Thursday, March 12, 2009

Seeking Pockets of Silence

I've never been good at silence.

I always try to avoid it somehow, if not with the necessary parts of family life then with music or TV.  

I don't know what it says about me that I can't just be.  I can't just sit in silence and breath without desperately wanting to fill that space with something...anything!

I was recently in a situation, however, where I couldn't fill that space with anything.  No internet, no person to talk to, nothing to read, no phone, no music, no TV, nothing.  So there I was, just with my thoughts.  And even though I didn't want to be there, I found it surprisingly freeing.  

Being forced to listen to nothing but your own breathing.  To look at nothing but the trees outside.  To feel nothing but your own cloths against your skin.  

And with passing moment you feel more calm.  With each breath, you release some part of yourself that needed to do something.  

Then you start to listen to yourself.  Your center.  And you realize that it is in moments like these that you can really hear yourself.  Your pain, your joy, your regrets, your hopes, your own truth.

So even though it is not January, I would like to make a resolution for the rest of the year.  I would like to find pockets of silence in my life and instead of fearing those pockets, I would like to embrace them.  

Revel in them.  

And maybe, just maybe, even enjoy them.


  1. Yes. Silence can be deafening! But it can also be peaceful and inspirational! Like meditation.

    Your post reminded me of an experience i had a few years back when i went to Yoga class for the first time after i had my son. (I had stopped going to Yoga after my second trimester and then didn't resume classes until he was about 8mos old.) As the lights were dimmed, the ambient music began to play, and we were instructed to lay on our backs, to listen to ourselves breathe, to feel the different parts of our body, to block out everything, to think of nothing, to feel everything. And as i did, i remember that I began to cry.

    As i was crying i remember thinking that i wasn't feeling sad but rather feeling like i was emerging from something and getting back in touch with myself. It felt cathartic. like an ephinany of sorts. Hard to explain.

  2. I used to love sitting and just thinking... But it's been a long time, and I now feel a bit panicky if I don't have a laptop or a book or a cd player to provide entertainment. This was beautiful and inspriational and true.

  3. My favorite recent moments of silence have been at acupuncture, when the needles are in and I'm lying there for a half hour or so. At first I just want to make mental lists, but then slowly I can unwind and just let go. Very peaceful. It's taken me years to get to a place where that's enjoyable. I don't think I could have done it in my 20s.