“This is how most people live. Alive but not conscious; conscious but not aware; aware but intermittently” Sebastian Faulks
Have you ever sat and listened to birdsong? Really listened. A cacophony of tones and melodies. And the feeling that comes, when you allow yourself that space and time. A few moments, a minute, maybe more?
Image Credit - Tom Bradley via Unsplash
I recall a time ‘back in the day’ of management, before becoming a Coach, a day of the usual ‘busy’ and ‘stuff’… MEGA busy. Running multiple services within the third sector. You know when people will gesture that they are “up to here with it” and hold their hand across their face to indicate the amount of ‘information swamping’ or increasing frustration at a situation.
Well, I wasn’t just relating to that….I could actually feel it, all the stuff I had to think about. Whirling around in my head. No time for order.
'Millions' of tabs open, emails pinging and distracting me off track. Knowing what I was doing was rather ineffective and equally doing it anyway…because….SO MUCH STUFF! I can’t quite recall what happened, maybe I knocked something off my desk, or the office buzzer went off and caught me in the present for a moment.
I suddenly heard it…. Birdsong.
Pigeons cooing, sparrows twitching and tweeting, and some other birds I didn’t know rocking out too.
It made me laugh. Because they were so loud…. And yet in my over-messy and full-of-stuff mind, their melodies had been totally drowned out. Silenced by my busy whirling head.
It felt so good to hear those songs. To pause. To soften and drop my jaw as I listened to them and let my vagus nerve connect calmly for a moment.
So many people I coach, are in this 'Busy Lane’. Only the lane is no longer a lane, but a muddy cloying puddle, to wade through, and where you once had clarity and calm, now there is just mud everywhere and the wading is pretty much futile when you are ‘up to here with it”.
Like me back then. Not knowing how to get out. Not hearing the birdsong or missing the moments
that offer small and precious purpose in life.
At that moment. With the birdsong. Something changed.
No more time to waste on being over-whelmed and feeling ineffective. I didn't want to rob myself of joy, and you don't have to either.
I began to craft a plan. I didn’t know what it was back then. But, in essence, at that moment I was choosing to have more birdsong in my life, to never miss another moment of melody because of STUFFY STUFFNESS.
The thing I love about the bird song is how unique it is. Having these connections with nature is really good for our well-being.
Biophilia is our innate connection with nature. This means that the majority of us find natural pleasure in the sound of the bird song.
The natural history museum study (read more here) found that bird song was actually good for our mental health. Helping our attention, bringing us back to ourselves, and reducing our stress.
So, when I heard the birdsong that day. It called me back and gave me a message much deeper than the melodies I heard. Recalling it, there is gratitude, for the difference of now. A difference you could have too. Where the busy doesn't manage you. You can breathe and see and hear and feel, and become what you long to be most.