Make Space for Silence
On Friday I facilitated a workshop called EngagingFacilitation to support people who lead meetings or workshops in enhancing the experience of their audience members or clients. During the reflection activity at the end, I asked everyone to share their biggest takeaways. Something that came up several times was everyone’s appreciation for learning that silence is ok.
For many of us, most of our group interactions these days take place virtually on platforms like Zoom. I think the audio and video has tricked us into believing that it’s just like being on radio or television. In these cases, dead airtime is the enemy, but in real life humans need space for silence to think, process, and reflect on what they’ve seen and heard. For the speaker, the quiet time may feel awkward or uncomfortable, so they often attempt to fill every second with anything other than silence.
This not only applies to meetings and workshops. We could all use a little more silence in our everyday lives. Every waking hour is often filled with some sort of stimulation. TV shows, podcasts, music, audio books, and conversations are available to us around the clock. While many of these mediums come with benefits, there are equal advantages that accompany giving your soul space and silence. This is often the precise place where we find the answers to life’s most pressing questions.
Here are a few strategies to support you as you silence both the actual and the inaudible noise in your life.
Press Pause. One of the reasons that people avoid silence on platforms like Zoom is because events are often recorded and they don’t want those listening later to have to endure long stretches without sound. This can easily be remedied by using the pause feature. This allows you to stop the recording while people are working silently, or in breakout rooms. You can then press the resume
button when you are ready to record again. In life we’ve learned that consistency and showing up are important indicators of success. But sometimes, in order to have the energy we need to show up in a high quality way, we have to press pause on all of the activity to give ourselves room to rest, heal, and breathe.
Noise Cancellation. My noise cancelling headphones have been great at blocking out the actual audible noise around me, but more intentional measures are required for the mental and visual noise that we are inundated with daily. This may look like turning off notifications and alerts on your smartphone or reducing your consumption of information and interactions that disturb your peace.
Empty the Trash. We move files that are taking up too much space on our computers to the trash can. Much like an actual trash can, until you empty it, the garbage is still in your house. Create a practice that helps you to completely empty your noisy mind trash each day. This might look like the morning pages that the author of the book, The Artist’s Way recommends writing every morning. This looks like writing out three pages of whatever is on your mind that is getting in the way of you focusing on what you want to be focused on. There is no need to think about spelling, grammar, or any of it making sense, its sole purpose is to silence and clear your mind.
This week I challenge you to set aside intentional time and space for silence in your personal and professional life. Silence is not only ok, but also necessary for learning, growth and healing.
I am savoring silence.
I am giving myself permission to pause.
I am listening to the silent wisdom of my soul.
Master Your Mindset to Manifest a Life You Love. Most Sincerely, Monica Marie Jones Your Soul Journey Guide www.MonicaMarieJones.com