Our world is full of white noise.

From the earbuds that are surgically attached to every teen and tween on the planet to the constantly blaring televisions in every restaurant we walk into to the sirens and car horns and barking dogs in any inner city, it’s hard to hide from the cacophony of the modern world.

But it’s possible!

If we’re intentional, we can make another choice–a much, much quieter one.

In my book Sanctuaries: Self-Care Secrets for Stressed Out Teachers, I outline a simple plan for creating some peace and quiet in your life. On page 86, in the section on what I call The 5 S’s (Silence, Stillness, Space, Subtraction, and Slowing Down), I suggest the following two steps:

  1. Find a time in your day when you can be silent and still. Don’t worry about carving out hours and hours; five minutes or less is all you need. If you don’t have five minutes, try for three. If you don’t have three minutes, try for three deep breaths. The important part is to stop the hamster wheel treadmill of the doing in your life and just be still and silent.
  2. Reflect on how the stillness and silence made you feel. Spend some time thinking about your experience. Did you enjoy it?  Were there parts that were challenging?  How did you body feel? How did it affect your emotions (if at all)? You might even consider journaling about it, if you like. 

A third step might be to consider how you might move forward with a silence and stillness practice.

I’m willing to bet that, once you try just a modicum of stillness and smidgeon of silence for yourself, you will wonder how you lived without it and you will feel moved to make that five minutes into fifteen and then fifty and then maybe a whole weekend and then. .  .

Hold on, Turbo.

Start with five minutes.

Be silent.

Be still.

But be intentional about it.

No one else is going to give it to us.

Stillness and silence, as it turns out, do not come from others.

They are gifts we give ourselves. TZT

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