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  • Writer's pictureEric Dugan

Silence is Bliss

We often correlate productivity with being busy. We move from task to task without taking a breath, boasting how much we have going on like it is a badge of honor. However, does this really get the most done and provide the best quality of work?

Being in a constant state of busyness actually thwarts productivity and the quality of our work suffers because we become tired and weary. It is called living with the noise. The state of being reactive in our choices, which will cause suffering as we will make bad decisions.

A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to go on a silent retreat and learned how much benefit there is to exist in stillness. The entire weekend we did not talk and took the time to slow down. The weekend included meditations, mindfulness talks with teachers (they could talk), and a sound bath. These activities forced me to look inside and tune out the rest of the world.

It was not easy at first and took time to adjust. However, once I became adjusted, I found space between my thoughts, which was one of the most blissful experiences I have had. I can only describe it as heaven. I came to realize that once there is space, then the choices I make become deliberate. I no longer am reacting to the thousands of thoughts flooding my mind.

I then can make wise choices that I do not regret. Not only does it create deliberate choices, but I find myself getting more done. The heightened awareness and clarity allow me to be focused on the task at hand, cutting the time to completion drastically.

This society pushes us to grind and stay busy at all times. I believe what we really need is balance. Balance is that sweet spot to getting the most done and accomplishing our goals. In this state, I am in control of my thoughts and emotions, which places me in the flow of the universe.

Many of us are burned out from exhaustion. Our bodies break down from the hustle and our quality of life suffers. How can we find happiness in this constant state of grind? I heard too many times people say they do not have time for themselves. They are constantly on the go. In this state, the person is wasting a lot of time and losing productivity.

Next time you find yourself in this state, ask yourself some internal questions. What am I spending my time on? How long is it taking me to accomplish this project? Is my mind clear, providing the best mental state for my choices? If you do not feel good about your answers, then seek a little bit of silence to recenter.

I understand it may not be feasible to take an entire weekend in silence. However, we all have at least 30 minutes where we can pause. It is a matter of what we choose to do with the free time we have. There are many ways to create silence such as sitting meditation, a walk without music, sitting on a bench at a park, or even a drive with silence. You have to find what works for you.

Try for the next 5 minutes to take a pause and meditate. Sit with a good posture in your chair and close your eyes. Take three deep breaths. Breathing in to expand your stomach and chest. Hold it for a couple seconds then slowly breathe out through your mouth. Then, return to your regular breath for the remainder of the time. Do not try to stop the thoughts that come but instead observe them. It can help to focus on your breathing.

How did that feel? Did it relax you and create just a small amount of clarity? Each day make a promise to yourself on what you will do to create a little more silence. I hope you can find the same peace I have found.

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