Not long ago, I attended my first silent retreat. I’m not sure I’ve ever spent so much dedicated time in prayer and meditation, but something within my body settled into that slow and quiet rhythm faster than I anticipated.
While I expected to be bored or anxious, my soul welcomed the opportunity to become still and simply listen.
Since the retreat, I’ve consciously worked to bring more quiet and stillness into my busy workweek. I’ve strived to become more present in the moment and to take in my surroundings. As one way to do this, I’ve been forcing myself to get up from my desk and spend twenty minutes outside in nature each day.
For most of this time, I simply close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the birds, insects and whistling trees. It’s a magnificent symphony that anchors me in a beautiful place, which then helps me to be more productive in my work. When you take the time to listen or ground yourself in your surroundings, you can bring this skill back to your work life and allow it to cut through the unnecessary noise to hear what is important.
My intention is to listen more deeply.
This week, I hope you can also find a way to listen for the hidden, or often ignored, sounds in your life. Close your eyes during a conference call and really hear the unique tenor of someone’s voice, pause to appreciate the majesty of laughter, or go outside and listen to nature.
Whatever you pick, practice listening for these sounds at least once a day. Hold this intention in your mind and see what sounds pique your interest. Slow down and listen to what your heart, mind or body may be trying to tell you.
Wishing you a peaceful and intentional week.