As we near the end of winter, I think about the silence that winter brings. Longer days of darkness, no more birds chirping, no more leaves rustling in the trees, no more kids running around outside, or cookouts by the pool. I also think of winter as a time of hibernation. A time when people typically spend more time indoors.
February 2015 in the middle of the cold winter, I moved out on my own, for the first time in about 24 years, after a challenging and difficult break-up from someone I loved dearly. I went from living in a 6-bedroom/5-bath house, to a tiny one-bedroom apartment. I was afraid, sad, and lonely. I was afraid of the silence. I pondered the question why am I 52 years old and alone? I wondered if I would be alone for the rest of my life. It was a dark silent time.
Life is kind of like the ocean with our surface mind being like the waves, on the surface of the ocean, which are always moving and never still or silent. If you go deep into the bottom of the ocean, however, it is calm, still, and silent. The same is true for our minds. If we go deeper into our minds, it is calm and still.
This past year has taught me that at the center of my being is a place that nothing or no one can disturb without my permission. For the first 6 months of living alone I was living on the surface. I was in the surface mind. Worried, fearful, lonely and sad. After a period of time, I realized that I could go into my deeper mind where there was peace, calmness, and silence. I could go to the center of my being. The past year of silence and being alone has lead to tremendous self-healing, a beautiful reconnection to my spiritual being, and great personal growth. Turning inward to my deeper mind and diving deeper into the ocean has helped me reconnect with my inner sanctuary. Something we all have inside of us if we take the time to be silent. Do not look for a sanctuary in anyone except yourself. I was looking for my sanctuary in other people not being aware that it was inside of me all the time.
As the time recently came for me to sign a new lease on my tiny modest apartment in the city, I found myself back in my surface mind experiencing sadness and realizing that I would be alone again for at least another year. As much as I tried to go back into the deeper mind, I struggled. I stayed on the surface for about 3 weeks, sad and miserable. Then my dear friend and life coach, Greg reminded me that by signing a new lease I just bought myself another year of self-healing, another year of focusing on my spiritual connection, and another year of independence. What a beautiful thing to realize for myself. It changed my whole outlook on the situation.
Silence is where our answers come from. The answers to all our tough questions are already within us. We just have to be silent and ready to receive the answers. They may not be the answers we want to hear which has sometimes kept me from asking.
You can experience Winter Silence year round. Sit aside several times a day to just be silent and focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing will keep your surface mind from wandering. On exhalation, dive deep into the ocean, deep into your mind. There you will find peace. There you will find answers to your questions. There you will find silence. This takes practice and consistency but the benefits have been life changing for me.
How do you connect to your inner sanctuary? How do you connect to the center of your being? Do you practice silence? I would love to hear about your experiences as well. It is my hope that you all have a week of connection to your deeper mind, the center of your being, your inner sanctuary. Have a peaceful week and I’ll see you next Sunday for the weekly Sunday blog.
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Peace and blessings