This post is a response to the Burning Question Series With Danielle LaPorte.
The question is What’s Your Relationship With Silence?
Silence finds me in the early morning light. Its a habit of mine to keep quiet, to wake slowly. There was a time when I felt like every word was a betrayal and so I vowed to speak only with complete purpose and even to not speak…at all. I didn’t go to a monastery to do this, I did it will traveling to places I’d never been before. I started it, the preliminaries when I was managing a small restaurant. A volunteer/room-mate brought in a book called the Yoga of Silence. I felt I was already well acquainted with silence, but those around me, perhaps the person who’d given me the book, were not so comfortable in quiet.
I leafed through the book. I loved it. Language has always been a thing for me. How differently people talk, in different languages, the same language…how they think, what they hear, what they don’t say, what they really mean… Exploring silence as a thing was something new. I was good at being quiet. Maybe too quiet. Expecting people to feel what I felt about what I said. Assuming I’d gotten my point across. Avoiding conflicting issues with my mouth. Knowing, however that these words and sounds and subtle flavors of communication were not hitting the spot.
I needed to do more with my silence. I needed to realize when and why I poured it on, or let it simmer or stirred it in. I needed to know how and why I used silence and how to use my words better. Silence is a great friend for me. I know that there is always something waiting for me when everything is turned off. When I can settle into nothing and just be. When my ears take a nap and my eyes perceive nothing…there’s an inner sense that nourishes me at these times. It may be literally nothing and that can feel like complete bliss. (Yes! It’s over now I can just…) Or it can connect me to something deep and soul-stirring…something I couldn’t hear in the whir of the kitchen. It could be something so cool it couldn’t be felt in the midst of cooking up the moments of daily life. That silents hits at night time and it really settles in between 3am and 7am.
Whatever silence has relayed to me overnight grips me in those early morning hours. Changes me daily. I’m addicted to that silence. To waking up and inching into the nonchalance of the mystery of nothing…of an inner eclipse. Because the silence just cuddles the truth we already know…but it can be so difficult to admit or embrace or sit down with when so much noise is blaring in the outside world. Silence is inner peace. In conversation, silence is knowing that what needs to be conveyed will be. I used to get so nervous if that “awkward silence” showed up in a conversation. Now, I wait patiently for that moment when there is nothing to say, when it is all being said inside.