With All This Noise, It Can Be Hard To Listen

We are bombarded by noise. I am a part of this. I love music to play in my home. I use all forms of social media to communicate at all hours of the day. And this writing even is a form of noise. From small talk to animal videos and political posts, it is hard to even buy a moment of silence.

There is so much to try to process and also the opportunity to process nothing at all. It is no surprise with this relentless sound that so many suffer from an inability to sleep or even make confident decisions and remember a new friend’s name.

To exercise the discipline of silence is one of the hardest for me. And again, no surprise, when I finally find a moment of silence, my mind seems to begin screaming at me. Often this is so shocking to me, my practice of silence ends quickly. However, I know there is something on the other side of all this noise, internal and external. I am curious about its lesson. I know that accountability in a community can help with this.

In just over a week I am leading a retreat in the Colorado mountain town of Fraser. We will drive 90 minutes from the city, up into the hills, and commune with others for a weekend. There will be plenty of noise- community meals, new friendships being made over hot tub giggle sessions, and of course, the sweet sound of om as we begin and end our yoga practice.

Each person has set aside time to Reset, Reconsider, and Recharge and I want to provide balanced opportunity to meet these expectations. So I am committing, along with all the participants, to silence--not forever, just for a couple of hours in the morning. I don’t know the impact of this time yet, but I imagine that some quiet time will awaken my attachment to my phone and other devices, open my eyes to the way my mind races over the same topics again and again, and also provide me time to get creative and clear. There will be no rule enforcer so I am sure we will all mutter a whisper or bust out in full laughter once or twice, but through this quiet time, I look forward to the chance to hear what is most important and see what I would otherwise miss if I were looking down at my phone.

Could you benefit from this practice? Of course, you are welcome to join me on my retreat. If the retreat doesn’t work for you this time, here are some simple suggestions:

1. Could you set aside 20-90 minutes each morning before you touch your device or turn on the television?

2. Is there a space in your home that is free of electronics where you can lay on the ground and take 10 minutes before you begin your nighttime routine?

3. Next time you take a walk outside, leave the earbuds at home. Enjoy some time outside with only the sounds of what is around you.

If the practice frightens you, me too! I know that I grow the most when I do what I have been avoiding. Share your story with me and I will share mine with you. We are in this together.

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