Just be

Do you ever crave silence, or do you like to lead a lifestyle that is filled with work, to-do lists, taking care of others, seeing friends and family, and the buzz of modern day technology?

For the past 2 weeks, I have conducted an experiment by observing mankind and I have found that most people spend their waking hours in a flurry of activity. As I watch people walk down the street, stand on street corners, purchase coffee, or stand in line at the grocery store, a majority are on their cell phones or listening to their IPod and are disconnected from their surroundings. This morning was a particularly beautiful morning in Virginia and as I sat down by the Potomac river just to watch the waves and the ducks, 9 out of 10 people that walked by were on their cell phones or IPod. They were tuning out the world and a beautiful morning. What struck me was that they missed an opportunity to just be in silence and take guidance from their inner voice.

As I talk to people about the chaos of modern life, some say that they enjoy the constant movement of life, while some feel exhausted by the constant demands of work, family, friends, and technology that never leaves them alone. When I suggest a time out (from 1 to 48 hours) away from everything except being in silence and enjoying your surroundings, everyone grimaced at the idea and came up with two excuses: (1) I don’t have the time for a time out, or (2) I don’t think I could stand being with my thoughts. These two responses are precisely why we all need a time out away from television, computers, cell phones, IPods, and activities that simply keep us busy from just being.

If you do not feel that you have the time for a time out, then you are likely going through life on a treadmill trying to get from one task to another, falling into bed exhausted, and waking up exhausted. We all have demands on our life; some are vitally important, such as taking care of an ill family member, but others are simply tasks that can be put off an hour or a day. If your life is so frantic that you cannot even take a one-hour time out, then are you really living?

If you feel unnerved about the idea of sitting in silence with nothing but your thoughts, even if you are out in nature and enjoying Mother Earth, then a time out will help you relax and to learn what your inner voice is telling you. And if you do not like what you hear, you can begin to change the chatter so that it is more positive and supportive. By drowning out your inner voice with “stuff”, the voice is still making an impact on your subconscious. And if that voice is unknowingly critical and judgmental, that will leave you feeling depleted and unworthy. So although it may feel uncomfortable to disconnect, consider doing this even for a few hours. Then increase to where you can disconnect for longer periods of time more frequently. Doing so will strengthen your ability to hear your inner voice (your intuition) and put you on the path to taking control of your life. Remember, we are human beings not human doers. And what is the point of being on this glorious planet if we won’t take time to smell the flowers?

Please share your comments on how you feel about taking a time out.