How can silence make it so difficult for us? As in: ‘I just can’t get it quiet in my head’.
Perhaps it is because silence is usually understood acoustically. It is thought to be a matter of the absence of sound, including that of thoughts or feelings.
I’ve never understood how this can be an ambition. Aren’t they words that make or break life? More logical than wanting to be wordless ‘quiet’, seems to me the desire to be ‘appropriately spoken’. Able to speak the right word at the right time.
The question then is not: ‘how do I become silent?’, but ‘how do I come up with that appropriate word?’ A word that fills the gap in a given situation to the nearest micromillimeter. The question of the specific moment has been answered 100% correctly.
To get there we need to get our sights on the birthplace of our words. Teach ourselves to keep asking the question: where does the word I think or speak actually come from? Out of my word pantry or fresh out of the country?
The Liber methodology can help you with this. For Liber does not insist on becoming ‘all and quiet’, completely without thoughts, words or feelings, but teaches you to develop a relationship with your words so stilled that the right word can be born from it.
When Liber asks you to make a word cloud, it’s an incentive to completely muck out your word pantry. The hardest thing to do is to do it completely. And not to leave words on the shelf that another word says are beautiful or even virtuous. That they deserve to be preserved.
Let them all come out. All your words.
The next step is to give each of those words your “attention without further ado.” Thick and thin, ripe and green: cherish your words, welcome them. And if they keep quiet, ask them. Insist that they express themselves, ‘who are you, what do you want, what do you mean?’
“I’m so tired, life is hard, if only my husband was a little more sensitive, I would love to have more time for myself, if only my children lived closer, I don’t see what this exercise brings me, if only I were a little more sister , if only I had a little less like this…’ give all your words unlimited space. Let all your words speak and refrain from approval or disapproval.
Learn to be present before your words like a limp field before a rain shower: not a drop that is not welcome.
What can then take place is nothing short of a miracle. For exposed to the unobstructed light of your loving attention, every word in your word pantry, even that which you would rather not touch, turns out to be a seed-bearing fruit. Who, fully heard, seen, welcomed and loved, could wish for no better place than the scabbard of your loving treatment. In which it then descends and comes to rest and then… develops into a new, current, fresh word. Or not. Because it dies.
To become so quiet is as much as to become a woman. And mother. All willingness to love and receive every word, every thought, every feeling; then wait motionless – which word catches on and which word doesn’t? – and finally to give birth: the popular word in question. And again. And again. And again.
For you do not become silent because of the silence, but because only silence gives birth to life-giving words.