Are You Living on Autopilot?
Have you ever experienced something familiar in a completely new way? And did you wonder how in the world you could have missed it before?
It’s 4:00 a.m. on a cold winter morning. As I walk down the street, I hear the mild breeze that’s gently sweeping across the city. It’s so calm outside that I can hear not only the sound of my heartbeat, but also the silent sound of my inner self. The sound is vibrant. It radiates this immense sense of serenity and calmness. At this moment, I am connected with my spiritual self and the depth of its consciousness.
I’ve walked this same street countless times, but it feels different at this very moment. And I realize that the presence of silence is behind this soothing and blissful experience.
That walk was a simple yet powerful reminder of how easy it is to fall into the trap of spending our days on autopilot. We fail to notice the details of what’s happening around us—and more importantly, inside of us.
We live in a very noisy world, a world where it’s practically impossible to be in pure silence. Right when we wake up, we’re exposed to non-stop outside noise: radio, music, TV, Internet, traffic, people, etc.
And even when there isn’t a lot of outside noise and we’re alone, most of us seem to have this internal urge to check our phones, email, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. every 5–10 minutes and create our own noise.
The noise never stops.
People have never ever been so disconnected from themselves and hence from others as they are in today’s world. It’s difficult to concentrate even on simple and important day-to-day activities such as working, hanging out with family and friends, and eating meals.
It’s no wonder, we’re feeling deprived and struggling like never before to find happiness and peace. The internal and external noise is getting louder and louder each day.
This world is in desperate need of a pause: a pause from the constant, overwhelming noise that bombards us. It’s time to start the journey into ourselves by introducing the practice of silence into our lives.
The practice of silence not only cultivates mindfulness and focus—it also creates a space that empowers clarity, a space where we can learn to understand ourselves and therefore better understand the world around us. It gives the mind a break and lets it rest by settling the many emotions created by noise. This practice turns off our life’s autopilot and gives us an opportunity to observe our surroundings and our thoughts, which often get drowned in the non-stop noise. This practice is a medium through which one can connect with their deeper self – an important element in the process of healing and loving yourself.
The practice of silence is not an overnight fix. Whether you practice silence for 20–30 minutes or a few hours every day, by making it a part of your day-to-day life, you will slowly start to notice the presence of silence and its positive effects on the quality of your personal, spiritual, work, and social life.
Given the requirements of day-to-day living, it’s not practical to take a lifelong vow of silence or be able to attend guided meditation every day. However, introducing regular small sessions of silence into your noisy life and world with sincere effort is very achievable and practical.
Let this simple practice of silence help restore balance in your life and let you hear what is unsaid.