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Sometimes we see the unexpected, but we notice everything in reaction. The turn off for our mind doesn’t mean we can’t see the energy put to suppress emotions bounce back with equal reaction. The sorrow I try to escape from will come back and hurt me more, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I walked down the street, stopped at the corner and waited for the light to change. As I did, I watched the trees blow in the wind. I looked up at the sky and saw the clouds hanging low. I inhaled and closed my eyes. A couple of seconds of nothing and then, ‘watch it’ some guy said, shouting at me with a look.


About to react, I stopped myself from saying anything. Instead I noted that maybe the street corner wasn’t the best place to experience a moment of silence. But then again, when is? In our overscheduled lives, how often do we get the time to not only be silent but to also experience it around us? I used to be uncomfortable with silence. I was so terrified to be alone with my thoughts, or not have something to say in a conversation that I’d fill empty spaces with chatter. But I began to wonder; what could my life become if I talked less and sat in silence more? What started out as a weekend experiment has turned into a life practice. When the mind quits, the heart opens. Silence leads us to trust our own experience, to find a new way of seeing and to find a place of clarity where we aren’t controlled by distractions.


As mentioned before, I used to talk a lot. Much of the time I didn’t pay attention to what I was saying or why. Little did I know that what was coming out of my mouth was not only hurting my self-confidence but also reinforcing my lack of belief in myself. I would talk over people if I wanted to be heard, take most things personally, react quickly, make excuses for my actions and talk about others in a judgmental and critical tone. The lower our self-esteem, the more muddy, evasive and inappropriate our communication is likely to be because of uncertainty about our own thoughts and feelings, as well as anxiety about the listener’s response.


With all that we have going on day-to-day we are often the last concern in our minds. Taking time out each day to just settle down in silence, maybe even just being aware of the body’s natural rhythm of breathing, cools down the emotional centre of the brain and brings the ability to regulate our emotions and be more in control of our impulses. Adding silence to our lives lets us get in touch with how we’re feeling, giving us time to see what we need more of and what we need to let go of, creating a sense of balance. Use silence to check yourself before you make decisions to begin acting intentionally and from a place of empowerment, rather than allowing circumstances and what others desire push you from one thing to another.

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