Some people are quiet by nature. Quiet comes to them naturally. Does it for you? Or do you find long gaps of silence uncomfortable? One needs to learn the art of being quiet and still both the body and mind, not only to tap into the power of silence but also because “an inability to stay quiet is one of the most conspicuous failings of mankind”
Being comfortable with silence is also culture dependent. Research shows that with Anglophones if there was a silent gap that stretched for 4 seconds people started to feel uncomfortable; whereas in another study the Japanese were happy up till 8.2 seconds..
As for me, for many years, I used to be very quiet by nature though I suspect, being such an introvert, my mind must have been on overdrive quite a lot of the time. Then on my self-empowerment journey, when I started to use my voice, I swung to the other extreme and have become almost loud sometimes. That is where I have to work to find my balance as there is something to be said for both silence and speaking up; the right time, the right place, the right tone that sort of thing. Thus Q for Quiet.
More than the balance I think I actually miss the ‘old’ me sometimes, the me that was quiet. For there is a lot to be said for being the quiet type. I think it helped me be calm and patient for one thing. And definitely more tolerant. So I think I would like to practise being more silent again. According to Katie Donovan, “Silence is the hardest technique to learn. It’s against our instincts. We want to fill in the blanks.”
But learning the art of silence, brings with it many benefits. Silence is an important tool in communication as it can convey meaning and emotion without words. It allows one to listen actively so that the other feels heard thus improving communication and encouraging empathy.
We live in a society where we are constantly barraged by noise. Getting away from the cacophony, like say with a walk in the country and communing with nature, can be relaxing as well as healing.
The quieter you become the more you can hear and feel.
It is, in fact, a good practice to take a pause every hour in the day, simply to reflect on how you are feeling and to collect yourself; in a similar way that public speakers pause for effect, allowing the audience to take in what was said.
The noise is distracting and sometimes overwhelming both externally as well as internally. In meditation, one learns to sit in silence and just be aware of one’s thoughts and emotions. With practice, and in silence, the aim is to get in touch with the core of one’s being and one’s inner knowing. Meditation, as we all know, has manifold advantages, one of the most significant being heightened self-awareness.
“There is no substitute for the creative inspiration, knowledge and stability that comes from knowing how to contact your core of inner silence” Deepak Chopra
I have also found that when I sit quietly by myself, I am more intuitive and I can listen to my own inner wisdom. As they say, “Silence isn’t empty. It is full of answers”.
As I write my blog, the whole household is asleep and all I can hear is the ticking of my clock and the clatter of my keyboard. That is how I work best…when everything is quiet around me. Lowering sensory input helps to tap into one’s creativity and even day-dreams.
So let’s be quiet, quiet the mind, dive deep into the quiet of our very being.