‘In silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving – and see how the pattern improves.’ (Rumi)
In a culture of noise, in the midst of clamouring voices seeking cut-through in the public space, the notion of silence can feel strange, unsettling, counter-intuitive. We may have learned, discerned, that she or he who speaks loudest is heard. Yet silence, too, can be deafening. When we stop, pause, breathe, all that lay buried, hidden, beneath the surface may rise, unexpectedly and uninvitedly, into awareness. It can feel like, all of a sudden, our every thought or feeling is screaming for attention.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, we often avoid silence, resist making space for it, or fill our minds, hearts and bodies with all kinds of stimuli to hold it at a safe distance. It may feel better, more familiar, to stay busy, then to complain with self-justification that we have no time. Coaching and action learning, or prayer, can feel like slamming the brakes on, or like sliding into weird slow motion, to allow the questions we don’t ask to sink deep. Yet, in silence, we may find revelation. We may discover peace.
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