Eliminating Life’s Noise

img214I never noticed how loud it was outside of my home until this past Sunday. I live close to a major freeway – not right next to it, but close enough I guess. I never really paid much attention to it. It was background noise, no big deal.

But then I was outside with my dogs early on Sunday morning. I didn’t notice the difference at first, but then I realized how quiet it was. I immediately thought something was wrong – like there was a power outage or something. Nope, nothing wrong, just people staying home with their families celebrating the holiday.

I turned around and looked at my neighborhood in light of this new development and it immediately seemed more peaceful. It’s always been a quiet neighborhood – except for the dogs – but that day was magical. Time seemed to slow down. I could hear the wind whispering through the trees and even a bird or two singing. It was early morning so the sun wasn’t up yet, but I could imagine how special the sunrise would have been without the noise.

We live in a very loud world. We invite people and things and entertainment into our lives 24/7 but can’t figure out why we’re not more productive or are so stressed out. Our bodies need time to recuperate and our minds need time to process without distraction, without noise. The sad part is that all this noise has become commonplace – a part of the landscape so ingrained we think there’s something wrong if it’s not there.

It causes us to hurry everywhere, to have to be a part of the next big thing, because if we’re not we will be missing out.

Missing out on what, I wonder. Bad health? Poor choices? Regret?

Time is the most finite resource we have and none of us know exactly how much we have.

Scary, right?

Makes you think twice about spending those hours watching cat videos or dog videos or stupid people doing stupid things for 15 seconds of fame. Your time is more valuable than that. Hell, MY time is more valuable than that.

I’m not saying we should all be recluses and avoid everything that might be distracting. We are social creatures and need to interact with others, but not all the time.

What would happen if each of us began spending quality time with ourselves without all of the noise? Would we get to know who we really are? Would we find a deeper understanding of what would make us happy, functional, rational, responsible human beings? Would we then realize what’s been driving us crazy for the last 10 or 15 years and then figure out what changes we need to make to end it?

I challenge us – yeah, me included – to spend 5 or 10 minutes every day without any distractions or noise to see where it takes us. What we do or think about in that time is up to us, but might I suggest we start with the nagging doubts we all have to figure out why we have them.

Who’s with me?

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