The Need to Embrace Silence
One lazy summer afternoon, I stumbled upon this beautiful image with the thought-provoking message and was so intrigued by its sheer depth yet simplicity.
It set me thinking how far and distant we have become from our own self! When was the last time you sat down with yourself, doing nothing, through silence and found it blissful? When was the last time you went for a walk or run without being plugged into your phone in some way? When was the last time you were away from your phone for well over an hour without thinking that it might be beeping?
We have come to surround ourselves with sound in some shape, size or form, all the time. Isn’t that right – whether it is people around us chatting away (ok fine, talking!), the car honking, the dog barking, the loud whistles of the great Indian noisy pressure cooker, the doorbell, our many devices and their notifications, the refrigerator humming, the telly blaring breaking news… the list is all-encompassing – quite literally! If it is not for the external sounds, there’s our mind constantly buzzing with chatter working overtime with thoughts, facts, figures, fiction, presumptions, hypothesis and what the hell not! So whatever happened to silence in our life? The silence we always thought of as a given.
We notice people around working out at the gym, walking in the park with phones/headphones on. People driving with the radio blaring. Zumba and pilates being conducted with absolute rigor amidst mind-numbing music. All said and done, we have come to love our noise. Why else do we don’t mind the many sounds manifesting from the many sources that we seem to have embraced on a 24×7 basis? So what’s the deal – are we (sub) consciously running away from silence?
In this day and age, we are exposed to a mind-boggling amount of information. We have allowed technology to take us over completely. The fact that any information is a click away and that the world has become a small place has come with its own share of the price that all of us paying, all the time. There’s information (whether or not you like it, and whether or not you want it!) that’s creeping into our lives and mind on a per nano – per nanosecond basis. This has, whether or not we realize it, completely altered the paradigm. We seem to have mechanically made peace with noise because lone time and the silence that comes with it, absolutely sucks! We want to know what’s going on, doesn’t matter whether or not it is relevant. We want to be ‘clued in’ always. Amidst this, we don’t even realize how ‘clued out’ we have become in the process. We have dimmed our inner voice in this self – embraced noise. The noise around and the façade just seems so all too……….reassuring! No matter how fake or irrelevant, it seems reassuring nonetheless.
Going back to the image on top, it reinforced an epiphany of sorts for me…that silence is not empty. It is full of answers. It really is. But to find those answer(s) we need to dwell in silence, even if it is for short periods of time.
Spending time with and befriending, the self and silence are important because it opens us to a world of possibilities. The possibility to draw our focus and awareness inward and indulge in positive self – talk and affirmations. It’s a great opportunity to practice mindfulness and to harness the awareness from running haywire to being in the present moment. It takes practice to achieve this but can be easily accomplished and when we are able to do that, we will find that sense of real ‘purpose’ that we are looking for, everywhere but within. It starts with us being comfortable in our own skin sans any pretense or tomfoolery and to seek answers and solace from that silence. After all, as someone once said – if you don’t like and enjoy your own company, how do you expect others to? Isn’t that so right? So let’s teach ourselves this simple but deep practice of embracing the self and the silence.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Namrata Singh is a corporate lawyer by profession based in Delhi and a mother of two footballers aged 9 and 12. She is absolutely fascinated with understanding how stress works on the brain. Namrata runs marathons and practices contemplative practices like yoga and meditation, which she strongly believes has the power of dramatically altering an individual’s entire paradigm with its subtle but significant approach. Namrata can be reached at [email protected]
Image Credits: pixabay.com
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