The Practice of Quiet

Have you ever taken a quiet walk in the woods either alone or with your partner? Maybe after or during a quiet snow fall or while the autumn leaves are quietly falling around you? There’s something almost unsettling about the quiet that surrounds you, with only the forest noises able to be heard besides your breaths and footsteps. Because it’s so very different from the noises we live with normally, the quiet noise of the woods sounds so foreign and unsettling. But when you get back to civilization do you notice how you miss that quiet, or how annoying the noise that used to be almost invisible is? That’s because despite the world we live in during most of our lives, we still need those quiet moments that get us back in touch with our dreams, desires, true selves, and inner peace.

The practice of traditional meditation is very popular for this reason. We’ve discovered that on a regular basis we need to stop so that we can refocus and let go of the distractions that have taken us in directions that won’t lead us to our goals or will only ultimately hurt us. We’re not meant to be on the go 24/7, our bodies can’t handle it. We need to make time each day to re-center, refocus and relax. The question is do we?

Most of us may try for a few minutes, but like our exercise “practices” and our relationship-building activities, our intentions are usually much better than the reality. But just like exercise, strong and stable relationships, and good eating habits all require work, part of the success with activity is that we can only go so long before we have to stop and take a break. The moments of peace and quiet can be just as valuable and important as those of connection and action, maybe more important if you’re stuck and frustrated with the actions you’re taking.

This week I encourage you to get out there and experience some of the stillness of nature. Remove yourself from the hustle and bustle of this world and reconnect with nature, even if only for a hour, and then make plans for quiet time on a regular basis each day, whether it’s in the bath or shower each day or a few minutes before bed or in the morning before everyone else gets up.

“True silence is the rest of the mind; it is to the spirit what sleep is to the body, nourishment and refreshment.” William Penn


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