Friday, March 18, 2011

The Importance of Silence

Around my birthday, my grandfather recommended that I read a book called 10 Secrets for Success and Inner Peace by Dr. Wayne Dyer. I have to admit that at first, I wasn't the most excited about reading it. But, after I read it, I was so glad that I did.  It really helped me view and process my life with a different perscpective.

Dr. Dyer says that secret number four is embracing silence.

The famous scientist Blaise Pascal observed, "All man's miseries derive form not being able to sit quietly in a room alone."

There's a momentary silence in the space between your thoughts that you can become aware of with practice. In this silent space, you'll find the peace that you crave in your daily life. You'll never know that peace if you have no spaces between your thoughts.

It wasn't until he pointed it out, that I realized there are very little times in life when things are simply silent. When I'm in the car, I listen to audio books or talk on the phone. When I'm at home, I'm doing chores, knocking dishes together, listening to the drone of the Swiffer Vac (which is the best invention ever for hard wood floors), typing away on the laptop (click, click, click), or I'm sucked into the lights and sounds of television. Then at work there are the screaming children, and at the gym there's up beat music and people grunting and straining. At the ice skating rink there's the sharp sound of blades crunching and cutting grooves into the ice, and of course there is music blaring through the speaker system.

That's probably one of the many reasons I enjoy writing so much. It's a silent time, just me and my imagination. I can't write with music on, it bars me from entering my mind because I get all caught up in the lyrics. If I listen to classical or movie soundtracks my mind starts choreographing ice skating programs to the music.

Besides the peace I find when I write, I was determined to find my moment of silence, center my mind and all that jazz. Something that would calm my outlook on things. Because sometimes I feel like I can't get into the writing mode because my mind is a buzz with the goings on of the world around me or I'm consumed with that infinite to-do checklist in my head (that never seems to get finished) that keeps pulling me away from what I like to call my creative zone.

I'm sorry, I'm not going to wake up any earlier than I already do to sit silently in my room, or hike into the woods behind my house at the butt crack of dawn to find silence and peace with nature, or sacrifice the other things that I need to do to find these few minutes of silence every day. I mean, it would be great if I could, but when it means risking falling asleep behind the wheel due to sleep deprivation or not fulfilling my responsibilities, then it's just not feasible.

But, this morning I think I found that moment.
I was driving to the gym, and sun had not yet risen. It was dark, but you could see hints of light in the sky. The air was moist with dew and it was refreshing to breathe as I loaded up my car trunk. There weren't any kids playing in the neighborhood, no lawnmower drone, no cars on the road. And when I got in my car, I didn't turn on the CD player, or make any phone calls. I just drove. Sure there was the soft rumble of the engine, but it was more or less quiet. No cars honking, no bass thumping from a teeny bopper's car, just the mild rumble of tires against asphalt. So I had my five minutes this morning of what is as close as I'm going to get to silence, and it was bliss. I didn't think about anything. Just soaked up the nothingness. My mind is clear and my mood is bright, despite being congested with this sinus funk that's going around.

I encourage you to give it a try. Let me know what you think. Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Silence is always important - it gives us those moments to recharge :)