Silence is golden. Or so it used to be? When we are surrounded by constant external stimulation such as work, technology, traffic, family and friends, it can be challenging to find silence to enjoy. When your mind is overstimulated, running a never-ending marathon of thoughts, it can be even more challenging to embrace silence! And yet, now more than ever we need to master the art of sitting in silence. This is not sitting cross-legged in meditation until enlightenment finds you. As the animals have shown us, being in silence is speaking when necessary, reducing your stimulations and embracing the power of solitude.
Why is it so important that we get comfortable in silence? Embracing silence can change the way you deal with life. It can bring immense clarity to the challenges you deal with. Having clarity can be the difference between a good solution and a great solution for all. Embracing silence can also bring your emotions back into balance. When you are caught up in your emotions, you don’t think clearly. And you certainly don’t see the bigger picture in that state. While your mind is buzzing with all its thoughts and emotions at a hundred miles an hour, there is your animal by your side. They just seem to know how to calm you down right? How do they do that? They are masters of silence. Your animals do not have technology, social media or other stimulations to distract them. In fact, if you have noticed when the TV is on or when you are on the phone, your animals move to another room. This is because they prefer to be in this blissful state.
As an animal whisperer, I get asked all the time ‘What do animals like to talk about?’ Interestingly enough, animals don’t do small talk. They don’t feel the need to talk to fill a void. They like to speak telepathically and/or verbally when it is necessary. If you have noticed your own animals, when there is ‘nothing’ to do, they will simply sit and observe or go to sleep. Cats are well known for going into a meditative state at any time. As my work requires me to be in a meditative state to communicate with your animals, I work in silence all the time. I am more productive, clear in my vision, and my animals love this space so I am always surrounded by four animals in my office. So how do you embrace silence like an animal?
Between social media, entertainment, technology, your work and your family, you have a lot of noise constantly coming at you. It is no surprise that you become desensitised to these stimulators constantly trying to get your attention. It has become so prevalent now that studies show the average attention span for people is 30 seconds! No wonder we get uncomfortable being in silence; our minds and bodies are so used to being overstimulated all the time.
You can start small by turning the radio off in the car on the way to work. Or you can turn off music or the TV when you are having dinner at home. When you are exercising, turn your music off and tune into your breathing. When you take your dog for a walk, put your phone away. You may feel restless when you first try this, it is totally normal. You can breathe through these restless moments and the more you practice it, the more comfortable you will feel with it.
Surprisingly, a lot of people are uncomfortable with being on their own. Sitting in solitude means you may look inward and face the issues you have going on. Spending time in solitude gives your mind the space for bright ideas and goals to come forward. Start by spending time alone for short periods. Remove all distractions such as phones, music or family. Spend five minutes on your own, sitting down or lying down, whatever makes you feel more comfortable. You can make it the first thing you do in the morning or the last thing you do at night. Spend five minutes in the car alone before you get out to go to work or before you come home. Commit a small part of your day to yourself by making that time for solitude. As you get more comfortable on your own, you can extend your time. Spending time in solitude gives your mind the space for bright ideas and goals to come forward.
It is wonderful to embrace the silence that comes externally. Removing all stimulations and getting used to sitting in quiet will give you deeper calmness and balance in your life. To truly benefit from the power of silence, you must also learn how to become silent within, even when there is chaos surrounding you. And who better to show this than the animals?
One of our best techniques for getting people into the Zone where they become like an animal, is practicing ‘Just Being’ or ‘Being Present’ with your animal. The human way is not the only way to live or function. Now is your chance to see and feel a different way of being.
There is no need to sit right next to your animal for this exercise; in their general vicinity will be enough. If they approach you, allow them to do so but without your interaction (as this is what normally occurs when they are with you); ignoring their advances will soon allow them to settle quietly and be themselves. Allow your busy thoughts to quieten until you are focusing softly on your animal friend. Just sit with them quietly for a short period of time, and sense what it feels like to be your animal.
Animals love when we are in this quiet mind mode as this is more to their state of being. Our busy lifestyles and the chatter that is forever occurring in your mind, will often cause your animals to behave erratically or want to be distanced from us. It also prevents them from communicating with you as they are receiving a busy signal from your ever-active mind. You will notice when you are calm, they are calm.
You have probably read numerous times that meditation can reduce stress, provide clarity and also create emotional balance. It comes at no surprise that it is one of the most effective and common solutions to creating more peace in your life. You will hear that the most successful people in the world practice meditation – from athletes to singers, to spiritual gurus and even business tycoons. It has been scientifically proven that meditation can reduce blood pressure and treat disorders in children with ADHD. So how do we fit it into our life? Start with five minutes of meditation daily. Practicing in the morning is preferred, as it sets you up for your day. If it is not possible, any time of the day is good as long as you can make it happen. Once you have mastered five minutes, move up to ten minutes of meditation, and so on. Once you have built your ritual, you find it easy and effortless.
It is common for your animals to join you in your silence rituals. They love it when we are quiet and still, for this is the energy that they are in all the time. You may find your animals will be a gauge for when you are in total stillness. If you find your animals are distracting you, keep them away until you feel you are practiced enough to stay in silence around them. Practicing the art of silence will leave you feeling refreshed, re-energised and more at peace with yourself and the world around you. Embracing that stillness to fill you within means you carry that power with you wherever you go. No matter what challenges you face, you will be calm, collected and empowered to tackle anything that comes at you. You will be glad you started this journey, and so will your animals too!