Not a week goes by without some article that focuses on some type of craving whether it be food, a relationship, a substance or a gadget. I personally crave silence! I am so tired of a world that seems to have the need to fill every moment with some kind of sound. I never thought I would come to the place where I felt the desire to simply listen to nothing. When I was a high school student in a Catholic boarding school silent retreats were part of the curriculum, occurring every few months. Imagine a gaggle of teen age girls trying desperately not to talk and me in particular trying not to laugh. My particular group of friends would do anything in our power to get one of the so called “goody two shoes” to break. Which of course always led to us being separated and confined to our rooms. Waiting for the three days and nights of silent hell to be over with was a nightmare. I could not possibly understand the value the good sisters were trying to impart to us, since my internal chatter needed to be shared with anyone I came in contact with. “After all” Sister Immaculata would say “one does not need to express every thought they have”. I wonder what she would think of the reality shows. Oh how time changes our perceptions. I have spent years on the road and been inundated with sounds of all kinds, and the amount of noise that surrounds us seems to have grown exponentially. No matter where you are now, you can hear someone talking on their cell phone. Do we have that much more to share? Is it necessary to report every moment of the day to anyone who might be available? Perhaps we are trying to find someone who will actually take the time to listen. That’s a pretty tall order these days. Since many of us feel overwhelmed and are lacking in the “self care” department. How can we pay attention to what someone is saying when we don’t take the time to listen to ourselves? That’s where silence and solitude come into play. Without them we lose our ability to cultivate an” interior life”. You might want to give yourself permission to just be quiet and still. It will probably be a struggle initially since the mind is often buffeted by sights, sounds and experiences. But, I can guarantee that if you make the effort to honor silence periodically, you will feel more inner peace and tranquility
We are all familiar with NBS, CBS or ABC, but I really think they should change the call letters to NFS, never feel safe. Why not? Isn’t that the real intent of the media to make us all feel that at any minute of any day something awful is going to happen. After all how else do you get someones attention, especially in these times, since most people can’t spend more than a few minutes on any one thing. I was watching the news the other night and the meteorologist came on and started to gush over how lucky we have been, but, don’t get too complacent because a cold front was coming in and we could be in for some unreliable weather patterns. I love some of the descriptions they use. What is a cold front? How about it’s going to get cold in the next few days. Why the drama? Am I supposed to get out my sled dogs and fur parka? Then the news anchor came on and reported that the job market is increasing. But don’t get too excited, since his very next sentence was that gas prices are going up. So, I guess that means you might get a job put you won’t be able to afford getting there. Next he shared that real estate sales were up, BUT, foreclosures were up too. Encouraging to say the least. By this time I was starting to twitch, but he wasn’t done. There has to be a segment on health, but it’s never about how many people might be healthy. Oh no, we need to know that sixty three percent of the population is obese and that the morbidity rate will be higher in the younger generations. Now we go to commercial and see one for a soft drink that has at least twenty teaspoons of sugar in it. Followed by a cholesterol medication that has enough side effects to kill you, but not to worry they’re only secondary effects. They might do some damage like loss of hearing or blindness but hey your cholesterol went down. Okay, I’m not quite suicidal so let’s finish the segment with some global news, filled with murder and mayhem. The last three minutes have a report on someone or something that actually elevates the human condition. But, let’s face it, if you want a good night’s sleep don’t watch the news just before you retire for the night. In fact take a “news fast” every once in a while it will definitely reduce your stress levels.