I walk into my house Sunday evening, fresh off the plane from San Diego, fresh out of energy. I am struck by the stillness, quiet and peacefulness of my home. The only sounds breaking the silence are the ticking of a pendulum clock and the beginnings of the fire crackling in the fireplace.
We spent time in silence during my five day “intensive” training. We were surrounded by sound — traffic, boats, people going about their busy-ness.
It isn’t until I step over the threshold that I realize how much sound we are assaulted by every day, even if we practice silence.
The quietest moments I have ever known was when I lived off the grid for three years in the 1970s. At the end of a two mile road, this old sheep farmer’s house had the luxury of a “party-line” telephone, a gravity fed water system for indoor plumbing, propane lighting, refrigerator and water heater. It was so quiet. In the evenings the sounds were gentle. The hiss of propane lights, the hum of the frig. motor, the sound of wood crackling in the wood stove in Winter, crickets and frogs in Summer. In quiet surroundings I more easily drop into silence. Not needing or wanting to speak, comfortable with the silence, not wanting to break the gentle spell.
As I sit in the early morning hours in my still house, I realize that there is always sound. The beating of my heart, the sound of breath moving in and out of my lungs. I use the gentle sounds to find silence.
Silencing my mind, the internal chatter that busily creates “to-do” lists, all that’s wrong with my life and the world and what needs to be done to fix it, begins to fade. When I disconnect from the noise of technology for just a moment, I can hear the whispering of my soul. My soul whispers to me of love and connection to the precious part of me that is connected to all of you, the earth and God. My soul whispers to pray for others, as I connect to all that was, is, and ever will be. My soul whispers, reminds me, of my life’s purpose. When I take the time to sit in the stillness and quiet of the dawn, I can hear my soul in the silence. My day unfolds from this grounded, heart-centered, connected place of hope and possibility.
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