Ten years ago I went to my first silent retreat. It was an introductory retreat, only four days long. Of the 20 people who started it together, three left it at the end of the second day. 

Silence is not easy. Yet, it is one of the most potent things we can do to heal and grow. 

Here are six highly supportive aspects of silence for your transformation. 

Staying in silence is a much more radical life change than simply doing new and more things, as usual.

1 Feel More — Think Less

Chances are you have opinions to share about every single current affair, what is wrong with everything and what other people should do. Yet, when it comes to how you feel, you are clueless.

We humans are highly mental — overstimulating our minds, at the expense of our hearts. We live as if we were only bodies and minds, and, as a result, our hearts and souls starve. We disconnect from ourselves.  

Much of our thinking is our ego exerting control over ourselves to not feel what is inside of us, so we don’t have to deal with it. So that we don’t have to change how we live our lives. 

Silence allows us to connect to an important aspect of being human: feeling. This way we can greatly return to our hearts, heal, and connect to a much higher dimension of what it means to be human. So we can finally start shifting in alignment with what we truly want. 

2 Silence Allows You to Listen

So you don’t know what you want, you can’t hear your intuition, you can’t hear your heart, you don’t know what your next step is. You can’t feel life energy force flowing through you, and you can’t connect to the divine.

One of the main reasons this happens is because of the extreme amount of noise in our lives. We are restless, always busy. Even when we slow down and sit for a bit, our heads spin in multiple directions at once, making grocery lists, angry about what Kelly said earlier, and planning tomorrow’s meeting.

Just as if you were with a great friend giving her your undivided attention as she shares something important with you, the same thing is necessary for you to hear yourself. Otherwise, your inner voice won’t get through. 

3 Silence Allows You to Notice

When in silence, you can notice things that were going unnoticed before due to your cluttered life and mind. 

Silence allows you to take a step back, relax your body and mind, and see clearly. So dare to stop still for a bit. 

You get to notice your tensions, what is not working in your life, what is it that truly matters for you among many other things. 

You stop being distracted, you stay with what matters, and you finally deal with it. 

4 Silence Allows You to Learn Fast What You Need to Heal and Transform

People often tell me that it’s pointless to stay in silence because, well, they can’t and so it doesn’t work. 

Now this couldn’t be farther from the truth. 

When you try to be quiet and still can’t, you have an invaluable lesson at hand: you get to experience first-hand in your skin exactly why you can’t be quiet. You live the distraction, the lack of focus, the lack of presence, the anxiety, you name it.

This moment of experience and awareness is the mere attempt of silence doing its work. Are you present enough to notice and learn? 

Whatever is stopping you from being able to slow down and be in silence is what needs to heal. This is your blockage right there: something that is controlling you, not allowing you to command yourself.

Experiencing firsthand the power of your mind over you, and how your willingness is no match for it, is a huge learning in understanding your next step: in this case, you’ve got to clear your mind. 

The first step of healing is acknowledging what needs to be healed. Any mere attempt of silence will show you what that is. 

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5 As Long as You Are Not Able to be In Silence, You Have Control Issues

As long as we can’t stay in stillness, and have no self-control over our minds and emotions to create this silent pond, then our thoughts and emotions are controlling us. 

They are doing it mainly out of fear, easily triggered by any possibility of us going deeper and seeing things we are avoiding seeing. This way, we become alienated from our real state, and our ego keeps running the show. The result is that we keep living in separation, never fully connected. 

Now don’t get me wrong. It is pretty hard to get to a place where no thought at all interrupts your silence. We are not looking for perfection here. There’s no final stop: the only perfection is the ongoing work on our healing and growth. 

We are talking about ongoing clearing, expansion, and self-mastery so we have a better possibility of living according to what is best for us: no longer victims of our minds and emotions. 

6 Silence Allows for a Much Deeper Connection

The more I expanded on my spiritual path, the more silence became my main practice. The language of God is silence and the more we can stay in total presence (that is, not sleepy and overrelaxed), the more silence will connect us to the depths of our hearts and consciousness (as well as much higher and more potent forces of the cosmos). 

For higher spiritual connection, the most important piece is to make ourselves into suitable vessels for higher energies to flow through us. We do that by purifying our energetic blockages and by remaining open — relaxed and silent. 

When we get to be in silence, we get to relax much more. Physically, emotionally, mentally. In our silence, we release all these possible tensions that we hold on to. Mental rigidity, and emotional wounds that run the show. We allow energy to circulate and flow freely, no longer holding on to our tension.

For the Curious at Heart: What Is Yoga? 

Silence is so difficult that the whole science of yoga was created to support people to meditate well, in silence. Yoga means union, a union met through stillness.

Modern Westerners think Yoga is a sequence of postures, the famous Asanas, whereas that is but a tiny part of it. 

Isn’t it funny that the yoga postures are called asanas? The word asana literally means “a steady, comfortable seat,” especially for the purpose of meditation. The whole point of yoga movements is to prepare the practitioner to be able to sit in stillness.

Yoga is composed of different parts, including pranayama (breathwork) and dharana (concentration), consciously put together to support the practitioner to be able to finally stay still in silence, in total union.

In other words, even thousands of years ago they already knew silence was necessary — but not easy. 

Are you ready to accept the challenge — for your own growth and wellbeing? 

Ok, but I Don’t Want to Do Yoga. So How do I Become Better at Silence?

Here are a few practical tips: 

  • Do less: Be better at choosing and prioritizing. Learn to say no.
  • Practice Doing One Thing at a Time: enjoy your cooking when you are cooking — instead of being with your mind somewhere else.
  • Slow Down: No need to rush everything up. We are addicted to stress and restlessness. Reprogram yourself to understand you can slow down, and do things with more attention and care. Do less – but do better.
  • Refrain: Got 5 minutes while waiting in line, or between commitments? Hold your horses! Refrain from checking your phone, and from trying to save time to do this and that. Dare to stay put and just stay there, breathing. Relax. It’s only a few minutes, and it slowly builds your ability to stay in the gap. 

Will you dare to refrain? 

Embrace spiritual growth in your everyday life with the free “Essential Guide to Spiritual Growth” — learn key concepts, receive timeless wisdom, and get practical guidance for your personal journey. 

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