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The Sound of Silence

Dear Friend,

How much time do you spend in absolute silence? Are you comfortable sitting still, all alone, without substantial outside stimulation?

Most Westerners are not comfortable being alone with themselves. For one thing, we have had the ability since our childhoods to be stimulated by a thousand different sources, whether TV, sports, teacher-directed classrooms, organized play, and more.

As humans, our mind craves activity. We bore quite easily. One way to overcome that boredom is to stimulate our brains with little jolts of energy. Sugar highs, caffeine, drugs, loud music, action movies, video games, flashy advertising – our lives are full of constant stimulation. As a result, our brains become addicted to this stimulation from without.

There is nothing wrong with stimulation. It can be a lot of fun! The problem arises when we as individuals cannot live without a constant state of stimulation. We become addicted to it. And our self identity becomes lost within it as well.

When our world goes quiet, perhaps we begin to plan tomorrow’s activities. Or we start to worry about some projected mishap. God forbid we just let the quiet continue.

The fact is, a life without stimulation is simply unknown to many of us. This is why we fear the silence. We fear being swallowed up in the boredom! Or we fear meeting our true selves, face to face.

Whatever the reason, our fear of sitting in true silence means that we miss a great deal of what comes at us. And we often try far too hard to achieve what we think we want.

Often, if we just relax and take positive steps in a desired direction, what we want will come to us on its own. Also, our greatest ideas and insights are often communicated to us in low whispers that we will not recognize if we are too busy with the hustle and bustle of the here and now.

To truly understand ourselves, we must be prepared to see and accept ourselves fully as we really are. Those of us who still struggle with acceptance of our “shadow” selves, or who have a confused self identity, often do not want to address our true selves in a way that may upset a well crafted cease-fire within our own psyche.

The bottom line is, self discovery is the first and most critical step to self actualization. Only by understanding who you truly are can you begin to understand your life’s true purpose, and then begin to steer your life in a path that really means something to you. And only be being willing to exist in silence can we begin the process of self discovery.

If you aren’t comfortable with silence, do yourself a favor. Put on some soft music. Or just listen to the insects or birds outside of your window. And do nothing else. Consider picking up a book on meditation. There are many simple techniques that you can utilize to help you to discover yourself in the quiet.

Once you master being alone with you, you just may save yourself some money on doctor’s bills. Watch your blood pressure go down. And your neuroses fade away. And sitting alone in the quiet costs you nothing. It’s a simple and powerful technique for improving the quality of your life.

I wish you the best of luck in discovering the beautiful world of silence. It’s a place you won’t want to leave!

All the best,

Hugh

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