Close your eyes. Take a deep breathe. With your eyes closed, what do you hear? Silence, voices, or is the chaos around too loud? Right now, I hear my playlist softly playing in the background. Occasionally when the music calms I can hear the soft rotation of my ceiling fan, unless it is interrupted by a rooster crow. What do you hear? When I first joined theater in high school, we played a similar exercise to help us concentrate on a particular noise in a chaotic environment.
The drama department sat adjacent to the bus stop where several hundred students conversed waiting for their bus. We were told to close our eyes and focus on one conversation. Let me tell you that was a challenge. But, the reason that sticks in my memory is that this little exercise can prove incredibly useful in my perfection-driven life-style.
Now, close the door to chaos
Today, I want to challenge you to perform the same exercise at some point, or several points, in your day. If you choose a particularly stressful part of your day, you might see better results. Amidst the chaos, close your eyes and pick one sound to focus on. Don’t try to accomplish anything while your eyes are closed except to really listen to that sound. As your concentration on that sound fades, bring focus back to the sound.
So what was it you heard? Did you hear that sound with new discovery or did the chaos win the battle? If this worked to bring your stress level down, then I encourage you to do this several times throughout the day. Having a lower stress level allows us to concentrate and make better choices as we navigate this chaotic world.
Remember we don’t control much
This is something incredibly challenging for me to remember. So much of my life I, if I am being honest, don’t have much control over. Sure I have influence, but not ultimate control. In fact, most of us don’t really have control over many aspects of our life. I venture to say that the only thing we have ultimate control over is our own actions. And trust me, I struggle with that one as well.
Each day I wake up trying to avoid negativity that is constantly flowing in the circus of our country. Unfortunately the negativity is difficult to ignore. Even when I seek positivity, the negativity sneaks in. Therefore, I close my eyes. I find a sound and I breathe. I can’t eliminate the darkness, but I can shine some light on my perspective.
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