Listening to Silence

Living in a big city, it’s hard to get away from noise. Horns honking, people shouting, construction blaring. That’s why so many of us cover our ears with music to drown some of it out. And while I’ve even written about the power of music in my life personally, sometimes there’s even more power in silence.

Today I took a walk to a nearby park to clear my head. And, being New York City, it was hardly a quiet trip. But in the noise of kids yelling and dogs barking, I was overtaken by a stillness and quietness inside my head.

All of the noise around me faded away and I was able to find peace.

How?

Through the power of breath and meditation.

Along my walk I really didn’t want to think about anything. In fact, I wanted to think about nothing. So I mindlessly walked around the park, watched people pass by, and the only thing on my mind was my deep breaths – in, and out.

As I continued walking I noticed that while there was so much around me that I heard, I wasn’t listening to any of it. 

And instead I began listening to the silence. The thoughts that began to come into my head. Things that made me pensive, reflective, and curious.

It sparked something within me to begin to plan and to be productive with these thoughts, and I realized on my way back home how deep into this meditative state I had become.

With all of the noise and the craziness that fills our lives, especially in recent times, we all need to remember to remove the headphones, to remove the space and sounds around us, and clear our minds.

Through deep breathing and focused meditation, we are able to listen to this silence and begin to ponder. Some thoughts that present themselves are easily ignored, while others stick around and begin to elaborate.

Focus your attention on what is important and let other thoughts go through breath.

If we are always letting the busyness of our lives consume us, we will never have time to let in thoughts and ideas about our lives, our friends, families, and things that we are grateful for. This can lead to a sense of sadness and loss of hope.

Because there’s a lot that we have that we should be grateful for. There’s a lot that we have that we should be thankful for. And there’s a lot more our minds can tell us about our wants and needs that will make us stronger, healthier, and happier.

We just need to give them the chance to present themselves when we meditate, breathe, and create silence in a world that seems so hard to ignore.

Making a (temporary) change

My life has been kind of a mess lately. I’ve been all over the place in terms of school, work, friends, relationships, and family. That is why I am deciding to create some balance and normalcy in my life. Next week (work week only, so Monday the 19th – Friday the 23rd) I am going to change things up for myself.

First, I am dropping all forms of social media. I will be going ghost and (maybe even deleting the apps on my phone) completely separating myself from these sites and apps. With the exclusion of YouTube, because I don’t use this socially, I use it for music and for educational videos.

Next, the only means of communication I am going to accept and respond to (and hopefully check) are emails, actual voice calls, and FaceTime. So, basically, no texting. 

Additionally, I am going to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day. I mean deep, reflective meditation. This may be done either in 5 or 10 minute increments. No less. I recommend calm.com to help. It’s a great guided mediatation site that you can do wherever, whenever. 

Lastly, I am going to actually practice vegetarianism. Someone very close to me stopped eating meats, and the reasoning wasn’t because eating meat is inhumane or taste or anything like that. It was just because of a choice and a practice of restraint. I often made fun of this and didn’t understand it, but I do now. And I deserve to give this perspective a chance in order to better see the perspectives and opinions of others in an attempt to become more understanding.

So why, really, am I doing this?

I want to practice self control, restraint, and find out a little bit about myself while focusing on fitness, my body, and my mind. Life has become chaotic. I haven’t been feeling like me, and some of my relationships, but more importantly my relationship with myself, have become worse because of it. Getting rid of social media will help me center myself and become more present and not worry about the things others are doing and focus on my own life, no texting helps me create more meaningful relationships with those around me, meditation helps me reflect and focus on myself and my feelings, and vegetarianism will help me become aware of a different way of life, accept people’s practices, and create a normal routine that will remind me on a daily basis (because god knows I eat a lot of meat and I’m going to crave it) that I am doing this to grow.

If you’re interested in joining me, let me know or leave a comment! We start Monday 10/19.