• The children at the school near my apartment have a few free days this week. I am used to the school. While I passionately hate the bring-and-pick-up times because there's so much car traffic from more or less annoying parents, the noise of kids playing during recess doesn't bother me much. But I do notice how QUIET it is when there's vacation or a few free days! Also, families around here tend to go somewhere else for vacations, so there's less general traffic/movement/busy-ness during those times.
  • I'm planning to move sometime during the next couple of years, and I notice that "quiet" is at the top of the list of things I'm looking for in a new house. Not on a busy street (this is not only because I have a dog!), and if possible adjacent to fields or some kind of open land. As few man-made sounds as possible (this really makes a difference). As a person who is often too reactive, I notice that I don't reach a peaceful state or flow state easily if I'm constantly hearing things around me. Last week on a sunny day I was out with my dog and more or less forced myself to sit quietly in the sun on a bench looking out on a natural landscape. I heard a plane once in a while, but that was about it. It made me realize how much I need that quiet. 
  • Reactive people (there's overlap with Elaine Aron's concept of "highly sensitive people"("hsp's") need to create the silence that's so important to them. It may be literal silence, or a beautiful view, or it may be a day without appointments. The effects of the stress of "too much" are even more obvious once we've experienced the calm and the flow. As a kid, I got "absorbed", as they used to call it, in many of the things I did. I read a book in my bedroom and didn't notice that the neighbors' house was on fire. I could look at bugs for hours, just noticing what they did. My challenge is to create in my adult life the circumstances I need to be able to reach this state again. And I realize it's not just about saying "no"; it's also about saying "yes" to the things I need. Like sitting on the sofa and looking out on the garden. Or really reading an article or a chapter in a book (not just skimming!). Or playing music and feeling what it does in me.
  • How much silence do you need? What kind of circumstances do you need to be able to be silent? Do you have your permission to create them?

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