White Noise. Real Living.


A few weeks ago my wife and I watched a seminar on DVD called “The Happiest Baby On The Block” featuring Harvey Karp, a Professor of Pediatrics at the UCLA School of Medicine.
Basically Dr. Karp developed a theory called “the fourth trimester” in which he asserts that during the first three months of a baby’s life they are still experiencing rapid, fetal-type development. Based on this theory, he developed a way to calm babies in “five simple steps” using what he terms “the calming reflex”. Dr. Karp has worked with many of Hollywood’s moms (including Madonna and Michelle Pfeiffer’s babies).
I have to admit that I was quite the skeptic as we watched, because there’s nothing simple when it comes to babies. After a few times of using his methodology, we discovered a few tricks that have worked well with our baby girl.
One of them is so very simple: white noise.
If you don’t know what white noise is: tune your radio to a frequency where there isn’t a station and turn the volume up, find a TV station where there are little black and white ants fighting and give it some sound. That sound is white noise.
If we’re in the car and our baby starts crying, my wife pulls out her iPhone, launches her “sleep noises” app, and fires up some white noise. Suddenly … silence.
It’s that simple. And that’s just amazing.
I listen to music all day, so a lot of the time I don’t listen to music when I’m driving. It’s a greater opportunity for quiet rather than noise.
The other day I noticed that I had been driving for days with my radio making this subtle but distinct white noise. I thought I was commuting in quiet, but there was a subtle noise that I wasn’t noticing. I turned the radio off, and … AHHHHH … real silence!
Our lives are filled with white noise.
Somehow it creeps in, provides a certain anesthetic, and distracts us from real living.
What’s your white noise?
My white noise looks different on differen
t days. Some days I get lost in reading articles. Some days it’s Facebook and Twitter. I’ve been known to spend a few hours daydreaming. Sometimes its just plain ol’ business.
One of my friends said the other day: “Nobody’s gonna be on their deathbed and say ‘Man I wish I had visited a few more websites.’ ”
It’s just idiotic what we will devote large blocks of our time to accomplish when we’re looking backwards over our lives, isn’t it?
Real life requires real living.
What’s subtly choking the life out of your life?
What noise to do you need to turn off?
If you’re anything like me, that noise is there for a reason. It’s distracting you from something. That something might not be easy. It might be painful. It might take a few tears and require a bit of an adjustment.
Whatever it is, it’s waiting for you. Whatever it is, it’s real, and you can’t run from it forever.
Nobody ever said real living was easy. It is, however, rewarding.
Embrace the quiet. Turn off the noise. Live.

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