I don’t do silence well. I do limbo even worse. I don’t like surprises, boys who wear their pants to their knees and men who cheat. I don’t like bologna, sweat pants and gossip. But lately, most of all, I don’t like silence. And lately I have found that within two seconds of quiet I usually fall asleep. Silence also hurts my ears, my sonar, pinging off distant objects trying to track where the stillness is going and what it might lead to.
Recently my therapist, Pema Chodron, and Chel Hamilton have convinced me that I have lots to learn about myself and that sitting with silence may be a key component in my thirst for self awareness and knowledge. I have struggled as I have realized that quietness has brought with it anxiety and fear as I travel this journey called a M.A.Y.B.E. D.I.V.O.R.C.E.
One of the things that I have been trying to learn while sitting in silence is to stop pushing for my desired outcome. I am realizing that I need to let what happens do so in a natural way without undo interference.
Another thing I am working on is to learn to observe rather than act. Acting is fraught with incorrect assumptions and interpretations which often come back to bite me in the butt. But observing when undisturbed gives me a chance for clarity as there is nothing to muck things up.
But perhaps the most important thing I have to do is to train myself to do is to sit in the silence and just be comfortable with it.
I am told that sitting in/with the silence will teach me to say the things that are important to say rather than chattering away to fill up empty space. The problem with idle chatter is that it is not thought through in a way that provides clarity and offers truth. Rather it often causes more problems due to misunderstanding of what has been said in a haphazard manner.
They also tell me that by sitting in silence it will reduce negative thoughts and shape my thinking in a way that brings greater understanding and peace. By noticing my thoughts and the immediate reaction that occurs upon feeling them; I am told I can let go of those ideas that no longer serve me well. Hypnotist Chel Hamilton has me repeating “Cancel, cancel, cancel” every time a negative thought pops into my head and then replacing that negative with non-emotional observations and it is working. While I was originally “cancel, cancel, canceling” so many times a day I lost count; in the past three days the numbers have come down and I am actually feeling more positive overall.
Sitting with silence is a new concept for me and its a difficult one for someone who likes to put everything under the microscope and examine it in fine detail. But with a soft butt pillow and some duck tape I think I may just be able to pull it off…if I don’t fall asleep first.