Phone ringin’. Baby screamin’. Dog barkin’ at the mailman bringing that stack of bills, overdue. Good mornin’ baby, How are you?
These are the lyrics in Phil Vassar’s hit country music song “Another Day in Paradise” but they are true for most of us on a daily basis. As a working mother with two very active teenagers, I can relate to the noise, the hustle and bustle, the chaos. Especially in our era, with laptops, iPhones, all the social media, there seems to be no end to life being “on” and turned up loudly. But does it have to be like that?
The other morning, I was brushing my teeth, gazing out of our bathroom window. A white-winged dove landed on the feeder that is right outside that window. I noticed that it had blue around its red eyes, and a greenish hue on its face. Why hadn’t I noticed that before? Because I, like most people, was too consumed with the busy-ness and noisy-ness of life. I realized I needed to put some down time, some silence, back into my daily routine.
Why is silence important? If it is so important, why do most people avoid it? For me, silence is vital to self-reflection. Self-reflection is vital to self-awareness. Self-awareness is vital to reinforcing our good qualities and improving our not-so-hot ones. This makes a lot of people uncomfortable. The concept of change makes many squirm in their seats or run for cover. However, once faced and embraced, most people will ask themselves why they hadn’t done it sooner!
Instead of rushing out the door to work as I had planned, I put on my tennis shoes and went for a walk. I went for a walk without my phone or Walkman. I breathed. I allowed myself to be alone with myself. I noticed new flowers, baby birds, homes being built. I cleared my mind, restored my focus, my balance. I felt calmer yet more energized than I had in awhile. It was time well spent, not wasted.
Don’t be afraid to talk that walk, both literally and figuratively. Take a stroll through your mind without the distraction of television, computers, cell phones. If you don’t like what you encounter, change it! If you do, embrace it! But stop avoiding yourself with all the noise, noise, noise. We all need time, even a moment, of silence, of down time, each and every day. It is key to health, well-being, and substantial happiness.