on silence

I’m feeling more in touch with myself than I have for a while. I owe that to taking the last few days to “de-noise” my life.

I was feeling overstimulated by work (preschoolers are beautiful little universes but they aren’t exactly known for being tranquil or low maintenance) and by a host of thoughts needing to be processed.

Constantly surrounding myself with the noise of Instagram, YouTube, TV shows, Pinterest, Tumblr, Facebook, etc., wasn’t exactly helping. Not that those things are inherently bad. Instagram, for example, has been a way for me to connect with others who have similar interests. YouTube videos help make boring tasks like getting ready in the morning, cleaning, or cooking much more tolerable. Facebook is my favorite way to troll my mom and stay connected with friends.

But when I’m absentmindedly or impulsively opening apps to check for notifications or to scroll (for always longer than I intended) and constantly have something playing in the front or background, I’m not allowing my brain any time at all to cool down and just be. Which can be bad news. In fact, I was starting to get wonky.

Luckily, I was able to identify the reason I was getting wonky: over-stimulation.

I guess I was drawing some connections to all the times my husband told me the reason my computer was freaking out was because I had too many programs open.

So, I closed some programs. For the last few days I have stayed off social media and TV. Even during meals I was eating alone or when I was doing boring stuff like straightening my hair.

It was kind of crazy how each time the initial dreaded fog of boredom would lift after a few minutes. My brain would take a deep breath, relax its muscles, then begin productively working through problems and gathering insights on mental hangups I’d been having. It was awesome.

I felt like I was actually recharging for the next day of work or event. I was proactively chipping away at digesting a number of topics which had been swirling around my mind recently instead of waiting until they built up and I melted down. It was much more enjoyable to do my feeling and thinking at a reasonable pace rather than all at once.

In the silence of my morning route, of my break at work, of my meals, I grew more in tune with myself because I gave her a real chance to show up. Without all the noise, I could hear her when she knocked.

She’s actually pretty cool. I don’t know why I drown her out so much.

Isn’t that what we do though? At least sometimes? Without realizing it, we can lose the opportunity to get to know and hear from one of our greatest allies in life–ourselves.

Whatever, I’m not trying to be some motivational speaker or something. I just think it’s true. We are wiser than we think and are far more capable of facing our obstacles than we give ourselves credit for. We just have to give ourselves the opportunity and not be scared (Because I think fear is part of it. Yes, sometimes noise is fun and innocent. But other times, I’m realizing I’m using noise to put off confronting a thought I’m afraid is going to be too much for me to handle.  No more of that. Okay, less of that–we’re all works in progress.).

I want to make periods of silence a more regular part of my life, taking a few days every few weeks to get back to my roots. And I want to daily be more mindful and choosy about the noise I do let in and how often I let it in.

It may have a habit of getting wonky, but I want to see what else my brain has to offer when given a healthy space to do so.

If these last few days were any indication, I’m prepared to be pleased.

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Have you ever done anything similar and what were your results?

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2 thoughts on “on silence”

  1. I follow your posts regularly, and enjoyed this one a lot! I used to be an adrenaline junkie, making a long list to do, speeding through life, and pushing myself and others non-stop. Then I started to enjoy the quiet. One class I took recently encouraged us to make times to listen. My car becomes my quiet zone, many times. I turn off my phone and the radio. I quiet my mind and slow myself down. This is also a time I pray and listen. I can be honest with myself about my feelings and desires, too.
    Looking forward to more of your blogs.
    Liz Frater

    1. Thanks for your encouraging words. 🙂 It’s kind of crazy how when we get silent it’s much harder to not be honest with ourselves! I’m glad you’ve found a place to be your quiet zone. 🙂

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