Danielle LaPorte asks her burning question of the week. What is your relationship to silence? I found this a very intriguing question. As I began to ponder the question I wondered how many uber-busy people out there would even get the question. In a time of e-mail, Facebook, smart phones, electronic tablets, and huge TVs, I began to wonder how many people actually know what real silence is anymore. If I grabbed fifty of my Facebook friends and asked them if they meditated or spent any time in silence on a regular basis, what would I find? I suspect that very few would respond that they do.
For me silence is comforting. The world has become a noisy, dirty, mean, joyous, frenetic, volume on max, cacophony of speedy activity. I guess I’m kind of old fashioned or maybe it’s because I’ve found that my best writing comes to me out of silence. I own an android phone, I have a Facebook account, email, and entertainment system that includes a 47” flat screen TV, as big ’ol stereo receiver and surround sound, but I spend the majority of my day – quiet. I’m sure that will change once I find a day gig to support me while I’m writing, but for now, I relish each quiet day. I don’t turn on the 47” TV during the day. In fact it is off until my husband gets home from work in the evening. Most days, I don’t even turn on my favorite companion, music. It’s fabulous, but then I’ve always been the kind of person who grabbed a bit of silence whenever I could. Don’t get me wrong though, I also do my fair share of making noise and running around like a madwoman.
Silence is refreshing. Silence is grounding. Silence is soothing. Silence is the place where the infinite, the holy, and I meet. Silence is the place where my angel wraps her wings around me and gives me strength. In silence my spirit rests. In silence I find the beauty of my own spirit. Silence makes no demands and yet its incredible power changes lives.
I appreciate the quiet moments in my life. Not long ago, my son and I sat in the living room, each on our respective computer. Me working on a story and he working on some video editing, I believe. We sat silently working for some time and I deeply appreciated the fact that this person who had been raised with all the modern day distractions our electronic era has to offer, could still sit comfortably in silence with another. He is a mere twenty-one years old and is already wiser in the ways of silence than many other adults I know.
Obviously I think silence is a good thing. I think everyone should get a little bit of it every day. Not necessarily in the form of intentional meditation, but if nothing else, to unplug for a while. In taking a moment to hear yourself, you connect to the divine or higher self. Silence allows us to give our brains a rest from the myriad of stimuli that are thrown at it every other second of the day. I know a few people, myself included, who tend to go outside, take a walk or find a quiet place to sit when a particularly difficult or complicated issue comes up at work. Many times that few moments of silence is all that is needed for the answer to a problem to show itself. Silence is valuable.
Now that I’ve told you mine, what is your relationship to silence? Is it a good thing, or do you have better things to do with your time? Does silence make things you don’t want to think about crop up for you, or is it a comfort?