There is this moment, when you submerge your head in the bathtub just enough that your ears are under water.
Suddenly all sound is muffled, then disappears into warm silence.
You close your eyes.
Moments like that make us realize how rare silence is. Think about it!
We have conversations at breakfast, we listen to the radio or have phone conversations in the car, then chit chat with our coworkers, more phone calls, lunch Blabla, afternoon meetings, radio, more phone calls and radio on the drive home, some conversations, nagging and fighting before, after and during dinner, Tv watching, until we finally close our mouth and mind and-often with great difficulty-fall asleep.
I know people that will say that silence makes them nervous. Nervous.
What happened to us that we so happily accept audio distractions, noise, chatter, pings and buzzes? Audio-Sensory-Overdrive.
What if we just shut up? Not shut down, but shut up?
To not speak, take phone calls, or nag sounds impossible in our everyday life, right? Instead of listening to music, radio, or other people-- what if we choose silence instead?
Well, they say, it is a great thing to do.
But it is also a hard thing to just do at home or at work.
Imagine to just shrug at your partners questions, to not call the kids out on stuff, not to be able to talk on the phone, to just gesture on Facetime, to just quietly smile at waiters, cashiers and neighbors. What a relief.
Seems kind of awesome - but not so realistic.
So there are places for it. Places where everybody is just quiet and nobody talks. So called Silent retreats.
Basically you go and –zip it. Listen to nature. The wind. Listen to your tummy growl.
Just opening your mouth to eat is the plan.
Participants have described the experience as “rejuvenating” and “mindblowing”.
With the burden of speech lifted, all social obligations that clutter our mind vanish and stop sucking out our energy.
We can turn inward, look around and maybe start a silent conversation with ourselves. Ha! A silent conversation in our mind! When is the last time you did that?
Here are a few places you can check out if you are interested in the “silent treatment”:
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