gift of courageously feeling the full range of emotions 

Of course, I urge you to get yourself some of Dermot Kennedy’s music and look up his next tour schedule. Personally, I can’t wait to hear him again. 

With great love and bountiful courage,


>Creator of Courageous Self-Care

>Next up… a week in Disneyland!

>Writing to you from the friendly skies, somewhere over California

Live Concerts!

Especially ones performed by Dermot Kennedy!


Obviously, I need to share another Dermot Kennedy song and it’s hard to choose just one but I can do it. After careful consideration, my pick for this week’s song is called Glory.

During this part of the performance, the stage was mostly dark but there was a huge vertical column of white-gold light on the screen behind Dermot. As the song built, the light spread from a thin rectangle to take up more and more space horizontally. It was a very effective visual that echoed the feeling of the song; simple but epic. 

Have a listen at one of the links below.

Click here to listen to Glory on iTunes

Click here to listen to Glory on Spotify