Silence. Listen for it. Can you hear it in the space between words? Between the whir of moving vehicles, the cell phone chatter, the music, the voices wanting to be heard?
Our World is busy. It is loud out there. Silence can get lost in the hustle. So can space. As in the space to process an idea before forming an opinion about it. Or the space to ponder the answer before turning to Google. Or the space to look at, really look at, the person with whom you are speaking.
I am a quiet person by nature. That is not to say that I don’t enjoy cranking up the volume of my favorites songs, the street noise of a city, riotous laughter coming from a group of strangers. I love those things. But I crave pockets of silence and find that they are increasingly hard to come by.
We fill the spaces with glitter and fluff disguised as productivity and importance. But the silence begs equal attention! We get so impatient with it, trying to change it into something it is not — like activity, words, noise.
But there is stillness to be found amidst chaos. I remember walking the streets of SoHo at Christmas time many years ago. It was so crowded and bustling that it overwhelmed me. I was alone and decided (without deciding) to stop in my tracks and just take in the madness. It became a beautiful moment as I witnessed that I could be in it without being swept away by it. I could walk slowly and let people hurriedly brush by me. I could look up when everyone else was looking down.
Our environment does not need to change in order for us to seek our peace within it.
We can find the silence. We can create the space.
It becomes a scavenger hunt of sorts, so why not make it one? I do love a good game, you know. This Holiday Season I am giving myself a list of things, all done in silence, to help me pause, listen and savor life. I’ll share it with you, in case you want to play along at home. 🙂
- Witness one kiss
- Listen for a bird and hear, really hear, its song
- Wrap one holiday gift with extreme care and patience (this might be the hardest, I am a harried wrapper!)
- Pretend there is no such thing as the internet for one whole day
- Notice a sunrise
- Notice a sunset
- Hold someone’s hand and let that be your sole activity
- Drive to work with the radio off
- Be completely silent for at least two hours
- Go to bed with no TV or phone or book, just rest
- Write a letter the old fashioned way
- Smile at as many strangers as you can in a single day (do this more than once)
- Look something up in an actual dictionary/thesaurus/encyclopedia (perhaps all 3)
- Eat a meal alone with zero distractions, savoring each bite
Our days can move by quickly, blurring into one another without distinction. Pause. Notice. Welcome the silence, make space for what matters most to you.
Wishing you many moments of peace and love this Season, and always.
P.S. If you decide to make your own list or add to mine, I’d love to hear about it!