Listening to the Here and Now

I listened to the Julian Treasure video that I posted yesterday twice in two days. It had quite an impact on me, reinforcing some concepts around sound that I am very familiar with as well as presenting some new ideas. The one that I am pretty stuck on right now is "schizophonia"- the dislocation between what you see and what you hear caused by listening to sounds which are split off from their original source (i.e. you are in your living room in Florida talking on the phone with your sister who is in London).

Because of that, today was different for me. Each time I went to pick up my phone I thought it through and nine times out of ten I felt that I didn't really need to use it- so I didn't. Instead I used that time to be present to my surroundings, consciously listening and looking.

That used to be natural for me; however in the last two years however I find that I am quicker and quicker to pick up the phone to make a call or write a quick post on Facebook. Sharing ideas and having meaningful communication is a wonderful thing. It's much of what makes life worth living. Instant gratification can be addictive though. I find myself having to check in and make sure that what I am sharing is really worth the time and distraction from other things I could be accomplishing, or of simply being aware of the present moment and what is happening in the here and now. That's kind of a big deal since in truth this moment is all we have.

What I noticed today, by constantly pulling my awareness back to the present, listening to the sounds around me, noticing the external features of my surroundings- in my car, in my kitchen, wherever- was that I was quieter inside.

Social media brings forth another whole practice in mindfulness and self-awareness. It can be a meaningless exercise in self-absorption and self-importance or we can use it to put forth the very best of who we are and what we have to offer- ideas, inspiration, experience and knowledge. It calls for us to be attentive and to listen deeply if we want to have an impact or a truly meaningful connection with others.