Desperately Seeking Silence

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Photo by Maia Flore, from Sleep Elevations

In Memory of My Father, Wallace E. Berry

June 29, 1926 – March 18, 2003

According to Wayne Muller, ordained minister and author of Sabbath – Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in Our Busy Lives, the reason that the idea of celebrating a Sabbath is starting to gain ground again is because there is a rising sense of understanding that it is only by resting we are renewed. Silence is the moist ground from which our realizations, creativity, and inspiration rise. If we never slow down; never grow silent; never take the time to just sit with ourselves—how can we possibly expect to care for others?

Women take care of everyone and everything except themselves. We think that if we constantly give to others we are being good wives, daughters, mothers, worker bees and lovers. Buddhists believe that our outer environment is simply a reflection of our inner life as human beings. If our inner life lacks peace, our outer environment will mirror that. At its most fundamental level, it is a sort of cosmic “What goes around comes around” energetic. Think about it. Turning inward to take care of ourselves, we create stillness and peace. By adding simple things like silent meditation, prayers of gratitude, or rituals of grace into our everyday activities, we are—one drop at a time—creating a movement of women who are planting seeds for peace.

Silence is the one place where each person can hear spirit if she chooses to listen. In silence, we can hear the still small voice asking us to forge a luminous, authentic life. We can hear our own heart beating and feel the life that permeates every cell in our bodies. We become aware of our aches and pains, of the ways in which we drive ourselves into the ground always thinking that doing is more important than being.

Take a moment to call in a healing breath, and quiet your senses. Listen to hum of the air conditioner or the buzzing of the lights. Become aware of how you are sitting and where your weariness is residing. This person is the person who needs your care.

Clear some time for yourself each week. Do not plan anything during that time. Allow an empty space on your calendar. Take a nap. Sit and stare at the mackerel sky. Remember how you felt as a child – so unencumbered and free? Go in search of that child. See if you can do nothing for an entire afternoon. Send guilt packing.

She’s got other fish to fry. Do it.

You will be amazed at your own renewal.

© 2008 Shavawn M. Berry All Rights Reserved.

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