Finding Your Quiet

By Kristin Allaben

“I can’t hear myself think!”

How many times have you thought this – or yelled this at your kids – when the noise gets too loud?

Jay has talked a lot about tuning out to tune in. In today’s busy and noisy world, that can be a big ask, especially for parents. I can personally attest to this. After a busy day, the first time I find I have the time to really tune in to myself is around 9 or 10 p.m. This is right around the time my brain starts to run on autopilot as I work on getting lunches ready for the next day, clean up from dinner, do laundry – the admin tasks of running a household that I can tackle uninterrupted once the kids are in bed.

So I have to make time to tune out to tune in during the day. I have to find my own quiet.

My quiet may look different from yours. Sometimes, it’s in my car when I intentionally choose to turn off the radio. Sometimes, it’s intentionally turning down a longer street when I’m out on a run to extend my quiet time. Sometimes, I zone out while making dinner when I know my husband is keeping the kids occupied.

By making time to find my quiet, I give myself the opportunity to tune out the noise of the world so I can tune in to what happened that day. And the truth is, when I find my quiet, I can more efficiently focus on a specific challenge or situation, allowing me to work through it in a more productive and positive manner. I gain clarity, focus and understanding.

You may have noticed two important themes here when it comes to finding my quiet: I’m alone and my actions are intentional.

I’ve heard some parents joke their alone time is hiding in the basement or a closet after dinner, or hiding in the bathroom trying to ignore the little hands that reach under the door.

Regardless of where you find your alone time, make an intentional effort to find your quiet. By doing so, you’ll enable yourself to be more aware of your emotions and responses to what happened during the day and this, in turn, allows you to be more present in each moment life brings you.

Your quiet time is valuable. Make it happen. And in that time, get comfortable being with yourself and your thoughts. You will discover that by finding your quiet, you gain access to great insights that will guide you wisely through your day.

Important Questions from a Coach:

  1. What is preventing you from tuning out the noise of the world to tune in to yourself?
  2. How can you be more intentional in your actions to make time to find your quiet so you can tune out to tune it?
  3. How will you leverage this new awareness to be present in life’s moments?

 

Consider reading How to Learn from Any Event

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Moving in Autopilot

By Kristin Allaben, Executive Assistant & Strategic Communications Specialist

I remember the first time someone told me to “be aware.”

I was 16, sitting in my driver’s education class. My instructor played a short video, showing a driver’s view as they drove a car down several side streets and took a few turns before parking. My instructor shut off the short 15 or 20 second video and asked the class to identify the first road sign the driver passed.

I had no idea. I remember feeling stunned into awareness. I was watching the road but certainly wasn’t paying attention to the things within view of the drive, like the road signs.

This alarmed me to the things going on around me that I may be missing by moving through life in autopilot. If you are in autopilot, you will miss what’s happening around you – all the information and opportunities your world has to offer.

The next major awareness wake-up call happened for me the year after I graduated from college. Working full time and going to graduate school online at night, I had a routine. Get up, go to work, come home, go for a run, eat, go to class, go to bed. Repeat.

I vividly remember working on an assignment for one of my courses when I realized the content being taught went against what I was being taught on the job. Awareness. Enlightenment. My wake-up call. I had a moment of clarity that pointed to the fact that the program was not for me. I chose to leave the program and focus on my career instead.

If I had been moving in autopilot, focused on just getting the work done vs. being tuned in to the information I was reading, I may have missed this critical moment to decide if the degree was worth the investment (both time and money).

Moral of the story: catch yourself when you’re moving in autopilot, but don’t confuse it with routine. Routine can be healthy and help you stay focused. Though you are in routine, you are still aware and still making choices on purpose. But when you’re in autopilot, you tune out much of what’s happening around you. You do things out of habit and risk the chance of missing some of the greatest opportunities life can present to you.

Be mindful of what’s happening around you. Tune in to be aware of the opportunities that come out of every situation. Life has a funny way of surprising you. Get out of habit and autopilot. Get into being mindful, aware and ready for life’s opportunities.

 

Read Tune Out to Tune In

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