Why Silence Can Be Magical
Last year I went on a spiritual retreat, where one of our activities was a silent walk. We were told to have a question or intention in mind and to ask our guides for a sign that would come to us during the walk.
Surrounded by many intuitive people, I started to doubt my ability to have a sign or that I even had a question to ask! I was told not to worry and that the appropriate question would come to me in my sleep if I couldn’t think of one.
In the morning I awoke, full of anxiety. I had no bloody question, and I didn’t know what sign to look for! Frantically I questioned the leaders. What should I ask for?? How will I know??
All the other guests were extremely intuitive women ranging from yoga teachers to kinesologists, who all appeared to have it under control and I was the only person (according to my perspective) who was going to get it wrong. Feeling sick in the stomach at my own inadequacy, I thought this next two hours is going to suck!
So we set off on our walk on a beautiful Australian rural property not far from Dalyesford, in country Victoria. The moment I walked out of the house, I was startled as a gang of black birds flew to a tree in front of me. OMG! I thought to myself, having only that night recalled images of black birds as I drifted off to sleep. This was my sign, and we had only just begun!
In silence we trekked off the property past different farms, observing many different birds and animals.
Everyone around me had runners on, I’m wearing designer gumboots, which on a dry road and a long walk were kind of annoying. At this point, I regretted my choice of footwear!
We walked up hills, down tracks for what seemed like miles, but even with my clunky gumboots, I was able to soak up the beauty, knowing that my task was completed back when we set off!
As we walked along, I looked across into a field. In a clearing stood a magnificent old blossom tree, branches covered in faded green moss, with wild daffodil’s surrounding it, all magically lit by the warm morning sun. To my delight our guide turned off the road and steered us toward this incredible scene.
The grass was long and green, with a blanket of heavy due. As we walked through I now praised my choice of gum boots, and smugly looked around as my companions’ runners became soaked. If I was allowed to talk, I would have made a cheeky remark about how good my gum boots were, but thankfully the silence curfew prevented me!
I was awestruck by the beauty of my surroundings, and my inability to talk forced me into the present moment.
With no thoughts, past or future, a lightning bolt of inspiration hit me. Earlier that week I was fixated with a decision on the renovation of my house.
I was trying to figure out whether I use fake, reconstituted stone or real marble in my kitchen and bathrooms (sounds a lot like first world problems but bear with me!). It really was a question of, I’ve just been through my divorce, I’m a single mother with no current earning capacity. Do I choose what I love or save money and be practical? In that moment the answer struck me on the deepest level of my being – I had to choose authentic, there was no other option.
After leaving a marriage and a fourteen year relationship that looked good to everyone else, but didn’t fulfill me at a deeper level, living a life that didn’t feel like it was mine, made me feel inauthentic. It struck me that not only are the choices of furniture and renovation materials in my house important, the choice for my own being to be authentic was so critical.
Whether it be career, friendships, romantic relationships, down to the food I eat, items I buy, the choice now feels really simple – I choose real. I only choose what I love and what is truly authentic for me which means I will no longer do mediocre, safe or fake.
This also means I will always honour my own feelings, regardless if they don’t fit into the ideals of others. And I won’t play it safe if it means not being true to myself.
About six months later I saw a quote by Teal Swan, which cemented these thoughts and my beliefs on ‘authenticity’.
Teal notes that “Authenticity is the highest state of being that the spiritual practitioner can achieve. In fact in the years to come, authenticity will become the replacement for enlightenment as the true goal of spiritual practice.”
With this in mind, it has dawned on me how many lessons I had learnt on one silent walk, before which I had embarked on with absolute dread!
Points worth remembering:
1: You never ever know what the outcome will be
2: Trust your own intuition
3: Authenticity is always the answer
4: When you relax the answers you seek will come.
5: Silence can be golden!