101 people (and counting) have signed up for the 40 Days of Silence Project and I am looking forward to hearing more about what others have experienced and I thought that I would share some of the ways that I and others have invited silence into our lives.
About a week ago, in preparation for Lent, I initiated silence while driving alone; no radio, cds (or talking to myself) and the difference has been soothing. It takes a fair amount of mindfulness to own a thoughtlessness.
I also nearly nightly enjoy something my mother did. After we’d all gone to bed, she would turn off the lights in the house, open the living room blinds, sit in her easy chair (light up a cigarette ~ times were different then) and gaze out at the night sky. I kneel at the stairway window, open the sash, stick my head outside to see the moon and starts and breath in the crisp night air. I (try to) think about nothing! Helps me sleep.
I thought of you and this the other day as I was drinking coffee and watching our dog – just watching him. It was such a peaceful experience to just observe an animal – I guess that is why I love having animals. Today I observed a crow on the roof of the medical center that I can see from my window – was only 5 minutes, but somehow was rejuvinating…
When I was little I always thought it was so amazing when we would be at the pool and there would be so much noise, so many things happening all around and I would hold my breath and float beneath the water allowing my whole being to be submerged and suddenly there was this silence and stillness that would fill me and I would just float away.
Another moment that never ceases to bring more peace to my heart and silence to my soul is to go out at night and look at the moon and the stars, to feel the veil of darkness descend and to feel the peace of the evening wrap around me reminding me to be still and breathe deeply.
A few other ways to invite silence into your life:
- Taking a moment of silence before a meal.
- Sit in a chair and simply close your eyes for a few moments.
- Repeat a mantra until your mind stills and then enjoy the silence you have created.
- Cuddle with your partner, your kids, your four-legged family members.
- Sit in front of the lake or the ocean. And if you don’t have the ocean out your front door here is a video of a Caribbean beach for you to enjoy.
- Walk without your ipod or ask your walking partner to do half (or all) of your walk in silence.
- Make veggie soup, and as you are chopping the vegetables allow yourself to simply be mindful of the love and care you put into the soup.
- Light a candle and watch the flame.
- Turn off the ringer on your phone for an hour.
- Designate a spot, a chair that is the official “quiet spot” in your home.
- At the office turn off your monitor, shut the door and take five minutes of your lunch break to simply sit and be still.
- Watch a sunrise or a sunset.
- Put a commercial on mute if you are watching television, or simply breathe in and breathe out 10 times during the commercial.
How are you inviting more silence (in big or small ways) into your life?