Thursday, December 11, 2008

Enjoy the Silence

A little 90s reference for all you Depeche Mode fans out there.

My life is run by bells. Clock-alarm bells, school bells, phone "bells", even church bells. I spend a great deal of my day in 42-minute increments. I surround myself with people, talk all day, sing twice a week. There's a lot of noise everywhere, both euphonious and cacophonous: lovely and jangling. It's not that different from many of yours, I'd guess, in that respect.

I read somewhere recently that we rarely allow ourselves actual quiet time, time where we are alone with no outside sounds. No music to relax you, nobody crying, no phone ringing; just silence. When was the last time you actually allowed yourself to be silent--and still? It doesn't quite count if you're in the basement folding laundry because you're still doing something. It's become taboo in our society to simply sit and be, with no outside distractions. We think of it as wasted time, time when we could be doing something else like cleaning or working or any one of a hundred things we feel we have to do now, now, NOW.

If you think you can't get five minutes of silence in your day, find a way. It's so important to our wellbeing to simply focus on ourselves every so often, even if it's for a short time. I tried it this morning: As I waited for Penny to "do her business" outside, instead of griping to myself that I needed to get inside to getbreakfast-shower-dress-slaponmakeup-runoutthedoor, I looked up at the trees in the gray, early morning light and inhaled slowly a few times, savoring those two minutes when I got to be outside not rushing off to the next place. I may try to do that more often.

I'm one of those people who wakes up entirely, brain revving the minute I'm conscious. It's murder when this happens at 3am and I want to get back to sleep. I go, go, go. I think I do give myself quiet time when I read, but this happens only so often. I need to slow down every so often and just stand, just breathe. A sort of mini-meditation, if you will.

See if you can get yourself to do this at least once in your day. I really think you'll benefit from it. Now I'm off to the next class before the bell rings.

Enjoy the day--it's almost the weekend!


feather nester said...

Oh, God, that is TOTALLY meditation, and you're right that it's TOTALLY something we should all do, it's so healthy for us, and I always wish I was that kind of person, but I don't know if I'll ever overcome that American programming.

I, too, am so go-go-go. But I feel like getting things accomplished truly makes me happy. The response to that is, "balance." I'm so good at having both sides of the conversation by myself. Maybe I should lay off the coffee.

I made great strides in this area when I actually started to enjoy yoga, but I haven't done that since the Papoose arrived. Ugh. How about if I just start with trying to exercise more and we'll see how that goes?

die Frau said...

Yes, meditation is key, but I was thinking even just being quiet is nice!

Exercise counts, I think!