Thursday, November 7, 2013

Surrendering to Silence

There was a time, not that long ago in fact, when I was absolutely sure I didn’t care much for silence. 

It was the fault of that little contraption in my head, I was sure, incased there within my skull that incessantly nagged at me with things I needed to do.

“Put a load in the washing machine,” it ordered, “You haven’t called so-and-so back,” it chided, “Why can’t you keep your children’s fingerprints off the sliding door?” it sneered. The silence succeeded in having me running around in endless exasperation, continuously berating myself. 

I realized that I feared silence. 

Then it happened, only a few short years ago, that my youngest reached Kindergarten age and I had no choice but to meet the dreaded quiet on a daily basis for several hours at a time. 

All at once my life began to change. 

At first I had to force myself to deal with it. It became easier and easier to accept the voice in my head when I met it head on, instead of running away serving endless volunteer hours and constantly scheduling coffee dates. 

I reasoned that I should be enjoying it since many parents would give their right arm and leg for a few hours of peace. I definitely knew this to be true as my husband traveled and my family lived in Canada making it hard to help me out. 

Once I gave myself a reason to enjoy it, I learned more about who I am than I ever thought possible, all through meditation.

One important thing I learned was that I may not be the extrovert that I once thought I was. I didn’t realize how zapped of energy I was when I constantly placed myself among my peers. 

It became clear to me that I function much better socially and physically when I have time alone to recharge. Overall, when I had sufficient amount of time to myself, I felt lighter, happier and I had more energy. In broader terms, I was more fulfilled.

Picture by Moyan Brenn, Flickr CC

If that wasn’t enough of a benefit, there was even more to this silence than I had already learned. I started meditating and then I realized how critical it is to cultivate a healthy inner environment. Especially as a parent, when there are days that require an endless amount of patience for optimum mental well-being. 

I know what you may be thinking, some of you are still of the persuasion that mediating is a new-age thing. Well, if that is the case, you can’t deny that, stigma, or not, the benefits of meditating are numerous. 

The Mayo Clinic, for instance, lists a variety of emotional benefits including better management of stress, increased self-awareness, in addition to reducing negative emotions. The health benefits are also many, especially those that are magnified by increased stress such as asthma, allergies, anxiety, heart disease and sleep disorders. 

For a more extensive list visit, 
Mayo Clinic Meditation-

If you are unsure of how to start in this new venture, there are a few tools available to you online. I will share a few of my most favorite free guided meditation sites to help you along on your journey; 

Fragrant Heart-

A great place to learn exactly what to do with your body to gain the most out of the meditation. It changes with each of the different meditations, which range from those that are related to health and healing, all the way to visualizing what you want, so you can manifest it in life. 

Will Smith is well known for his belief that he manifested the success in his life by writing a check to himself for 3 million dollars. If Will can do it, so can we, right? Absolutely. The meditations on this site also vary in time. Perfect for us busy parents. We only need 5 minutes to be well. 

The Chopra Center-

You may know Deepak Chopra from his many book publications on a variety of topics including spirituality and meditation. He recently coordinated a 21-day meditation challenge with Oprah encouraging countless people to institute meditation into their lifestyle. 

This is a wonderful resource with excellent guided meditations to help in many areas of your life including meditations to awaken your creativity, your abundance, selections for your health as well as to help you remember your dreams. 

There is even a meditation for helping institute world peace. What a relief, if we all help with that one, the beauty contestants may finally get their most dearest wish fulfilled. 

In closing, I’m not suggesting that you brave the Himalaya’s in winter so you can join a temple full of Tibetan monks and take a vow of silence. However, I do hope you gain the motivation to take a few minutes a day to meditate. 

Perhaps getting up a little earlier in the morning for you-time, or ending your day concentrating on your breath and gaining a mountain of inner peace. 

This may be the thing that you have needed all along. The most important part is that you didn’t even have to leave your house, it was there within you all along.

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