Stillness – the place I meet myself, or the place where my life inevitably catches up with me?
How many of you would be excited about spending a weekend in complete silence? Yes, absolute silence, no phone, no TV, no talking, just you and you?
I can almost feel the immediate discomfort setting in and the uncomfortable response that goes something like this – “it’s impossible for me to be silent for an hour. A weekend would be an absolutely ludicrous ask. No ways. Not a chance. Never”.
Stillness and silence: the barriers
Our biggest barrier to silence and stillness is fear; fear that stopping for long enough will allow the truth of our lives to catch up with us. The truth about our daily compromises, the sale of our souls in small increments on a daily basis. The level to which we fake our “fabulous online lives”, knowing that not having access to these lives for even an hour may be enough for the truth to come tumbling down around us.
So we keep on running. We ensure that “busyness” invades each moment of our lives. We keep up the facade until we hardly know the difference anymore. What we do know, however, is that our joy has started fading. Internally the smiles become harder to fake, the pretence starts dragging at us emotionally and before we know it we are experiencing difficulty sleeping, popping “happy pills” and sleeping pills while convincing ourselves that it’s simply the cost of our modern day lives (everybody is in any case on some “pill-popping” regime nowadays). So you keep the noise levels up. You keep your mind infused with noise from that first waking moment through to that very last moment in which you drift off with the TV on.
Why are we so resistant to slowing down our minds, silencing that internal chatter and simply being with ourselves? What would happen if the story that literally runs your life was simply paused for a couple of hours? Which of your challenges and places of “stuckness” could be directly linked to your internal chatter – to your story?
Stillness and silence: the gift
Have you ever considered that the silent you is closer to the real you than the noisy you? That stillness is where I get to meet me?
If this is the case, who is the noisy, busy, distracted you? Perhaps it is your mind’s desire to seek entertainment and the external acknowledgment of identity.
Silence is a beautiful realm available to you; a realm in which to relax, refresh and revitalise. Silence offers unconditional acceptance; a place beneath ego, judgment, and identity. If you just switch that internal voice off for a few minutes and silence the ever-present judge and jury. Silence is a place where you can simply be. No rushing, no noise, no deadlines, no bills, no expectations, no disappointments, no guilt – just being.
Once the mind settles, silence embraces you in peace and effortless acceptance. It provides the place in which wisdom blossoms. Stillness and silence strengthen and renew your soul, raising your awareness, and allowing you to spend time with your essential, beautiful self.
I strongly suggest that you at least try it, even if you choose to deliberately be silent for just one minute as you open your eyes. I promise that as you make this commitment and embark on this journey, one minute at a time, there will come a time that you will wonder how you faced life without these silent moments. They will become the greatest gift you give yourself.
Your body, mind, and soul will be jumping for joy at this gift.
Stillness is the backdrop to life; the blank canvass on which you paint your experiences of being.
Stillness is the place I meet myself.