Cutting through the noise

Cutting through the noise

So I have made several attempts to write a blog post now. This is some of the stuff I deleted:

The other day I fell asleep in a hotel room next to a woman I had only met hours before. We met by a gate on Zürich airport and ended up sharing a hotel room after a mysterious loud bang/explosion grounded our plane for the night. Yes, it was pretty scary and I’m grateful it didn’t happen mid-air because it apparently had something to do with the plane’s motor.

The other day I missed a friend so much it physically hurt in my body. No explanation needed.

The other day I was so tired at work that I almost fell asleep during a business meeting. Crazy unprofessional, I know, but it honestly was a real struggle to keep my eyes open.

I deleted my writing because I felt it was not blog-worthy. I find that quite interesting because apparently I have some sort of standard I hold myself to concerning what to publish and what not. So what is that? If I’m honest a part of me feels that this blog should be about something meaningful. The internet and our social media are already so incredibly filled with (in my eyes) trivial stuff and I really don’t want to be adding to all this noise unless I have something to say that that feels meaningful. And all of the above really are just things happening in my life and I seriously wonder if anyone is interested in reading about it.

Am I making a big thing out of this? Perhaps. I know my husband challenges me sometimes to write and publish something extremely trivial on this blog just to challenge myself but I somehow can’t get myself to do that. The feeling remains that I don’t want to be a voice that adds to the noise in life; the noise that I feel easily gets in the way of connecting to ourselves and living according to what feels true for us.

I am quite busy these days and it’s creating a lot of noise in my life. Five days a week I get up at 5.30, travel on various forms of public transportation and work eight hours a day in an office together with literally thousands of people. To me this is all stuff that adds colour (and not to forget: money) to my life but also makes it more challenging to stay aware and keep focus on what’s important in my life. Is this something you recognize perhaps? The question I keep asking myself is: how can I stay aware in my life when so much is going on all the time?

I find an answer in what’s popularly called mindfulness. I know this term makes some people a bit allergic but for me it really helps me to live in the present moment and keep coming back to it over and over again. These are some examples of what I do to keep my awareness in daily life:

When I sit in the bus I sometimes ask myself if I still feel my feet on the ground.
When I sit in the subway I try to use my phone only to listen to music.
When I walk to my work I try to deliberately walk slowly.
When I talk to someone I try to notice in my body how I feel to look for cues about what’s going on beyond the words that are spoken.

As I have written in my previous blog post About meditation, connecting to my body and the silence within me has become vital for me in my life. It’s a great way to keep on hearing my inner voice clearly and feeling connected to my whole body instead of just living in my head. Mindfulness helps me to stay aware and not lose track of my truth and path in life.

The Zen master, poet and peace activist Thich Nhat Hahn said:

Awareness is like the sun.
When it shines on things,
they are transformed.

For me this has turned out to be true, so many times! Practicing awareness and making decisions out of this space inside of me has brought me to a place where I feel alive in a way I’ve never felt before. It’s the most incredible feeling! For the first time in my life I feel a clarity inside myself as well as a deep feeling of groundedness. It feels a bit like I imagine a tree: it doesn’t matter that there is a wind blowing because I have roots that go pretty deep into the ground. I feel excited about the things I am working on, I’m learning new things every day and regardless of all the noise in my life I still most of the time have the ability to cut through it and be aware and awake in the present moment.

Note that I write most of the time. Because I don’t want to give you the impression that I am walking around like a lightbulb that’s constantly on. I lose myself many times every day and disappear into the noise of life. Suddenly I find myself worrying or planning a thousand things on the bus, checking social media on the subway, walking very fast or talking to someone without really listening. I am quite tired these days and that’s just the way it is right now! So I observe all of this, accept and move on.

I am incredibly grateful for all the things that are happening in my life. If you are reading this Ewa: thank you for your company during our 19-hour travel delay, it was really nice to meet and share a hotel room with you! I am grateful to have people in my life who mean the world to me, even so much that it hurts to be away from each other. And I am grateful to have a job that enables me to follow the things in life that make my heart sing. So there you go: I finally managed to write something that feels meaningful. I sincerely hope you feel the same way. Thanks for reading!

Photo: Patrick Selin – unsplash.com


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