One of my cherished daily rituals (besides sleeping late!) is my morning walk with the dogs around our little 5-acre farm. I wear my favorite slip-on gardening shoes (Sloggers – look these up if you have never heard of them – super comfortable and adorably cute designs), bask in the early morning sunshine coming up over the trees, feel the cool breeze caress my face, and breathe in deeply the smells of fresh cut grass, honeysuckle, and magnolia that make spring in the South so wonderfully enchanting.
I remarked to Dawn over lunch yesterday that the thing I enjoy most about these walks is just the opportunity to listen to my internal thoughts, to be wrapped in a bubble of silence, so those thoughts can be heard. In our tech-filled world with music blaring 24/7 from our wireless headphones, our smart phones beeping loudly with text messages, and YouTube videos constantly playing on our laptops, when is the time given to simply allow the ideas in your own head to come to the surface and be heard above the din of everyday life?
These walks remind me of the oft used saying “silence is golden.” While the source of this saying has been lost to history, The Phrase Finder traces its first use in English to the poet Thomas Carlyle. His translation from German in 1831 involves a wonderful statement on the value of silence.
“Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life, which they are thenceforth to rule.”
I find this to be very true! During these walks I often come up with my best ideas. It might be a design breakthrough for a client’s website, just the right wording for a blog post I’m trying to write, or an idea for a new tennis sketch I want to create. It’s also my time to check-in with myself and how I’m feeling. Am I overwhelmed? Happy? Depressed? Ready for a new adventure? I know some people are able to study, read, write, or think while watching TV or listening to music, but I’m not one of those people. It’s those quiet times when my subconscious mind comes to life because it knows I’m focused on what it has to say and I’m not distracted by Bruno Mars belting out Uptown Funk.
After my walks, I normally feel refreshed and ready for a day full of opportunities to put my ideas into action. For you, it might be a quiet morning with a hot cup of tea (also one of my favorites for winter thinking), a bit of yoga, a hot shower, a few minutes of meditation, or all of the above!
I challenge you to work some quiet time into your routine. Even if it is just for 15 minutes. Turn off the cell phone, the music, and the TV, and just enjoy the silence. After all, we are still using the saying silence is golden. There must be a nugget of truth to that. Be silent and you might find it.