Shhh….can you hear it?
One of most powerful forms of mindfulness is awareness of sound. We tend to tune out noise of our lives in order to concentrate on tasks at hand.
In fact, we may get so used to a particular sound that we don’t notice it until it’s gone—like a television that is turned off, or traffic that stops outside your home, or your neighbor’s lawn mower or stereo that is suddenly silent.
We notice when it starts, we intentionally shut it out, and then notice it once again when it stops.
Everyone who hears has a healthy serving of what is called musical intelligence. It isn’t limited to actual music, however—it is our recognition and understanding of pitch, tone, quality, length, volume and source of sounds around us.
Now, some of us might have perfect pitch, knowing instantly that note we hear is a middle C. Others might have a very well-developed sense of tone quality—noting difference between a middle C played on a piano or a flute, or even same note sung by two different people. And some of us might consider ourselves completely hopeless as musicians while having an encyclopedic memory for song lyrics, guitar riffs, or even songs of birds.
The great news is that, no matter where we stand on music smarts scale, we each have capacity to increase our musical intelligence. Better yet, by focusing on selected sounds as triggers for mindfulness, we can sharpen our awareness and increase our enjoyment of world around us at same time.
Here’s a little mindfulness game to help you zero in on sound as a trigger for greater awareness: Notice “Hmmm.”