Today is day twenty-nine of the 31 Days of Five Minute Free Writes Challenge. I blinked and the month of October is almost over. Today’s word prompt is Practice.
I am a social butterfly. I talk to everyone every where I go. When there is a break in a conversation, my insides quiver until I fill the void with words. In elementary school, my report card usually had at least one “N” for needs improvement for “unnecessary talking”.
My first-grade teacher sent me outside, (in front of the entire class), to talk to the grass. She had NO IDEA about my little creative brain. I sashayed out of our back classroom door, kneeled very intentionally, and told the grass a cute story.
Silence has always been difficult for me because it feels awkward. If there is no one to talk to, there is always my phone…and grass.
Very recently, I was not aware of my need to simply be quiet.
Instead of grounding myself in God, I took the advice of Dory from the movie Finding Nemo…I just kept swimming.
I dog-paddled like a champ until I was triggered about my old family. Exhaustion, irritation, guilt and restlessness moved into my life. The “should game” began. My inner chatter constantly nagged me by saying: “You should be over this by now”.
I saw an advertisement on Facebook for a Silence Retreat one of my friends was hosting. I knew about her previous retreats but immediately dismissed going because..I’m a talker. Remember, I can even talk to grass.
My life had gotten so loud, I decided to go to the Silence Retreat. IT WAS EPIC. For six hours, I did not talk. We couldn’t be on our phones so I had no communication with anyone…BUT GOD.
The retreat facilitator led various silence practices and she encouraged us to just sit with our thoughts without judgement.
One of the practices involved staring intently at the flame of a candle or one of the dots she placed on the wall. At first, my mind was all over the place. I’m pretty sure I fell asleep for a minute or two. When I reopened my eyes, my mind was completely blank.
I expected an aha moment or a solution to a problem…I received silence.
The sound of me breathing was audible and I felt loved. Loved for just being me. It was as if God said: “I see you daughter”. With misty eyes, I was overtaken by gratitude. Aha moments and solutions were suddenly, overrated. I only needed my Heavenly Father.
I have decided to be intentional about practicing silence.
Life’s triggers are great opportunities to practice being quiet instead of swimming around trying to be in control.
Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes progress.
Have you ever practiced silence?
Join my mailing list and/or read other posts in this series HERE.