Depending on our physiological make-up, our background and our genes each of us has a preference for how we take in information from the world. Some of us are visual. I’m raising my hands because that’s what I tend to do. We take in information through our eyes, through sights and through images. Whenever we enter into a new space we see what is there primarily. Noises are secondary and touch is tertiary.
Some of us however aren’t seers or visual people. Their nature is to be auditory. They take in information through their ears. They process information through sound. Finally, some people are kinesthetic which means that neither the visual or the auditory tends to have much punch. The primary sensory input for kinesthetic people is through touch. When anybody, any person, any entity, any living creature is touched, a wealth of information is conveyed to the person who is kinesthetic.
The mindfulness challenge today and this week is primarily for individuals who do not typically take information in through sound. Each and every day when you are in a safe space, when you are sitting down, turn off your visual senses and your kinesthetic senses, then activate your hearing senses. Take into your body everything that you hear, however loud or soft; however abrasive or however sweet to the soul and heart. It doesn’t matter what sounds you are hearing. Simply acknowledge them and hear them. Notice that the sounds come from many different places and sources. There are layers and layers on top of sounds once you begin to be attentive to them.
It’s even more complicated however – we don’t just hear sounds that are external to our body. There are also sounds that come deep within our body. Our body actually makes noise continuously. Our body makes noise all the time. Notice what noises your body might be making internally. Simply hear and acknowledge those noises.
Finally, there is a sound that many people also hear; it is almost as though there is a voice outside of them talking with them, consoling them, giving them advice. I have a very well-known songwriter friend who tells that all of her songs are heard by her before she actually writes them. Where does that sound come from? Where does that music come from? She says she has no idea. It simply happens to be a gift that has been given to her from somewhere far, far away.
The invitation however doesn’t have to do with these sounds that come from some place other than physical. Focus your attention on all physical sources of sounds whether they are external to you or internal in the sense of sounds that your body actually emits.
I now have a companion invitation that will fascinate all of you whether you happen to be kinesthetic, visual or auditory. As you are in bed and about ready to go to sleep, I invite you to cup both of your ears with your hands and listen to what you hear – to what sounds your body is making. Do it every night. Do it for at least a couple of minutes and if you are so motivated, keep your hands cupped for at least 10 minutes. Place your hands in a comfortable position so you don’t have to hold them up – literally rest them on the pillow, cup and enjoy.
May you treasure each and every sound bite that you hear continuously throughout the week. Be sure that when you turn your full attention and focus to sounds that you are in a safe place, that you are seated and that you are not required to perform any particular duty or have any particular responsibility. It’s important not to activate those new neural pathways if you are doing driving or operating heavy machinery, or doing anything that might result in injury.
May you delight in listening to sounds all week long. Some of you of course take in sounds as a matter of routine, so this challenge won’t be new to you, but cupping your hands and listening to your body will. Enjoy and we’ll talk more about the deeper meaning of listening to the sounds in a few days.
© Parkinsons Recovery