May 18, 2011

Enjoy the silence II

Last week we talked about silence as necessary to build creativity. For those of you who know me personally, you might be surprised to hear me say that (since you’re so used to hearing me say something – I do talk a lot). But truly – finding quiet is essential to being creative – it is the only way to hear what’s possible inside your head, or your heart, or your hernia for that matter. And whether it’s you brain, your emotions, or your gut, there’s good stuff in there for you to work with to create.

But how do you get to hear the silence? After all we live in a noisy world. And we often don’t even recognize the noisiness. I didn’t until a friend pointed it out. We have sounds and distractions everywhere. In fact we view sitting quietly as being idle – and idleness is bad. But when was the last time you drove somewhere without the radio on, or walked somewhere without your ipod?

Quiet can be found, but you have to seek it and make it happen around you. Spend a little time with no distractions (even if you have to hide in the bathroom to do it). Enjoy the silence – and what you hear in it. We’re not talking about the kind of mental stillness that monks pursue (we could be, but I’m not that ambitious about this). This can be the kind of quiet that comes from a walk alone, a brief sit in the sun, or quiet contemplation. Don’t make it too hard – just a minute or two to start…you might be surprised how refreshing it is. And if you practice being quiet, you’ll find that you’re more creative than you had heard!

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