The Sweetness of Silence
"Listen to silence, it has so much to say." Rumi
Anthony was a thoughtful, slightly introverted, well read, open-minded 20 year old when I met him. Not shy, just deep. I remember how he used to tell me stories at night on the phone to get me to sleep (I suffered from chronic insomnia in college), and how he told me of his adventures running to Dublin, Texas for fresh Dr. Pepper from the bottling plant. I was 18 years old.
Anthony opened my mind to a lot of things - Eastern philosophy: loaning me books that opened a whole new world of thought for me; classical music and violas to be exact (he played beautifully); to storytelling on a grand scale (stories EVERY single night for months); and how to be still and appreciate quiet.
"Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom." Francis Bacon
I remember the day I began to understand and explore silence. We had just had dinner and were driving home to college and I chattered nonstop (I tend to be a chatterbox when tired or nervous). When I took a breath, Anthony said softly and sweetly - "have you ever just appreciated the silence between two people?"
I always thought when in social situations with people one should always maintain conversation, talk, chatter, exchange, communicate verbally. I was stunned and well, silenced.
After a few weeks of mulling that question over, I realized that I was terribly uncomfortable with silence. It felt like a mountain on top of me and I just COULD NOT enjoy silence. Even when alone I had radios, TV's blaring - always something to drown out the silence. I committed to exploring the why and to work my way through my discomfort and fear.
Jet ahead 15 years or so and I find myself wiggling, fussing, feeling VERY stressed in a supportive Restorative Yoga class. It all came back. I was afraid to be alone with my own thoughts and to explore them. And that is the moment I fell deeply in love with Restorative Yoga, meditation and Yin.
They challenged me in a way nothing ever had. They asked me to be with ME! They asked me to share communication with another person without words. They asked me to connect on a much deeper and more personal level than words could ever. They asked me to be alone with my thoughts and feelings and allow.
Anthony is gone from my life now but the things he shared with me are woven through my daily life. My love of Eastern philosophy, my willingness to be open to all knowledge and explore, the desire to just be, and my deep love of silence. Thank you Anthony - you will never know the gift you shared by that one simple question.
"Silence speaks when words cannot." Unknown
See you on the mat my friends!
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I have been "playing" and experimenting with yoga, aromatherapy and healthy living since my late teens - researching, testing, reading, investigating, and learning anything that would make my life - and the lives around me - better naturally.
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