This week was the week of sounds, and the task was that I was to dedicate 5-10 minutes each day to recognising any sounds within my environment and acknowledge them without judgement. I’m going to be honest with you before we even get started here, I definitely didn’t try as hard at this week’s challenge as I should have.
The rules stated that I was to pay attention to every sound and relish the fact that I am lucky enough to have these senses. And whilst I do appreciate my ability to hear, if this week’s challenge taught me anything, it was that I do take my hearing for granted. I often groan when I hear a sound that is offensive to my ears. I can’t bear the sound of a child throwing a tantrum (I know, it’s hard for their parents and I understand that, but I still find the noise unbearable). I hear idiot drivers tear-arsing down my road in their crap car that they’ve kitted out with the engine of a 747 in an attempt to make themselves look impressive, and all I think of is how much I detest them. When there’s a super loud sound like somebody exaggeratedly sneezing (seriously, any need in sending me your germs from 40 miles away?) or eating loudly, or beeping a horn or shouting angrily in traffic, I become encompassed in negativity and forget how lucky I am to be able to hear these things. Bad sounds are still sounds and hearing them means I am fortunate.
The sound of my dog making her affectionate half groan, half bark, half growl noise when she hasn’t seen me for a few hours and acts like I’ve left her alone for the last century
The sound of seagulls which makes me feel at home (my family home is close to the beach, we don’t have pet seagulls)
The sound of crunching pickles into a microphone (yes I’m being serious)
The sound of music
The sound of the sea and waves crashing against rocks
The sound of water lapping upon a shore
The sound of trickling river water and waterfalls
The sound of somebody humming or singing to themselves
The sound of a baby laughing
The sound of a plane taking off or landing
The sound of breath in hot yoga
The sound of rain when I’m cosy and warm inside
The sound of my family and friends’ voices
So whilst I didn’t quite follow the task as such, I did find my own way to be more grateful for my ability to hear and focus more on nice sounds and less on the ones that I don’t find pleasing. And as a result, I’m definitely more aware of sounds in general and learning to let a sound pass me by without judgement (the essence of mindfulness). I’ll try to remember how lucky I am to hear next time I hear one of the aforementioned offensive sounds, before losing my temper.