Welcome to Day 27 of the “No Limits” Challenge. //

I’ve just returned home from Colorado…

…and bark, bark, bark…

…demands, demands, demands…

…$h!t to do (this one does not need repeating)…

You know how this feels. You go on vacation or leave home for a period of time and while you’re gone, you put that *never ending* to-do list on hold, but alas, you return home. Now it is time to take care of your neglected tasks.

This scenario has taken up most of my day today and has left me wondering—How do I create a peaceful environment for myself (and invariably for others)?

Today I’ve found myself researching the negative effects of chronic dog barking, how to reduce noise in my home (and at work), and the benefits of various colors of noise.

Have you ever even heard of brown noise or pink noise? 

Most of us have heard of white noise, but I just discovered I prefer brown noise (smothered brown noise and watery brown noise). Who would have guessed? I found a comment online from a man who lives in Brooklyn in a noisy neighbor, and he said brown noise has saved him. It sounds like running water and is very relaxing.

I’ve purchased those big ear muffs that people wear at shooting ranges, as well as, a new pair of noise cancelling earbuds, because my Mastermind partner, Bruce, suggested I wear either earplugs (for silence) or the earbuds (for music) then where the ear muffs (designed for shooting ranges) over the top of them.

WOW! What hoops we jump through to create a peaceful world. =)

In addition to purchasing physical products and technology to reduce noise and chaos, how does one create a peaceful world in our mind?

One thing I’m trying is re-associating the dogs barking with the word “peace”, so instead of woof-woof-woof, the dogs say peace-peace-peace. Peace to the squirrels. Peace to the cats. Peace to every stranger that walks past our street.

That helps a little, but I will not lie. I’m hardly feeling peace, peace, peace while they’re blessing the world with their shrill little voices.

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Today’s Challenge:

Step One: Begin to identify things that disturb your inner peace.

My own example—

One of things disturbing my inner peace are the dogs barking next door. This makes me physiologically anxious, and it makes it tricky to rent my place out (which I need for income). I’ve been creating a Writer’s Cottage, but what writer is going to want to listen to dogs bark all day? Augh! I’m feeling double anxiety.

Step Two: Search for solutions.

I could speak with the owners. Maybe they aren’t aware their dogs are barking all day. I could buy earplugs.

Step Three: Test solutions

I started out by speaking to the dogs owners. (This initially helped for four or five days, but the problem has returned.) I also researched in-the-ear earplugs. These have hurt my ears in the past, but new products are out on the market for “sensitive small ears”. UPDATE: Unfortunately, the new product I purchased still hurt my ears, and strangely, I simultaneously lost the rubber ear tip on my current noise cancelling headphones. Even more great news! They no longer make the ear tips for the model I have so it’s a crap shoot to get a replacement. (Frankly,I don’t know the model because it was given to me but research suggests Sony no longer makes them).

Step Four: Try new solutions if things aren’t working.

Alright, talking to the owner was not a lasting solution. Nor is it helping to try to understand how they can stand all of the barking themselves. (In fact quite to my surprise, many of the people searching for solutions to reduce the noise of dog barking were the actual dog owners. HELP! If they are trying to tune out the noise instead of correcting the problem, WTF are the rest of us supposed to do?!?) So that leaves me with Bruce’s suggestion of double protection (earplug or earbuds with the shooting range ear muffs. I’m going back to the Mack’s silicone earplugs, as they fit over the ear canal—not in them.

Step Five: Wash, rinse, repeat.

Search for solutions and test them out until you find what works for you. Who knows how many times this might take (or how much time or money for that matter), but peace of mind is worth it!

Step SixWork on feeling your helplessness over others, outcomes, and circumstances.

One of the hardest things to deal with when you’re not feeling peace inside is that there is only so much you can do. Please note: I’m not saying you are helpless. You can work to control your thoughts and reactions, but you can not control other people (or other people’s animals). This post will help you find peace in the midst of helplessness over your present circumstances.

Step Seven (optional): Read Peace is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh (buy the book on Amazon)

This book really helps you find peace in the midst of chaos. It’s one of my favorites.

Alright, dear one. I’m sure you have your own set of challenges. Working to create a peaceful environment on the inside and outside will help on many different levels.

I’d love to hear any ideas you have. Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Sending you love,

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Today’s Feature Photo by Guilherme Stecanella on Unsplash

4 comments on “How To Create A Peaceful Environment For Yourself & Others”

  1. I can really sympathize with your problem with the dogs, Misty. Before moving to Sunrise Ranch I lived in an apartment in nearby Loveland, CO for over 19 years. At one point there were two dogs in the house behind mine that barked all night long. I brought my concerns to the owners but, just as in your case, the noise stopped for a while but then returned. So I went to the owners again and became uncharacteristically forceful. They finally agreed to put the dogs in the garage at night, which solved my sleep problem. Is there any way you could go back to the owner and arrive at a similar solution?

    Also developing the capacity to sustain inner peace despite outer noise is crucial. When I worked as a radio news reporter for an AM station in Cheyenne, WY for several years the news room where I worked was right next to the FM music station, which was blaring out ear-splitting acid rock and punk rock all day long. In the midst of this cacophony I had to write and otherwise prepare news casts. Somehow I cultivated an inner sense of peace that allowed me to work in the midst of this din. As you indicate: “Working to create a peaceful environment on the inside and outside will help on many different levels.” Though I couldn’t do much about the outside, the inside work I did helped me to get through those years.

    • I have gone back and had a second discussion, and they have moved the dogs, which has been immensely helpful. I think the bulk of what I can do is what you say, “developing the capacity to sustain inner peace despite outer noise is crucial.” We can not control every aspect of life on the outside but can manage our emotions and work on the inside. Any suggestions for inner work that worked for you personally?

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