Soul Food: Silence
Silence is not something that is valued by our culture.
We have devices to that play music, buzz, and stream video content. The places that we live, work, and play are full of noise. Living in the city numbs us to the level of noise that is in our environment.
While combing through our social media accounts, we are drawn to video or animation that is matched with music and sound. We play video games that are come alive with rich sound to enhance our gaming experience. When our environment gets crazy, we abandon ourselves to another experience by popping in our earbuds and tuning out to the world around us.
Music. Background noise. People talking. Car horns. Electronic equipment humming.
Silence is hard to come by. By why is it important to our soul?
Noise (including organized noise that we call music) is distracting.
preventing concentration or diverting attention; disturbing.
Learning to sit and rest in silence is one of the most powerful and peaceful habits that you can develop. Researchers have confirmed links between creative genius and sensitivity to noise. Brains bathed in silence seem to have the ability to form connections that are unusually creative.
Learning to sit in silence slows us down. In our fast-paced "go-go-go" world, slowing down is what we NEED. What we don't need is MORE hurry up and go!
When we slow down our minds through silence, it shifts our whole being into a more peaceful state. In this peaceful state, we can relax and allow our bodies and mind to form connections. We begin to feel and think together instead of allowing our brains to run away with our emotions.
Silence is good for your brain. We regenerate our inner selves and replenish our brains in silence.
Silence is good for our general health. It can improve your memory, relieve stress, and help fight insomnia.
Silence helps your brain grow. Your brain can form connections in silence that it cannot when you are exposed to sound.
So how do you unplug from all of the noise around you? It is easier to say and read about than it is to actually do it.
There are two practices that can lead you along the pathway of benefiting from silence: meditation and mindfulness.
There are so many resources on these two practices that I hate to point you to a specific resource. So I found this on a university website - http://libguides.utk.edu/meditation.
Here is where I started:
Create a beautiful and peaceful room in your home.
Set a time aside to sit peacefully in your room. Start with 5 minutes (longer if you can) and work up to one hour.
During your time you can meditate, pray silently, or just sit and breathe. What you do doesn't matter as much as sitting and being silent.
Be sure to check in with how you feel before and after each session. You should notice a difference in your mood and emotions.
If you feel worse after your periods of silence, it is most likely a sign that you have some unsettled emotional business. I encourage you to seek professional therapy.
Silence is some of the best soul food you will ever experience. Practicing it will lead to deeper self-reflection and a more peaceful state of mind.
I am with you on this journey. And I wish you great peace of mind and quietness of spirit.