Friday, 7 August 2015

Silence!


 
There is a tremendous power in silence!

It can of course be used irresponsibly. Once upon a time I was a sales person, and went on training courses where we were drilled in the use of silence as a negotiation toll (8shudders*). But let me concentrate on the positives:

I was fortunate enough recently to have the opportunity of running away on my own to a retreat. Definitely not a spa, but this was better. As soon as I pulled onto the drive it was as if I travelled through some sort of vortex or force-field. An almost eerie sense of calm instantly wrapped itself around me. Eerie only because it is so unusual in today’s world.

A very polite receptionist showed me to my very lovely room. The little folder on the writing desk included instructions on being quiet; no music in the room, observing the silence of the ‘quiet room’, and generally not causing a noise as you travelled throughout the centre. It felt very odd at first, as if I were intruding, or like I was in a library, “shhh!” But I soon adapted and began to enjoy the peace.

And peace it was. Surrounded in stunning British countryside, with walks through fields and groves of trees. I spotted butterflies, also flittering by on hushed wings. And some sort of falcon type bird swooped over a field, its cry the only thing piercing the tranquillity.

Simon & Garfunkel even wrote about this very phenomenon with their song, “The Sound of Silence”. But maybe we didn’t hear its message. I certainly, in full irony, seemed to have missed the point.

As a holistic therapist I am fully aware of the importance of meditation. You should sit in quiet meditation every day; there’s even scientific studies which show the positive effects of this practice. Do I? No! “I’m too busy!” Oops! Then I should meditate all the more. Must try to make this part of my daily routine.

Why? Well, after all this wonderful peace and stillness which I became fully submerged in, I found inspiration to write and found a bit more of myself. It’s so difficult to see all of me when there’s so much noise.

Honestly, it was a real shock. I drove out of the protection of the centre, and when I got onto the motorway it was immediately obvious how busy we are. I drive a fast car, but people were whizzing by, all trying to vie for the optimum road position, always trying to get to the front of the never-ending queue. I got back home and everything felt loud. My husband turned out one of his children’s piggy banks (long story!), but the sound actually hurt my ears! I had that feeling just before I get a migraine – that one where my hearing gets amplified. But no migraine (happily); it was just the stark contrast. I went outside for fresh air, and the constant noise of the traffic assaulted my senses. I went to our bedroom, but even there I could hear noise all around me.

I was shocked to discover just how much noise we surround ourselves with; it is really quite deafening. Most of the time we manage to zone it out to some extent. But wow, I wished it wasn’t there!

I had a magickal night; it was when there was a Blue Moon. I went outside to get the best view and to give my thanks. Funnily enough, I had to walk some way into the grounds as my view was obscured, not by houses and telegraph poles/wires, but by trees! But what a sight! The moon looked massive and was shining in all its glory. I was transported back to all those years ago, when I stayed on a farm for a while. Those peaceful nights with dog walks done by moonlight. As I stood gazing upon the Blue Moon there was a complete absence of noise, except the distant hooting of an owl. “This is what it should be like!” my heart and soul said to me. My soul voice almost sounded as if it were shouting; I guess it’s not used to not having to speak loudly to get itself heard!?

That night, my heart, body and soul cried out more than ever for my farmhouse retreat. “This is what we’ll have there. This is why people will come,” my higher self told me. A week on and that yearning has not left me. Yes, I want to live there, but I also want to be able to offer that gift to others. The immense healing which happens when the mind is still is immense, and it can be at its most still when all around is silent. Ahhh! (*insert dream sequence harp music here*)

So, here’s my challenge for you. When you finish reading this, take yourself into a quiet space. Ironically you may need to play some soothing music to achieve this if you live in a busy environment like I currently do. But find that quiet space, sit and be still. Observe your breathing and how your body feels. Let yourself relax. And let your mind wander, anywhere it wants to take you. Can you hear your inner voice? Does it tell you anything?

Happy silence everyone!

Love & light,

TL