Cultivating Silence

My brakes went out in my car this weekend.  How do I know?  They screamed like a howler monkey on the downward slope of a roller coaster!  So embarrassing. Headed down the street, every head turned to see the spectacle.  That is, as long as the sun was up.

I only drove the car once at night.  It was late, nearly midnight. I wouldn’t normally be out and about that late, but my hubby and I are sharing a car. I was waiting for him to get out of work when I noticed a small herd of kiddos bounding around a street light with a basketball hoop under it. They were boisterous and full of life. When Eric got in the car, I pointed them out and we laughed at their dark-of-night follies. I put the car in gear, tapped the gas, and cringed as the brakes screamed like a banshee. My next thought was to watch as the kids stared at us going by.

Kids? What kids?!  They disappeared in the three seconds my eyes had been off of them. I giggled all the way to through two stop signs imagining the stories they would someday tell their children about the time they were nearly attacked by some creature of the night.

The screech of my brakes somehow made me very aware of sound this weekend. Even Eric commented on how much sound there is in the world. It is hard to get away from noise and then when we do, good luck turning down the chatter in our heads.

This heightened awareness as opened up a new desire for quiet in my life. I have been craving it as if were dark chocolate in winter or watermelon at the end of spring. Silence can be a balm, a splash of cool water on the sizzling surface of our spirits, a sanctuary, and invitation to go inward.

As I become curious about silence, I am finding that it directly effects my body. When I get quiet or am in a space with less noise, my body awakens to reveal its stories, tensions, and an orchestra of emotions. Silence allows me to sit with the whispering of the body so that I may address it’s needs. Imagine what would never be heard if we never took time to listen.

Let today be a day of listening for you.

It only takes a few minutes, maybe five. Simply get quiet and then, get curious about witnessing the sounds around you. As your day goes by, experiment with less sound.

  • What would it be like to turn of the tv and radio for the day?  For the week? (Can you imagine that I went without a radio or tv for several years?  I go so much done!)
  • What would it be like to go without speaking for a day? Several days? Or how about just an hour or meal?
  • How would that change your day?

Let me know how you might cultivate silence in your life or in the life of your family.  The more you share, the more you give to this community. 

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Super special thanks to Jessica of WildWood Naturals and Stacey of Star Hitched Wagon for sharing their dreams with us yesterday. Your hearts’ bravery inspires me!  If you would like a witness to your vision for the week, head over to yesterday’s post and add your dreams to theirs!

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About Rachél

Hi, I am Rachél.... the quirky, big-hearted soul behind Creativity Tribe, a sanctuary for your creative spirit. As a life coach and artist, I know the importance of community, celebration, and transformation. Creativity Tribe is abuzz with connections to other creative bloggers and offers tips and stories to inspire your creative lifestyle! http://www.creativitytribe.com/
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5 Responses to Cultivating Silence

  1. Galyn says:

    The tv stays off most of the day at my house, turned off just after a weather forecast check and a few minutes of what passes for ‘news’. I’m a bird watcher-so silence is no problem for me as I’m listening for identifiable bird sounds (doves, redbirds and the little wrens- a baby just out of the odd looking nest today). I’m used to listening and I’m used to silence. Silence makes a lot of folks uncomfortable and indeed it’s a yardstick to finding the perfect mate–if the couple can sit side by side in silence and be comfortable within the silence–how lucky is that?

  2. Cyn says:

    Great post! I used to work with a gentleman who brought up the idea of senseless noise as really pollution and how it clouds the mind. He managed a department in a store I worked in and the PA announcements would drive him crazy. You know the kind where someone is being paged over and over again. He would ask the simple question in meetings…”did you try and look for the person first?”

    Five years ago we visited Venice, Italy and that is a perfect example of how “quiet” is music to the ears. No cars, no traffic….and then once the day tourists left the serenity after 5pm all throughout the evening lulled you to sleep. It was magical. I loved hearing the singing of the gondola captains serenading down the canals and the swish of water….and just the hushed voices of the people walking and navigating the passage ways. I found it jarring when we left and traveled to Rome:)

  3. Jessica says:

    I realized not long ago that being a mother of small children has made me experience that old saying of not being able to hear myself think. There is so much truth in that. So much of my inner experience is a reflection of the reverberations of my outer experience, and until the girls are asleep, I have a tough time grabbing hold of my own thoughts and emotions. Thanks for reminding us about the need for silence!

  4. Mariah says:

    The girls and I re Quakers and when we have Meeting for Worship (Quakerspeak for Church), we all sit in silence and listen for the Inner Light of God within us. We speak only if we feel moved by the spirit to do so – usually, Meeting passes in silence.

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