Ever felt the need to be quiet and not utter a single word?
But how do you do it when you are a mom, a wife, a 9-5er, an entrepreneur, a student, a leader, etc. in such a busy, noisy world?
“Mom, I don’t want to talk today. I’d like to be quiet.” Bontle first said these words when she was just 6 years old. After picking her up from aftercare, she’d had a long, tiring day, and did not have the energy to answer the daily check-in questions I shot at her after each pickup.
At first I was offended (I mean, who rejoices when being shushed by a young child - yes, this is egotistical parenting). But as I drove quietly, I used the time to reflect on what she said. In that 20 minute drive home, I realised the importance of listening to ourselves, our children and expressing ourselves in ways that truthfully and authentically represent us.
3 lessons from this experience:
In listening to ourselves, we give ourselves permission to feel and BE. Sitting with our emotions opens us up to new worlds that may be hidden to us as we continue in our hamster-living type of life.
Listening to our children lets them know that their voice matters and what they have to say is important.
When we allow space to listen to ourselves, we are able to express ourselves in meaningful ways that truly represent who we are and what we are about.
Bontle saying those words on that day, has since given me permission to also ask for quiet time when I need it without feeling guilty that I’m neglecting her. That day, she liberated me from a lot of Mom-guilt a lot of us carry.
“silence is golden”
We’ve all heard this phrase.
But for me, a vivid memory of this phrase is from way back in boarding school. Someone would let out a silent fart, with the hope that it would stay silent but once those around them could smell it, the fartist would utter, “silence is golden baby”. Haha - ok, enough about farts.
The golden thread of silence is that it allows you multiple ways to come back to yourself. We live in a world that is noisy and where keeping insanely busy is applauded. Because of how our lives are set-up, we barely have time to sit quietly, or to rest. Even when we say we are resting, we are scrolling aimlessly on our phones or catching up on some TV. For some people, it is deliberate intent to avoid silent moments because they are afraid to come face-face with their true selves.
Silence begets presence.
The truth is, silence allows us to step into those golden moments of our lives which go by unnoticed due to our busy lifestyles. When you are silent, you rest your mind and are able to tap into your emotions. Silence permits you to feel the bodily sensations you may miss when you are on the go. Silence brings realisation and new found knowledge about things you’ve been parking, hoping to explore when the time is suitable.
When we don’t make time to sit and be still, we deprive ourselves of the freedom to just BE. In silent moments, there is no pressure to perform, to please, to chase, or to impress. You just sit silently and BE. Just be-ing is enough to bring about rest and a refreshed, rejuvenated outlook on your life.
Our busy schedules won’t end. What will end is our fire and zest for life due to a lack of silent, restful moments. Make time to sit in silence each day, to bask in the goodness of silent moments.
Here are some easy ways to be silent (present) even when you are on the go:
Switch off your radio whilst driving to work (or any destination). Look around at the beauty surrounding you as you drive; the quirky billboard ads, trees on the side of the road, etc.
Put your phone on silent for an hour or so, sit still and listen to your heartbeat. If an hour is too long, start with 10 minutes.
When you get home after a long day, lie down and gaze up to the skies. Observe the birds fly about, the cloud formations, listen out to any other sounds and take note of them.
Take your journal and pen or pencil and perform a brain dump. For 10 minutes, write or doodle what ever comes to your mind.
For just 10 minutes, colour-in a pattern or flower from you adult colour-in book. If you don’t have one, ask your child to borrow you a page from theirs.
When we make a habit of being silent, our creativity spikes. We become energised and don’t procrastinate as much. Our anxiety levels cease. We are not easily overwhelmed but are inspired about what’s to come. We feel grounded.
If BE-ING is what you are after, then make time to be silent.
Join me on the upcoming Moms Retreat. This space has been specifically curated for you to BE. Due to the nature of the retreat, limited spaces are available, so reserve your spot now.