Silence Can Be Golden
"Silence is as deep as eternity, speech as shallow as time." Carlyle
My son is the one I have to thank for teaching me the meaning of this quote.
And no, it wasn't his decimal shattering Immortal Technique tunes that drove me to silence. Rather his involuntary 58 day wilderness trip. Funny, how we learn the most unlikely lessons from the most unlikely people, isn't it?
Last year my son was addicted to drugs and failing school. Desperate, my ex- husband and I sent him to a boarding school. After flunking out of boarding school we decided Zach wanted a new opportunity. So against his will we had 2 guardians show up late one night and escort him to the desert.
Zach lived off of the land, in the desert with a group of peers and counselors with not much more than a tarp and a set of clothes for 58 days. He was there with other teens who were 'tuning out' with substances.On two occasions during his wilderness therapy Zach completed overnight hikes of 20+ miles.
Solo weekends were developed so that each teenager could go it alone against the elements on a night hike and then after their completion of the hike immediately depart for a solo 48-72 hour camping experience.
It was Zach's solo hikes and trips that inspired me to retreat into silence. In support of him and seeking my own healing I sequestered myself in my house, alone with out any distractions of the human or technology kind each time he made a 'solo' trip in the wilderness. ( Yes, he's home and just passed his first semester of school in a year and a half…he's quite incredible…that kid!):)
This past weekend I spent 3 nights and 2 and half days in silence. ( My kids always ask, yeah but do you talk to yourself? I did create some flip videos as you see here…)
Mostly what I find when I take the time to silent the voices inside and outside is that Leroy Browlow's words are true,
"There are times when silence has the loudest voice."
Here are a few of my thoughts on silence…
Is it me or is the world growing ever louder? Noise. Life is noisy. Inside my head is noisy. Shutting it all off for even a few minutes and extending the peace an hour, two, a day, or more allows me to move away from the cares of the outside world, to detach from the external to reconnect with the internal, myself, spirit, Creator and creation.
Being Silent doesn't always mean still
For me silence is not necessarily still. I mean that would be miraculous; me, silent and still?
Don't get me wrong I spend plenty of time still, during my silent retreats but I'm not about a bunch of rules and regulations. (NO?!)
Leaving the noise behind and detaching from everything and everyone is an act I do of my own free will, I'm not about to turn it into something that is inauthentic, a recipe of sorts.I'm active. I like movement and learning and so I build these into how I do silence. Sure, sometimes I am still, I pray, meditate, read, rest or best yet take a bath… other times I'm climbing a mountain, or riding my mountain bike (quietly of course.
The outdoors are sacred to me. I am just more me; outside.
Clarity comes quickly to me outside, in a place of solitude and quiet. It's as if new life is breathed into me.
I believe in God. If that freaks you out, sorry.
I can't 'not' not believe. In silence I am reminded of Wayne Dyer's words, we are spiritual beings having a physical experience. Listening. I listen when it's silent . I listen to the river, snow, the grass crunching beneath my boots, to the sound of an apple as I bite into it. Silence improves my hearing. In silence I come to know that which I was previously unaware of about myself and my circumstances. I have time to discard and recycle the past, memories and beliefs that no longer serve me, align with my current truth.
Silence reminds me I shouldn't speak unless I can improve on the silence…(my friends are all shouting amen…)
It's known that our frontal lobe, the part of the brain that loves the new and novel is also chief orchestrator in helping create a new mind. Silence is one of the tools I use to forge a new mind, to think and be new, to change.
Intention, clarity and focus result from my times of tuning out, of retreating into silence.
Clarity helps me interrupt patterns of behavior and thinking that are inconsistent with who I want to be. In my time alone I recalibrate my feeling and thinking.
Silence helps me think, see, hear and feel at a deeper level than anything else I've ever experienced. It forces me to be still, to experience the I AM, to know myself in a way I am unable to know myself amidst the hub bub of daily life.
A practice of silence, silent retreats well they are the ultimate tune up for me, a life sojourner who often loses herself in a world of worry, anxiety, turbulence and distraction.
Need a tune up? Perhaps it's time to tune out- so you can tune in ….Love to hear about your experiences with silence…