This past weekend I retreated to a cottage on Cape Cod with my dogs and yoga mat in tow. I took a mini-sabbatical and intensified my relationship to silence. A few years ago spending this much time alone and in silence would have freaked me out a little-I would have called friends, texted endlessly, stalked social media, and filled my day with a comprehensive vacation "to-do" list. Years of sitting alone in meditation and practicing yoga in my home studio have helped an extrovert like me learn to draw power from the still and powerful lesson available from silence.
I spent meals with the tv, phone and computer turned off.
I sat on the couch and watched the wind blow the naked trees, just let my mind drift and wander.
I took a break from surfing around Twitter and Facebook.
I drove for hours on winding Cape Cod roads in silence, enjoying the sandy rolling vistas in silence.
What did I get out of this? The silence felt like a soothing and comfortable blanket, a cloak that I could rest beneath. I saw my life set in a frame of stillness, which allowed me to make connections between different aspects of my career and personality, I rested deeply, and felt deeply grateful for the wonderful friendships and relationships that keep my life full and nourished.
What's your relationship to silence? How can you carve moments of stillness into your day, against which the action of a busy life gains relevance and perspective?
Can you carve five minutes for a cup of tea enjoyed in silence?
Can you turn off the radio and cell phone in your car?
If you are buzzing about on errands, can you sit in your car and watch the clouds for a few minutes before rushing into the next business?
Click here to listen to the TedTalk that inspired my mini-break.
Click here to find a profound book I read this weekend about the power of quiet.
Om Shanthi Om,
Peace to you,