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April Experiment - Quiet (summary)

So how did my April of quiet go? If you remember, for reasons I laid out HERE, I decided to go through April cutting out secondary noise from my life.

So no listening to podcasts while I walk, no music while cooking, no radio on in the greenhouse, no audiobooks in the car.

It was an interesting process - not least because I had not realised to quite what extent I had driven silence from my life. Gradually, over years, I had filled every corner with noise and would delay walks, frantically searching, if I couldn't find my headphones.

It was challenging time to do it too - in early April my Dad was in hospital (he is fine now) but there was a stressful week of long car journeys and nagging worry. I kept finding myself reaching for noise to keep me company, but in the end resisted.

I learned that I do not need an awful lot of that noise, that far from being enjoyable, educational or diverting, it was just an irritating distraction from the noise inside my head. It was not quelling the noise, it was simply shouting over the top of it.

A month of bringing more silence into my daily life has really helped with the amount of brain noise and its volume. It has given me space to think more deeply.

Did I miss the things I used to listen to? Not as much as I thought - there were some podcasts, some days when the mood enhancing company of loud music would have been good. But I didn't feel that I had missed much in the end.

Will I continue the experiment? In part I think I will. I am going to try and avoid multi tasking with noise, particularly with the spoken word. Where I do listen, I want it to be the primary thing - a podcast I particularly want to hear, a radio interview or album I want to listen to. I think that active listening while mindlessly knitting may be the way forward.

In May I shall be experimenting with walking the same path day after day - it will definitely be without headphones.

Comments: 4 (Add)

Gemma H on May 9 2019 at 10:40

Love this experiment Jane. I think I’m pretty good at avoiding noise because I genuinely quite enjoy silence. I have taken to putting a bird song CD on in the car (got it form the RSPB) because it’s recorded really well so you feel like you’re hearing the birds just outside. I find it pretty calming when I’m doing drive to work, the latter half of which is on busy city roads. I think we do have to be picky about the noises we bring in and I think it’s great that this experiment is going to make you more picky.

Catherine on May 9 2019 at 10:59

Really interesting. I find myself hating silence as I want to switch my mind off sometimes. I put the radio on a timer when I can’t sleep as it’s awful to feel tired but as soon as my head hits the pillow - boom - mind starts going into overdrive. I think a lot more about ‘being in the moment ‘ these days. More food for thought - thank you 😊

Maryan Ellis on May 10 2019 at 13:00

I get so much from each of your postings because they give bite-size advice and suggestions. I have noticed that after lunch I like to sit in my living room because the silence is such a tonic. Now I do this but sit by the window. Free of noise and distractions I have noticed all the baby bunnies in the field behind us, guarded by their mothers, playing in the sunshine. I swear they are knowingly playing leap-frog and jump over one another!

With a freed mind I write poems about this, or how peaceful I'm feeling. Maybe a sketch of a weed, or pick a few weeds and put them singly in jars or vases. Forget-me-nots look lovely all in a line with their own bottle.

Lesley (insta lilybabylulu) on May 15 2019 at 08:15

I love silence. I rarely listen to anything just to fill the silence. Quiet rules in my life. I can sort through my thoughts, adding items to a written list of things that need doing as I go about my daily tasks. I do however love ABBA blaring out whilst cleaning the house 😁

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Later this morning I am going to be talking about change and business at The Good Life Experience⁠⠀
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The working title for my talk is '5 things I've learned from trashing my business' and its a pretty honest account of what the last 2 and a half years have meant to me.⁠⠀
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The talk is 11.30 in the drawing room of Hawarden Castle - do let me know if you are here and able to come and say
We are promised an Indian summer this weekend - sunshine through seedheads, cool evenings wrapped in blankets.⁠⠀
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I am very glad as we are off to camp at The Good Life Experience tonight - four days of amazing food, ideas, creativity and dogs (ours are staying at home so I am at liberty to fuss everyone else's)⁠⠀
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What are you doing this weekend?
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My own house veers wildly between the two - occasionally calm and spacious (a friend remarked yesterday how much bigger the kitchen seemed now that I actually have shelves for stuff), more often caught mid-project with piles of books and fabric everywhere.⁠⠀
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For anyone who is a member by 18th we are freezing the monthly membership at £10 until the beginning of 2021.⁠⠀
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So if you fancy discounts (these Autumn apothecary jar essential oil soy candles are only £6.13 for our Studio Members for example), a year long Grow Your Own Cut Flowers online course, my Tuesday emails with essays, nature notes, free downloads, as well as a hard copy magazine . . . . well this would be a very good week to join!⁠⠀
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I fear that this may be the last properly flowery windowsill from the garden - frosts are hovering around the edges. 
One morning soon I shall wake up to a soggy, collapsed and blackened garden and I’ll be hunting in the sheltered corners for undamaged flowers and praising the robustness of sedums. 
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I grew up in a house of antique dealers - my Mum had a market stall, and then a shop, which my brother continues with today - so buying second hand has always been the default.⁠⠀
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Last year I dug them all out and gave them to @Katgoldin to feed her goats.  This year I accidentally ordered a whole load more.⁠⠀
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I've solved the problem by cutting them short and propping them about the place. ⁠⠀
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(It also means you can't see the way the back petals go scruffy before the rest of the flower)
What have been your favourite flowers from this year?

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There is also a list of plants I found disappointing - so that I remember to walk on by and ignore the hype. 
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At Snapdragon we gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

Through our communities, both free and paid for, through Jane's writing on the blog, through carefully hand crafted gifts and activity kits, and through our online and in-person workshops we aim to bring people back in touch with the rhythms of a seasonal life.

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