I am naturally a quiet person. I remember as a kid the teacher going to my mom “she is bright but prefers to eat and play by herself.” And I did. It wasn’t till middle school and hormones that I realized there was a gender called boys, and that social norms dictated I hang with girls and talk. It was a hard stage for me. Thank god you only have to live through high school once. College hit and I found my balance of socialization and internal solitude. I learned how to balance both.
But with today’s digital age we are so afraid of the quiet. We fill every waking moment with noise or light. We stay more connected then ever with those around us through social media. We like to tell everyone we are “too busy” because we put our kids in after school activities and sports that in turn invade our weekends. We are plugged in more than ever to the news and pinterest has made our cooking endeavors into an Olympic sport. And what is all this gaining us? We are all more tired than ever!
Why are we so afraid of the quiet? When I drive I normally don’t turn on the radio. No audiobooks or podcasts either. I love the few minutes of stillness (other than your daily traffic) that my car provides me. I use the time to think and process my day or just let my mind wander. I find my creativity increases the more time I am able to spend in these quiet solitudes.
Back in 1999 which happened to be a year after my dad died, I had the opportunity to travel to South America and visit Machu Picchu in Peru. It was magical. In the quiet of those majestic mountains my soul was able to truly rest and heal. To just be. A great vacation can do that. Soothe your soul and body and rejuvenate your spirit. How do we bring this ability home?
I say embrace your quiet! You can meditate yes, or start yoga. But it doesn’t even have to be all that in the beginning. Just be. Sit and turn off the noise around you and try and live in the moment. There is so much strength and wisdom to be gained in the quiet. You see, stillness allows your brain to process all that “noise” that blankets us during the day. Your body and mind in turn will clear and your joy will increase!
Try it. Practice just “being.”