The Power of Thoughtful Silence

Verbosity is folly and although the squeaky wheel may sometimes get the oil, it can also erode one’s integrity.

As much as possible, I try to fill my early mornings with my books, my notes, and even my thoughts: seeing if I can be inspired by some message or theme for my day. If successful, I sit quietly with my findings and let them settle. If not, I am happy to move on. This morning, nothing really piqued my interest, until I read a quote from poet, William Stafford. I noticed that the quote can be as simple or as profound as you want to make it and that it can be applied from a deep, rich, complex place or a simple space facing you at any given moment. Listen to the words, and imagine applying Stafford’s observations. Then witness your results:

The things you do not have to say make you rich.

Saying the things you do not have to say weakens your talk.

Hearing the things you do not need to hear dulls your hearing.

And the things you know before you hear them, those are you.

Those are why you are in the world.

How often do we honor those moments when we don’t have to speak; when we allow ourselves to experience all as it is and choose not to alter them because we can accept and embrace the moment? Are we present enough to notice how those silent moments may unmask victories, blessings? I believe the silence means we see beyond the simplicity of a specific perspective and we honor that place where we find ourselves, allowing us to be complete and satisfied.

Do we realize that repeating ourselves, or speaking for the sake of being heard does not always result in satisfaction? It can actually undermine our credibility or sincerity. Verbosity is folly and the squeaky wheel may sometimes get the oil, but it can also erode one’s integrity. There are times when you cherish and accept what is, not because you have given up, but because you finally realize the situation is as perfect as it should be; more importantly, how blessed you are to be a witness.

Today, social sport is the battle for our head space and the tools most often used are clutter, noise, feedback and confusion – surrounding us from every angle. We are plagued by fear of missing out and as a result are always on, always connected, always pulled in some digital direction. How can you look inward and listen to your self when you experience this distraction? Realizing this is important. It impacts our ability to know who we are and what we know. Once we separate ourselves enough to get a clean signal, that signal becomes the foundation for the important next step…enabling  the trusting  of ourselves.

Trust yourself, your instinct, your heart, your knowing. If you have weeded out the noise and are honestly listening to yourself – your heart, you know what the answers are for yourself, no matter how difficult they may be to realize. And it is from that place that one can start. That is how you can begin to understand the things you know: how you understand you. It is from this place, this clarity that you begin to see your place in the world and your true reason for being.

This is my interpretation of Mr. Stafford’s words. This is how they hit me as I read them. I even contemplated following the advice of the second line and not writing this essay. My instinct led me in a different direction…and that’s OK because I trust it. However you react, as long as it is from a place that is sincere, thoughtful and of service, how can it be wrong?

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