When is the last time you sat in silence? Removed from the everyday hustle and bustle, and created a space to sit and be still, to meditate? To observe your thoughts, to really sink into your body and see what is going on?
Next week the Balinese will be celebrating their new year Nyepi or Day of Silence. As the name suggest, the day is celebrated in total silence and the island is in shut-down mode for the entire day. Lights are not allowed, nor is there to be any working, entertainment, or travel. The only people allowed on the street are the pecalang, the local security, who monitor adherence. It is one of the most important days on the island, and I marvel at the fact that the entire island will participate. Can you imagine your hometown or country doing the same thing?
I will be celebrating the day myself at a silent retreat, led by the lovely Shira van Spanje from Frameless Feminine. She will be guiding us during 4 days in a quiet space of silence and reflection. No speaking, no reading or writing, just quiet time and meditation (and perhaps a massage too… )
Meditation has become a key part of my daily practices to keep me grounded and focused. This doesn’t mean that I sit willingly every day, I sometimes struggle with the idea of sitting still and allowing whatever there is to be there. Meditation is the space where I meet myself most, and sometimes it’s more tempting to run from whatever might be lurking underneath. I find excuses in being too busy, or just needing to do something else first. The trick is to catch myself in exactly those moments. It is often the time when meditation is most beneficial.
So often, we spend our lives running towards what gives us pleasure or running away from whatever we don’t like. Yet our greatest power comes when we can see our reality for what it is. Meditation allows us to check in with ourselves, make conscious decisions about how we want to spend our time and how we want to show up in life. We can hit the breaks on the speed of life, savouring the small moments that together make a life.
It is the space where you meet yourself most, and where you can find your own answers within. The answers that have always already been there, you might just not have heard your own inner voice yet. For me, this is true empowerment. It is away from all that you hear around you, to listening to what is within.
So from Sunday on, I will sit and be still, and allow whatever is there to become visible and make the journey within. So with that, I bid you adieu for the moment, I’ll be logging off completely during these days. Stay tuned and I’ll look forward to sharing what I learn following the retreat…
Photo credit: Kristina Flour