I’ve been practising a LOT of Mindful Listening lately, both when working with kids in school through my business, as well as when I’m alone – at home, out and about, and especially in the car.
I’m talking about listening – really listening, not just hearing – to everyday sounds; breaking down their complexities; finding sounds within sounds; noticing pitch, tempo, timbre, volume and so on, in the same way that one might listen to instruments in an orchestral piece.
Honestly, the more listen, the more I want to. The less I find myself pulled towards noisy distractions, like my phone or the radio or my thoughts.
And most notably, the more I’ve come to appreciate those everyday, seemingly mundane sounds that frequently go unmissed.
Sound and Communication expert Julian Treasure talks about a technique called ‘Savoring,’ which is exactly what it sounds like. In the same way that you might savor the taste of a piece of chocolate, you might savor the ‘hidden choir’ of everyday noise.
The crescendo of a kettle as it boils. The gentle thump of footsteps on carpet, and the change in tonality as they move across lino. The deep, base-like hum of traffic outside. The ever-changing melody of the wind outside.
This is the beautiful ordinary.
And the more you’ll listen for it, the more you’ll hear.