In my last blog I wrote about dancing with my inner rebel. In the days that followed I found myself wondering if there were any other parts of myself that needed my attention. The part that spoke the loudest, paradoxically, was the part of me that craves silence, the part of me that needs to go in and be really quiet so that the other parts of me can thrive. I have known about this part of me for a while, and it has only been in the last year, since I have had less structured time that I have had the luxury to fully explore it. I’ll admit I am not as faithful to nurturing this part of myself, as it wants me to be. It shows up in my restlessness, my inability to stay focused for long; even to stay focused enough to be in silence, kind of a contradiction right?
When I surrender to the silence I am filled in a way that nothing else can fill me.
It’s hard to explain. It is in the silence that I come into direct contact with my heart, with my deep inner knowing, with how that intuition feels in my body. I come to know my true essence, and it informs me at my deepest level. When I come back here, to my heart I always wonder why I leave, why I think that I can get by with shorter or fewer sessions of silence. Why I forget what sustains me. What I do know is that when I am scrupulous with my practice, everything else flows effortlessly. One of my clues that I have been neglecting my practice is that I have to try to get things done, rather than allowing them to flow through me. When I start looking at how I am going to structure my day so I will be more productive. All I really need to do is sit in silence and drop those questions into my heart.
Have you wanted to start your own practice of sitting in silence?
When I was first called to sit in silence I resisted it for a long time. I was being called to get out of bed 15 minutes early to just sit in my heart. This was at a time when I was already getting up really early for my job.
The stress of resisting rising earlier became greater than the stress of actually doing it.
When I finally surrendered to the resistance and got up earlier to sit in silence my days became easier, I had a reserve of what I needed when I needed it. If you are resisting starting this practice, or any other practice that is calling you, here are some tips that might help you.
Do an experiment. Tell yourself you will do it for two weeks and if you decide it is not working for you, you do not have to continue. Take note of the changes you notice. If there are no changes ask yourself if there is another version of the experiment that you would like to try.
You don’t have to get up earlier to sit in silence. Take some time in the middle of the day or right after you come home from work to sit in silence for 5 minutes, set a timer, sit in a chair, close your eyes and breathe. Five minutes will seem like a long time when you first begin and the timer will help you to not have to look at the clock. Notice the impulse to get up and do something else. Take another deep breath and know that what ever your mind is telling you needs to be done now will still be there 5 minutes from now. You can increase the length of time as you get comfortable sitting for 5 minutes.
If you decide this is a practice you want to include in your daily life you may be surprised as you begin to notice shifts in your day. Take notice of them, be curious. If you miss a day, or several notice the difference that makes in your daily life. Your practice may fluctuate from time to time. As I discovered this gives you information about the effect of that practice on your life. When you go back to it ask yourself if it needs to change and how that would look. Embrace it as your practice and make it work for you.
I’d love to hear what you think. Send me an email, or leave a comment below.