The Power Of Silence
You may have heard of conscious consumption, likely in the social media realm one time or another. Over at Kineo, we believe this mindful practice best begins with ‘unplugging’ so that we can more consciously consume.
It is the act of literally unplugging ourselves from modern-day exterior modes of stimulation and distractions. Sounds kind of easy, right? Just ‘pluck,’ and you’re unplugged, doing the mindfully present shamanic dance.
Not so much.
I believe it to be a living art form and lifelong practice. The essence of its purpose is simply to ‘be’.
The reason I believe it to be such a challenge is that we have all become so accustomed to the consumption of these algorithmic modes of entertainment, they are designed to be distracting and addicting, and along the way, we have developed this complete lack of awareness that any of it is even happening, that, or we simply resist taking back ownership of our time in the present moment. Either way, it’s scary how detached from ourselves and each other we are becoming as a result.
I know this is slightly hypocritical; a large part of Kineo is digitally based. My point here is to highlight very specifically, ‘how’ and ‘what’ we are consuming on a regular basis. This point dives deeper into how we automatically and unconsciously pick up our phones and scroll the moment there is a spot of silence, waiting time, red light, linger, and frighteningly more often than just the lulls.
In our journal, Embody the Sacred, we dive into the practice of unplugging from what might be distracting us in the evening time to better support your night and transition into the following day.
With this post, I would like to explore even further into this practice. Go beyond what we all know to be true in the endless realm of technology. To learn how we have the capacity to live deeply and intentionally in every moment.
For now, let’s focus on sounds. We have everything, all...the...things available to us in this modern technological world. Podcasts, audiobooks, music from multiple different platforms, background television, you get it, so many things we can listen to and receive information, hype, even relaxation from - hello guided meditations!
More often than not, I know I do; we get in our cars, on the treadmill, walking down the street and likely put in our headphones, or sync our phones to whatever device and pick a theme, a song, whatever our intention is, there is a recording to support us.
But when is the last time you truly and purposefully, bare with me…
Listened to your thoughts?!
Like really, let them roll in, and out, to be heard?
The practice of silence is the absolute very first thing that introduced me to myself, the journey of becoming self-aware.
What I love about this is that it is available to every single one of us. But somehow one of the hardest to lean into.
Being quiet can be uncomfortable. Awkward. Loud and creepily not. It speaks our truth, makes us slow down, which, believe it or not, many, if not all of us, resist.
But, with silence come sounds of the present—the sound of each moment in time.
I can remember being a young kid and sleeping over at my nana and grampy’s house. They lived in the same home forever, all twelve of their children came and went in that house, and the same with their multiple digit grandchildren (so many of us), memories were born there. When I reminisce on the times we would stay over there during a visit; I go right back to the sounds that went on, particularly in the evening. My sister and I would sleep in the living room, and my mom, her sisters, and their mom would gather around the kitchen table to play gin rummy. They were quiet, but there. To this day, I can remember the comfort I felt from hearing their muffled ‘wins,’ loud whispers and clinks, with planes occasionally flying overhead to land at the airport close by.
My silent memories were made up of life happening all around, and I look at my two-year-old son lately and consider the sounds he is bringing in, all still brand new to him. Leaves crunching under his feet, pots and pans being pulled out to help me ‘cook’ and the sound of his own voice screeching down the hallway just for the sake of ya know, screeching. All of these sounds are creating moments, memories, and experiences for him, making me come back to consider my own consumption and the fact that I often find myself leaving Spotify playing my ‘discover weekly’ playlist on repeat all day long in the background, almost curating my moments. Or right now, for instance, I have jazz playing into my earbuds. I’m not trying to get us to all literally go without sounds because this cozy piano in my head is setting a nice tone for writing to you, and I am not here to tell you to become anti-sounds, for I am a huge fan of curating moments with music.
The point and intention with ‘unplugging’ are to be able to reboot ourselves, through clearing our plates for a fresh perspective, a more mindful continuation.
There is a universe to be explored right within our very selves, and the journey starts with putting down the phone, tablet, remote, whatever has taken you hostage from yourself.
As Anne D LeClaire writes in her book about her discoveries through practicing silence, Listening Below the Noise - I feel this about sums it all up.
“There is a line in a poem by Mary Oliver that haunts with its question: ‘This one and glorious life you have. How will you spend it?’ How will we spend our lives? Spinning in the whirlpool of noise and activity? Or reflecting on a stone bench in the garden alcove? . . . I found myself wanting more and more to sit on the granite seat and bask in the sun . . . And to discover what no longer was important. And what was.”
So, friend, how will you spend your time in this life?