Every day at 4pm I take Grace and our dog for a walk. Sometimes Grace falls asleep while I wear her in the infant carrier. I love and loth when she does this. I love it because if she does fall asleep it is usually because she didn’t nap well that day and she NEEDS the sleep. I loth it because it puts me on edge. I walk around willing cars to not honk or kids to not laugh or bart to not rush by. All these things make a tremendous amount of noise and usually wake her up. Whereas the tweeting of a bird is usually soft enough not to wake her and sweet enough to make me smile.
I come home from these “sleeping walks” with incredibly soar shoulders. And it’s not because I’ve been carrying around 25+ pounds of baby (ok well maybe it’s some of it.) It’s mostly because I’m so neurotic about her sleeping.
My intention today is to take that same 4:00pm walk that I always do, but to do it in a more mindful way. As I write this I am looking into the monitor at my beautiful baby- who is NOT sleeping. She is playing peacefully, but again- NOT SLEEPING. So, I will most likely have the perfect opportunity to take a sleeping walk with my new intention.
I hope to be aware of the symphony of interweaving sounds around us. I will try to notice my usual preference for some sounds over others.
It also occurs to me that outside sounds aren’t the only thing disturbing my peace and joy. The sounds inside my own head telling me, “if Grace doesn’t nap NOW she will grow up to be a bad kid” are just as bad, if not worse, that the screeching siren that zooms by. I wonder if I can hear my thoughts, rather than just listen to them and in the same way allow the sounds around me to come into my awareness and then leave.
Use the sounds around you to access a quiet mind, whether you are outside in nature or in the heart of the city. Hear with your whole body. Report back with anything that surprised you.
List your own neurotic tendencies. Choose one and pretend you have the power to let it go. How would your life be different right now if you COULD let it go?