Prioritizing silence

“I was taught that the music wasn’t just the notes — it was the silence between the notes. So if I listened for the silence, I would understand the music better. If we listen for the silence in our lives, we understand ourselves better." - Ronda Gates

I’ve been sort of out of commission because of my recent knee injury. And while I haven’t been able to devote a lot of attention to my physical yoga practice, I’ve taken this opportunity to devote time to all the other aspects of yoga. Mind-body-spirit, sans body.

One thing that’s really struck me in a big way is the power of silence.

I used to be a busy bee. Always on to the next thing in a rush, fueled with way too much caffeine and driven by harsh self-criticism and unrealistic expectations of myself.

Being busy isn’t bad.

Studying for yoga teacher training and taking on a few side projects has kept my schedule very full these last few months.

We’re all busy. Yet we all prioritize what’s important to us — whether that’s spending time with your family, watching the latest episode of whatever Kardashian show you love, lifting weights or practicing yoga. If it’s important to you, you’ll make time for it.

As I’ve deepened my meditation and yoga practice, a new priority has entered my life: 

Silence.

Two years ago, if you told me to sit down and meditate for 60 ... or even 30 minutes, I would have rolled my eyes (likely before pouring my umpteenth cup of coffee). It seems like such an insignificant thing. I have too much on my plate. I can't pause. I don’t have time for meditation.

But holy guacamole. Silence is amazing, guys.

Really. It balances out those noisy parts of your day … helps you see yourself more clearly … manifests compassion ... connects you to momma nature … and to God or whatever spiritual power you feel drawn to … it has brought so much positivity into my life and I can’t preach its powers enough.
 

It’s the American way to be busy.

To be loud. But it’s also the American way to be stressed out. Unhealthy. 

I love this quote from Ronda Gates about silence (which is why it kicked off this post):

I was taught that the music wasn’t just the notes—it was the silence between the notes. So if I listened for the silence, I would understand the music better. If we listen for the silence in our lives, we understand ourselves better.
— Ronda Gates

When I read this during my yoga teacher training studies, it totally resonated with me. As a former choir girl, I remember my director lecturing about silence — making silence just as important as the beautiful, long, fortissimo notes. Without silence, those powerful notes are overbearing. It takes the contrast, the pause, to make music.

If your life was a song, what would it sound like?

Would it be a clumsy cluster of loud notes at a fast tempo? Or would it be a balanced stream of notes with various dynamics and tempos?

Here’s what’s amazing: You get to write your song. I encourage you to add some silence in there. It makes for a beautiful composition.

{Recipe} Chocolate protein donuts with maple glaze

We don't know ourselves (silly caterpillars)