I have learned to listen to the sound of silence… Despite our busy schedules, and individual roles and demands, our bodies require some form of reset or recharge. How do you allow your body to reset? I find my own battery recharges best through silence.
For the most part, I live “life out loud.” My kids were definitely never the most quiet or timid ones in the room. And when my extended family members gather, we sound like something between a MMA cage fight and a competitive game of Simon Says. If you were in the room, you would hear seven separate conversations simultaneously. And, since such a gathering is rare, there are introductions of new relatives being made each time. There are awkward interactions, inappropriate jokes and offensive smart remarks occurring simultaneously. This crowd is not only intimidating, but it is also demanding. As a reputed extrovert, an excessive amount of networking, family reunions, or a long day of client conversations leaves me emotionally and mentally depleted.
When my children were young, displaying a positive attitude and having a high energy level was expected of me… even in the midst of exhaustion. As my children grew, I discovered the physical energy level they needed from me became less, yet the mental requirements increased. Regardless of the stage, each expectation requires some sort of physical and mental reset in order to efficiently serve my family, community, and provide my clients with the service they deserve.
How do we find silence from the mental or physical demands placed on us? And, when I use the term “silence,” does it mean devoid of all noise?
A few years ago, I found myself with nothing but time on my hands. I was suffering from vertigo, which required me to stop everything in my busy life to allow time for my brain to heal. I often say that God has a sense of humor. I had an ailment that wouldn’t allow me to “work” my way through it. I couldn’t do ANYTHING to personally cure myself. I had to rest, relax and restore. The hardest thing you can tell a single mom to do is nothing. The migraines and blurry vision made reading very difficult. The dizziness made it impossible to stand at a stove, or to even be in the hot shower without assistance.
I quickly discovered just how much of my self esteem was tied to what I do versus who I am as a person. Can you relate? Do what services we provide, what burdens we carry, and what tasks we complete determine if we are good or worthy?
The treasure that I gained during my time of silence was the foundation on which peace gave way to stability. When we make time within our schedules for reflection, using silence as a resource, we can make adjustments when chaos knocks us off our paths. We can use this space to restore areas that have been damaged, or are just plain worn out.
When operating in this sacred space, the “what” is done is less important than “how” we feel afterwards. And the best part is that you get to decide the variables surrounding your “quiet space.” Whether the space is truly quiet, or if you prefer relaxing background music, or even find yourself sitting in nature listening to its sounds, the choice is yours. There is also the option to go swimming, and to let the water drown out all distractions. Remember, don’t overthink whatever you choose as a vehicle to get back to neutral. The objective is ultimately to feel restored.
The art of doing nothing is not something we are known for, yet there is a strength that is earned when we make space for silence.