A few weeks ago I was on my laptop working on the usual, lessons for the website, lesson plans for students, answering messages on social media, etc… I glanced over to see the time and had been behind the screen for hours! Was it a waste? Not really, but I realized I had been glued to something that was hindering some of my time. I wasn’t outside enjoying the weather, I wasn’t practicing, I wasn’t experiencing anything other than what was visually right in front of me. That’s when I said I have to get up and do something a little different.
It was raining pretty hard here in my hometown so there wasn’t much I could do outside…. but! I grabbed my iPod and some headphones and headed to my front porch. There I stood with the pouring rain misting in my direction with The American Dollar album A Memory Stream on blast! I took a moment to shut off my mind of what I had to do and just listened to the song that was playing. Next I observed what I was feeling, what the air smelled like, how my bare feet felt on the wet concrete porch. I just tried to take it all in with no other thoughts. Just listening, breathing, and observing my senses. It was a great experience!
Now this is something I try to add into my daily routine. It’s a moment to bring myself back down to earth and out of the computer screen, or my phone. It only takes a few minutes to do and it’s something we all can relate to. It’s been working for me and I’d like to share my process.
What Do I Need?
- MP3 player, or phone
- Instrumental Music
- 15-30 Minutes
Now that you have what you need lets walk outside or open a window. Hit play on your device and lets start the listening process.
We are not listening to learn a groove or fill, guitar riff, or to wonder how this album was even recorded. We are just listening as a whole and taking in our environment, smell, and touch. Observe your surroundings and please don’t look at your phone. This is time that you should be cut off from everything. You don’t have to sit if you don’t want to. You can stand, sit, walk, or jog if need be.
Once we have started listening try not to think of anything other than your senses. This is all about the observation of what is real at the moment.
What are you seeing in relation to the music? What do you smell? Are you walking or sitting? How do my feet feel each step?
Once you are observing all of your senses everything else seems to go away and you are able to think clearly in the moment without the clutter.
I feel this exercise can help reduce stress, and it shines some light on self-awareness.
This is something you should try to do often to get away from the clutter. Sometimes we find ourselves absorbed into our devices and social media to the point that we aren’t experiencing the little things that makes us human. I know it sounds like this therapeutic hoopla and it’s not the standard type lesson I normally do but it has been beneficial for me and I figured I would share.
If you don’t have any instrumental music in your library I suggest you check out The American Dollar. They have 12 albums out now that are all instrumental and work perfect for this sort of listening.