Lesson learned. What was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? Silence may be golden and...it can also be torture. You know me. If you don't know me personally then you know someone like me. I always have a million and 1 things going on at a time. I have friends all over town and can't walk into a place without having to say hi to at least 10 people--in a cafe with 15. I lived in big cities in the middle of all the hub and bub for 14 years. I regularly worked 60-70 hours a week in the consulting world for many years. And for the crowning moment: I used to have a t-shirt that read...chatterbox.
The sound of silence.
You can imagine that silence can be a bit deafening for a person like me. Getting away with just my thoughts and have lots of white space sounded really enticing. I've always thought a silent retreat would be delightful. It'd be so romantic. Even if I was alone. I'd have all these beautiful, calm moments. I'd be serene. The knowledge of the whole world would appear before me. It would be exactly what I needed.
I was wrong. I didn't know what to do with myself. All that time. All those thoughts.
Private hell for one please.
See, silence is hard. Being busy, amped up and running around pell mell is easy. Well, at least for someone like me. Talkative. Constantly moving. A recovering Type A. Someone who can generally do anything she puts her mind to. Not so in this case. I struggled, thrashed about like a fish on a dock who is desperately trying to get away even though they suspect it's hopeless. Did I learn that silence is golden and beautiful. Um, no. I'm definitely still a work in progress on this one.
I did learn that when I do get silent it allows me to see my thoughts. I begin to get clear about what's super important (love, passion, values) and what's not (the semi-cute shirt I saw on sale). I begin to quickly and easily know the answers to the questions that linger on my mind. It's a beginning. That's really what silence is.