Another favorite week in the journey!
When we 21st Century folks think about spending ANY time in silence, it can be a scary thing.
The excuses started to pour in – as they do every year – I don’t have time. I have an appointment scheduled. My husband can’t get along without me. My kids need me to drive them everywhere. I can’t sleep without background noise – there is NO way I can be silent for hours or days! I can’t live without my phone. Really?
That’s all you’ve got? You have the same amount of time the rest of humanity has. Unless your husband is bedridden on a vent needing 24 hour care, I think he can fend for himself for awhile. There is another mom to drive your kids. Appointments can be rescheduled. If you can’t sleep without background noise, that’s another problem and I wonder if you ever tried? Can’t live without your phone – because? Humanity survived for millennia without a phone in hand every second of the day.
Breaking from the chaos is the best thing you can do for your physical, mental, spiritual and emotional health. Why would you NOT schedule a time of silence several times a year?
My experience shows me that the first 24 hours is needed just to get my brain to slow down. My body needs rest and so naps are high on the list. A notebook and pen are necessary for writing whatever comes to mind. Being silent causes attention to be focused in new ways. I find I paid different attention to preparing my meals. I watched three birds outside the window for an extended period and realized what miracles they are. My breathing slowed and my heartbeat lowered. My mind and body relaxed in a way that only happens in extended silence.
Maybe in your silence you will find out why you THINK your husband can’t get along without you, and you’ll learn that it’s a need in yourself to feel indispensable – then explore why you think that way. You may find that you have overbooked your kids from some need in yourself to show the world what a great parent you are. Maybe your kids need some silence built into their lives as well. (hint: they do!) You may actually find that it would be a good idea to check your phone only two or three times a day instead of constantly. You may find your best friend – yourself – in that silence.
What did you learn in your silence this year? I’d love to know!