The Power of Silence
Have you ever taken ten minutes and intentionally sat quietly? No agenda, no music or tv in the background. Definitely no phone. Just silence.
It’s something my fiancé and I have taken to more frequently in recent months and it’s been really nice. Often we initiate our ten minutes of silence after an incessant stream of back-and-forth consciousness discussing endless house projects, work happenings, wedding planning, and the latest national and global current events. They’re all great topics to discuss, but it gets to a point where it’s exhausting keeping up with the mental acrobatics of it all. So once we’ve solved all of the world’s problems for the evening, one of us will sometimes say “can we sit quietly for ten minutes?” And just like that, silence envelopes us.
Sometimes eyes are open; other times they are closed. Sometimes I treat it like a meditation, focusing on my breath; other times I notice my mind is an endless reel playing daydreams and non-stop thoughts. I just go with it. For those ten minutes, the important part is that it’s quiet and the external environment begins to calm around us.
I admit, I am an avid want-to-be meditator. I know the importance of it for calming the mind, re-setting the nervous system, and the simple fact that it correlates with a happier existence. (Check out an abundant list of benefits, backed by science, here!) But for whatever reason, my wellness struggle is to sit and be intentional about meditation on a regular basis. For years I’ve wanted to be “a good meditator,” but I’ve started to let go of that notion and now realize there’s no perfect way to do it. What the ten minutes of silence offers me is a way to slow down, calm the chatter (whether that be externally or within my own mind for a brief moment), and push the reset button. It never ceases to amaze me: after those ten minutes of silence my experience is a little more alert, a little more calm, and a lot more appreciative of the immediate moment when I just open my eyes or we break the silence. It’s like sneaking meditation in through the back door. There are no loud announcements, no fussing around preparing. It’s just deciding all of a sudden and doing it. My guess is that just ten simple minutes can still offer the same positive effects of meditation, and I'm not even trying that hard! How good is that?
So give it a shot sometime. What do you think? Did it change anything about your experience afterward? Was it difficult or a breeze? Frustrating or serene? All are welcomed responses. Just treat it like an experiment and see what happens. You may be surprised at what ten short minutes in silence can do for you and the energy of your day.
Leave a comment below about your ten minutes of silence. I'd love to hear from you!