I spent most of today in silence. My husband got a good laugh out of me trying to fix breakfast and help the children off to school. He said, “Oh, this is going to be great fun today! Like a whole day of charades!” Goof Ball. After dropping the kids off at school, we headed off to the gym and I brought a notecard that said, “Observing 24 Hours of Silence.” My teacher was gracious, my friends encouraging me with their hugs, and sending me love with their eyes. Some people responded to my silence with a silence of their own like we were in a library. My daughter responded by mouthing words in silence. At the grocery store, Chad left me at the counter for a moment and I did not have my notecard to share what I was doing so I just smiled as they handed me the receipt and bagged up my groceries. I’m sure they were a little concerned about me! We all have our ways of making uncomfortable situations more pleasant for ourselves.
The funniest part of today happened when all of a sudden I would start talking or ask a question! I wish I had a picture of my face after I realized I had broken my silence. Chad would giggle and say, ” I don’t think you are taking your practice very seriously. Who is your teacher? I am telling on you!” Ha! What I learned is that keeping silence is a mindful practice. When I was fully present in the moment, I kept my silence, but when I was off chasing a rabbit in my thoughts or planning for tomorrow, then I would break my silence.
Mindful practice. I also spend time finishing the book, The World Peace Diet. In the book, the author wrote about Jesus’ desire to see no more animal sacrifice. He mentions Jesus clearing the temple of all the people selling various animals to make it easier for people to come in and offer sacrifice to please God. The author of the World Peace Diet takes his discussion in a different direction, but I began to think about how pissed Jesus was that people were not more mindful of their practice. When we are aware of divine love throughout our day, then our words and actions reflect that love making animal sacrifice unnecessary. Instead, people were living however they wanted, doing what was best for them regardless of the hurt they inflicted upon others and then sacrificing an animal to make everything “right again” so that God would be on their side and bless them with prosperity. So many things are wrong with that way of relating to the Divine, but I am pretty sure that some of us deep down still hold on to some version of that story.
My 24 hour silence ended early today with the kids arrival home from school, making dinner, packing lunches and working on homework. I could have chosen to retire to my bedroom for the remainder of the 24 hours of silence, but I chose to live mindfully amidst the chaos.
How do you live mindfully each day?