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The Sound of Silence

A few days ago, we were on top of Haleakala Crater on Maui. The sun was warm, and the view of the crater was clear. There was no wind, for a change, and the clouds were far below us.  We stopped by a lookout on the way down from the top. It was there that I heard it: A profound Sound of Silence which touched me deeply. Somewhere inside of me, I heard and felt a stillness that I have never experienced before at this level. It was so peaceful and quiet. I felt so very blessed at receiving this precious gift. The surroundings were not only beautiful and majestic, but it inspired awe in the beholder. The Silversword plant, which only grows there, is wondrous. The clouds were coming straight up from the rain forest far below, like wisps of imagination. It was hard to leave it in order to return to the hustle and bustle far below us, catching our flight home.

I know that it is an oxymoron, for how can Silence have a Sound? Perhaps because it is the exception. Sound is a pollution present in every place inhabited by humans and animals. Some of it is pleasant, like the rustle of leaves in the wind, surf on the seashore, or a waterfall. How about the sound of a child’s laughter or a cat purring? However, most sounds come from our environment: Traffic, horns, overly-loud music, neighbors fighting over some trivial thing, etc. Some we like: a newborn baby’s cry, good music, conversation with a loved one or friend. Others we do not care for much because it is not within our frame of reference. Even when life is a little quieter, there are not many places where one can experience the Sound of Silence.

The stillness in my soul is now present with me, wherever I go. It is like it makes the song of birds more sweet, the flowers more colorful, and  my awareness  is more alive than I ever remember. I know I am more peaceful at the center of my being. I treasure this greatly.

In the Bible in Psalm 46:10, it states: “Be still and know that I Am God.”

In this stillness, it gives us a home base from which to operate. Eric Butterworth said it very well: “Be in the hub of a wheel, living life from the center instead of at the circumference.” If you are caught up in the sound and fury of all the activity, guess who is at the circumference? (Is it any wonder that, at the end of the day, you feel like you have been run over by something?) But if you take a few minutes for yourself in the morning for quiet contemplation/meditation, you can respond more from the hub of the wheel (for it is very motionless there) and with a more thought-filled response to everything.

Life itself is filled with cacophony. It begins with sound of an alarm clock  so we can get underway, and continues throughout each day. Perhaps the baby is crying, the young children are fighting, or the phone is ringing, and the TV is already on. Sometimes, we are so afraid of being alone that we fill our surroundings with noise, be it a computer, music, TV, cell phone, etc. Some, of course, is generated by our 24/7 lifestyles, earning money so we can afford to live in this economy. The only question is: Is your health suffering from the anxiety, stress, and overload that is in your life, caused by the choices you have made in the past? How, then, can one begin to get a handle on this? Easy: One thing at a time. Begin to thoughtfully look at your reality and see each individual thing by itself. Then you can make a decision to alter it however you can to make your life more peaceful.

Serenity of Spirit is a worthwhile goal. It has a price that it demands, however. One must stop responding to exterior stimuli the way you always have. Dr. Wayne W. Dyer says, “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change.”

Will I forever be grateful for the Sound of Silence which I experienced on Haleakala?  You bet! I have a new perspective to add to the daily ingredients for living a fulfilled life.

If you are a scuba diver, a snorkeling enthusiast, a spelunker, a hiker or climber of mountains, you know whereof I speak. You have experienced the moments of Silence.

I believe that each experience becomes part of our Tapestry of Life. Some beautiful memories add in the rainbow colors, and the tears and grief add the contrast of the background. When all is said and done, your Tapestry will be unique to you alone. How do you want it to look? No one else can weave it for you. For good or ill, it is yours to do. Others can have an opinion about what you should and should not do. But you are the captain of your ship. You alone must decide how to sail it and where you are going.

If you have a stillness inside from which to make your decisions, you will be able to ACT vs. REACT. If one is always REACTING to external stimuli, you will always have greater chaos in your life. ACTING means you take time to think things through before responding. If you have a charging elephant coming at you (which few of us will ever have),  you will REACT. The rest of the time, ACTING is the champion of Self Control and Calmness.

Funny thing about that is people are attracted to you because they can sense your attitude before you ever open your mouth. It emotes from you like the scent from a flower.

How do you begin? The following quote (which is mistakenly stated to be from Van Goethe *) puts it very well:

“Then indecision brings its own delays,
And days are lost lamenting over lost days.
Are you in earnest? Seize this very minute;
What you can do, or dream you can do, begin it;
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.”

