EQing Your Life
One thing I love about doing deep dives into different skill sets is that it helps me gain a fresh perspective on other parts of life. Lately I’ve been doing a deep dive into audio editing to improve the quality of the course videos I’m developing, and I wanted to share some insights about how one aspect of audio editing applies to personal growth.
If you think about it, balancing your life is a lot like doing EQ (equalization) on audio. The purpose of both is to create a pleasing result.
Low-Cut (High Pass) Filter
A good way to begin is to apply a low-cut (high pass) filter to remove some of the lower frequencies.
Can you identify certain frequencies that just don’t belong in your life?
What frequencies don’t support you? What frequencies would drag you down if you allowed them in?
This may include cutting addictions and really bad habits. This could include a commitment not to wallow in self-pity. This could mean not engaging in violent or destructive behavior.
You’ve probably cut some of these lower frequencies already, but are there any more you’d like to cut?
To get the balance right here will take some experimenting. If you cut off too much from the low end, you remove some of the richness and color from your life. But if you allow too much on this end, it can muddy your experience of life, and other frequencies won’t seem as crisp and clear.
Think of the lowest frequencies of existence that you currently experience on a semi-regular basis. Maybe it’s dealing with debt. Maybe it’s a job you dislike. Maybe it’s a person you’d rather not deal with.
Taken in isolation you may not be too fond of them, but when you consider them as part of the overall composition of your life, how do they sound?
Maybe you’ll spot some frequencies that are so bad that you’ll be better off if you cut them out entirely. But there may be other frequencies that actually add value to your life when you consider them in context.
If you just want to reduce some of the low end frequencies without cutting some of them off entirely, you could also use a low shelf filter. Maybe you’re okay delving into certain questionable experiences now and then, such as an occasional night of drunkenness, but you wouldn’t want to overdo it.
Next you might want to identify other frequencies that are okay in small amounts, but presently they’re unbalancing your life a bit. You can use notch filters to bring these down a tad.
Which frequencies would you consider to be part of a rich life, but you also want to keep them in check? Maybe you occasionally like to eat some less healthy foods for the experience, but you wouldn’t want to make that a daily habit. Maybe you enjoy a little impulsivity now and then to spice things up, but you wouldn’t want to ruin your life by being overly reckless.
How do you identify which frequencies to pull down? A common method is to do sweeps. You create a narrow notch filter and then pull it up high to exaggerate a frequency. Then you slowly sweep across the audible spectrum from 20hz to 20khz, going back and forth a few times, as you listen for frequencies that sound discordant in context, like they actually hurt your ears to listen to them.
This is like doing deep dives into different aspects of life. Deliberately exaggerate some part of your life for a while because this is a great way to learn what you like and don’t like. This helps you understand each frequency of living much better. If you don’t exaggerate certain frequencies, it’s hard to know what role each frequency plays within the larger context of your life.
So do some deep dives into different diets. Explore different relationship styles. Immerse yourself in a new social circle. Go travel for a month or two. Become an early riser for a month. Start your own business. Temporarily live in an exaggerated fashion as you sweep through different frequencies of experience. This will help you understand which frequencies you want in your life and to what extent. You’re basically un-muddying each frequency to understand it better. Then you can let that frequency slide back into the mix and immerse yourself in a different frequency.
As you do these sweeps, you may find some frequencies that just don’t resonate with you as much as you expected. Then you can pull these down a bit with a notch filter to lower their presence in your life.
Maybe you realize that your old social circle isn’t a worthwhile match for you anymore, so you may want to spend less time with those people. Maybe your current job doesn’t feel good to you anymore, so you decide to notch those frequencies down and transition to a different creative outlet. Maybe you tire of scarcity thinking, so you decide to notch down the presence of neediness and worry.
You may also find some frequencies that you want to elevate, so you can pull those frequencies up to give them more presence. This could include creating more space for inspired reading, personal growth work, open-ended time with good friends, affection, laughter, creative expression, etc.
Reduce Narrowly; Raise Broadly
A simple guideline when doing EQ is to reduce narrowly and raise broadly. Use narrow notches to pull down unwanted frequencies, so what you’re pulling down is pretty limited in range. And use wider notches to raise up desirable frequencies, so you’re elevating more adjacent frequencies as well.
