Aspire Magazine: Inspiration for a Woman's Soul.(TM) Oct/Nov 2018 Aspire Mag Full Issue - Page 76

the words had been uttered. In conferring with others since then, I have found this to be common. We are so used to noise that our brain goes into overdrive to keep the peace away. After a while, though, the noises lessen (although they never stop) and the beauty of the silence blossoms. the opportunity to succeed. As your family comes to appreciate the practice, try building up to several hours, and, eventually, a half- or even an entire day. Longer sessions are tougher to hold together but are unbelievably meaningful. Everyone may come to love the practice so much that you’ll want to schedule it regularly. One family I knew observed a weekly Saturday Morning Silence from wakeup until noon. Other types of non-spoken communication — writing, signaling, sign language — should be discouraged during silent sessions. Eliminating such idle “prattle” may be tough or impossible at first. A family in a spiritual discussion group I once facilitated found that giving everyone small note pads to jot down “important” thoughts they were dying to share helped the transition. However, the notes were not passed around until the silent period was over. The first time I observed a period of silence I was shocked: not by the quiet, but by the noise. My mind rushed to fill the stillness with its own jabbering, which rebounded around my brain as loudly as if 76 Luxuriate in it. Listen to the sounds around you, from your child’s sweet breathing to that always ticking clock you never observed. Look closely at the auburn streaks in your daughter’s black hair, the green in your son’s finger-painting, your almond appliances — they’re not really the color of an almond, are they? Pay attention to how your own face feels to your fingertips. Your world will seem more vibrant than before, because when you shut down the avenue where so much energy usually escapes, it is rechanneled to the other senses. Like so many spiritual practices, keeping silent for even the shortest time will feel weird at first, especially to your kids. I promise it gets easier with practice. And the rewards — in terms of increased serenity and your family’s more intimate ways of being with one other — are well worth the work. Meryl Davids Landau - Meryl is the author of the book Enlightened Parenting: A Mom Reflects on Living Spiritually with Kids, named a finalist in the Indie Excellence Awards. She also wrote the spiritual women’s novel Downward Dog, Upward Fog, a fiction book of the year finalist in the Foreword Reviews Awards. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including Parents, O: The Oprah Magazine, Glamour, Self, Redbook, Reader’s Digest, Prevention, Huffington Post, Vice and more. Meryl is a certified yoga teacher and Reiki practitioner, and is the mom to two kids, now young adults. Learn more at | October / November 2018