Lying in bed this morning, my mind was full of the usual suspects.
It was racing through the details of my day, trying to jump ahead and second guess which choices I should make, later.
My mind was trying to take care of me by evaluating and weighing out future events. My mind was implementing a naive way of trying to stay safe, that is what my mind was doing.
But there was something else there, in my consciousness, too. Something else, trying to grab my attention, showing me an alternative to aligning with these false thoughts.
It was silence.
There was silence and quiet right there next to the busy words, images and thoughts.
And I decided this is where I wanted to hang out.
Actually, I decided I wanted to hang out in the quiet over and over again.
I just kept aligning to the quiet.
This is always a choice.
The quiet is always there.
I know it doesn’t feel like it.
We live very noisy lives. The kids are yelling, the demands of our life are on auto-repeat in our minds and people are asking things of us, all the time.
However, the silence is also there.
We don’t have to search for it, we don’t have to wait for our vacation, we don’t have to complain that we don’t have time for the silence. We just have to shift our attention towards the silence and bam! it is there for us.
One of the most difficult parts of being human is believing we are our thoughts.
I have so much compassion for this, because our thoughts can be pretty ugly, and when we believe we are what is being thought in our minds, it is very easy not to like ourselves very much and be pretty disappointed with ourselves.
This is really suffering, the up and down roller-coaster of being identified with our thoughts.
We think something nice, and we like ourselves, and then we think something dark and mean, and we hate ourselves.
It is so out of our control.
But what if we aren’t our thoughts, what if instead we are the elusive silence?
This is such a worthy question to ask.
If we believe we are whatever experience we are having, then maybe it is time to have a different experience.
This just looks like spending some intentional time with our own consciousness, finding the silence that is always there, and aligning with it.
This is one of those exercises that is incredibly easy, but seems hard at first because it is new.
We all need to cut ourselves some slack and remember that new things are awkward and don’t come naturally at first, and this is normal, and not a sign that we deficient or a failure in some way.
We are just trying something new.
It is incredibly painful to believe we are our thoughts. It makes us mean to ourselves and others, and it causes us to have a very small view of the world in front of us.
There is so much more in our consciousness then our thoughts.
This can be scary to realize at first, but over time it becomes freeing and exhilarating.
The feelings through the heart and body when all there is that flows through the system is the quiet hum of silence is shocking in its quality of truth.
It is crazy how exciting silence can be.
We just have to try.
Author: Ruth Lera
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Basheer Tome at Flickr