When it’s high summer and I’m sitting on my deck on Aotea (Great Barrier Island), the cicadas are deafening.

Shelly's home on Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island – NZ

What’s interesting to me, though, is how that sound, which is actually REALLY LOUD, is a sound I equate to quiet, peaceful, calm – bliss, in fact.

Are you focusing on what matters most?

But if I choose to focus on that sound, on the roar of the cicadas, and if I allowed myself to think about how loud it is, and how it’s such a buzzing, grating, high-pitched sound, if I started to decide that noise was an irritant, and wish it would go away, I WOULD GO FUCKING CRAZY.

If I focused my laser brain onto that noise, attributed negative meaning to it, and stayed focused on that, it would quickly become intolerable.

Because when my lovely carver boy and I head out on a road trip, and he’s got his focused, get shit done energy on, and he pops in some gum and chews, occasionally with his mouth open?

I want to hurt him.

I have to work SUPER HARD to filter out that sound, and to convince myself that it’s not a problem.

You might be thinking I should ask him to close his mouth.

But why the fuck should he? He’s not doing anything wrong. There’s no reason he should adjust his behaviour for my benefit.

I’m the one with the problem – it’s on me to manage my response to it.

Also, I was married to a man for 7 ½ years who told me I ate, chewed, and swallowed loudly.

It was incredibly damaging to me, and ultimately to our relationship, that all those minutes and hours of our marriage when I ate or drank in his presence, I felt self-conscious and worried that I was faulty – I couldn’t chew and swallow quietly enough.


We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are

Fine-tune that laser focus

Is there something in your life that’s driving you insane?

Is there something YOU can do about it?

Not to change the thing, but to manage your response to it.

To change the meaning you attribute to it. To turn off your laser and think towards something else.

Photo image – drew-graham-unsplash.

Are you expecting the world or someone in it (or a system) to change for your benefit?

Is that a realistic expectation?

Is it a fair expectation?

And can you instead, change your head?

I’ve said it before: It’s all in your head.


The only thing we can control, change, have power over, is OUR THINKING.