This applies nicely to life balancing too. When you encounter a negative frequency, be careful not to over-generalize. You may want to lower a certain narrow range of negative frequencies, such as an unpleasant type of experience or how much you stay in contact with people who’ve treated you poorly, but be careful not to overdo it. Otherwise you’re at risk of letting a few bad experiences turn into a broader limiting belief that can degrade the experiential richness of your life.
Don’t swear off all human relationships and isolate yourself just because you had some that didn’t work out. Don’t give up on business just because your first few attempts didn’t succeed. Do your best to extract key lessons from setbacks, so you can avoid repeating the same mistakes, but be careful with how you define sameness. Keep that definition pretty narrow, so you don’t overextend the true value of those lessons. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water, so to speak.
When raising certain frequencies that you like, there can be some benefit to raising adjacent frequencies too since there’s a good chance that doing so will add more richness to your life. When you raise up your alignment with abundance thinking, for instance, you may also want to elevate nearby frequencies like generosity, creativity, and an abundance-aligned social circle. A good reason for doing so is that nearby frequencies support each other. When you attempt to notch up desired frequencies too narrowly, it’s hard to keep them there by themselves. It’s easier to keep a frequency elevated when the nearby frequencies rise up along with it, and the result will sound more balanced.
High Shelf Filter
Another EQ tool you may want to apply is a high shelf filter to raise up a broad spectrum of the higher frequencies. This is equivalent to living more consciously. Instead of just hacking away at the low end, also work on putting good practices into your life that elevate you. This may include your favorite forms of personal growth work. You might include meditation or anything you consider spiritual as well. Raise the presence of the best parts of your life, but don’t raise these frequencies so much that they unbalance you. Otherwise you’ll unbalance your life.
What does an unbalanced life look like with too much at the high end and not enough of the lower frequencies? There are many variations, but this includes people who are very spiritual yet can’t afford their rent… or who can’t walk up a flight of stairs without getting winded. It could also include a hedonistic lifestyle with lots of play and fun but very little in terms of contribution and creativity.
Your Track’s Role in the Overall Mix
A final extension of this analogy that I’ll share is that you can’t just balance one audio track in isolation. A given track may be part of a larger song, so this balancing must be done in the context of the accompanying music. Your life plays out against the backdrop of the world, and the world is playing its own music. To live a rich and harmonious life, you must sync your frequencies to align well with the other frequencies that are being played.
This is about going with the flow of life and not fighting it. It’s about surrendering to what is instead of resisting it. A composition where the tracks are fighting each other for dominance doesn’t sound good. Each track must find its own part of the frequency spectrum where it can contribute to the whole.
The music of life that plays along with your own personal track will affect the perceptions of your frequencies too. In isolation some parts of your life may seem wonderful, but when you fit these into the greater composition of life, they may not mesh as well as you’d hoped. For instance, you may feel centered in private and then lose your centeredness in certain social situations. This is when you need to adjust your own frequencies to mesh with the other frequencies arising in your reality.
Where’s your best sub-spectrum within the broader spectrum of life? What’s your role to play here? Where’s your natural fit in this grand composition that we’re co-creating together? It may take some time to figure that out, but you’re more likely to find it by exploring, learning, and growing than you will by trying to recede into the background noise.
The principle of Oneness in personal growth can be heard in music as well. This is when all the tracks mesh well with each other, and each element does its part to support the others. The result is beautiful music.
Good music is often described as natural, but don’t mistake natural for passive. Consider that it’s part of your nature for you to keep growing.
Balancing the World
I’m inspired by all the wonderful music this planet has created already, both literally and figuratively. We’re going to create even more together in the years ahead. Your life is a precious part of this co-creative song.
Many conscious people recognize that there are imbalances in the world. Perhaps there are some frequencies you’d like to see us pull down a bit, while there may be other frequencies you’d like to see us elevate. That’s all well and good, but look first to your own frequencies. Seek to balance your own track within the context of life’s bigger composition.
If there are frequencies you dislike in the world, seek to reduce their presence in your own life. If there are frequencies you’d love to see more of in the world, don’t bemoan their relative scarcity – raise them up in your own life first. Your own frequencies are influenced by the greater music of the world, but your music influences the world as well.
And when you’ve found the frequency balance within your own life that you really like, raise up the volume of your track a bit. Normalize it to a level that sounds good in context, and let us all hear what you’ve created.