By utilizing this idea, Synergy is thus  created. (The Secret of SYNERGY is that, once movement begins, it multiplies and continues.) Is it a worthwhile goal? Absolutely! But only you can decide that. Are you willing?

God’s blessings upon your journey!

* (The lines are attributed to John Anster in a “very free translation” of Faust from 1835, where the lines in question are spoken by the “Manager” in the “Prelude at the Theatre.”)

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Haleakala Crater

Silversword

Silversword

Silversword - Done Blooming

Silversword – Done Blooming

Plumeria with Palm Tree

Plumeria with Palm Tree

Plumeria (leis usually made from this)

Plumeria (Leis are usually made from these.)

Habiscus

Hibiscus

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall

Waterfall

Bougainvillea

Bougainvillea

Maui Sunrise & Surf

Maui Sunrise & Surf

Waikiki Sunrise & Surf

Waikiki Sunrise & Surf

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees

Bougainvillea with Palm Trees

Hawaiian Sunset

Hawaiian Sunset

 

 

Change Your Orbit?

Your orbit/life path has been created by all the choices you have made to date. Your trajectory is thereby something that can be projected from today into the future. Is that a scary idea (if you are not happy with your orbit/life path)? Or is it something to look forward to and anticipate? Perhaps some of each, like the Pushmi-pullyu from Doctor Dolittle?

Sometimes, our orbits/life paths are greatly affected by other people in our lives. Sometimes it is a mate, a child, a boss, a supervisor, a job, or some other important person like a parent. Sometimes we give our power away to others…we let them dictate to us what our lives should be like and do what they want in lieu of what we know, innately, is best for us, whether they agree or not. Sometimes we want others to tell us what to do because we feel hopelessly lost in the wilderness. That can be anything from psychic readings, tarot card readings, or even a priest or minister.

The message here is that each person is a Divine Creation of God, Unique, Special, with lessons to be learned on this planet, which is the third rock from the sun. The Truth is that each person controls his/her destiny, which is revealed every day though the choices that are made.

Have you always wanted to take a class to improve your mind, expand your awareness, or just for fun? What is keeping you from achieving that? Have you a list of books to read…someday, when you have time? These books not only add energy and knowledge, but they can give you the momentum to escape your current orbit and create a new one.

The difference between an old orbit/life path/trajectory and a new one is that something has to change.

W. Foster Welborn has a saying: “You cannot keep doing what you have been doing and expect you will get different results!”

In order to get different results, something has to added to your life that becomes the new beginning you seek.

If you want to be more healthy, you have to put down that donut or Danish and select a protein and a fruit. In lieu of that bottomless cup of caffeine, you need to drink more water. Instead of catching the elevator or escalator, you need to walk some stairs. Instead of collapsing on the couch at night with  a remote in your hands, you need to set aside some time that fits your schedule and actually do something physical: Take a walk, ride a bike, take an exercise class, lift some weights, get on that exercise machine you bought (which is now a clothes hanger) and actually use it! Consistent effort here will pay off in so many ways, from a healthier you to a much happier you because, yes, exercise actually does lift the spirit!

Life’s daily demands of living, tasks to be done, obligations that we feel are required, etc., can use up every second of every day, with no room for anything else.

Your family, loved ones, and friends are important to you. Caring for them is vital. Do you take the time every single day to sit down and look into that person’s eyes and communicate with him/her, touching them like a hug or a kiss on the cheek? Your presence is a gift that no one can take away. Even a few minutes can make a difference over time. If you start when the child is young, for example, by the time they are a teenager with other priorities, they will still accept your presence. It is never too late to start.

I have read statistics that say that families are much more liable to text each other, even in the same room or in the same house, than they are to get up and go communicate face-to-face. One can laugh about this, but think of the opportunities you miss by doing it! Perhaps you might save some time, but at what cost? I have even heard that there are couples who can sit across from each other at a table and actually be texting each other!

Conversation is a lost art in our society, for the most part. Over a hundred years ago, they knew how to use words. They utilized a lot of words that have fallen out of use today because no one bothers with them anymore.

Are you willing to take a look at your orbit/life path to see if there is something that needs changing? Perhaps a choice that could be made differently if you took a class, like Assertiveness Training? Make a list – write it down. It takes it out of your head and gives you an objective to examine.

Only you have the power to change your trajectory. Are you willing to do that? It has power, Synergy, and life-fulfilling moments just waiting for you!

God bless your journey!

 

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