Sometimes Silence Is Our Best Contribution
My husband and I have had a complete day of silence, a kind of intentional retreat we did while being somewhat confined in these peculiar times. He suggested it and I was immediately fully on board with his inspiration.
We agreed to spend our day without music or electronics of any kind, each on our own within the same space of our small house. Fortunately, we were blessed with a perfectly sunny day. We let ourselves be guided by each unfolding moment, inside and outside ourselves, remaining open to what would come up.
Silence is uncomfortable for a while when we are not used to it. My partner feels a lesser need than I do to express himself verbally. This has given me, throughout the years, time to adjust and relax to moments of silence in our normal daily activities. I no longer feel the need to fill empty space with words. But intentional prolonged silence is something quite different. Without music, and my usual ways to fill my inner space, thoughts became even louder and more present. At the beginning of the day, the silence felt dense, but as the hours passed, I noticed a calmness growing within me. Without any contrived effort, after a few hours, I felt deeply relaxed and surrendered to the silence.
For hours, I listened to the river’s chattering. I also listened to the wind gently gliding the clouds in the sky. I listened to the silence in my head. And within this space, I met myself, alone with me.
Listening can only develop within silence. How can I possibly listen to the other when my head is already filled with what I want to say? Or when I feel the need to express my well formed and cherished thoughts, beliefs, opinions and convictions which are ready to shoot out? How can I listen to my internal guidance when my thoughts are busily fighting each other wanting to grab my attention? Only internal and external silence enables me to listen well to myself and others. Internal silence is now a regular practice for me.
During our day of silence, I truly let myself be alone with my experience even though I shared the same space with my husband to eat or to sit in our living room. It’s funny, but the density of the silence disappeared and I mostly felt I was dancing with life, freely, spontaneously, one moment to the next. Not to distract myself, but to let whatever wanted to be expressed through me, if I can say it this way. Instead of living my life with my usual and familiar ways of doing one activity to the next, I let life guide me from one moment to the next until I went to bed. I did things I would not have normally done and certainly not by myself. I spent most of the day alone in the forest, where I meditated, made a fire and had a long nap; simply experiencing being alive and being fully conscious of my existence.
Being alone and in silence has allowed me to listen to what is, and to what life desires to express in each moment. I have completely surrendered to this process and have let myself be guided by each moment’s inspiration.
It was comforting to meet silence in this way and to make it my friend. Observing my thoughts quieten themselves on their own reassured me. And I was surprised that in meeting silence I did not miss listening to music which is usually so comforting to me. I realized that life lives itself easily through me when I am quiet and open, rather than when I am “working hectically” trying to Iive my life.
I know that we have the key to access inexhaustible internal peace, harmony, ease, love and wisdom. One only needs to be conscious that these qualities are accessible within each of us, and have a desire for them. If this desire is within you, you will naturally be open to familiarize yourself with your inner silent voice, your internal solitude and awareness.
It is a wonderful invitation.
Don’t miss it if it knocks at your door.