Silence

Peerless Panther issued a quote challenge last week and its taken me this long to respond. Her quote?
“Experience teaches us that silence terrifies people the most.” ~ Bob Dylan

And how does that relate to yoga? Well there are many different ways this could go and may end up. But let’s start here.

My yoga teacher training is difficult, and in-depth and challenging. And I love it. But one thing really scared me. The knowledge that before the year was out I would need to spend one day in silence. Alone, just me.  I love people, I need people, interacting with people give’s me energy and makes me happy.   When I first learned about this day of silence, I asked my teacher, “How long is a day?” Would six hours count? Would eight? Would four? Well the answer grasshopper, is that it’s different for everyone. This silence could include a tiny bit of reading to help direct the mind and a tiny bit of music to keep focused on the inner. but. that. is. it.

I’ve decided the time in the car doesn’t count, (six-eight hours alone at least twice a month) because I need to focus on staying awake and driving and I tend to think a lot and if I stopped I might run off the road, etc.  And unless I really focus, the time at home alone doesn’t count. I mean I live alone right? in Silence? right? Well, there is the internet, the phone, books and all sorts of distractions. It’s supposed to be purposeful and intentional and well, silent.

The words of a Pink song, say “Silence scares me cause it screams the truth” And in October I was a bit frightened of that silence, that truth.

I’ve always been the one to fill the silence, with chatter, with stories, with questions. As a journalist, I learned how to use the silence, to draw it out just a bit so people would talk more, tell more, give better interviews.

As a child, a lover, and a friend, I’ve had silence used against me as a weapon, which is probably where my fear of it comes from.  And I’ve learned the companionable feeling of silence with someone when you get to the point where words aren’t necessary.  And I’ve felt the silence, the terrifying silence of having performed, spoken, written something and waited for feedback and gotten

silence.

And in that moment of time silence is terrifying.

But the beauty of choosing your silence? is the beauty of looking forward to it with joy and not fear. It’s the beauty of stepping back and being an observer of self, not a critic. I’ve started playing with silence, a few hours here, a turning off of the phone there, a stopping the inner monologue and what I’ve found isn’t terrifying at all, its actually pure joy and knowing myself better and accepting myself more.

And the more I step into that silence and joy, the more I see I’m not alone.

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