“Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.” – Rumi
These days, when I think of silence my whole system – mind, body and spirit – responds quickly. Silence has worked its way into my life, becoming such a strong trigger that I only have to think of it to feel a longing.
I wasn’t always this way about silence.
Years ago, as I prepared to go to my first 4 day silent retreat I wondered at what had compelled me to sign up. I’d gone to visit the retreat centre with a friend; just to keep her company really, yet I was the one to say yes.
In the beginning, the silence was threatening. The first 24 hours of that long ago retreat were so challenging. Without my voice, the internal chatter got really loud; so loud I thought I’d made a mistake, that I was losing my mind.
But by the middle of the second day, an interesting thing happened. Space began to appear in my mind – calm, clear space, like nothing I’d ever experienced before – and I returned home rested, feeling more creative than ever, ideas and possibilities in abundance.
And I was hooked, just like that.
“Silence is sometimes the best answer.” – Dalai Lama
Fast forward fifteen years. . .
I now crave silence, finding it to be the best self-care practice – and believe me, I’ve tried many.
My preference is to attend one or two retreats a year, but when that’s not possible I fit it into my schedule however I can.
Sometimes it’s to unplug phones and technology once I’m done with clients for the day. Other times, I choose a 2 day block of time and sort out my schedule accordingly; no clients, no conversations, nothing. It’s not as effective as my retreats away but it does the job in a pinch.
So what’s my relationship to silence?
That of a lover always longing for more.
Inspired by Danielle LaPorte’s Burning Question: What’s your relationship to silence?