Silence is challenging for many people. Not knowing what to say feels awkward. We feel vulnerable, ill at ease. Silences in conversation are typically avoided. When they occur we experience them as dreaded spaces that immediately need to be filled. But what if we simply listened to the silences? What if we immersed ourselves into them and enjoyed them? What if we approached them like the rests in music? The silences can then help punctuate the rhythms and melodies of our conversations, our emotions, our activities, our lives. After all, our hearts aren't constantly going boom, boom, boom. They beat and pause. Beat and pause. It’s in that space of quiet, of rest, that recuperation happens, that a shifting takes place; that an awakening can occur.
Whatever your method, I wish you times of silence. Like snow falling in a forest or a bulb hunkering down beneath the soil, this season of late fall into winter beckons us to silence. As the night hours overtake the daylight hours, the invitation to linger in quiet, in silence, is as bold as the darkness. I think of this season as our practice time for silence. So that when the light and the impetus towards outgoing energy begins anew – in less than a month’s time – we’ll have exercised our ability to be silent and can bring its calm and peace with us into our bursts of renewed energy.
How do you relate to silence? What practices do you have to cultivate silence and quiet in your life? Please share your thoughts and comments below.