Aspire Magazine: Inspiration for a Woman's Soul.(TM) Oct/Nov 2018 Aspire Mag Full Issue - Page 75

an I please have some quiet in this house?” my dad would occasionally shout when his three shrieking daughters got the best of him. Since he was usually mild mannered, my sisters and I would take pity. We’d close our bedroom door or race to the backyard to continue our hot, gossipy conversation, allowing poor dad to have the quiet he desired. When I reflect on those times, what strikes me most is the opportunity my sisters and I could have had to use dad’s admonitions to enjoy our own peaceful silence. It is an experience I did not want lost on my own kids when they were younger, so my husband and I would at least occasionally use someone’s plea for quiet as a family reminder that silence is more than golden — it is a priceless path to fulfillment and joy. Silence is the language of our soul. While we can connect to our higher self in spoken tongues — most notably via singing, chanting, prayer, and loving speech — the fastest route to inner peace is outer stillness. That’s because God/Source/Spirit is always whispering to us, but we must quiet our minds to hear. “Being” quiet (not “doing” quiet) allows us to hear the hum of the universe that we too often drown out with the louder — and harsher — thoughts in our head. Many of us are uncomfortable around silence, as if it’s an enemy to be conquered with sound. If a room is quiet when we enter, we may reflexively turn on music or the TV, pick up the phone, or even talk to ourselves to fill the void. When we are with others, more than a few moments without conversation makes us squirm. Silence is the language of our soul. But your family can transform silence into the most freeing experience of the day. It helps everyone settle into a peaceful state. And it deepens interpersonal connections: Family members observing silence pay closer attention to one another’s needs, use touch as a form of communication, and can ponder situations rather than blurting the first mindless response that strikes us. (I remember the first time I asked a swami a question, and he paused for several minutes before answering. I was floored with how he gave himself those moments to be insightful before speaking.) Before you mumble about how you’re never going to get your kids to be quiet, know that resistance to silence is easily overcome once people experience its power. Get together with your family and agree on the best day and time to try it — preferably one that is free of too many commitments or interruptions. A good way to start is during a meal. Mindfully eaten food tastes extra delicious, your tongue ruminating over each exquisite bite. That’s why many ashrams and spiritual retreat centers make meals a time of enforced silence. You may want to start with an initial period of just 15 minutes to an hour (depending on the ages of your kids), to give everyone 7 B'