Monday, April 13, 2009

Sitting in...

A friend sent me a forward last week that I actually printed out and taped to the wall of my office. It was a handbook for 2009. It's got lots of good things to remember like eating healthy and being good to yourself (and others) among other things. One of the things that sticks in my mind the most is the one that says to "sit in silence for 10 minutes every day." I do my fair share of that I suppose. I read every night before bed and even though I do listen to my iPod a fair amount at work sometimes I forget to turn it on and sometimes after I've turned it off to take a phone call or something I forget to turn it back on.

So, I'm perfectly capable of sitting in silence. I have no problems with it. I don't need the TV on while I'm cleaning the house or making dinner. I don't have to have music on to fill the silence either. But when it is quiet and the only sounds are those from outside or from my pets (or the fountain I bought them to drink from) my mind isn't quiet. And I wonder, when I'm supposed to be sitting in silence if my mind is supposed to be silent too. Because it's not. It rarely ever is even when I'm sleeping.

There's usually a song stuck on repeat (oh who am I kidding it's usually just a few lyrics that are stuck on repeat) or perhaps I'm replaying a memory or maybe I'm composing a blog in my head or a story or a poem or an essay that I want to write. So, am I supposed to try to turn all that off while I'm sitting in silence? And if so can someone tell me where the off switch is? Because I think someone forgot to install the off switch when the wired my brain. Or if they did install it they hid is somewhere that makes it really hard to find.

I'm not complaining, I mean it's normal for me for my mind to be constantly thinking about something, anything, everything. I'm just wondering how people do things like meditate because I find it very difficult to do that without thinking about what groceries I need or thinking of an artist I want to check out on iTunes to see if I've missed any of their music or maybe even what I want to make for dinner tomorrow or the work I need to do at work or the book I'm reading or whatever pops into my head.

I'm very capable of self entertaining and being alone. I'm a loner at heart after all (which I suppose makes the whole dating thing a tad harder). I don't mind the quiet, in fact I prefer it to the cacophony of sounds that often surround us in this world. It seems as though sometimes we just can't escape from all the noise. And I suppose reminding people to "sit in silence for ten minutes every day" was a the way for the person who wrote the handbook my friend sent me to remind everyone to step back from the hustle and bustle of our every day lives.

And that leads me to my lyrics for today. I give you Enjoy the Silence by Depeche Mode.

All I ever wanted
all I ever needed
is here in my arms
words are very unnecessary
they can only do harm

Enjoy the silence


Francesca said...

I think we've talked about this before, but one of the things I learned when I did yoga regularly - like 6 months ago - is the concept of acknowledgement. I suck at meditation - my brain does not ever shut up, but the idea of acknowledging the thought and hearing it out and then letting it go. So as I practiced more, it got better and I got rid of some of the noise and started to discover that inner stillness.

Of course, I need to do that again.

Kim Kenney said...

My therapist told me that our brains actually ARE wired the way that we think, and that with practice, you can create new paths. (I was reassured that I wasn't imagining it when my mind always turned to the same cycle of worrying, almost as soon as something else was "solved") I agree with Francesca -- when I was taking yoga I was told the same thing. If you try to stomp out a thought, it will only come back faster and louder. If you let it be there, then it sort of takes away its power. I am still not great at it, since it takes lots and lots of practice. I think meditation with a guided voice and music to concentrate on really helps. Because my mind never shuts up either!!