Friday, May 13, 2016

Savoring The Silence

Savoring The Silence ©2016 Joan M. Newcomb, CPC

Today is a quiet day. I don't just mean a lack of traffic noise and leaf-blowers. It's empathically quiet as well. Which is unusual. Yesterday was very active. I had at least 3 people emotionally running through my system. I'm savoring today's silence.

My mother always had the radio on. It was her constant companion. At night it would somehow help her sleep - probably distracting her from random thoughts. During the day it kept her up to date on the news and the weather - her favorite topics.

Now we have online noise. We're wirelessly connected to everyone around the world. There's a cacophony of chatter that continues even after you've turned off your devices for the night.

Are you easily overwhelmed by humanity? Do you find yourself relaxing when you're away from the city, out in nature?
photo by Deborah Tilley

Highly sensitive people pick up on the 'vibes' around them. They'll tune into the atmosphere of a restaurant or office. They'll unconsciously feel input from groups they belong to.

Introverts need a lot of down time from social activities, because they are tired by the energies that invigorate extroverts.

Yet there are extroverts who are highly sensitive, too.

Even when I'm alone, solitude usually eludes me. I'm always tracking someone, somewhere. So I'm curious about what is really going on today, that I'm not feeling much of anything.

Is this the calm before the storm? I remember *the* 9/11. It was a beautiful, sunny day in the Seattle area. It felt immensely peaceful, which some attributed to the lack of airplanes. It was oddly serene, given the horrors happening on the East Coast.

Are we building towards something?

Or, are family members, whose depression and anxiety I normally experience, otherwise engaged?

Sometimes something serious is happening with them, and their energy is pulled back.  They could be busy elsewhere.

It reminds me of when I had young kids. Any parent knows to be suspicious of silence. It means somebody is happily drawing on walls with permanent markers or giving their little sister a haircut!

It also occurs to me that my own body isn't complaining about anything. We'll distract ourselves with external noise to block our bodies communication. We'll be stuck in our workday grind and ignoring our body being tired or hungry, angry or lonely.

I have noticed a lot of people struggling with depression (even with the days, in the northern hemisphere, becoming more sunny). It feels like we've been moving through a collective growth period, a phase of contraction before expansion.

Maybe the expansion is happening now.

If you've been struggling with internal -or external- challenges, and you notice a break in the storm that is raging about you, give yourself respite.

Savor the silence, when it happens. Know that there's light at the end of the tunnel. Know that ultimately, all is very, very well.

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