Become Quiet So You Can Listen

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”—Rumi For most of us, there’s rarely a moment in the day when we stop moving and stop the noise—we’re working, we’re moving, we’re driving, we’re listening to things on our headphones, we’re watching things, we’re filling up the little spaces by checking our phones.It’s a very human tendency to want to be busy and productive, filling every space with something useful or entertaining.But what if we could let ourselves become quiet?What happens is something magical: We start to discover a new way of being alive, and a deeper experience starts to reveal itself to us.What does it mean to become quiet? There isn’t a simple answer to this, but here are some of what I’ve been learning:It means slowing down for at least a few minutes, physically. Refrain from moving around or doing tasks on your computer or phone. Just sit or come to some kind of stillness or slowness.It doesn’t mean you need to meditate, though of course, that’s one way to do it. Instead, you could go for a quiet walk in nature, sit watching the sunset, or lie in a hammock and just feel the breeze.It means moving away from technology, at least for a few minutes. Disconnect. Let go of reading and listening too. Just sit still or move slowly, not trying to get anything done or consume anything.It means you let go of being productive or being entertained. You don’t need to achieve anything, prove anything, be excited about anything. You let go of these kinds of compulsions, even for a few minutes.It means you don’t need to feel a certain way, or avoid feeling a certain way. For example, a lot of people want to feel productive, competent, or entertained, so we do whatever we can to get those kinds of feelings. Also, we don’t want to feel bored, lonely, sad, or helpless, so we do everything we can in order to avoid these feelings. Becoming quiet means we can allow ourselves to feel however we feel, just allowing it to be our experience. This gives us a freedom for life to be just as it is, and for ourselves to be just how we are, however we’re feeling.Stillness and quiet aren’t enticing or “sexy.” We don’t usually realize we’re craving quiet. But in my experience, this is where the deepest experience of life lies: in the quietude.Related StoriesIn the stillness and quiet, you might just hear life’s deeper message. “In stillness, the world is restored.”—Lao Tzu

Become Quiet So You Can Listen
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“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”

—Rumi For most of us, there’s rarely a moment in the day when we stop moving and stop the noise—we’re working, we’re moving, we’re driving, we’re listening to things on our headphones, we’re watching things, we’re filling up the little spaces by checking our phones.

It’s a very human tendency to want to be busy and productive, filling every space with something useful or entertaining.

But what if we could let ourselves become quiet?

What happens is something magical: We start to discover a new way of being alive, and a deeper experience starts to reveal itself to us.

What does it mean to become quiet? There isn’t a simple answer to this, but here are some of what I’ve been learning:
  • It means slowing down for at least a few minutes, physically. Refrain from moving around or doing tasks on your computer or phone. Just sit or come to some kind of stillness or slowness.
  • It doesn’t mean you need to meditate, though of course, that’s one way to do it. Instead, you could go for a quiet walk in nature, sit watching the sunset, or lie in a hammock and just feel the breeze.
  • It means moving away from technology, at least for a few minutes. Disconnect. Let go of reading and listening too. Just sit still or move slowly, not trying to get anything done or consume anything.
  • It means you let go of being productive or being entertained. You don’t need to achieve anything, prove anything, be excited about anything. You let go of these kinds of compulsions, even for a few minutes.
  • It means you don’t need to feel a certain way, or avoid feeling a certain way. For example, a lot of people want to feel productive, competent, or entertained, so we do whatever we can to get those kinds of feelings. Also, we don’t want to feel bored, lonely, sad, or helpless, so we do everything we can in order to avoid these feelings. Becoming quiet means we can allow ourselves to feel however we feel, just allowing it to be our experience. This gives us a freedom for life to be just as it is, and for ourselves to be just how we are, however we’re feeling.
Stillness and quiet aren’t enticing or “sexy.” We don’t usually realize we’re craving quiet. But in my experience, this is where the deepest experience of life lies: in the quietude.

In the stillness and quiet, you might just hear life’s deeper message.
“In stillness, the world is restored.”

—Lao Tzu

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