“Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright…”
Just uttering these words brings a feeling of peace. As I look out at my silent, snow-filled yard, it also brings a sense of quiet, stillness and peace.
These days it is hard to find silence, unless it is in the middle of the night while the rest of the world sleeps. Even in meditation this morning I am aware of the sound of the heat coming on in the room and my husband getting his breakfast in a nearby room.
Some of us want sound to be around us at all times, like my now-passed in-laws. When we visit ed them in the Bronx, an already noisy place, they would often have the radio on, low and inaudible, as background noise. I had a client years ago who said she was afraid of the silence. She feared her inner demons would rise in the quiet and take her over. The constant sound coming from the TV was a way to keep those inner demons and fears at bay, to override them.
What is your relationship with silence? Stillness? Does it feel frightening to you? When we settle in to silence and gradually allow it to be part of our experience, some negative thoughts and fears may arise. These have been with us all along, hanging out just below our awareness, still affecting us negatively, only unconsciously. Know that the arising allows us to become aware of and question them, process and move beyond them.
And beyond our negative thoughts and fears lies the sweetest place of all to be—quiet, calm, still, peace—a deeper experience of ourselves and the preciousness of being alive. In this still place we see life differently. We can take in the beauty, the wonder, the love and support from our source that is always around and in us.
In this still place, we move beyond our personality, our identity, who we call ourselves, who the world sees us as, to the I Am, the awareness, that is deeper than any name or form. We become fully present to this moment now.
In stillness, we find solutions to our problems, creativity, wisdom. It is rich territory to explore. It is deeply nourishing space to spend time in. It is one of the most generous things we can give ourselves. And as we give this to ourselves, we enrich all those around us with the calm, relaxed peace that we bring to our interactions. Tap into the stillness this season offers.