How to Start a Practice of Silence for You and Your Organization
I sat in silence this morning with a group of people in a one hour meditation led by a man that was reading various quotations by Krishna Das. Krishna Das is a very popular musician that chants songs of devotion to the divine, and it is quite beautiful.
I spent an hour sitting in the silence, allowing my thoughts to subside into the background of my mind while he instructed us to bring our focus to opening our hearts. We allowed our breathing to open us more and sink deeper into our body, giving permission for ourselves to relax into space.
I felt so relaxed and so in touch with something bigger than this life I am living, this personality. As I left and drove home, the air was dewy and overcast, and rain was coming in; it felt rejuvenating and still at the same time. I felt part of something bigger, realizing my way of being in the world is really about how I show my love, through the words I blog, the clients I coach, and the colleagues I have the privilege to work with.
For me it is important to stay connected to this message in order to serve my clients and bring more of my potential to my work. It is also important for me in honing my ability to be a vehicle for what needs to move through me, instead of letting my mind and personality run the show. I produce much better work and have much more creative ideas when I am able to stay connected to that which is bigger than me, and I can actually listen to what it is directing me to do. It takes constant practice.
This is what a practice of silence offers each of us: an opportunity to listen to your heart and tap into that which is bigger than yourself. The subtle frequency of love in all its forms.
Why start a practice of silence? Typically, you may feel overwhelmed, stressed, uncomfortable in your body, sad, or confused. For me, I want to experience peace and to relieve the stress or tightness I feel in my body and the thoughts that keep swirling in my head. If this resonates with you, then it could worth exploring.
Steps for creating a practice of silence:
- Find a quiet place to sit.
- Play some soft music or sit in silence.
- Notice where your attention goes – give your mind permission to go where ever it goes and allow it.
- If you find yourself resisting – give yourself permission to relax by repeating a word that relaxes you. You could just silently repeat allow, allow, allow.
Let your breath be what it is or breathe long and deep, and just follow any insights that come up. Allow yourself to be led by the silence and to relax into the space the silence opens for you.
Perhaps start with 3 minutes, and work your way to 5, then 10, and continue to make small increments as you feel inclined to do so.
Creating a practice of silence gives your brain the break it desperately needs from all the input it is exposed to everyday. It gives your body time to decompress and relax, even if only for 3 minutes.
Consistent practice will begin to shift your thinking, creativity and ability to relax over time. This all impacts your overall health.
I know some companies that have quiet rooms in their offices, where no technology is allowed, low light and comfy chairs are available; the space is designed to allow people to relax, open and recover. This is a great way to begin a company value around the importance of developing inner guidance and Emotional Intelligence as a core value.
Sitting in silence creates space for awareness to open, which grows into accountability for our emotional well-being. Companies like Google and Nike teach mindfulness classes as part of their employee offerings. Others have onsite coaching for employees that need a neutral party that can offer accountability around challenges they may be facing or behaviors they want to improve.
All of these are ways an organization can support their employees in breaking the cycle of burnout, rising healthcare costs and employee disengagement.
Giving yourself permission to just be wherever you are starts a softening process that begins to open you to that which is greater than you; this is the key to learning to listen deeper, to strengthening your awareness and intuition and to bringing more of your gifts to the world.
Allow for Silence,