Listening to Sounds and Silence

Last week saw many beautiful days in Boulder, Colorado. On one of those days I made the trip into Boulder so that I could attend a Positive Aging lunch. Because the day was so beautiful, I decided to take advantage of being downtown and left Longmont early. Boulder Creek was calling my name, and I took a walk along the Boulder Creek path. Listening to the water and the sounds of people going by on foot or by bike, made me start thinking about how sounds can affect our sense of well-being.

The Sounds of Silence

While down by the creek, I heard the beautiful sounds of nature. It led me to think more about the role of listening- being aware of sound, and being aware of the silence. Below is a video I shot of the experience where I reflect a bit more on the roles that sound and silence can play in our well-being.

Listening Deeply

Listening deeply has been on my mind a lot lately because I think it’s become severely underrated in our society. Perhaps I’m biased because of my background as a musician, contemplative arts practitioner, and therapist.

Nonetheless, all three of these things involve the ability to listen.

Making music as part of a group requires a discerning ear. You need to be able to hear where your part fits in within the greater whole. As well, if you’re a singer, you need to be able to hear how well you’re blending with others, or whether you’re in tune.

Taking a contemplative approach to life further amplifies the ability to listen. Slowing down and observing the present moment allows us to hear things that we may not otherwise hear. You may become aware of the ambient sounds around you.

Sometimes what can be heard is internal. By engaging in a contemplative practice, you may become aware of an abundance of thoughts that we are otherwise unaware of because we stay busy doing things. (This can also be understood as “Monkey Mind.”) By taking the time to look within and being in the present moment, you may also notice underlying feelings that are begging to be heard and felt.

Are You Being Heard?

I consider my ability to listen to be one of my greatest assets as a therapist because I apply my training as a musician and contemplative arts practitioner into the therapeutic setting. This allows me to be better able to hear what my clients are saying both through their words and vocal nuances, as well as in their body language.

If you feel like you need to be heard in your life and relationships, or if you need help being able to hear yourself, I invite you to contact me so that we can talk about how I might be able to help you be heard.

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