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You might hear someone say “Hmmm” when they are trying to remember something or trying to make a decision. They might use it to show skepticism or wonder, inspiration or frustration. It might be low and long, or high and short. It could be very soft or quite loud. Is it ascending or descending? Is it aspirated? Is it musical?
Using “Hmmm” as a mindfulness cue allows you to: 1) Notice a selected trigger 2) Take a moment to note intention, emotion, and sound quality of that particular “Hmmm” 3) Notice that you noticed
You are catching yourself in act of being mindful while you are right smack in middle of Real World. This is essence of playing with mindfulness!
By paying attention to this soft exclamation, you can heighten your awareness of sound while also picking up on subtleties of emotion and expression. It’s a great way to use your ears to learn more about interpersonal communication. You will be amazed at what you can learn about others—and their state of mind—by becoming more aware of way they use this sound.
Start noticing “Hmmm” in conversations around you as well as your own. Then, branch out and notice “Hmmm” in movies, television shows, or theater presentations.
Finally, tap into your musical intelligence even further by recognizing sounds that resemble “Hmmm” in machinery or nature. Does copier sound like “Hmmm”? Does your printer make that sound? How about your dog when you scratch its ears, or your partner sleeping beside you?
Start hearing “Hmmm” all around you. It’s a fun way to create a few “Hmmm” moments of your own!
Maya Talisman Frost is a mind masseuse in Portland, Oregon. Through her company, Real-World Mindfulness Training, she teaches fun and effective eyes-wide-open alternatives to meditation. To subscribe to her free weekly ezine, the Friday Mind Massage, please visit http://www.MassageYourMind.com.