A few weeks ago we were challenged to take some time to sit in silence. I’m not talking about 10-15 minutes, it was suggested to do, at a minimum, 1 day, and anywhere from 2-5 days. Initially I thought to myself, when would I be able to do this?
My reasoning had nothing to do with ‘life is too busy’ and ‘I have more important things to do’, it really entailed responsibilities for my children…getting them fed, driven to school and various activities. I could have made arrangements and even asked the wife to handle a couple of these things but my reasoning of wanting to sit in silence for multiple days would not have been convincing enough of a reason for her to take on those tasks.
What to do? Well as luck would have it, this week, the kids had Spring Break and for 2 days, she and the kids would be off with some friends leaving me home alone……well, almost alone, as I do have 2 cats. This was the opportunity I needed, and I was excited to take this challenge on. The type of person I am, I like the thought of stretching this practice out to 4-5 days, as I believe this will have a much bigger impact, but for now, I’ll take what I can get.
I’m ashamed to say Day 1 ended up on the disappointing side. Now admittedly, for some reason, I didn’t put myself in the best position to succeed at this. I was a bit tired, so when sitting in silence, I found myself falling asleep. Also found myself having to go to the bathroom as I consumed a significant amount of water. Other times, I was moving around a lot and eventually realized that a much greater discipline is needed for this than I had anticipated. At one point I had put a cover over my eyes to be in complete darkness and to help avoid looking at any distractions, but this too seemed to cause me to fall asleep.
Needless to say, after day 1, the result was not what I was looking for, but I took it for what it was and chalked it up to a test run. I know what I need to do next time to put myself in a better position to succeed. One thing I plan on doing is to fast the entire time during this sit in silence. Eating becomes a distraction, especially if we aren’t eating the right things. I am quite disciplined with my eating, but in that discipline, that means I have to take time to actually cook my meals and clean the dishes. I also eat most of my calories for the day in 1-2 meals so this causes me to spend more time than I’d like to in the kitchen preparing, eating and cleaning when it’s all said and done. This is precious time I should be sitting, observing and listening.
Seeing as day 1 was a bit of a struggle, I took day 2 differently. I felt I needed a ‘break’ since I wasn’t quite getting the results I expected, so I went out into the world and ran some errands. When I got back, I figured I would be a bit more loose, have no expectations, just take a step back, be still and listen. The results on day 2 ended much better.
One clarification I did not get was, can we talk? I know we are to be in silence, I know we are to be still, but I’m also the type of person that likes to talk to God, as well as talk a scenario out with myself. It seems to be much more effective than simply thinking about it or even journaling. Seeing that day 1 felt a bit of a failure, I was lenient on allowing myself to speak on day 2 and I have to admit, the results were much better and much more impactful….
What I discovered concerns a very personal matter for me, so I can’t give a lot of detail. Perhaps another time.
However, I can say that what was revealed to me dealt with mistakes I made early on in my life and how it impacted where my life is today vs where my life REALLY should be. I also pinpointed where I took a wrong turn, why it happened, how it could have been avoided and how it can be corrected.
It’s fair to say I can’t go back in time and change what has happened in this current life of mine, but there is no doubt that I can make it right and can create the life I’ve always wanted moving forward. The biggest lesson for me was this, when I was younger I simply expected God to put me in the situations that would best serve me and He did. What I didn’t take into consideration was the work that I had to put in, prior to being put in the proper situation, as well as the action I needed to take in order for me to gain the rewards of what I wanted in this life.
I simply expected it to work out, and if it didn’t well then “It wasn’t meant to be”. I lived my life by the famous lyrics “Chance blamed Fate”. It wasn’t my fault, it simply wasn’t meant to be. But if it wasn’t, then why was I put in that situation in the first place? He gave me the opportunity to get exactly what I always wanted, and I blew it. I’ve pinpointed various reasons why I blew it, but my point is this, He gave me what I was searching for, I didn’t recognize that it was on me from that point forward, to make it happen, and still had the audacity to wonder why I wasn’t favored to get what I wanted…..
If we want something; we ask, we trust it’s in the process of happening, but the most important thing is to prepare for when the right opportunity comes along so we can take the proper action when it is put in front of us. For that is the ONLY WAY we can achieve the results we want and create the life we all truly deserve.
When my opportunity arouse, I wasn’t the man I needed to be to achieve the results I truly wanted. This cost me a lot because I waited and lost, scratching my head wondering what happened. I figured I would be ready when the time came even though I wasn’t doing anything to prepare for it. It took a long time for me to realize the mistake I made because I refused to change. It’s amazing what awareness can bring to you. The exciting part is, I have faith knowing that certain things are going to unfold, however I don’t know how or when it’s going to happen, but when it does, I continue to prepare and I’m excited to see how it all plays out in coming together.
It’s an exciting time to be alive and, even more so, to play it as the observer of my life while being present in every moment, and knowing that I’m prepared when the right opportunities come to fruition…….this makes life that much more rewarding and impactful. I can’t wait for that moment in time to come!
Well done, Dan! Your Week 23 came in after Week 24. Not to worry! Any way we look at it, you finished strong, and when it comes to blogging this year, you can’t go wrong! Thanks, Danny boy! 🙂
Bravo Dan!! for giving yourself permission to experience “extended Silence”. It is amazing what we discover when we are the non-judgmental, objective observer.