In my studies of yoga and meditation, I’ve often been told that silence is the best teacher and the inward journey the most sacred adventure. A year ago, I found myself in a profound turning point in my life: I’d just married, quit my corporate career of thirteen years with no backup plan and my health was spiraling downhill.
It seemed the time had come to go inward, so I made the commitment to spend three days in silence at Siddhayatan Spiritual Retreat Center in Windhom, TX. Little did I know, I had a lot to learn about silence and about myself:
When you silence the outside, the inside gets louder.
I’d imagined a silent retreat to be just that, silence. I expected to feel a deep sense of peace, harmony and spaciousness. I’d read Eat, Pray, Love several times and heard my yogi friends talk about their amazingly peaceful retreat experiences. Yet, I felt anything but peaceful. Though there was a sense of relaxation from not having access to a radio, TV or cell phone and I’ve always enjoyed alone time, this was different. Once I silenced the external world, my internal world became noisy.
Right away, I realized that the busyness of my external life had kept me from listening to my inner life.
The noise in my mind had always been there, I just didn’t take the time to notice. At first, I began to panic.
What if I lose my mind and go crazy?
I’m all alone here and there is nothing to distract my mind.
But soon enough, I remembered my training in yoga and I centered myself using deep breathing.
I prayed. Allow me to fully be present and learn what I am meant to learn.
I found that setting a routine helps: Eat. Sleep. Stretch. Meditate. Pray. Write. Walk. Repeat.
Similar to other difficult journeys in life, the inward journey to peace and balance requires one foot in front of the other.
Surprisingly, it rained non-stop for the entire three days I was at the retreat center. It’s as if mother nature knew I needed as little external distractions as possible to focus on my inner self. Without exercise and outdoor activity, I was confined to stay in my tiny cabin and do the work.
In hindsight, this made all the difference. Soon, I found relief and stillness and I began to write like I hadn’t written in years. I filled thirty pages in my notebook and began to de-clutter my mind.
And then, I heard it. It’s time to go home.
I knew what this meant. After living far away from my family of origin for thirteenyears, I’d been running long enough. I heard several messages from my own inner wisdom during that retreat. All simple, yet deeply personal and meaningful messages that I needed to hear.
Today as I write this, living in my home state, I recall my last day of silence. Not surprisingly, just as I drove away from the retreat center, the clouds parted, the rain stopped and the sky was filled with sunlight. It was just another day, but I was no longer the same.
So now I want to hear form you, Have you spent time in silence and what was it like?
Please leave a comment and share the love!
Angela Watson Robertson is a holistic health coach, yoga teacher and reiki master who teaches women from all over the world how to live an authentic and balanced life. Find her free recipes, wellness tips and health coaching programs at www.angelawatsonrobertson.com. For holistic living inspirations, join her on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
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