I awoke this last Sunday with a deep sense of peace – it was my monthly day of silence, a practice I initiated eight years ago and have done consistently since then. Twenty-four hours dedicated to listening deeply and letting myself be moved from the place of Source inside. For whatever reason, this particular day was sublime. The rhythm was beautiful – steady, unfolding, and rich with new insights and new experiences even though the outer forms of what I was doing – walking, fixing fences, feeding animals, sitting on the porch – were all very familiar. What dawned on me as the day progressed was that over these eight years I had developed a certain level of mastery – I had become very content with being silent.
One of the main reasons I began the practice was because somewhere inside I knew I was sad, depressed and disconnected. Simply adding more work or looking for something external to fill the void was not working. So, I went internal and back to the tap root of each one – reconnecting with our essential Being.
When I first started this practice I noticed that I would feel anxious the night before – anxious about what I am not really sure although I think I would try pin it on things like bumping into people and being awkward or blurting out a sentence unconsciously. In retrospect, I think what I was really most anxious about was simply that it was unfamiliar – it was a new habit. I would even have dreams around this day of silence where I needed to be silent and I would speak or I would be silent in the dream even when it wasn’t my time of practice.
At this point it is not a new habit, it is a well-established one, the benefits of which I am reaping now deeply. My whole life has rearranged as a result of this one practice. Slowly, steadily and without overtly trying my life has been reconfigured to much more accurately reflect my inherent gifts, talents and way of being. Upon reflection there is very little semblance of my current life to what was going on at that time. I began to map the changes – it took close to three years before new outer forms appeared, the main one being the acquisition of two horses. They rearranged everything about both my life and that of my husband, our land and the rhythm of our days! This choice had a big impact on my ensuing choices about work as well as the choice to finally replace a chronically painful hip joint.
Eight years later I am healthier, happier, more effective and more relaxed than I have been in a decade. Somehow as I moved through my day last Sunday it became very clear to me that this steady rearranging was rooted in my monthly discipline of silence – a discipline dedicated to living from my deepest wellspring of Self, the place where my life joins to the cosmic story that contains us all.
When I add up the number of total days – 12 months x 8 years – it is only 96 days barely three months. However, it the grand scheme of things practicing any skill diligently for three solid months I would get much better at most anything. The fact that what I have been practicing is the discipline of connecting myself ever more precisely with the rhythm of the universe as it directs me, has been a skill that I have built specifically to be of service to others. As a coach, this is my primary offer to those that seek me out – assisting them to align their own lives more squarely with their gifts and talents in order to make a solid contribution to the world and not lose themselves and their joy in the process.
Here’s to the beauty and simplicity of the practice of silence ~ if you would like to join Barbara, me and others to deepen your own experience of this practice and let your life be rearranged by the discipline of deep listening and Being, learn more at silenttogether.com.