There’s a lot of noise around us. We're the makers of most of it. It’s everywhere, and comes in all forms. The noise can lead to fatigue - Fatigue with one another. Anywhere social media is found, we fall prey to envy, bitterness, compairson, and worse. We now live in a time where everyone can voice their opinion, discontent, frustration, or issues at any given time.
With these mediums of noise there is good to be found as well. We can now encourage, share insight, inspiration, and ideas openly. Many of us aren’t holding our imaginations back from the general public anymore. That can be GOOD. But, let’s look at the tension and reality. Whether we want to admit it or not, we now find ways to compare ourselves to each other with what we perceive from our online personas. Let's remember, we are all presenting an alternate reality. Our lives are not as interesting, cool, or exciting as Instagram makes them out to be.
Back on track, sorry for the detour...
Noise, ah the noise. Think of this: Noise levels louder than shouting can damage parts of our inner ears called hair cells. Hair cells act as the doorways of our hearing. When sound waves hit them, they convert those vibrations into electrical currents that our auditory nerves carry to the brain. Without hair cells, there is nothing for the sound to bounce off, like trying to make your voice echo in the desert. Are we losing our figurative hair cells in life? Life can seem like we’re shouting while trying to be heard, seen, or acknowledged. Maybe we need to continue learning to be centered with who we are instead of chasing or competing with the noise around us.
Decibel Levels* Ringing telephone = 30 Normal conversation = 60 Lawn mower = 90 Chain saw = 110 Ambulance siren = 120 Rock show = 140 12-gauge shotgun = 165
*[Source: National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health]
There are many elements that add to the noise and clutter we all sense and feel. Burn out is at an all time high in most circles. The progression of technology was supposed to make productivity easier, right? Well, it can when we allow it to work for us.
“Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen - that stillness becomes a radiance.” — Morgan Freeman
Silence. Stillness. Meditation. Seeking space to just be. These are a few of my favorite things.
I sense the Holy in the slowing margins of life. A pause / selah can be more of a Sacred encounter than any church worship service I’ve ever been in the room for. We tend to be more kind, gentle, and compassionate when are aren’t grasping for control, notoriety, and an urgency to be significant. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t an overnight transformation. It’s a steady process. How do we find this path? The lenten season can be a good place to start. That's like, now.
Centering Prayer is a method of silent prayer that prepares us for contemplative prayer, a time in which we experience God's presence within us, closer than breathing, closer than thinking, closer than consciousness itself. This method of prayer is both a relationship with God and a discipline to enable our communion with our Creator.
In Part Two, we'll continue to look at lessening noise in our lives.