There is a time and place for everything. Alone time is not an exception. Before we jump into the benefits of what silencing the world and the noise around us can do for us, we need to be sure we are in a state of mind where we can pull out the benefits that silence has to offer.
There is something magical about silence, the quiet, and the peace that comes with being alone.
I truthfully believe that I need to retreat to silence everyday in order to maintain my sanity. There are some paths I know I must take alone, without the noise of others distracting me from my own intuition.
Silence has not always been beneficial for me though, and I believe that there are points in a person’s life when it can be more detrimental than beneficial.
When we are in a bad place in life. When we have the tendency to see things in a negative light. When we aren’t in a good place with ourselves, silence can amplify the negative thoughts in our minds if we aren’t careful and intentional with the silence. Finding love and compassion for ourselves is an incredibly important precursor to experiencing the benefits that exist only in silence.
There are some people who embrace the silence as a means to dwell on the negativity in their lives, sulking rather than being enthusiastic and optimistic about life. While in this state, it is easy to find ourselves wandering down a road where we create stories in our minds to make sense of the world around us rather than using silence as a means to grow, mature and develop into the person we want to become. Our minds are powerful and what we chose to focus on amplifies. So when we focus on negative thoughts, we create a negative reality. Conversely, when we focus on positive thoughts, we create and attract positivity in our lives.
There are three things that have helped me to rid my mind of the negative thoughts and to use silence as a means to grow that I would like to share with you today.
- Implement a daily gratitude practice – This is how I begin all of my mornings because it puts me in a state of abundance rather than deficiency. It starts my morning with a boost of positivity that carries me through the potholes that are bound to come up throughout the day. Showing gratitude for even the smallest blessings in our lives automatically puts us in a good state of mind. It is impossible to be negative when we are expressing gratitude for the things with which we have been blessed. Impossible.
- Stop saying “I have to” and Start saying “I choose to” – When I say “I have to go to work today”, the words sound as if life is happening to me, and I have no choice in the matter. But if I make a simple change in my word choice to “I chose to go to work today because I love being able to support my family”, everything changes including my mindset. I am now accepting responsibility for the choices I am making. By accepting responsibility for our choices and voicing them, we are also forced to figure out why we are choosing to do the things I do. We actually don’t have to do anything, it’s just what we tell ourselves. Making everything in life a choice helps us to be an active participant in the decisions we make, rather than going through life in martyrdom.
- Stop Assuming and Ask – Often times when we are going through conflict with other people, it can dramatically affect our daily lives and this can affect what we focus on in silence. When we make assumptions about what other people are thinking and feeling, we have a tendency to do so in a negative light that can wreck havoc on our lives. Conversely, when we get closer to other people by asking questions and listening with empathy and an open heart, we gain clarity and understanding. Clarity and understanding of another persons reality, feelings, reasons or circumstances often sheds light on the fact that we are all just seeking the universal need to be loved and accepted. When we assume we understand someone else’s motives, intentions, reasons for doing something, etc. without asking for clarification, we tend to see the worst case scenario and make it our reality, blowing things out of proportion, creating anxiety for no reason, and making up stories that help us to make sense out of a situation. Not only is this detrimental to ourselves but is void of love and understanding toward the other person. When we act in love, we attract love. Asking about someone is a genuine act of love.
Questions for you to ponder this week…
Is there a place in your day that you can make time to practice gratitude?
Do you have a tendency to talk as if life is happening to you rather than accepting responsibility for your actions?
When was the last time you asked for clarification before jumping to conclusions?