“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.
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.