Comfortable with silence.
I like to write a lot about how highly sensitive people need self-care. I hope my posts have showed that it is essential to taking care of our well-being and cultivating a sense of inner peace within us. Today, I want to talk about something most people are afraid of.
No it’s not spiders or heights or jumping off a cliff.
It’s being alone with yourself and nothing else to distract you.
Feeling scared yet?
Silence means being alone with your thoughts. Having to listen to what you think. What you believe and what you say to yourself. It’s daunting. It’s frightening. It is scary.
For a long time, there were just too many thoughts in my head. It was the complete opposite of silence. It was a rock concert and an Adele concert and a Rihanna concert all in one. Everyone singing, different tunes with different themes and different messages. There were too many voices and opinions. I couldn’t bear to sit still. While at the same time, all I wanted was for everything to be still.
Do any of you feel that way? Let me know in the comments or shoot me an email.
It took me a long time to realize that I had a fear of being alone in my thoughts. I tried to fill my time with activities and distractions. I tried to be calm and comfortable by shutting all of my emotions and layers and layers of thoughts out.
(Not so secret secret: It did not work).
I fought the noise and indecision by chiding myself. Saying that I was doing the wrong things and saying the wrong things to myself, out loud, to other people.
People often tell you to change your thoughts. To tell yourself other things and to go to therapy. Those things work. You should do them. I have and I continue to.
But it all started with being silent.
Making your external environment silent gives you the opportunity to hear yourself. Once you give yourself time to listen to what’s in your head, you can find silence internally. You can sit on a park bench and watch the people walk by and the birds sing and enjoy nature around you. In this moment, I want you to feel calm and peaceful. You do not need to let your thoughts ruin your peace. You do not need to think about the deadlines waiting for you and the people waiting for you. Five minutes can be spared at any time of the day. Nothing dire will happen. The world will not end. Your life will not end. Give yourself five minutes to be silent and recognize the beauty around you.
Can you imagine what this feels like?
Have you experienced it before?
There is so much to notice about the world around you when you are silent.
There is a saying by (someone I really can’t find!) that says, “Quiet people are often the most intelligent.” Because instead of focuing on me, me, me. What do I need. What do I want. What’s wrong with my life. The focus can be on what can be learned from the environment and the people around them. When you pay attention, it is easy to recognize that the world is great.
Cultivating this silence can be scary.
Hearing your inner thoughts and fears can feel overwhelming.
To help you with this journey, I invite you to try a five minute silence exercise:
- Take a deep breath
- Breathe in and feel the cold air enter your nose
- Breathe out and feel the warm air leave your nose.
- Now begin focusing your thoughts with this mantra. Say “I am enough” to yourself. Very slowly. Theres no rush and theres no count. Just the words themselves to listen to and feel them rolling around in your mouth and your body. I am enough.
Savor the taste of the words. The intricate way your lips and tongue move when forming the words.
Because these words have power.
They can change your life and your heart. They can quiet your mind and fill it with love and beauty and wonder. The world has its arms open. It is not trying to ruin you and defeat you. It’s there waiting for you to notice it. Like a shy teenage girl with a crush. (Yes we all know what that looks like, even you boys.) Notice the beauty, the wonder and the mystery of the words. Noticing this will bring wonder and mystery to your world too.
Sounds far fetched? Sounds unbelievable?
Well let me ask you this, is your current framework of negativity and self depreciation working for you?
Is telling yourself that you are ugly, dumb and unwanted making you happy?
No. They arent. I’ve been there. I’ve done that. And it does not work.
I write more about this in my post My journey towards positivity.
So why not try it my way?
- Listen to the silence
- Repeat the words I am enough
- Revel in the beauty of life around you