Learning from the Quiet

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about a topic we’ve talked about in the past, but isn’t one that anyone really talks about a lot, unless you’re a parent with really noisy kids. Yes, that topic is being quiet. It’s one we have trouble with in general because we don’t live in a quiet world. Whether you’re talking about the noise of our modern conveniences like refrigerators and air conditioners, or you’re talking about the noise nature makes even in the dead of night, we’re surrounded by a noisy world. Which means it can be really hard to find quiet.

Don’t get me wrong, I love communication and I love hearing all the sounds of life all around us. But sometimes the noise becomes too much of a distraction and we can lose the gift that is the quiet. So this week I’ve been working on increasing the amounts of quiet in my life, turning off the radio or TV, working in a quiet space instead of busy locations, and generally turning down the volume on life around me.

I’ll be honest that it’s hard when it’s quiet, more quiet than usual, or almost completely quiet it’s almost distracting too, especially if you’re not used to it. And it forces you to think and be alone with your thoughts, which can be very distracting or disturbing. But it also gives you the chance to be very focused on one or only a couple of things, and admittedly sometimes that can lead to some really clear thinking and productive happenings.

I think the thing that the quiet has taught me the most over the last week has to do with paying attention to life. The times of quiet force you to pay attention, to focus, to be present, and that’s something that all the noise around us doesn’t always allow. What have you missed out on the last weeks, months, or years since you had a regular quiet practice, if you ever had one? Try spending just 10 minutes each day being quiet while doing normal activities, or try something like yoga or meditation if you really want to work on your focus and experience the quiet.

What will the quiet teach you?

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