September 27, 2023

What Sitting in Silence Can Give Us.


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Silence has pooled in the in-between spaces of this past week.

In-between the morning sip of coffee and the first call of the day. In-between starting the engine, and the winding drive that takes me to the beach. In-between the snuffing out of one conversation, and the kindling of the next.

Silence has been seeping into lulls, into gaps, into unclaimed spaces of time.

In this silence, I think, or drift, rather. I don’t purposely create the silence, but the last few weeks have been so noisy—energizing, engaging, productive, fun, tiresome. As the momentum in my days mellows out, I’m leaning into the silence a little more.

Which of course isn’t truly silent silence. There are frogs hollerin’ out to all the babe frogs they are hoping for a chance with. There are night birds claiming the starlit space with their cries while their daytime counterparts nestle in dark branches. Fans whir, a moto zooms close then far again, and in the distance, I can hear the ocean.

This shade of silence is settling. It finds me because, lord knows, I rarely seek the silence out. The adventure, the purpose, the projects, the activities…I bound toward them. I can’t even fall asleep in silence because my mind takes off in a frenzy.

Some would call this insomnia, and I suppose at bedtime, a silence that cultivates deeper thoughts and unanswerable questions leads to sleepless nights.

But the daytime silence is a retreat. This is the space where ah-ha moments are born. The silence is a space where we can let our thoughts gently float, rather than run amok, and observe where they softly land. The silence in-between offers us clarity. It offers us insight from a different side of the room.

Silence can inspire us.

Meditation gives us this, but for those of you (and me sometimes) who struggle with meditation, try sitting in a peaceful place for a bit. A bench in a green park, or your back porch, or a favorite space in your home. Or pull over to the side of the road alongside an empty field and take in the view from your car, sitting and soaking up the silence.

Sometimes what we need is the silence that stays just a little longer than we think we have time for or is comfortable. This is the space where silence proves its worth.

See what downloads find us. Watch how our calm thoughts lead us to unexpected depths. Be open to that flash of insight hovering just above our heads, waiting for a still, silent moment that will allow it to land.

The spaces of silence this week have brought me the strength to bolster some boundaries with certain friendships, and to also relax some boundaries with others that needn’t be locked so firmly. In the silence, I can better gauge which walls to pull down, and which ones to brick up higher.

Silence opens the door to creative bursts, in my writing and personal journalling, in my work and professional connections to pursue, and in my home, cooking homemade soup and rearranging the house plants.

Silence gifts me the space to remember the highlights of the past week, feeling again the joy they brought, and the silent space allows me to learn from the lowlights without judgment.

Silence this week helped me calmly untangle any mess I found myself in, such as how to prioritize my hectic week, think about a friend I haven’t heard from in a while, and make time to call, or mull over decisions to be made regarding a little injured dog.

(If you read my last article, The Choices We Didn’t Know We Were Making. , then you may be comforted to learn I’ve kept the little thing. I’ve named her Roo, and she happily bounces around my house on her damaged leg that I don’t think she blames me for, even though she could.)

If you find yourself with a few moments in between the projects and people peppering your day, lean into the silence and stay a little while. See where your thoughts lead you, what insights are dropped into your lap, and what ah-ha moments are excited to greet you.


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