Sound of Silence

In the absence of noise, one hears things that are otherwise overlooked. Mental noise (Ugh – my to-do list!), emotional noise (XXX is SO annoying!), soul noise (Why can’t I be more like Pema Chodron?), and physical noise (Why is that idiot running the leaf blower when there is still snow on the ground?) When all that noise is present (and we’re experiencing it right now whether we realize it or not), one cannot hear the gift of the songbird. I’m embarking upon a small adventure this weekend, a noise deprivation experiment of sorts -a full day silent meditation retreat. I’m pretty much consumed with anxiety over it.

The wheels in my head screech out an insistent refrain, “You will hate it!”, “You’ll never make it!”  “You will stink at it!”, “You have WAY too much to do!”, “Your hip hurts!”, “What about work?”,  “Your stomach will growl the whole time!” (If the past few days are any indication, this last one might be true).

In short, evil voices from every direction are undermining my desire to go.  I’m determined to go because I know I need to do it. I REALLY need to do it.  At one point today, I instant messaged a colleague and said my blood pressure was 10,000 / 800.  I get upset when people aren’t treated well, and upset leads to stress, and stress leads to… you know the drill.

Believe it or not, there is a link between this conversation and the Mastery conversation we shared last Sunday (click here to revisit it).  How?

What if the purpose of life was to achieve self-mastery in the form of 360 degree view of ourselves?  Self- mastery in self-awareness, self-actualization, self-motivation, self-acceptance, and my favorite subject, self-leadership (with all the other self-xxx’s in tow) so that you could reach your full potential – emotionally, spiritually, physically – in all that you do?  Work, love, play, think, do, give, be…

You can’t lead yourself effectively unless you know yourself.  Knowing yourself does not consist of perusing an excel spreadsheet of tasks and accomplishments – those might be outcomes of knowing yourself (or NOT knowing yourself – what were you designed to do? What piece of the universal puzzle do you fill better than anyone else?)

So. Back to me.  I’m going, darn it. And I’m going to shut down the noise and hear what my spirit has to say.  I’m going to incline my ear towards the universe, and listen for whispers.  I’m going to exist quietly without putting myself on trial for my multiple troubles, mistakes, faults, and flaws – past or future. I’m going to, as they say, “Stop the madness!”  And I’m not going to speak for HOURS!  (no remarks about how amazing that is considering my ability to talk!)

Whatever comes to me, I will allow it to sit with me like a butterfly on my shoulder.  I will greet it as if it is an old friend.  I’m going to be who I am.  Whatever that it is, it is good enough.  I don’t need to fix me, I need to understand and embrace me to achieve self-mastery.

By stating these things to you, I won’t be able to chicken out tomorrow morning when I am scheduled to leave the house at 6:30 am.

Will you do me a favor?  Will you:

  1. Send me positive thoughts and energy
  2. Spend some time this weekend, in a manner that works for you, looking at your heart, mind, and world – and note what you see?  You can count it towards your 10,000 hours of self-mastery.  Maybe share this and invite a friend or family member to do the same.
  3. If the gift of insight lands upon you, I’d love for you to share with us in the comments – we can all learn from our respective experiences!

I promise to do the same.  Onward!

6 thoughts on “Sound of Silence

  1. Maureen, my dear, beautiful, wide-open friend, I am feeling so much I want to share with you. First, I hope you feel a sense of me hugging you – my positive energy around you, encouraging you, letting you know that where you’re headed might be scary but you’ll break through that fear and find yourself in a kind of paradise, a very different ‘heaven right here’ than you’ve been experiencing.
    I bet it’s not about you needing to do it in the form a ‘should’ – rather a plea from your soul asking for a break from noise…your heart beggin you to turn down the volume so you can hear what’s been screaming at you from deep inside. I hope you will embrace the positive possibility of tomorrow and lean into a wonderful night of sleep…may your dreams tonight reveal you turning toward the sun, open your arms wide, inviting beauty deep inside of you.
    My friend, may you hear the “the gift of the songbird” – your own magnificent, beautiful dove inside. May you find the golden peace that your beautiful photo invites. I will be with you tomorrow, gently holding you during the scariest moments. If there’s ever a moment when it’s challenging to listen to what your soul is telling you, please know I’m here holding your hand. Hoping you’ll my gentle touch encouraging you to venture further when you aren’t sure what’s happening. Sending you heart-felt love.

  2. Hi Maureen, Your blog really resonates with me today. My hubby (with whom I am usually joined at the hip – being full-time RVers) is off to a ranch for a guys’ couple of days. That leaves me completely and deliciously ALONE! Silence is not something we enjoy much of when we’re together. But I love spending time alone with NO TV or radio – just soul-satisfying silence. I look forward to recharging my batteries and reconnecting with my own self. So I, too, am sending you waves of positive energy your way – and I will think of you enjoying your silence as I enjoy mine. You have reminded me to take advantage of the silence to really listen to the small still voice within that has all the answers. Bless you for your wonderful gifts that you so graciously share with those around you. I hope that we can meet one day!

    • Hi Terry! Oh my gosh, how wonderful that you’re carving your own mini-retreat out of this opportunity! Where are you RV’ing right now?

      Thank you for the lovely positive energy and encouragement to listen to that small still voice with – I appreciate it so much. I too hope we meet one day!!

  3. Ah, my dear Vicki! How can such marvelous support and beautiful poetry – your precious gift – exist between two people who have never met? It is the power of a virtual workforce, and it is amazing to me. Your words are just what I need to hear as I slow down and relax into whatever posture I find myself in tomorrow. You of all people know about courage – for those of you reading this, Vicki is a cancer survivor – and now she helps others traveling the same path she has experienced. I am so grateful for the beautiful songbird in you, Vicki, and your willingness to share it with me! Vicki’s blog is: http://mostlymyheartsings.wordpress.com/ and she has written a book of poetry by that title.
    I chose that peace photo for a reason! You gave me that little coin a while back. I can’t wait to tell you how this all turns out. Thank you for your support my friend – and when you support one, you support us all. Onward!

  4. Hi Maureen, I read your blog with a smile on my face. You know me, I love to talk! I once participated in a mindfullness course at work. These were 8 weekly sessions and then one whole day in silence. Just as you are writing I thought I could never do it, being silent for hours on end. Guess what, I not only succeeded, much to my and my coworkers surprise, I LOVED IT! Wishing you the same joyful experience, my dear friend! Sending you love and hugs, Karin

    • HI Karin! You were EXACTLY RIGHT (as always.) :-) I had a marvelous time. It didn’t drag at all, I enjoyed my silence and solitude, I learned from the lecture and from the experience – it was really great. I will share more this week, hopefully. I’d love to learn more about your experience as well. Thanks for supporting me on my journey, Karin!

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