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Home / News / “Just Listen.” …and, What Popcorn Taught Me. –Alene Sibley
“Just Listen.” …and, What Popcorn Taught Me. –Alene Sibley

“Just Listen.” …and, What Popcorn Taught Me. –Alene Sibley

One day in kindergarten, the teacher made popcorn in the room as she settled us down for a nap. We were all on our mats on the floor and she dimmed the lights, promising that if we relaxed we’d have popcorn when it was time to get up. This was really too exciting, and I still recall the sound of the popping and the smell of popcorn and butter filling the darkened room. We were all whispering pretty damn frantically, actually, instead of relaxing. The teacher reminded us to be quiet and rest, and then she said: “You cannot talk and smell at the same time. If you are talking, you won’t be able to smell the popcorn.”

This was a pure revelation!!! I remember immediately trying to sniff and talk, and she was absolutely right—it could not be done. A hush fell over the room as we all sniffed and sniffed with our noses. I don’t remember the popcorn, I’m sure it was delicious and I am a lifelong fan, but I never forgot this amazing new piece of information: just fall silent in order to breathe in and enjoy the lovely smell.

Many years passed. When the n.o.w. Tone Therapy System came into being, we knew that it would seem—and be—easy to use; you turn it on, it plays its special Tones in its special way, it is designed to do the heavy lifting of a trip into mindfulness. But there is something very, very important that the listener must do. The listener must listen.

“Just Listen.”

What might appear to be a quaint tagline to our product is actually a main part of the System’s functionality. If you think about it, the Tone Therapy System requires the attention and intention of its user to complete the circuit of what it is doing. The System requires you.

Let’s take a look inside an average mind, for just a moment. There is probably some music playing on repeat from a song heard on a radio. There is worry about a project that needs to be finished, an errand that should be run, a bill that is past due, a sick child needing to be picked up at school, and a test to be studied for, weight to be lost, an old argument comes up and takes over, anxiety and judgements, and a whole million billion other thoughts are in line waiting to step up and be the brain’s noise that keeps the peace at bay.

Ahh, life inside of a head. It’s a whole lot of yackity yack yack. How in the heck can playing nice sounds compete against that raging river?? This is where you come in. Just listen.

With the System, you play the two speakers at the same time so that they can create their new, unique 3-minute sequence. Turn them on and they compose a full session for you, beginning, middle, and fade out at the end. There are no headphones, no apps, no computer. Maybe the sounds of the environment factor in and can be welcomed.

Just listen.

For three minutes the Tones will play. Do your best to be comfortable, holding the speakers or setting them nearby. Your mind will probably wander to thoughts and distractions and that is perfectly normal. As soon as you notice, when you hit awareness, then: just listen. Over time and with practice your attention will be held for longer, but a few seconds is all you need for mental freedoms that allow true calm to enter. Let’s try it right now, even without the Tones:

PERSONAL EXPERIMENT: Take this moment, wherever you are, and visit with your busy brain—what is going on in there? Can you hear the thoughts, the perpetual chatter? Okay. Now, take a good 10 or more seconds and listen to the room, or the outdoors, the purr of the fridge or the sound of traffic, distant voices, the wind, whatever is within reach of your ears. Really listen, for these few seconds. If your eyes are open, maybe notice the lighting around you, or the feel of the colors nearby.

When you are through, give yourself a high-five for that break! You effectively quieted your mind as your listened. That is just like smelling the popcorn instead of talking!! Just as you cannot talk if you absorb yourself in truly sniffing a scent, you cannot be victim to unconscious thought-noise if you are in the act of truly listening.  

Add to this the tether of n.o.w.’s Tones, created with real instruments and for this purpose only, to exist in the n.o.w. Tone Therapy System. When you listen, the Tones help you experience brainwave entrainment and deep meditation effects in a few short moments, connectivity to calm and inspiration, and a list of good things that is too long for this blog and is growing all the time.

We do not ask you to “just play” the System, we ask you to “just listen.” By doing so, the Tones and you usher a little peace into where there was only a cacophony of invasive, incessant thoughts. It doesn’t have to be more than that! A little peace is the beginning of something new, and it has a way of expanding and reaching beyond the point where it started. It is my belief that n.o.w. helps each of us be one of those starting points.

Thanks for coming along and just reading! Let us now all take a breath, hear it enter our lungs, hear as we exhale. And smile. Thanks for being you and letting me share with you today. XO! –Alene

Click here to try a 3-minute n.o.w. Tone Therapy Session for yourself.