Get Peace and Balance Now with a Practice of Silence
“All the wonders of life are already here. They’re calling you. If you can listen to them, you will be able to stop running. What you need, what we all need, is silence. Stop the noise in your mind in order for the wondrous sounds of life to be heard. Then you can begin to live your life authentically and deeply.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Have you ever had the pleasure to just be in silence, for half a day or more? Or does the very thought frighten you? Well that’s exactly what I did this past weekend. I had the enjoyment of retreating in the Spanish forest for some beautiful yoga and mindfulness. Practicing what I preach, and making it a must to go every year on a retreat. It’s so important to get out of the city, remove ourselves for our normal routine and disconnect to connect. Whether it’s sitting in silence as a meditation, or eating or walking in silence, such practices can help us be present, fully, with our body and mind. From this conscious awareness we can tune into our inner compass, our inner guidance, to our deepest feelings, dreams, and desires. It’s in moments of silence that we can begin to find clarity to what once seemed insoluble.
But the truth is many people fear silence, and instead fill it with endless chatter, noise, talk, TV, social media and the chaos of daily life. Most people feel comfortable only when they’re surrounded with incessant activity. However, this is a mistaken belief that something is wrong with us if we’re not “doing” all the time. Busyness often takes centre stage in our lives, whereby it’s assumed busy equals a joyful and meaning life, when this couldn’t be further from the truth. We’re human beings not human “doings”. We’re not programmed to be doing something all the time. There’s a delicate balance to maintain between activity and rest. And especially as city-dwellers we’ve become so disconnected from Mother Earth and what is real. Trying to connect through electronic devices has made us, in many ways, disconnected to each other and to ourselves. Slowly and eventually, this constant mind chatter dissipates our life force and creativity.
While practicing a noble silence comes relatively easy for me, I can appreciate for some this may sound like the last thing you’d want to do. But it’s in doing the thing we fear most, that we will grow and transform. When all distractions are removed you may be met with facing your self and any discomforts or insecurities of how you’re truly feeling. With practice you can welcome reflection, and let go of unnecessary and incessant chatter for true healing can occur. Through an on-going practice you’ll become more at ease with silence and discover that it’s within the empty space you can fill yourself with something new and create more of the life you love. You’ll also realise just how much energy and power your words have and intentionally become more conscious of what you speak to others and to yourself.
I encourage you to give yourself an afternoon or day of silence, especially out in nature. Really notice your surroundings, taking in all the sounds, scents and view. Start to connect back to Mother Earth and connect back to yourself. Begin to notice just how much beauty there is in this world. Please don’t be discouraged if the silence doesn’t reveal any major breakthroughs or a-ha’s. It may just be that you’re so used to incessant activity and chatter that it’ll take more regular practice to adjust to silence. Stay on the path and trust that each small step in the right direction is a huge step in your growth and transformation. And remember it’s about progression not perfection.
If you’re not able to get away just yet for a half or whole day I invite you to try this daily practice, as a start. If you live with others, have children or just feel rushed everyday, then wake up daily at least 30 minutes to one hour before your usual routine without checking your emails, text messages or internet. In this way you can start your day in peace and in silence (a luxury for parents!). I’ve been doing this practice for a few years and it makes a huge difference on how I feel and how I behave/react throughout my day.
As always, I’d love connecting with you and hear how you’re enjoying the silence to live a more balanced and joyful life. Head over to the comments section below to share your thoughts.
With love and gratitude,
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