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Discover Silence

Three's company!
Creative Commons License photo credit: Richard0

“See how nature – trees, flowers, grass – grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence…we need silence to be able to touch souls.” – Mother Teresa

Most people spend the majority of their day running from activity to activity, with no time in between.  When they are not engaged in an activity, their minds spin with worries, thoughts and to-do list items.

The problem with this is that there are no “cracks” between the activities for quiet.  When you don’t have any cracks, all you see of your life is what you do.  It becomes very difficult to see what you are.

You don’t want your life to become one big distraction, but this is how many of us live.  When you are always doing, you distract yourself from what’s really going on.  All you see are the small activities of the day, things you probably won’t even remember 6 months from now.

In order to see your life apart from the small activities, you need to spend time in the cracks, where the concerns of daily life no longer seem that important and bigger patterns emerge.  In the quiet, you only have yourself, and you can see your life for what it really is.

The Benefits of Silence

You Will Waste Less Energy – The problem with constant activity is that we are often not doing much of anything.  When we spin our wheels like this constantly, we burn up energy on things that don’t matter, leaving us little for things that do.  Taking time for quiet helps us to see what we need to do, and what we don’t.

You Will See Yourself Clearly – The consequence of constant activity is that we become consumed by the small details of our lives.  The small details don’t matter that much.  The come and go.  What matters is seeing the big picture items of our lives – love, passion, purpose, joy, etc.  Silence allows for more objectivity in our lives where we can see patterns that the small details don’t show us.

You Will Have Peace of Mind – When you can truly be quiet with yourself, you are at peace.  In the silence, it’s just you and life – no distractions.  You have to face yourself head on there.

Practice Silence

Wait In Silence – One way you can practice silence is when you find yourself waiting for something, try not to do or think anything, just wait.  If you are in line at the grocery store or waiting for an appointment don’t read magazines or think about what you are doing this weekend.  Just be quiet.  You don’t always have to be doing something.

Meditation – Meditation is the formal practice of silence.  Taking time for a consistent meditation practice is a way to make quiet part of every day.  When you meditate you commit yourself to the quiet.

Get Rid Of Time Fillers – Many of us turn on the TV, aimlessly search the internet or pick up the phone when we have nothing to do.  But these are just time fillers.  The next time you have the (unusual) experience of not having anything you need or want to do, sit down and be quiet for a few minutes.  The quiet is calling to you.

Stop Evaluating Everything – We have a tendency to constantly judge what is going on around us, but this is usually not useful.  Mostly, what you are judging is out of your control.  You can determine how you feel about something and determine if there is action you need to take, but aside from that it’s not worth thinking about.

Do you make silence a part of your day?  How do you find quiet?  Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments.

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10 Comments

  1. Great post! I think silence is SO important, but I have a really hard time with it. I am hardly ever in silence… Something I need to work on and now I know why after reading this post!
    .-= Positively Present´s last blog ..the filmstrip: a new way to look at presence =-.

  2. Some people tell me I’m too silent – I say less than they are comfortable with. Personally I take that as a compliment, though it’s not intended as such!

    I really value silence very much. I find it by getting up early before the traffic and other people. TV is only on if we want to watch something. Music the same – only to listen to something. I regularly seek out quiet places just to enjoy the silence and the peace.
    .-= Ian | Quantum Learning´s last blog ..The secret of happiness =-.

  3. It best for us to go inward sometimes. Our thoughts need to go inwards as we sit quite. Silencing the mind is just so sweet and so are you and this post.
    Great Content.
    .-= jonathanfigaro´s last blog ..Re-buliding Your Soul By Melting Your Heart =-.

  4. Being able to access silence within at any moment is really a critical tool for reaching peace.

    What a lot of people do not realise is that it is possible to fully live your life and simultaneously have peace and silence. This can be reached through constant effort to watch your thoughts and emotions. Then you can experience great freedom.

    Allowing yourself cracks to truly find silence is a very important place to get started and recover your peace.
    .-= Jarrod – Warrior Development´s last blog ..Love the Job you Hate Before you Leave it =-.

  5. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Dani – Oddly enough, sitting still and being quiet are two of the hardest things you can attempt!

    Hi Ian – Early mornings is a great time for silence. Everything is so quiet – wonderful.

    Hi Jonathan – We definitely do need time looking inwards. Without it we can’t lose peace of mind. Thanks!

    Hi Jarrod – Yes, I like how you said that. Finding an “inner silence” even in turbulent moments is so important and requires practice.

  6. Hi Amanda,
    You made some really great points here. Silence is where it’s at! 🙂 I pay attention to the silence using your tip of waiting in silence. Also, I’m trying very hard to evaluate every situation/person/event–this has made a huge difference to my peace of mind.
    .-= Jodi at Joy Discovered´s last blog ..My Happy Place, Your Happy Place =-.

  7. This is a wonderful post. I do meditate and at the end of the month I want to add an afternoon session.

    I need to do the grocery line silence. We never have enough check out lanes open and I’m always fussing with something. Great practice for me;) Thanks Amanda.

  8. Amanda Linehan Amanda Linehan

    Hi Jodi – I always think that waiting is a great time for silence. We really want to fill the time, but why not just be quiet!

    Hi Tess – There are never enough grocery lines, are there? Must be the silence asking us to join it. 😉

  9. Hi Amanda,
    I’ve found silence to be so helpful in giving me clarity. And I find it in different forms. Sometimes on a bike ride in the woods. Other times, when I first rise in the morning. Some days – just sitting in my car – in silence – before I get out and tackle the day. That said, more (or more regular) silent moments would be good – I know it. And today, you’re helping to remind me of that, Amanda. Thank you. And … I’m off for a few minutes of golden silence right now…
    .-= Lance´s last blog ..What Is Love, Really =-.

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