Last weekend I served on Team Pleasure for Mama Gena's School of Womanly Arts Experience (www.mamagenas.com - there will be another one in February). For two days we filled the Javits Center in NYC with nearly 2500 women. We explored exhaustion, self-doubt, and resignation -- I don't know if you can relate to any of those, but they definitely rang some bells for the participants. We commiserated and celebrated our sisterhood. We danced to loud, hot rhythms and we shouted out encouragement to each other. We whooped and hollered and at times, the decibel level was pretty high, but we also had some quiet stretches. In fact, there were even moments of silence. This was exactly what everyone needed to take in and digest all the points Mama Gena made.
And, so it is in life. If we are constantly stimulated with light and sound, we lose the ability to process and to take it all in. We need some downtime to recharge. We need to experience stillness in order to become really present to the moment, to become present to our lives.
Noise comes at us from many, different directions ... background music in public places, traffic, conversations (both the ones in which we participate as well as everyone else's within earshot), a cell phone that is constantly on, tv ... just to name a few. Sometimes we have to literally remove ourselves from the source such as the sound of cars. It might mean physically traveling for several miles to a more quiet location. An easier fix is to simply shut off the radio, tv, or phone.
There's also different types of noise. Not all of it is distracting or disturbing. Sitting at the ocean or by a brook, the sound of water can be soothing. We had some writing exercises during the Experience that were accompanied by soothing, gentle tunes. Having a conversation with just one other person in a quiet room can be gratifying and fulfilling.
In general, though, "noise" implies loudness or a disturbance and while it might not be pleasant, we get used to it. Sometimes it's only when we finally allow silence to surround us that we hear the peacefulness and realize that we are actually craving it.
I invite you and encourage you to make time to "cut out the noise". As Maya Angelou once said:
"Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us."
Create some calm and tranquility in your life in order to replenish -- this is what I wish for you.