We just spent a few days in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains hiking and fly fishing. After a 2 mile hike up one of the many trails in our journey, I was amazed at the lack of modern noise. The sound of the water rushing down the falls, insects chirping and squirrels talking back and forth captivated me at the lack of man-made noise. As I stood at the top of one of the trails catching my breath, I took in the wonders all around me. I started to think that even though we live a pretty simple life on our farm, man-made noise can still be found. Right there on the top of that trail before heading back down the mountain I made a pack with myself to bring some of the peace I felt on that mountain home with me.
Since returning home, I cannot get the sights or sounds out of my head. I was totally at peace standing on the mountain side, free from the outside world and engulfed in the beauty of quiet! I have spent the last couple days looking for ways to shut even more of the noise out and bring some of that peace into our home.
For us, a simpler life starts with shutting off the noise and here are a few ways I am bringing that peace into our life.
- Mornings in the country are one of the most surreal times of the day. Just as the sun is coming up over the trees the roosters start to call out the day. The birds are waking and life on the farm is coming alive. Spending a few minutes enjoying the breath of a new day is refreshing and can bring an overwhelming feeling of peace to the start of the day. Whether you live in the city or on a farm, early mornings can be one of the quietest times of the day. Step outside and enjoy the peacefulness of a new day.
- Only one thing at a time. I was amazed at just how noisy my house is. The hum of the freezing running, the washing machine working, the air conditioner kicking on and even the sound of my fingers typing on my keyboard are the noises I encounter every day. Can I shut them off and be in complete silence every day? No, I cannot, but I am learning to only add one additional noise to the mix at one time. For example if I need the soothing sounds of some classical music while I am working I wait until the washing machine is done or if the noise is too much of a distraction I run the washer while taking my morning walk. Listening to the everyday noise around and choosing what to add to the mix will make you more aware of the constant stimulation your brain has to adjust to every day.
- The quiet hours. Finding a few hours each day to go completely quiet has been freeing. The few hours after dinner have become a quiet zone for us. All electronic devices are powered off and we are taking that time to enjoy the peace and quiet of the end of the day. No cell phones beeping, no email alarms, and no social media notices, no TV, and no radio. We are spending it enjoying the sights and sound of nature, a glass of wine on the porch or even a good book snuggled up on the couch together.
Can we shut off all noise from our lives? No, not really, but we can start and end each day with the peace and serenity we found at the top of that mountain. We can look for ways to shut off all extra noise that invades our space and bring quiet into our home and life.
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My mornings always start by filling the birdfeeders. It’s a great way to connect with nature and the sounds of the birds, bees, breezes and stillness. Nothing like it. What a great way to stay centered and I love how you and your hubby reduce your noise intake in the evenings. Enjoy the quiet.
When four out of my five kids leave for school now (especially since the school year just started!) the silence is really striking! You’re right, sometimes you have to be intentional about being still and finding the silence to really let yourself relax and feel the calm. I love how intentional you are about finding the quiet!
Wonderful post! I went to a retreat once years ago and learned a valuable lesson that has sustained me through a lot of stressful (and noisy) times. Just like you, we (the people at the retreat) were to hike to the quietest place we could find, which was usually at the top of a mountain. We were to sit there and be mindful of all the noise around us. There really is a lot of noise, even when you think there isn’t! The wind, the grasshoppers, the tree branches rubbing, a babbling creek, etc.. What we learned is that these are calming sounds, not like the trucks, tractors, washing machines, cell phones, etc. that most of us hear every day. Anyway, once you are mindful of these peaceful noises and memorized them in your head, you are supposed to then “go there” or recall all those peaceful noises you heard at the top of the mountain. Visualize what you saw, remember what you heard, feel the pine needles or the rock you sat on… just “go there” for a few minutes! It lowers blood pressure, heart rate, cortisol levels, etc. This has been a lifesaver for me and probably the best thing i do for my health every day!
I don’t think I have ever been here in my 8 years of blogging.. Wonderful blog.. Visiting from Tuesday Afternoons… Michelle
Great post. I love the silence and noticed right away when the children in the neighborhood went back to school. It was so peaceful here again. I hate most sounds of modern life and wish I could escape to the country most days.
I love shutting out the noise and getting some quiet time to reflect. I find I get to feeling a bit overwhelmed when I don’t set aside time to do that. Thank you for linking up to Tuesday Afternoon at A Spirit of simplicity
Found your blog a year later than this post…but still.
I have great difficulty tuning out noise, and the bain of my existence is the proliferation of television sets. In every office, many (way to many!) restaurants, and lots of other public places, these beasts are turned on and are very visually and aurally distracting.
As I was reading this post, I could indeed hear my washer and dryer and the beep beeping of my microwave going off as well as the clank sound it makes when I open the door. Since I make several pots of tea throughout the day, I’m now considering whether it would be worth it to buy a good carafe to keep it hot rather than microwaving individual cups if it starts to cool off.
I feel like my morning screen time actually refreshes me because I don’t watch video or go to places where there are many ads…. reading pleasant, quiet blogs like this one both increase my knowledge and relax me at the same time.