Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Merits of White Noise

Spring-y greetings to all!  That said, I’ll get right down to it; I love white noise. White noise is defined as a heterogeneous mixture of sound waves extending over a wide frequency range; a constant background noise; especially one that drowns out other sounds.

I’ve always had a kind of weird obsession with white noise.  I remember being two or three and following my mother around while she was vacuuming, and I would lie down on the floor next to the vacuum, contented, relaxed -- happier than a pig in you know what.  I loved it without having any idea why.  Since then, I’ve learned that the sound of a vacuum closely resembles the sound that we hear when we are babies in the womb.  Hmmmmmmmmmm.

Before long, I graduated to hairdryers.  This was before hand-held hairdryers; we had a hard-top hairdryer that you had to sit under.  You know, the kind that looks like an egg.  At first I just washed and dried my hair a lot, but after a while I just stopped pretending I was doing anything other than just sitting under there.  I’d read, write, draw, do my nails, nap … and I had some really, really dry hair.  This persisted to adulthood, and I still have a hooded hairdryer that I use.  I’ve done some really creative things under there, too – created entire business plans!  I’ve written entire books (which are, granted, as of yet, unpublished)!  Amazing things can happen when you manage to block out the noise of the world for a few minutes.  

These days, I’ve decided to spare my hair, the electric bill and my husband’s ears by listening to white noise on my iPod most of the time.  My current favorite is a recording called Autumn Winds, which I found on a site called  It’s one solid hour of actual wind sounds from a forest in northern Canada.  The site also has the sounds of storms, brooks, waves, air conditioners, frogs, birds, and yes, even vacuum cleaners (but no hair dryers). 

The reason I bring this up is that white noise can be incredibly soothing.  It can help you sleep more peacefully; meditate more easily; turn your mind off and relax in general.  It’s a super simple way to turn off all that noise in your mind that gets between you and your Best Self.  And heaven knows, when your Best Self gets to come out and play more often, amazing things start to happen in your life.

So if you are feeling drained, exasperated, irritated, irrational, or like you just might be losing your mind, give this a try.  And if you already have a closeted white noise habit, bring it out in the open!  I can now sit happily in the same room with my husband, the dog, my son, the parakeet – and with Autumn Winds in my ears, I can tune it all out and happily write my columns while giving the appearance of being sociable!  Ah, yes, life is good. 

Hugs from the hammock!
p.s.  I’m happy to announce that my excellent husband gave me a hammock for our anniversary!  Yippee!  

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