All creation holds its breath, listening within me, because to hear you, I keep silent.
Rainer Maria Rilke, from The Book of Monastic Life
This past weekend, I took time out from the constant buzz of city life, and spent a few days at a friend’s house in the country. I didn’t realize how much I needed the gift of quiet time until I got there!
Giving ourselves quiet time is a gift we can give to ourselves and others. While in the country, I could actually hear the silence in between the rustling leaves on the Japanese maple trees, the chickadees chirping, the squirrels scurrying around, and the stars filling the sky.
Lately, I have become more comfortable being quiet with my husband. As we drove to the country on the weekend, I soaked in the silence filling the car. We didn’t even play music. We just allowed the silence to fill the air, and we were both enjoying it together. I used to be anxious and always feel that we needed to talk to be connected. I am now realizing that silence is something we can share and enjoy with others.
Learning to cultivate some inner silence and some outer quiet is an important way of making room for the sacred in our lives.
Pause & Practice
This week, I invite you to connect with silence and an inner feeling of quiet.
- Next time you are in the car, let yourself be quiet. Try not to get on the phone or play music. Let silence fill the space.
- Invite yourself to be quiet with someone–and enjoy it!
- At some point in a conversation this week ask yourself: Do I really need to say something? Would silence be a better choice?
- Slowly, say this prayer:
Be still and know that I am God
Be still and know that I am
Be still and know
Take three deep breaths and feel a sense of spaciousness.