Ripples #876: Becoming Quiet.
Mar 7, 2016
The quieter you become,
the more you are able to hear.
-Rumi, shared by Isaac in Tampa, FL
There is a pervasive form of modern violence to which the idealist most easily succumbs: activism and over-work. The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence. The frenzy of activists destroy the fruitfulness of their work because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.
-Thomas Merton (adapted slightly), shared by Renee, Green Bay, WI
I concluded a while back that my work in this lifetime is about encouraging us all to more consistently bring our best selves to work, school and life. And let’s face it, it is *really* difficult to really show up for anything or anyone when we are depleted. Part of being human is recognizing our limitations and finding the time and courage to build in breaks: quiet time to rest the body, mind, & spirit.
I’m consistently surprised at how sprinkling in a few extra minutes of sleep and/or relaxation time into daily life can improve productivity in a way that more than makes up for the “lost time.” I also believe it can be valuable to keep sacred one day each week, or even a solid half day, where work and chores are put on hold for reflection and/or relaxation either by yourself or with loved ones. Beyond daily and weekly rest periods, most top performers I know require occasional extended retreats of solitude to reflect, recharge, and refocus.
If you have been struggling lately to bring your best self to any part of your life, I encourage you to start with a small break, even if it is just a few minutes with calm music and some deep breaths. Remind yourself that you’ll be more effective, more generous, and more enjoyable to be around. If you’re already getting that done, perhaps you can consider a more substantial break. It won’t necessarily be easy to make the time, but won’t it be worth it? Try and see.
The Ripples Guy
P.S. I chose the theme for this week because I’m taking my own advice and going quiet for a bit. You’ll still receive these Monday splashes since I’ve queued up a few weeks worth of Ripples in advance. Additionally, I’m using technology and a few friends to make sure that my social media feeds continue to unleash ripples of compassion and kindness. I promise to return once I’m replenished, restored, refreshed!