The Power of a Pause
The more work I do in mindfulness and meditation, the more I become aware of. One of those things, is silence. It’s one of those words, at least in my life, that has come with mixed messages.
I grew up in the era of parents that believed children were to be seen, not heard. So, if we had something that didn’t go along with the dictate, we were to keep it to ourselves. This spilled over into feelings and you can see where that can lead.
Even in our musical influence we hear, “Silence, like a cancer, grows” and yet we read and are told Silence is Golden. So, which is it? Because certainly those two dichotomies can’t be interchangeable.
What I have found is that it is two sides of the same coin. Silence, is in fact, golden because it gives us that Pause…to hear what the words are going around in our mind so that we can then process them in the appropriate way. Granted that we actually take the needed action steps to do that, or that space of words that is charged with toxic thoughts or emotions, does indeed turn into a cancerous type of growth within in. Words that grow out of control until they can’t be silenced further and must be spoken.
Silence witnessed is an awe filled event
My daughter called me the other day with a fantastic awareness. She’d experienced a fantastic awareness surrounding silence. In the past, I would have been chomping at the bit to jump in with excitement with my own experiences that might have been similar, but I actually caught myself with my mouth open and decided to put on of my newfound mindfulness practices into play and simply listen fully. Hear the words in between the words, feel her excitement and wonder and let it flow over me. It was blissful to share in her excitement and to be filled with gratitude that I am learning that I can actually modulate what comes out of my mouth with control and a certain amount of grace. This was huge for me! AND for us together to experience! Not only was she able to receive the gift of being heard, but we shared a moment together of mutual growth that was profound.
In my journey into hypnosis, then breath work, meditation and yoga, I’ve had experiences with silence that are beyond words. What one might call touching Heaven and knowing God. Yet, when I walk day to day as a human being, I find myself bumping around it as if I don’t recognize the wonder when it’s right in front of me in real time.
I read a page each day in a book I stumbled across sitting on the back of a toilet in a wellness center that I had to buy. It’s called, Everyday Serenity: Meditations for people who do too much, by David Kundtz. He speaks of The Attentive heart. There is a quote that he shares that goes like this:
Where your heart is attentive, your entire being
enters into prayer without your having to force it.
The key words being, “without your having to force it.” The “practice” of mindfulness works a lot around allowing what is, to be. An easing into the current, instead of fighting against it and prolonging the struggle. We don’t have to know where the resistance is stemming from or why, just allow the awareness of what that feeling feels like. Forcing through a feeling, like anxiety, to me, feels tight in my chest and gripping in my solar plexus. When my heart is attentive, I can lean into the wave when it hits, slow my breathing down and focus on moving with the wave. I was astonished to find, it moved right through and a sense of peace was left in it’s wake. I never would have thought that simply allowing the feeling to pass would accomplish so much!
Random readings are far from random
When I am seeking inspiration in the moment, I reach for a random book and open a page. On this particular day, I chose, The Treasury of Quotes, by Jim Rohn. The page I turned to was on Skills/Fundamentals. Here is an excerpt:
Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better
Don’t wish for less problems; wish for more skills
Don’t wish for less challenges; wish for more wisdom
Learn to hide your need, and show your skill
Therein lay the wisdom I needed for that day. As I lean into Silence, and let it be okay to feel whatever is there, I NOW wish for more wisdom, not relief. For more skills, instead of avoidance of practice. I’m learning to hide my need to be heard out of fear I won’t be and listen to the wisdom coming in, for it holds more answers than I could have imagined.
So, in the end. Silence truly is Golden. And…just possible, in the end, I may become a poet instead of a writer. For, Less, I am finding, is indeed more.