The Challenge of Silence

We live in a noisy world both externally and internally.

The internal noise is frequently characterized by rampant ramblings or the wayward worried thoughts that may seem benign, but are a huge source of stress. Those noisome thoughts initiate a cascade of stress hormones, including cortisol, which can accumulate in the body unless you have tools and techniques to neutralize them.

A good indication that you have been stock-piling cortisol is to notice how long it takes for you to unwind on the weekend or on that much-anticipated vacation. This explained why it took all of July for me to unwind after a busy and stressful year of teaching. If I only knew then, what I know now!

My clients learn to turn down and eventually turn off the cacophony of sleep-disrupting, health-eroding, performance-weakening and joy-robbing thoughts and emotions in five one-hour coaching sessions. With lots of experiential support from one who has lived it (that's me), you'll be tuning in to a more melodious sound - one that is more pleasing and life enhancing.

What would it mean to you to rid yourself of the scurrying mice-like worried thoughts? Energizing? Freeing? Calmer? Those are just some of the descriptions I've heard from my clients.

When you open the heart, you quiet the mind. This does not mean that your brain ceases to work. Far from it. A balanced nervous system allows you to access your prefrontal cortex - the part of the brain that is responsible for executive functioning. This is when performance is enhanced - you work more efficiently and creatively when you harness the power of the brain, thanks to direction from the heart.

When Craig Addy emailed me with a new venture, I just knew that Quiet Hearts would be the perfect field trip for one of my clients, who admitted that music was lacking in her life. Often, when stressed, you stop doing the very thing that allows you to negotiate your way over the boggy ground of stress.

A heritage building and original compositions - a rare mix that served to awe, awaken and then quiet the heart, eventually restoring it to a rhythm that was conducive to health and well-being.

I had given my client an experiential assignment while on our field trip. Here is what she had to say, after attending Quiet Hearts:

"I can 'hear' the music at two levels - the usual way (sound waves), and then I feel the 'wave' of the music going directly into my heart. I remember saying that that’s often how I experience music that I really like. Specifically, with upbeat music (that I’ve used in the past for the cardio part of my workout), this area is the source of the great 'squiggy' feeling. Tight, light coils of energy bursting in all directions. Très cool.

With some of the slower pieces of music, I 'saw' a female dancer (dark background and she’s in flowing deep charcoal gauze-like fabric). With faster pieces I got shore birds; Sandpipers running back and forth with the ebb and flow of the water and Terns swooping around just above the surface near the shore. Both very mesmerizing if you watch for any stretch of time."

Images. Memories. Feelings. Music is a large part of my client's life - one that she had scaled back on enjoying. As you can read from her account of the experience, Quiet Hearts was the perfect adjunct to help her make the connection with her heart and the things that feed it - the things that help her to build resilience - to revitalize her heartmindbody.

Just imagine what your heart whispers to you when you learn to sit quietly in the stillness of your mind; when, just for a while, worries evaporate, the items on your To Do List fade as if they were written in invisible ink, and you stop imbibing from the well of arguments that are floating in your consciousness.

What would that feel like?

If sitting in silence is a challenge, you may have become accustomed to the stress-producing, attention-diverting noise that serves to sap your energy and leaves you feeling lost without it.

Does that sound right to you? Please contact me if it's time to turn down the volume.

If you're working downtown, why bring the stress of the day home with you? Stop by St. Andrew's-Wesley United Church for Quiet Hearts on Wednesdays from 4:30 to 5:45 p.m. Hear the music in your heart.

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