Noise and Silence

From the INNside looking out I often notice the noise and the silence, like up and down, light and dark, yes and no, noise and silence create a yin and yang; without one, the other could not exist.

In our modern world of smart phones and social media, we have all but made silence a relic, a “thing to be put away or forgotten.

Unfortunately, the balance between the two has been tipped. I often see this as a disconnect between ourselves and the world around us. In our quest to bring ourselves closer to one another, we have forgotten how to be close to ourselves. Silence can bring that connection back. I watch as I look around me from here on the mountain that silence and noise can take many shapes. From solitude or engagement, reflection or a constant need for movement, or even filling basic human needs versus the want to fill our homes or work with material things, our movement towards “noise” is deafening.

Children today have never been without the Internet. They have never lived a life without cell phones; and many who will come of age soon have never known a day without Facebook (ugggh). This desire and yes even need for stimulation is causing us to forget how to be still and enjoy the peaceful sound of nothing at all—to be alone and at ease with our own thoughts, without the constant activity. Over the past few years, I have watched…or think I have seen the beginnings to reclaim the silence. From my “safe spot here at Snowbird Mountain Lodge I’ve watched our guests searching for that “something” they’re missing, many seem to be trying to turn away from the all too familiar lifestyle of constant stimulation and are taking part in a more peaceful coming back to their center. I hope that we see more and more people who embrace this concept of silence and we can become a quieter, more peaceful and more whole society.

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In my own life, I have experienced both silence and noise in several different ways. Before I became and Innkeeper here in this magnificent and peaceful place, I was a full-on disaster of constant thoughts coupled with an addiction to television and the shows I HAD to keep up with, and my need to attend to everyone else’s problems without ever taking time out for myself. Now, I’m blessed beyond belief and only have the disaster of constant thought to deal with! Silence is not my enemy but, the teacher that has shown me who I really am, apart from what society tells me I should be. I have allowed myself  the time, silence, and presence of mind to look deep within myself and understand the real me. Just like most I often have the  sense of being overwhelmed. From taking kids to and from school to sports practice,  the PTA, volunteer work, church groups or a host of other things, we have become so afraid of stillness that we cannot stand — the thought of a moment with nothing to do.

As a result, instead of taking our time to do things well, we find ourselves in a rush to get things done. We don’t give anything the proper time and effort it deserves because we are so concerned about moving on to the next thing. I made plenty of money , but I only managed to spend it on “things’. I was busy, but I was unhappy, and soon enough, I became overwhelmed. Since that time in my life, I’ve learned to slow down…sort of… and not to over-extend myself….most of the time. I have been in therapy for years, first as part of my divorce and then for myself, and he helped me to understand that if I try to be everything to everyone, I will end up being nothing to anyone, most of all, to myself.

Silence and peace are not aspects of life that come easily to me. But we can decide to learn from stillness, strengthen our capacity to listen and make time for the work of listening.I need patience and a willingness to push myself beyond my normal routine, so I can achieve the silence I crave. Come to visit us here on the mountain and find the peace, solitude and Silence that we all deserve…and crave.

In Celebration of the Great Adventure Ahead!

Robert Rankin

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