by David Ward
Last month we looked at peace and how it refers to a state of mind. Strange as it may seem before I decided to write last month’s article my actual thoughts were about Peace and Quiet. Then I opted just for peace, so it is fitting to back track and add the ‘Quiet’ bit.
So, how many times have you heard or just expressed yourself ‘finally, peace & quiet’? It was a frequent saying back when I was a kid and said numerous times after visiting friends that had just left our house or simply when my relatives (mainly brothers, sisters and their family members) or noisy chums had gone home.
In reality it was probably more an appreciation of being able to relax and contemplate on the day rather than the lack of racket that had been raised earlier. It is this contemplative side that I wanted to focus on this month, meaning taking time to just simply sit back and either think about things in life or just not think at all. From a spiritual perspective it is about satisfying oneself with things that matter and, by the way, these are usually the simplest and most gratifying thoughts. For example, taking your shoes off after a hard day at work or Saturday shopping or looking at the horizon as the sun sets.
From a meditative perspective it might be about emptying your mind (usually of dead weight) and the resulting quiet equates to emptiness. So, which one do you prefer or is better? Filling yourself with simple gratifying thoughts or emptying unwanted feelings until there is nothing there? My personal preference is the first, but I actually do some emptying as well, why? Well to make space for my simple thoughts, simple as. At times though this might be a challenge. For example, you might have blisters after that long day or shopping spree! and blisters hurt. Or it might be somebody is using the lawnmower next door or the hoover upstairs and or someone’s telly is blaring away. In other words, we would like to wind-down, chill-out, free our minds by starting our detox ritual
So, what we might want to consider is to have also some rituals in priming or initiating quietness, a sort of detox process that leads to finally achieving Peace & Quiet, such as sipping a glass of wine, having a bath, or a massage, lighting candles, sitting in the garden, reading a book and so forth. In other words, a sort of steppingstone or series of them to arrive at that moment of silence. Indeed, quietness is also about silence although absolute silence is probably not feasible or indeed at times desirable.
For example, sitting down in the countryside and enjoying the scenery in complete silence doesn’t mean we can or need to do it without birds chirping away. Also doing trivial things like listening to the wind while feeling its breeze or picking out a water stream nearby all have some ‘noise’.
So, we are not speaking of zero decibels but the right mix of sounds and circumstances that sooth our soul, mind and body so we can find that Peace and Quiet. However, some people take a different perspective and consider the silence of quietness not to be empty but full of answers and further questions. In this sense it is an awakening of the soul and reconnection to what matters and what doesn’t matter. A sort of ‘staring at the wall’ in absolute silence.
Others may say that ‘if you want to hear the power of silence just listen carefully’. Indeed, some people close their eyes, stare at a flower or rest their head on a cushion to get your peace and quiet. Whatever the technique used it is about regaining and appreciating quiet, nurturing peace and reconnecting to those and the things that matter. You might associate quiet to a lack of people talking to you or in your presence, in which case it is said that ‘Silence is golden’.
So maybe the attraction to peace and quiet does have a colour and since the pot of gold is said to be at the end of the rainbow it could be why we continue to search for it when we need to. Moreover, as rainbows come after storms and never before what we search for is its light, a spiritual light, that never fades but appears just when we need it, just like peace and quiet.
In fact, the rainbow leaves its message for everyone interested, no one excluded, so why don’t you do the same just enjoy the silence when it arrives (and before it leaves). Indeed, peace and quiet, walk hand-in-hand. So, treating yourself to that ritual works for you and those you care about just like rainbow bridges the gap between the sky and land. Treat yourself and others to a bit of peace and quiet and silence be the deliverer. Let silence carry kindness as its message and let your heart be its receiver.
So, in closure and befittingly, the happiness calendar for the month of December (see ACTION FOR HAPPINESS) is about being kind and delivering kindness and as usual every calendar provides daily actions to help you focus on what really matters. Take a look at December 7th, and as we have autumn coming to an end, see how mother nature prepares and gives us the chilling winter, with snow and its accompanying silence.
Lastly, ‘peace and quiet be with you, always’.