Finding Space in All the Noise
The calm lake beckoned. The house was still sleeping as I fixed my coffee, wrapped in a blanket against the early morning chill, and found a perfect spot in an Adirondack chair on the dock over Lake LBJ.
Not a ripple. The houses across the lake reflected in perfect mirror images on the water's surface.
Ah. Exhale. I took a sip of coffee and started the guided meditation in my favorite app. Then...
A leaf blower with the whirr of a foghorn on a freight train blasted onto the scene.
And. It. Echoed. Tenfold across the lake.
I tried to stay zen, to focus on the muddled voice of the meditation guide only catching every few words. I turned it up but it was useless, the noise drowned everything out. I plugged my ears with my fingers in hopes it would reduce the noise. I so wanted to enjoy these quiet, stolen moments. I tracked the gardener, willing him to stop, thinking, if only the noise would end, then I will find peace.
But, he continued to the next yard. And, then, the next. So, I got pissed at the noise, kept fighting against it, willing it to go away, hoping the damn leaf blower's battery would die.
Right, so that worked. Not. I had to laugh.
It got me thinking about noise, in all its forms, all the noise around us, all the time. The definition of noise is a sound or thing that is "unpleasant or that causes disturbance." So, when you think about it, noise is not just physical noise. It's digital noise, mental noise, and emotional noise. It's excess clutter that starts to feel loud when it's too much.
It's incessant if we let it be.
And, an interesting thing happened. As soon as I focused, not on the annoying noise but, on following this thought - the noise in essence disappeared. Of course, it didn't actually disappear, but it was no longer present in my space, in my sphere of attention. I stopped noticing it.
As soon as I leaned away from it and surrendered to the resistance instead of fighting against it, a space opened, room for consideration, for wonderment, for creativity.
Hmm. Something to think about next time there's too much noise.