Sound is a privilege that most humans share and getting rid of sound can be a tune-up for the soul. Eliminating the debris of everyday life: electronics, loud car mufflers, people screaming, or babies crying is a great experiment towards relaxing. It’s a good thing to have an auditory experience and turn off, not tune in. Auditory experiences can be amazing.
Silence can also be beneficial to the learning process. All you have to do is drive your car or sit outside, turn off the radio, open the windows and listen. Some sounds will be irritating, especially if you have a 1967 Mustang with a huge muffler attached, revving up next to you. You can turn the experience inside out by just listening to the street.
Be curious. Develop a sense of exploring your world rather than going through the motions. We are all so busy, we don’t even think about the benefits of silence. Understand that some noises can be irritating while sounds are soothing and peaceful.
It is so good for us to tune out. I remember working in academia many years ago and how I felt when the students were on spring break. I might hear a professor’s keys on his desk, or coffee gurgling or the janitor mopping floors. It was very comforting listing to mundane sounds. It was uplifting and I enjoyed being in the womb of my office. I was connected.
It is so easy to overlook sounds in life. When we interact with our surroundings, we are forced to acquire a better understanding of ourselves. It is worth setting time aside to breath and just be. Listen to the sounds in the street or in nature. We don’t even know that we are being mindful and reducing our stress levels. Suddenly our minds morph into hearing, a new experience that will rock your world especially when it comes to nature.
Nature is an absolute 24-hour orchestra! I swear the birds living in the trees next to my bedroom all have built-in alarm clocks. At exactly 5am, the chorus begins, one group starts, another one begins at an exact time. Not a second early or late. They don’t even practice their gigs, its innate.
Even if we hear something obnoxious like horns blaring, if we are mindful, the sound is no longer irritating, it is simply an experience we hear. We are just being aware of what is going on around us. The gift we receive is when we experience awareness, we are practicing self-love. That is such a bonus in the daily hectic lives we lead.
Dive into the world of urban sounds. Soothing city noises can make us forget our troubles. There is nothing like a cup of coffee at an outside cafe and just do nothing but be alone and listen. It’s cheaper than a psychiatrist. Background noises, conversations, traffic. Deeply listen to the diversity of the streets, especially if there are various languages. There is something organic happening as we become one with the streets. As humans, we are all connected, after all. The bonus in all this is you learn to listen to people and not talk over them. You are in the moment and focusing on another person, not on your own thoughts. You learn inadvertently how to communicate better. Kind of like an actor in that you must listen to what the other person is saying.
Listening to nature is extremely relaxing and so portable as it is attached to you whether you like it or not. Listen to the rain, to the birds, wildlife. The good news is their sounds have health benefits for you and you are forced to relax. Our souls are calling for attention while we listen to sounds in life.
As we listen, there are no good or bad or judgments, it is just communication waves for us to relax and enjoy. It means we are alive. Life sounds teaches us to learn, speak and share with each other. We must listen first and then become with the world.