Happy New Year Everyone!
How time passes. Seems like the intention continues to be to write once a week and my commitment does not show up in results – it is in the heart. However, the outcome is of great importance as well.
The Art of Silence
When you look up silence it gets associated with suppressing one’s voice. Not wanting someone to exercise their rights and so on. And this does stand in the since of how it has been misused in history and culture! But using it as an Art is serving a greater purpose…
Lately, the ability to be silent keeps showing up as a conversation I am having with others closest to me. What I have experienced about silence is it creates an awkward feeling for most in a room and internally. When I teach, students tend to just not answer, more than likely, they feel out of failure in not getting it right. But the uneasiness of the silence creates the stares around the room and the hesitation to respond even if the answer is correct, not just obtaining the perfect answer.
The conversations that I have been experiencing stem around the ability to stop the chatter in the head that causes anxiety and literally destroys the patience. The practice of silence for those who are artists, yours included, can lead to “do they like my work”, “it’s not good”, “maybe I need to change somethings” and so on before the response even comes. Silence doesn’t mean it’s not good. This continues to be the reason I practice meditation. I am one that can get the chatter in the midst of what seems to be a good nights sleep and be up for 2 hours. The practice of meditation has made me more comfortable with silence for self and the moment of silence from others. Currently, I am taking a Mindful Fundamentals course to further my understanding and practice to help others and hope to share more that I learn here.
Here is an article I found, written almost 4 years ago about The Art of Silence that breaks it’s use and benefits down pretty well.
Prior to that conversation during my residency, I’d only thought about silence as something to be enjoyed in solitude and avoided in the presence of others. Now I think about it as a tool I can use to make myself more effective at my job and more understanding of others, and thereby more compassionate, wiser, and happier. Just think how the world would be different if we all spent more time listening. At the very least, it would be a whole lot quieter.