Silence is rare in this busy world of ours. How do often do you take time out to stop and refresh, regroup and rejuvenate? asks Jessica Mcgregor Johnson
We all live in this incredibly busy world and on the odd occasion I come back to the UK it shocks me just how loud life is.
In the last month, I have had two clients come to Spain to do my Get Unstuck in Two Days Retreat. Both came wearily from the UK, exhausted by all the busy-ness and business of life.
How often do you take the time out to stop and refresh, regroup and rejuvenate? And not just in coming away on retreat and giving yourself the gift of that time and space, although that is one option, but also in your everyday life? Silence isn’t just for those special moments – it is something that we need on daily basis. It soothes our soul and helps us handle the busy-ness/business of life.
I remember when I lived in the ashram, my Meditation Master was talking about how the modern world with its instant communication has robbed us of silence. We not only fill our days with constant communication – most of it electronic – but we are aware of all the disasters that happen around the world – as soon as they happen. Sometimes just too much information. In some ways this level of communication is good, it is good to be informed, but when does it become the noise that robs us of the silence?
I know from my own experience that when I build silence into my day I have better days. Meditation is my silence but it can be many things. Simply taking a walk at some point in your day on your own – without your phone – and just noticing what is around you is very powerful. How often do you go for a walk and look at and take in your surroundings?
This is about being with yourself, something some of my retreat clients think that they will find challenging; but once they go out and wander the paths in the mountains or walk along the beach they find it really nourishing.
And that is the key – as well as the growing awareness that you will gain from simply being with yourself and watching your mind, silence nourishes you. Something inside deeply relaxes when we bathe in silence. After a while time slows down and we stop feeling restless, like we should be ‘doing’ something, we gradually allow ourselves to be.
And this is where our inspiration lies. When you give yourself that gift of time and awareness the silence opens you up to parts of you that get lost in the noise. Those ideas that have been trying to be heard can suddenly get through when you finally stop. I know that when I have a thorny problem I take it for a walk. And that does not mean I try to think it out while I walk. No, I literally ask myself the question – what might be the solution – and then I walk along in silence and start being present with what is around me. Then the silence and the walking work its magic and more often than not an answer will seemingly pop into my mind. Purely by shifting my mental state through silence I have allowed myself to find my answer.
If you are feeling that you wish you could introduce more silence into your world stop now and jot down a few ways you could do this. Would you like to meditate, or simply have a few minutes of mindfulness in your day? Does the idea of taking a silent walk resonate with you? There are two meditation downloads on the free resources page of my website: one for a sitting meditation and one for a walking meditation. Feel free to download them now. You could even simply practise silence and take a lovely relaxing bath at the same time. Silence is a practice and all my retreat clients, having experienced its power, have gone home wanting to add it into their day. I invite you to add it to yours – because silence truly is golden.