I’m sitting here on New Year’s Day in the house where I grew up in the North-East of England visiting my family. I had absolutely no intention of writing anything for a few weeks yet and for really making space for ideas to come to me after writing my book in 2015.
However, if you’ve ever written or had creative impulses in any form, which I’m guessing is pretty all of us at some point or another, you’ll know that inspiration sometimes won’t wait.
Photo by Greg Rakozy for Unsplash
Maybe We’ve Got It All Wrong About Silence
As I woke up this morning to near silence and wondering what time it was, I realised how at home and at peace I am with everything in stillness and silence.
I’ve always been one of those people who’s been at ease in my own company, but it’s only over the last few years when I’ve become totally ok with this.
As we’re growing up, we think there’s something wrong with us if we don’t want to go and party at the weekend. There’s a constant fear of missing out (the dreaded ‘FOMO’). We base our self worth on whether we’re seen to be at a party and how much fun we’re seen to be having.
But maybe we’ve got it all wrong about silence…
Maybe this is where the party and all the action really is…
We become so caught up in going after what we want and trying to fix ourselves that we miss out on all of the peace and wisdom of the ‘other’.
Instead of sitting with ourselves and just being ok with what’s happening right now (because really, it can’t be any other way), we try to involve other people, so that they can distract us and maybe, in those moment, fix us.
Hours pass by on the internet when we were only going to quickly check our emails.
But maybe we’ve got it all wrong about silence…
Maybe this is where the magic is.
Maybe this is where all the good stuff is, that stuff that we try to fill with books, e-courses, forums and running ourselves in circles (trust me, I’m as guilty as the next person of trying to fill this void with more knowledge in the vain hope that it might make me feel more worthy as a person).
But in that space, that silence, you’re always enough.
When you just settle with what is in the moment, when no action is required by others or your monkey mind, this is where everything is. In the spaces between the words, the actions and the wants.
Maybe this is why meditation is taking off, and rightfully so, because we’re realising that there is so much potential in the white space, the blank canvas. It can be everything to us, but we’ve come to perceive it as representing emptiness, unfulfillment, loneliness.
We don’t want want to sit with ourselves like this, because we’re terrified of what we might find and we’ve convinced ourselves that it’s just too difficult. But maybe what we’ll find is better than anything we could perceive with our minds. There is unlimited potential in the white space and so much possibility, so why shouldn’t it work for us when we’re meditating as opposed to sitting with a paint box or blank document in front of us?
As we move into 2016, I encourage you to think about the possibility that maybe we’ve got it all wrong about silence. Maybe it’s the everything, rather than the nothing.
It’s not to be feared, but to be welcomed and honoured.
Love, Katie xxx
If you’re interested in discovering more about healing beyond reason and reframing silence, I think you’re going to love this incredible podcast from Sounds True featuring Caroline Myss. It absolutely astonished me.
Silence — “Maybe it’s the everything, rather than the nothing.”
What a beautiful thought to begin a New Year! I posted it to my own FB page, attributed to you of course, as it’s so worth sharing.
As we become stronger, it’s wonderful to realize the unexpected gift of illness and adversity — the gift of a new awareness. When I was at my most ill I despaired the loss of my physical self — my ability to work, to be athletic, to garden and cook, to keep my house. I felt I was letting everyone down, that I had nothing to offer. What I learned was that my essence and spirit were still intact, and THAT was what made me valuable and worthwhile in this world. I learned this slowly, through many hours of stillness and silence. That was the hidden “gift” of my illness, and I hope never to lose sight of it.
Happy New Year, Katie! And thank you for sharing your gifts!
Vicky, I have a huge lump in my throat after reading your words- this is exactly it. We attach so much of our self-worth to what we can do, our actions, but we forget that we’re still a person (and still worthy) when we’re not in ‘doing’ mode.
Thank you so much, beautiful- sending you so much love for 2016! xxx
Thank you so much for a post that resonates deeply with me right now.
This paragraph just says it all…
‘As we move into 2016, I encourage you to think about the possibility that maybe we’ve got it all wrong about silence. Maybe it’s the everything, rather than the nothing. It’s not to be feared, but to be welcomed and honoured.’
Happy New Year Katie,
Emma x x
Happy New Year to you too, lovely Emma! I have to admit that this concept really knocked me off my feet, but it’s really inspiring me at the moment.
Lots of love, Katie xx