Interested in learning more about silence and solitude than just my article (scheduled to run Jan. 8)?
Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse at my notes.
Mary Aitoshi Casey II, of Boulder, owner of the Boulder Quest Center
“All of this stimulation is coming in, and if we don’t find time to quiet everything down, we don’t hear our own voice, that inner wisdom.”
“We’ve gotten so used to not hearing our inner voice because we’ve been trained not to, that we have to really consciously go there now.”
“I think we’ve actually lost the skill of being bored. Where, if we’re not hyper-stimulated, we feel like our life must be too plain. Where we bought into this story that hyper-communication is where you want to be all of the time. But that hyper state is only sustainable for about 45 minutes, maybe an hour and half. If you watch how they do it, the Secret Service, or lifeguards at the pool, you have to take breaks, because you can’t stay at the red alert stage. Without breaks, you become less effective and the creative part of your brain, the prefrontal cortex, shuts down.”
“Turn your chair away from your computer, and if you’re some place where you’re worried about being seen like you’re not doing anything, put a notebook in your hand and a pencil in the other and close your eyes like you’re thinking about something, but don’t think about anything. Anyone who sees you will assume you’re doing something productive — and they’re right! Rest is one of the best things you can do to improve your productivity.”
“We’re like, yeah, I can take care of you and this and I can hold a job and have a baby and cook the meals and clean the house and do all these things. And for a day or a week, giving that much of yourself, you can probably do it, and you probably feel really jazzed. But it will start to weigh on you and deplete you if you don’t take that solitude and get back in touch with why you share and give so much, and why you love the people that you love and that you’re giving for. We can forget that we love our children and husband and wives because we’re not listening to ourselves. All I do is do the laundry; I don’t love anything! What do you mean love? I don’t have time for that!”
“You have to know your own brain to know what it is that stimulates that sense of your inner voice being open and present and talking. It kind of makes your brain feel full. Like it’s, well, all lit up and glowy like a light bulb. Otherwise, the light is coming from the computer screen and not from inside you.”
“This is a time of year when people get really crazed, but then it’s also a time when they can see I did lose control of my experience here. It’s a great time for this message to come in. It gets old to do everything off of willpower.”