The word has more meaning to me since my most recent venture to the mountain areas of Squamish and Whistler.
Silence is used in various forms in western culture. To name a few: schools to get the attention of students, on days of grief and remembrance, in areas of study such as libraries, in social cues while communicating your surprised or unimpressed emotions, in religious/spiritual settings as a sign of respect, ect.
Now I ask you to stop thinking for a moment, stop reading, and use silence as a tool to just enjoy now. This exact place you are in now, whether you are reading this from your home, work, school, on your phone, or out in nature, take a moment and enjoy the present moment just as it is. What does it smell like? what can you hear? what can you see? what’s the temperature like? how are you feeling in this exact moment?
Most people when they think of the mountains and Whistler, they think skiing and snowboarding, I however, found myself leaning towards activities that reflected the manifestation of silence; hiking, the spa and floating. These activities within the Rocky Mountain paradise, allowed me to find the silence in order to fully discover ‘me’ away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This venture, silence was the awakening of my full self.
Hiking allowed me to just be; surrounded by the beauty of the landscape, the mix of sun and chill on my skin; I found silence just being attentive to exactly where I was.
The spa, a bathhouse spa that overlooked the view of the mountains, had silence as part of the code of conduct. To some, I could see how this might be a difficult task. Me, personally, I found comfort in the silence and doing some self reflecting. The spa allowed me to reflect and dive into my intuition.
The float, a highly studied ‘activity’/inactivity, allowed me to silently let go of fears, worries, muscle tension, and brain over activity. (For those who are unsure of what a float is, I highly recommend you go Google is right now and look up its benefits on the body and mind.) Within the float, I found myself moving in and out of a deep meditation of the mind and body; the float was a form of silence that created a sensation of grounding.
I challenge you, yes you, the reader, to embrace those silent moments today. What about those awkward silences, you ask? embrace those too. It’s only as awkward as you make it. Allow yourself to feel exactly how you are feeling in those moments of silence. Use them as a tool to connect with yourself.
Find those moments to Just Be, find comfort in the uncomforting, reflect and dive into your intuition, and let go. Find grounding.