Please note that Current of Life was previously published under the title: Living Your Potential
(The 21 Day Experiment, Part 3)
Morning, Noon, or Night
You can do it before rushing out the door in the morning or at the office before turning on your computer. You can do it during the day or before going to bed. It doesn’t matter when, as long as you do it. Giving yourself 15 minutes of quiet time each day is the small habit with the big impact.
Why Is Silence Important?
We say to children, “Let’s have some quiet time now.” Do we give it to ourselves? Sitting down and reflecting quietly (for even a small segment of time) provides the space to clear out, receive insight, and set direction.
Every major religion incorporates the practice of silence in some way, however you do not have to be a monk, yogi, or spiritual master to benefit. If you feel you are too busy for it, then it’s especially for you.
Slowing down when there is so much to do may seem counterintuitive. It’s also easy to avoid because sometimes in stillness, distraction and discomfort arise. Yet somehow, in staying with it, emptiness becomes solitude and renewal. Even when your 15 minutes does not produce solutions to the specific problems of the day, you emerge more equipped to deal with them.
More than One Way
There are many ways to practice silence. In order to make it a habit, it’s best to pick a certain time of day and a certain place (e.g., early morning in a comfortable chair, near a window). While in its pure form, sitting in silence means just that, it is also perfectly fine to break into this practice by doing one of the following:
- Gazing out the window at a pleasant point of focus (essentially meditating
with your eyes open)
Keep it uncomplicated and don’t worry about having the right
technique. Stay with it and over time you will find a certain
peace and clarity that cuts through the noise of conflicting demands.
Even 5 minutes (when 15 are not available) have a positive impact.
You’ll no doubt begin to notice that you are making better decisions
and taking action more effectively. Embrace this one 15-minute
habit and you will notice a lasting difference over your lifetime.
When practicing meditation, it can also be helpful to have a guide. There are many resources available. Here are a few I recommend:
AM/PM Yoga Meditations by Gael Chiarella
Meditations for Life (also called Three
Meditations to Live By) by Rod Stryker
© 2006, Virginia M. Kravitz and In the Current®. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to reproduce this article provided it is without any alteration, includes the copyright above, and if distributing electronically includes a link to www.inthecurrent.com.
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