Sitting In Silence

I’m in America for a few days spending some time with my daughter before she returns to school for her last semester of college. While we were in the car yesterday, we were talking  and playing tug of war with the radio dial while I was driving. I was trying to focus on what she was saying as well as navigating the car and we went back and forth with the volume control until finally she said, “ I don’t like to sit in silence.”  


Two things I need to point out here, the music was on, just at a lower volume and we were talking.  Rather than bring up those little details, I talked instead about can happen when we allow ourselves to sit in silence.  People who know me casually might well ask, “ Elizabeth, what do you know about sitting in silence,” as I tend to be considered a bit chatty. I like to say that I am a gregarious introvert. I can talk anywhere, anytime and with anybody without any real anxiety. That ability, driven by curiosity has served me well in many ways, but the flip side is the amount of recovery time I need to recharge.  It took me years to realize that I was not the Energizer bunny in a working mom’s body and that recharging for me, meant being silent and still.


I try to explain to my daughter that sitting in silence is where imagination flourishes, where our dreams begin and where our body and mind have a chance to connect with our spirit.

I say that when the noise of everyday life is silenced, we can begin to hear our own voice instead of the constant demand to meet the needs and expectations of others. 


I don’t think she heard me though.  Most days we’re at an impasse of sorts, the kind mothers and daughters go through during the transition from a parent-child relationship to what we’re developing now. It’s not easy, but if I sit quietly with that for a while, I can begin to see the gifts to come in that change and how in addition to being mother and daughter, we are two adults with two distinct points of view to share.    


Sitting in silence, I can begin see that every moment with her doesn’t have to be a teaching moment anymore and that for now, it’s okay to be still and just be...



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