The Sounds of Silence
…by Prill Boyle
When my husband was in college in the early \’70s, he spent an entire semester not speaking except during class. Practicing silence, he says, not only heightened his senses but upped the volume of his inner voice. It also made him aware of how much people talk and how little they say.
Today we talk more than ever. We walk around with little plastic boxes held to our ears, jabbering into space, oblivious to the people and beauty all around us. Precious moments of time that we might have once spent in thought, or reverie–driving to work, walking down the street, even waiting in line at the grocery store–are sucked up in a vortex of ever-growing obligation to be in constant contact with others. The only one it seems we\’re not in touch with is ourselves, the one we most need to be communicating with in order to bloom.
So this week, I challenge you to try one of the following:
- Take a walk in pure silence.
- Meditate for a minimum of ten minutes.
- Drive home from work in silence–no cell phone, no radio, no talking.
- Announce to friends and co-workers that you\’re practicing silence for the day, speaking only when absolutely essential.
- At a minimum, leave your mobile device at home–or at least turned off and tucked away–one time this week when you\’re out with friends or family.
Then write down your observations and reflections.
Prill Boyle is the author of Defying Gravity: A Celebration of Late-Blooming Women (Emmis Books, 2004). To read more inspiring stories, tips, and anecdotes, go to Prilll\’s blog at defyinggravitynow.blogspot.com.