Longing for Quiet

The world is very loud.  There is such an abundance of sounds, sights and even smells.  I have never been so acutely aware of this as when I returned from my month away at Yogaville.  My first step in my journey home was to get in the car.  I turned on the radio and that alone was jolting.  As I approached Charlottesville and pulled into traffice there was so much to negotiate.  There was the commotion of the sounds of traffic.  As I looked around and saw all of the billboards, neon signs and advertisments competing for my attention and interest I was just astonished at the noise of it all.  This was all happening in the confines of my car.  By the time I got home, and had to go into the grocery store and run some errands my brain and body were twitching from overstimulation.  I really was aware of how much I longed for soothing.

Our brains are designed to interpret and process every piece of sensory data we receive from the world around us.  Of course we do most of this on an unconscious level and because of the abundance most of us filter it all on some level or we would be overwhelmed by it. 

Moving, however, from a really quiet environment for a month back into our world I have been wondering how much we really filter.  I have been thinking how does all of this noise really affect us.  I think it affects us profoundly.  I think our nervous systems are constantly in overdrive from the assault of sensory data and I think a lot of our behavior is driven from a need to soothe ourselves.

I really believe that a lot of our behaviors that appear unhealthy like overeating, getting drunk, sitting for hours in front of the television, oversleeping, and being lazy are all stemming from our need to check out.  We are unconsciously and sometimes very consciously in need of quiet.  Our bodies, our mind and our spirit has had too much sensory input and we need time to regroup.

I have noticed that my life has gotten quieter since I've been back.  I have been getting up earlier and allowing time for meditation before even having a cup of coffee.  I am going into the office a little earlier to give myself time to slowly begin the day.  I am longing to walk alone outside instead of going into the busy gym.  I turn the television on less and less enjoying just sitting in the quiet doing a puzzle.  It really does make such a difference.  What can you do today to find some quiet?