"The power of silence is available to everyone free to receive as a gift. Whether it begins with setting aside one minute, or stretching this to a few days alone in silence, these moments will still carry the possibilities for healing, reconnection, discovering truth, and creativity."
I was a very active young girl growing up. Full of energy and ideas, I would sometimes act before thinking which would result in a moment of confrontation from my parents (we’ve all had these moments, no doubt!).
Correction would come in the form of being sent to my room to think about the results of my actions. In those microscopic moments I became aware of the power of silence. And while I didn’t really learn to appreciate silence as a gift until later in my years, silence still had a profound impact on me.
Silence can be active or passive. It can be filled with emotions or emotionless. What I have learned, however, is that a practice of silence can help us navigate the hyper-connected and overloaded sensory world we live in.
Silence creates space for joy, creativity and reconnection
Author Anne Morrow Lindbergh says in her book, Gift from the Sea, that “there is a quality to being alone that is incredibly precious. Life rushes back into the void, richer, more vivid, fuller than before.”
Why are we afraid of the quiet that comes with being alone for a minute? If I’m constantly filling my mind with information and stimulation, and not allowing my heart to process what is going on in the space around me, before long I can begin to feel disassociated. Silence is a wonderful path back to a balanced connectedness.
You may experience a sense of boredom when starting to build out a practice of silence. Yet, some of our greatest creative expressions can reveal themselves to us in boredom. And while silence in and of itself does not have to be boring, creating a space to allow boredom generally begins with making room for silence. I have found that silence allows for my creativity to be stirred and enacted.
Silence grounds you in truth and allows for healing
When we are alone with our thoughts and feelings, the truth begins to emerge, whether we like it or not. For me, I notice when I’m running away from the truth because I suddenly become anxious, prone to distractions and overstimulation.
There is so much going on in the world and in our lives. The buzz of daily life can drown out the inner voice crying out for attention and care. Because of this, I value taking occasional moments of silence to allow the inner workings to, well, run its course! Creating a safe space to listen to what is going on inside of us can help us show up in our lives in a more healthy and whole way.
Journaling as a complement to your practice of silence can help facilitate this inner healing. Giving your brain a break by jotting down the flurry of thoughts can bring space to your being, allowing you to become more fully present.
Silence is a practice available for everyone
The power of silence is available to everyone free to receive as a gift. Whether it begins with setting aside one minute, or stretching this to a few days alone in silence, these moments will still carry the possibilities for healing, reconnection, discovering truth, and creativity.
My encouragement to you is to be kind to yourself as you design a practice of silence that flows with your life. Whether its setting aside just five minutes early in the morning before the hustle and bustle of the day begins, or taking five minutes before laying your head to rest at night, find the rhythm that works best for you.
Silence is something that can be cultivated and grown over time. You could not have told young Charity that one day she would get excited to take a 24 to 48 hour silent retreat, let alone could go that long without external noises and stimulation. But these moments, short and long, have been beautiful gifts to help me stay rooted and grounded, and to continue processing inner healing and connecting to the constant source of joy.