Music has always been a huge part of my life and especially my workouts; in the car while I’m driving to work, during my runs, at work, while I’m at home.  Until recently, I couldn’t imagine my life without music.   However, during the last several years, I’ve noticed that music, especially since we have it at our fingertips at all times, seems to have become a guest who has overspent his welcome.

I first noticed that music was becoming more than entertainment when I began to see many people wearing earbuds during running races.  As I approached an individual during a difficult point in the race, in need of a little camaraderie or short conversation to ease the drudgery, I found very few people who were not locked up tight in their own mind with full volume music; nope, no conversations or connections there.

I began to resent the earbuds and decided to forego music on my runs.  I wanted to be truly connected to my run.  I wanted to enjoy the sound of my breath and the sights around me instead of zoning out to just get through my runs.  I found that disconnecting for those short moments helped me think and my writing started to come more easily.  I soon didn’t even want to run with music.

As I made that first connection, I began to see how music and “noise” in general were really interfering in my life in a way that was stealing my deeper connections to me and to my attentiveness to life.  I started to connect the silence with yoga, and yoga with the silence.  The two began to intertwine in a way that created a new song in my life.

I learned to let go of the automatic habit of turning the radio on as soon as I got in the car.  I quit blaring music at home when I had a few moments to myself.  I actually began to use the time to think instead of tuning out and turning off my mind. In the process, I became (and am still becoming) less demanding and critical of myself.  I learned to enjoy the silence as a way to connect with my breath and with my body in a compassionate way.  Letting go of “tuning out” left lots of time to tune-in to my business, my yoga practice and my life.

The song of my life now is peace; peace in my life, peace in my mind, peace in my body.  I still listen to music but it no longer haunts my mind as an unwanted guest.  Instead, music brings sweet melodies at the times when I truly need it.

How do you relate to music?  Do you see it as a possible way to escape from life instead of engaging?  Or do you find it a comforting and comfortable friend?  Perhaps it’s both?