The kids are screaming, the dog is barking, the washing machine is spinning, the dishwasher is humming, the TV is on, the ipad is beeping and I feel myself getting more and more irritated as I try to put my tired baby back to sleep for the fifth time today…
I start thinking thoughts like:
I start reciting the Serenity Prayer…"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference."
And here is what God and I came up with:
1. If possible…STOP THE SOUND!
And there you have it! Silence! Well, relative silence!
Notice how you can now relax more, breathe more deeply, hear yourself think a little straighter…
2. MASK THE SOUND
If you can’t get rid of the kids or TV won’t turn off…try masking the irritating sound by:
3. IF YOU CAN’T BEAT ‘EM JOIN ‘EM!!
The kids are banging saucepans…
The kids are singing the same song over and over and over again…
The lawnmower is going for it next door…
The dog is barking (again)…
The 3 year old is winging…
The kids are laughing and being super silly in the back of the car…
You know…the typical sounds you hear in your everyday life as a mother…
If you can’t stop or mask the noise for whatever reason here’s what you can do!
Make that crazy sound that is driving you nuts! Use your voice and copy the annoying sound you hear! Go on! GO FOR IT!
Not only will you feel better but your kids (who are just being kids after all) haven’t been shamed again for expressing themselves.
4. The Ultimate Solution – BECOME TRANSPARENT
If you can’t stop the sound, mask the sound, or make a sound, what a great opportunity you now have to practice transparency!
Eckhart Tolle writes in The Power of Now,
“Feel yourself become transparent, as it were, without the solidity of a material body. Now allow the noise to pass right through you. It is no longer hitting a solid “wall” inside you. Practice with little things first. The car alarm, the dog barking (a good one for me!!), the children screaming (another good one for me!!). Instead of having a wall of resistance inside you that gets constantly and painfully hit by things that “should not be happening” let everything pass through you.”
Similar to number 3 but you don’t have to laugh your head off or be a lawnmower which doesn’t work too well if you happen to be in a public place! This exercise is a great spiritual practice. Put a Zen monk in a room full of screaming kids and see how enlightened he really is! Mothers are SO privileged in this way. We don’t need to meditate for hours (we can’t anyway!)…all we need is to learn to be present with ‘what is’ whether that is hearing kids playing, wiping babies bottoms, cleaning up spew, feeding baby in the middle of the night…again, pushing the 2 year old on the swing for half an hour, preparing the tenth meal for the day etc etc…
Practice being transparent with sound as it presents itself in each moment and you’ll reach “enlightenment” in no time!!
So, there you go! My 4 cents worth on coping with our sometimes incredibly noisy world! Try these out and please share with me your experiences! Let me know if you find other ways to cope with those sounds that “grate” on you!
"Wow, I am so happy that I did the step on searching for crystal bowls during labor, and even happier that I had found you, even though you live on the other side of the world!
On October 1st 2013 I came from work and my children brought me a small box and at first I didn’t know what it was until I looked at the return address and it said Australia! Your CD had arrived! I did my routine duties (as my youngest calls it lol). Got the children to bed, ate, and did one of my Statistics assignment. While actually still working on the assignment, my water broke. That was at 10pm. I let my Midwife (Liz) know and she said to get rest, but instead I started cleaning and listened to the CD. Went to bed at 1am, slept till 5:50pm and woke up with some mild contractions. Liz came by to check on me and the baby. Contractions had stopped; I did some errands, made a cake and some food for Midwife, Doula and the others for the long labor ahead.
I contacted Shar (my friend who plays the crystal singing bowls) to let her know today is the day and that I will let her know to come over once it is closer. I was afraid that it might not work out, since we were supposed to meet on the 4th for some SoundBirth practice.
At 1pm my contractions were anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes apart, lasting about 45 seconds. Midwife came at 3pm and decided to stay, I was able to do things around the house and stop while having a contraction. My back started to hurt and the birth ball was so uncomfortable that I decided to get into the birth pool at 5:55pm (great number), contractions were stronger as well. By this time, my doula and Shar have arrived as well. Shar set her bowls up near the birthing pool.
I sat down inside the pool, feeling a little scared, having people surround the pool, and look at me. But I felt at ease since they were all woman. But what I decided to do was that I sat on that raised part and the pool, had my legs spread apart and relaxed my whole body and closed my eyes. Shar started as well with her crystal bowls and I know from past experiences that crystal bowl meditation is one of my favourite mediations. I sat in the pool, meditating for 15 minutes, breathing through my contractions, and listening to the bowls.
It was so helpful, having the bowls there, I truly believe they helped me in opening up and relaxing like I’ve never relaxed before.Sitting there for 15 mintues, I felt a shift, I knew something changed. I went on all fours, then held on to the side of the pool and I knew this was it… the peak of labor. At one point I wanted to yell out “I can’t do it!”, but I remembered the toning so just let out a deep moan and then again during the next contraction. Then I felt the babies head come out! I waited one more contraction and she was born at 6:20pm.
I truly believe that playing the crystal bowls had made a change, (especially her playing the sacral one). Since I had a traumatizing childhood I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to let go of the past and I didn’t want to tense up during my first home birth. It was truly amazing! We also did not know the gender, so it made it even more precious after we found out she was a GIRL.
Now, as for my husband and children (all boys). He was the runner and he wanted us woman to be in peace, so he was watching the boys and helped the Midwife get some things she needed, while I was in the pool. I felt like I was in a tribe, with all woman and the bowls .
Sandra Golaszewski, Texas
Mother of 4
Nicole Lloyd B(Mus) is a mother of four girls and creator of SoundBirth. Here she shares her experiences using sound before, during and after the birth and anything else about sound or birth that she feels like writing about!