Friday, July 17, 2009

The art of simply being....

As I write this I am sitting at a Starbucks.

Surrounding me is the noise of the Barista's various machines, the hum of the air conditioner, the rumble of the patrons placing their orders, and the faint trickle of the never empty coffee p0ots being brewed.

When I think about it, I can hear all of these things. When my attention is caught and held by any one of these, it becomes a distraction. If I am not thinking about it, it is all white noise to me. All the noises around me fade into the background to create a jumbled and diluted wall of sound.

Funny thing though...the white noise helps me concentrate. It would seem that the constant noise would be a hindrance. But, for some reason I write better, quicker and with more focus than if there were silence.

It doesn't matter whether I am trying to focus on another task or focus on nothing at all, when I am left alone in silence with my thoughts, the noise they make is overwhelming. It's kind of like the neighbor's car alarm that blares all night long, or the car with the way over the top bass that pulls up next to you. The thoughts running through my head turn the silence into a deafening concert of mismatched and out of tune instruments.

I am not sure of the reason I have so much trouble turning down the volume of my thoughts. The events of the day, the current issues going on in life and the pervasive mental to do list seem to be resistant to the mute button. For as much as I try, the more persistent the noise becomes.

I'd like to think that I had the ability to control this. If I knew how to turn all the internal interference into white noise, I'd do it in a second! I bet I'd be a lot more productive!

To be able to just be alone with myself and not accompanied by the throngs that crowd my head would be a welcome respite from the ever running and very tiring process of managing all my thoughts. I wish I was ok with silence. The truth is, for some reason I am not. I guess I have not mastered the art of just simply being....


  1. Your brain is just a complicated machine. The white noise keeps the defensive parts of your brain occupied, not busy, not scared, just lightly engaged, and lets the other parts of your brain work on what is happening in your life. That's my story, and I'm sticking to it! Simply being, for you, for me, for so many of us, is such a complicated thing that I believe our brains have to have a busier normal state just to deal with it all. No research, just experience!

  2. Very good description of life's noise and how it either irritates us or makes us work harder. For me, right now, my white noise is two grandkids who screech, wine and complain constantly.

  3. simply being is so much harder then it sounds in my world.i often have to remind myself the importance of it. thanks for reminding me yet again :)


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