I remember a time as a small child when my mother suffered from severe migraines, or sick headaches, as she called them. These migraines would leave her in bed sometimes for days at a time, often violently ill. Some of my earliest memories are of playing as quietly as I dared, in the hallway right outside my parent’s bedroom. Somehow, I knew better than to make any noise. I obsessively lined up my Fisher Price Little People (the Sesame Street set) on the hardwood floor, pretending they were having a race. Each wood slat served as a racing lane as I moved them one by one to the finish line – the doorway to my parent’s room. In that silence, I learned to go deep into my imagination, content in my own fantasy world.
To this day, I very much enjoy the sound of silence. Often, I would argue that I absolutely require it for my sanity; however, I’m not so sure pure silence truly exists. As I sit here writing this, I hear:
- the hum of the box fan,
- the high frequency, piercing whine of something electrical,
- the ticking of the wall clock,
- the squeak of my chair,
- the sound of my fingers typing these words,
- the metal siding on the trailer banging in the wind (a storm is brewing outside),
- and one of my cats snoring (this makes me laugh).
And it’s always in silence that my thoughts become so noisy, so loud, like a thousand voices whispering… yelling… SHOUTING… all at once. It’s as though silence amplifies sounds and thoughts.
Technique #2: Meditation
Here, my thoughts turn to mindfulness and the art of meditation. Quieting those thoughts, those inner voices, requires only acknowledging them and allowing them to pass on by. That’s the hard part, not ruminating on any one thought longer than a brief moment. Because meditation has been one of the most effective tools I have found in dealing with depression and anxiety, I feel it is worth mentioning as one of my favorite techniques. For a great guide in beginning the practice of mindful meditation visit Psychology Today’s article: How to Practice Mindfulness Meditation. For me, meditation is the practice of learning to hear the sound of silence.
Feel free to share any helpful videos, links, and resources you have found online that might help others learn this valuable technique. And I’ll continue to update with the same. I’m afraid I’m drawing a blank at the moment.
“In the attitude of silence, the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Our life is a long and arduous quest after Truth.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi
If you would like to participate in this week’s writing challenge, head on over to The Daily Post for more information about the Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence.