Life has been more stressful of late. I find myself seeking solitude and silence. My mind is tired as well as my body. I want the world to move a bit slower so I can catch up with all the activity and concerns.
One day after crossing off items on my to-do-list, I stopped for a cappuccino. A local paper, the Boulder Weekly, includes a weekly horoscope. These horoscopes are frequently written in an interesting manner. The readings may provoke thought. Part of the reading for my sign included:
“(As you know, the world is crammed with so much noise and frenzy that it can be hard to hear yourself think – or even feel.) With Healing Silence, you bask in a sanctuary of sweet nothingness for as long as you need to. Please try it sometime soon. Wrap yourself in the luxurious void of Healing Silence.”
– Boulder Weekly, March 23, 2017
This week’s horoscope hit the nail on the head. A Healing Silence – Yes, that is what I desired and needed.
Two days earlier, I listened to a reflection by Terry Hershey. It resonated with me. I had not heard of Terry Hershey before that moment. (For more information on him, go to: http://www.terryhershey.com/meet-terry/message-from-terry/)
Hershey’s view is as an author and inspirational speaker. I discovered the less than three minute video on Loyola Press (A Jesuit Ministry). It is not necessary to be religious or have a belief in God for this short reflection to possibly make you think. I especially like his take on napping! Pausing during Lent, pausing during any time of the year, pausing during your day … pausing can be good for you mind, body and spirit.
Here is the link to Hershey’s video: http://www.loyolapress.com/our-catholic-faith/liturgical-year/lent/articles/pausing-during-lent?utm_source=LLDlist&utm_medium=email&utm_content=20170321&utm_campaign=Lent2017
It is important for me to have time to ponder, to process, and to reflect. Action will follow if action needs to be taken. Often though, you have to move at life’s pace which can be a challenge.
Sundays are my day to pause, to reflect, to rest, and to relax. I do my best not to accomplish chores or work on that day. Sunday is the day I chose. If my schedule was different, I would choose another day of the week for myself … for my spiritual health … mental health … emotional health. This day of rest slowly evolved. I did not set out to make one day of the week a day for myself. It began because I decided that I wanted one day of the week when it was not necessary for me to take public transportation!
The day fills up with activities that feed me or with time that allows me to empty my mind. Speaking with a loved one, connecting with a friend, reading a book, walking, sitting on a bench in nature and spending time in prayer, meditation or contemplation are harbingers of peace.
Have you ever heard of the Silence Game? I discovered Dr. Montessori’s belief in silence recently. Maria Montessori challenged the children to be still and quiet.
“Through these exercises,” she observed, “children learn that silence is the cessation of every movement. To achieve silence requires effort, the attention of the will, and maximum control of self. As a result, the children explore a deeper knowledge of their own capacities…Silence is refreshing, giving our overloaded senses a break. When it is silent it is easier to notice how smooth the geometric solid is in our hands. It is easier to hear the gentle sound of a zipper, or notice the scent of fresh cut flowers. Silence brings us back into ourselves, yet is also a profound connection to everyone else in the room at the same time.”
– Maria Montessori
Silence can be sought and found alone, with another or even in a group! Isn’t that amazing and wonderful?
I make time for quiet and lack of movement in my daily life. Spending short, even only five minutes, periods of time as you still your body and mind during various times of the day helps. It is my goal to spend twenty minutes or more each day in silence, rest, prayer, meditation, and contemplation.
I admit that sometimes the time I make is going to bed a half hour earlier! My body is tired and requires rest. I know I may fall asleep before I appreciate the silence for a lengthy period of time. If I do not fall asleep, I lie there … in quiet … listening to the little noise around me … appreciating the darkness of the room … calming my body … breathing … connecting with my Higher Power usually without words … just being.
Survivors of trauma can reap the benefits of silence and quieting of the body. It may take more practice for those with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to relax and calm one’s body and mind. I highly recommend doing so. It may help all of us (victims and survivors of trauma or not).
If you have children, attempt the Silence Game with them. As adults, we could all try the Silence Game. What a simple and rewarding adventure that might be!