The Sheer Power of Silence

BlogHer Original Post

Silence has the power to shake us at the core.  It also has the power to allow us to tap into the deepest and most important pieces of ourselves so we create our life, our business, our careers, our relationships, and our every single precious day in a way that is meaningful.  Eight years ago this Friday, 9/11 created a powerful hush that moved many to make lasting changes in their lives.  For others their proclamation of change fell by the wayside as emotions were forgotten or buried on the way back to status-quo because fear or complacency took the driver's seat.

Are you afraid of the silence?

If you were to get very still and quiet, would you be willing to listen to the messages that showed themselves?

We aren't used to quiet. We have Internet 24/7 and we're tweeting away from the boardroom, the train, and the bedroom. There is noise everywhere. Silence and presence is hard to come by and something most people avoid unless it is thrust upon them.  Besides the utter tragedy of 9/11 and the deep emotions it evoked for everyone as mortality and meaning became an around the water cooler topic (perhaps for the first and only time), one thing it also did was bring us a measure of uncommon silence. 

I personally can remember being dismissed from work early (suburban Philadelphia) and going for a bike ride.  It was eerily quiet without planes in the air and rush hour traffic.  For those closer to the scene, they describe the strange quiet on the streets of NYC and time standing still in silence.  In the silence, whether tragic and unexpected as in 9/11 or simply by choice as in meditation or retreat, we can no longer avoid what is right in front of and within us. Our senses are heightened and we are right here, right now.

For people who vowed eight years ago to live each day more fully, take more time for the things that matter, or stop suffering in careers that don't fit them only to find themselves today essentially in the same mode of operation as pre-9/11, it is because they forgot the whispers of wisdom they heard in the silence.  The powerful and often very fear laden experience of truly claiming what matters most to you and then acting in alignment with that.

I came across Lissa Rankin's post "Owning Silence: My Meditation Retreat at Spirit Rock" and just love the depth of what she shares. There are so many excellent points in this article, yet I love this simple statement on silence:

One day of silence positively transformed me – I can only imagine having that gift for a few days or a week).  I could barely lift my head to watch Jack as he spoke. “You might feel tired,” he explained. “This is probably the first time in awhile many of you have stopped to just be, and your body is thank you for listening to it – for resting it.”  Oh yes, agreed my body. Listen to the man. Listen to ME.

Silence is transformational and you don't need a catastrophe to happen in order to befriend it.   In fact silence is critical for tapping into your intuition which is an integral component for success, happiness, survival, and living your life in a way that is on track for you.  Silence is deep communion with yourself and all other living things.  It doesn't come naturally to us but you can learn how to practice silence. Here are 7 reasons why we should practice silence and how you can do that in under 15 minutes a day from Tatyana.

So whether you are a devotee of creating silence in your days or someone who just wants to get a better grip on what is most important to you so you can seize your life the best way you can, you can do that in a moment of quiet no matter how busy your life may be.  I'll don my coaching hat and make a request to you: take a moment of silence this week in honor of 9/11 and just notice if you are following through on the commitments you made to yourself that fateful day.  If you don't like the answer you hear, today is the perfect day to re-commit and do things differently. There's nothing more powerful or triumphant than that.

Paula Gregorowicz, owner of The Paula G. Company, offers life and business coaching for women to help you gain the clarity, confidence, and courage you need to succeed on your own terms. Get the free eCourse "5 Steps to Move from Fear to Freedom" at her website

Get the latest word on personal finances from an LGBT perspective and Paula's practical coach approach to the topic at Queercents



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