When I travel, I’m always amazed that I can hear birds singing. It’s one of my favorite experiences when I travel…..to hear the birds outside my window. I always wonder why there aren’t birds at my house. Until 2 weeks ago, when I was up early in the morning doing my yoga with the windows open and I heard them. They were right outside my bedroom window in the trees singing. Honestly, in the 7 years that I’ve been in this house, I don’t think I’ve paid attention to them.
I believe that I heard them because I’ve started slowing my life down. I’m not checking my Facebook news feed every couple of hours, I’ve taken my email app off of my phone and I no longer receive notifications from 5 different apps. What I’m finding is that, because I’m paying less attention to my phone, I have more attention for what’s going on around me. I’m working on quieting the audible and visual noise in my life and the chaos that comes as a result. I’m finding that this practice of listening tot he birds is bringing smiles to my face several times during my busy days, where normally I’d be head down and focused on my next task.
So what I’m doing several times during the day now is making sure I can always hear the birds through the ‘noise’ of what’s going on around me. This is part of my slowing down process and staying present in the moment. And you know what? I can hear them all day long and almost anywhere I am. This might mean turning off that podcast, language learning app, or song that I’m listening to.
What are you doing for yourself throughout your day to ‘hear the birds’? This may not be possible for all of you, if you live in a big city, but maybe there’s something else that you can filter through the noise and listen for? I know that you’re busy and that there’s an endless ‘to do’ list that needs to get done. I know, because I’m not even comfortable unless I’ve got a nice, long, juicy list each day to get through. However, within the busy-ness that is life, I feel that it’s important for you to take just a few moments each day to connect with the world around you. This can lead to a sense of connecting with the moment that you’re living right now, rather than always projecting out into the world and all of our projects you’re working on.
I’ve made this my new ‘bird listening’ spiritual practice, but it doesn’t have to be yours. Is there something in your life that you can take a few moments to tune in with to help you to remember to stay connected to the earth and within your body? This could be the sound of a ticking clock, listening for your child’s voice, the sound of the wind, or even getting up from your desk to look outside at the sky or a tree. There are lots of ways to enjoy your day in the midst of the craziness.
Remember, health and well-being a regular, daily practice. There is no ‘quick-fix’ or ‘super pill’ that can be taken to cure all of the ills. This is a long, slow process and self love, commitment and consistency bring about true health.
With love and hugs from New Mexico,
Dr. Arjan Khalsa