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Be Happy - Choose Silence
June 17, 2003
by Debbie Gisonni

For a couple of summers during high school, when I didn't have an early job, I woke up to the familiar sounds of my mother cooking, my father and sister leaving for work and my younger sister playing. I used to stay in bed after everyone was gone just listening to the silence of the house. As the rising sun splashed upon my lime green bedroom walls (hey, it was the 70s), I felt so peaceful and happy. I would lie in bed and soak up the silence. It was the only time during the day my mind wasn't cluttered with the noises of the external world.

Those summer mornings were long forgotten once my adult career was in full swing. Being still, even for a moment, seemed unnecessary and even more so, detrimental to the constantly moving treadmill of life and work I ran upon. I needed to keep "doing" at all times. Do, do, do, because if you stop, you'll fall off and lose your place in life! In our technologically advanced culture, filled with stimuli to keep us going twenty-four hours a day, there is no encouragement for silence or reflection--unless you're a three-year-old child in "time-out"! Most of us shun silence, opting instead to spend our "alone" time drowning in the constant din of the TV.

After I left my corporate job, I spent a lot of time doing nothing. Then I decided to start meditating. Yes me--the person who used to wake up in the middle of the night and leave my staff voice mails. Meditation allowed me to practice silence, and once I did that, it wasn't long before I was able to rekindle the feelings of those peaceful mornings in my teen years. In meditation, I truly began to understand what I was here on earth to do. It's amazing how you hear the most profound things in silence.

You can find silence anywhere--in a raging crowd or in a quiet forest. Just imagine being connected to both the center of the earth below you and the Creator of the universe above you. All it takes is a little practice and commitment.

Five ways to choose silence in your life:

  • Join a weekly meditation group or start one on your own.
  • Create a ten-minute daily ritual (upon waking or before sleep) for prayer, meditation or silence.
  • Turn on the TV to watch something--not for background noise while you're busy doing other things.
  • Take a walk in nature.
  • Practice doing absolutely nothing.

Copyright © 2003 Debbie Gisonni, All Rights Reserved.

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