Creating Resilient Cultures in Healthcare

Silence is Loud

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I had the privilege of leading several Your Mindful Year trainings and retreats last month to a variety of groups, from high school and pre-school teachers, to therapists and healthcare providers. I am happy to say they were very well received and the most powerful part of each program was re-discovering silence is loud.

Your Mindful Year is comprised of many practices including mindful eating, deep breathing, walking and sitting meditation, yoga poses, body scan, and journaling. These activities are guided by me while the participants remain silent.

I have to admit, I wasn’t sure how they would react to being silent, and when I initially made the announcement there was a brief gasp of panic. Depending on the timeframe, some of the groups were silent for up to 10 hours.

But to my (and their) pleasant surprise, when it was time to come out of silence, many expressed they were not yet ready! These comments demonstrate why silence is loud:

  • I took a new interest in the trees, the river, and even the wind
  • It was a relief not to have to interact with, be nice to or take care of anyone else
  • This gave me a peace and serenity I have not known before
  • I let go of things that get in the way of my ability to relax—stress, anxiety, and the tape “get this done” that constantly plays in my head
  • It was great to be “alone” with people
  • This gave me space to “check out” and “check in”
  • I felt a growing camaraderie we shared because of the silence
  • I thank the silence for giving me back to me
  • I am aware, peaceful, and relaxed
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There are many powerful benefits of silence in our noisy, busy, and frenetic world. If you can’t get away to a retreat, try turning off your radio, cell phone, TV, i-pod or whatever else for your next commute, workout, or meal. If you are willing to stop and find the quiet, you will experience how loud silence can be.










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