Hope to hear from you in 2015. I want to help you make it rain!
With the best of intentions I started this project thinking, “8 minutes a day of silence? How hard can it be?” Well, the answer for me personally is, “HARD!”
And since I don’t have the time or the inclination to undertake anything else that feels oppressive and unproductive, I am ceasing early. I still try to enjoy some silence every day, and I certainly would advocate it for any of you out there who do not have four kids under the age of four constantly under foot. I think there are a lot of really restorative positive reasons to sit in silence every day. I will still do it as often as I can.
And I can still tell you that there are lasting benefits. I think my hearing is better. I think I appreciate solitude even more. And I think I will be more observant and open in those moments. It’s a journey, not a destination.
Also, I still hope to execute on some other 21 day challenges in the coming months. For December, I have decided to do one all about giving, generosity and giving. I will be enlisting the help of Facebook to get ideas for ways to be generous that don’t neccessarily involve my wallet. And even though I’m travelling for a significant part of December, I hope to get at least 21 of 31 days in and report to you about it. So stay tuned!
So here I am falling behind again! Instead of telling you HOW I spent the last three days in my silence, I will share with you two pretty big revelations that hit me. (Also – I skipped day 10 – forgive me!)
#1 – I am becoming WAY more comfortable with silence. There are countless reasons that this is important, not the least of which is that in sales scenarios, it is often a winning strategy to let a negotiating partner ruminate in some silence. Often they will talk themselves right into your back pocket because many people do not like to sit in silence – it makes them uncomfortable. They must not be trying a silence challenge! I also am talking less to my babies – which may be good or bad – but I am loving just looking into their faces and understanding their expressions – I feel like I am getting to understand them better too. Now, before you go on about how babies need stimulation, rest assured that they hear PLENTY of talking, between nannies, siblings and their father! They are going to be just fine.
#2 – I am hearing more stuff. I mean like undertones in songs, details in the environment – lots of stuff. I feel like my senses might be getting sharpened by the silence, which is cool.
So that’s it for now – Here’s to more silence!
Day 5 – Here is something I would NOT recommend….Trying to get your 8 minutes of silence in AFTER an afternoon of watching football (your team LOST) and drinking (BEER). While the day was a blast and the beer made the loss tolerable, trying to squeeze in some meaningful quiet time while buzzed is much less than ideal. So having said that, I don’t have a lot to report on this days’ silence – it was different, but by far NOT my favorite so far.
Day 6 – There are parts of my Sunday that are becoming favorites, not the least of which is when my husband takes the girls to Buffalo Wild Wings to watch football. I like it because they look forward to it, even claiming that it is their favorite day because they get to go to “Buffalo Wings” with Papa. I also like it because it leaves me alone with the boys, and there’s always a decent chance that they are going to be napping for part of it, which they were this week. So I got to read, close my eyes for a bit, and even get my 8 minutes in. And I literally JUST got it in, because as my cell phone times was going off, one of the fellas awoke. So it turns out that the metallic silence I was experiencing early in the morning on day 2 or 3 is not only exclusive to the morning. Any time I have been able to experience PURE silence, or the closest possible thing to it, I have felt the vibrations of that electric silence. I am still grappling with whether I should try to meditate and try to get my mind to go blank during these sessions, and I think that for the majority of the time, that it damn near impossible. So I will save meditation for the end of a yoga class, if (Dear God) I am ever able to go to one again, and for now, I will just be satisfied with my brain going a million miles a minute during my silence.
Today was really fun, because I got to the girls’ school early and did my silent time yet again behind the wheel. I watched kids from another class on the playground, which is always fun, and even closed my eyes for a bit. I can honestly say that the time seems to go by faster and faster as I do this more, which I THINK is a good thing. (but I’m not sure…thoughts?) So I can’t help myself and am thinking that I might keep this 21 day thing going and pick another examination for the month of December. Right now I am leaning towards 21 days of giving, generosity and charity…. Please chime in and let me know what you think.
So here I am on day 5, struggling to keep up with the documentation of this project, when I came up with a pretty cool idea (I think). I’m going to try to conduct my 8 minutes of silence in as many different ways and places as I can. For example, yesterday, I was in the parking lot of the mall, with both boys asleep in their car seats. For a while I watched a delivery guy unloading bread off of his truck and into the Red Robin. Then I tried to close my eyes, but was afraid that someone walking by would think I was dead or passed out out and call authorities, so that was a bust. Then I had an epiphany and started watching the clouds. It was an overcast day, and the clouds were grey and not billowy at all. I think because there weren’t a lot of recognizable shapes to be found, I was able to just check out a little more and relax more (finding cool stuff in the clouds used to be a favorite pastime as a kid) So I’m giving thumbs up to cloud watching on a grey day.
For those of you that read my Printing Impressions Blog, you know that I am embarking on a 21 day experiment I’m calling The Silence Project…Check out the blog here.
So I will be posting daily (I hope) updates on what it is like to experience 8 minutes of silence each and every day for 21 days.
On day 2 I did not get the time allotted until just before bedtime. And in truth, I squandered some pretty great opportunities to sit in silence during the day, telling myself that I would get to it later. And of course I never did. So there I was, all the kids asleep, sitting in my living room trying to enjoy the silence. And here are a few other observations: It is better to do this by yourself if at all possible. You don’t need an audience when you are trying to enjoy silence.
Also – there is a difference between silence and meditation. That’s all I’m going to say about that for now – but I may say more on this later.
for Day 3 something miraculous happened. I woke up before all the kids and actually got a shower in and was able to get the silence in before the chaos of my day started! Hallelujah! And here is what I noticed…. Silence sounds different first thing in the morning. There is a kind of electric quality to it when you haven’t really heard much else yet. And, as it was raining, I could hear the wheels of each car as it passed, splashes of rain hitting the pavement and the wheels, creating a sort of hypnotic sound.
Funny enough, my timer did not work on my phone, and as a result I expect that I actually sat for longer than 8 minutes, but you’ll hear no complaint from me.
I have 30 minutes until I have to go pick up the girls from school. I have already written 2 blogs, re-scheduled a doctor’s appointment, done 2 loads of laundry, and changed the theme of my website. That was in the last 4 hours. I would argue that that’s a lot.
So what will I do with these next 30 minutes? I could read a few pages of my book, I could make a to-do list because there are always 4 or 5 or 20 things rattling around my brain that I know I have to do. But guess what? No pen. So I’m working from memory. I will bet you that I can get 5 more things done before I have to leave. I’ll let you know how I did.
And I’m just feeling pretty great, so I thought I would wish you all a very safe, happy and productive weekend! I will be working on office organization, pumpkin patch visits, and with any luck, seeing a movie. Happy weekend!
After months of procrastination, and the birth of my second set of twins, I FINALLY got my new site up. Welcome! Please look around and let me know how I can help you increase your success!