When I first started teaching Yoga, I would drown my classes in detail. I had learned so much and I wanted to share it. I was also using mountains of words to hide my insecurities about being a new teacher. The more comfortable I became holding the space for my students the less instruction I gave. It took time to get comfortable with leaving gaps, moments of quiet to allow people to create their own experience. I had to learn to trust the silence.
It’s the same in relationships. When we meet new people it is harder to leave open space in conversation. At least for me, I fill the space with tsunamis of words and questions. There is no greater compliment that I can give someone than to allow for silence and space. I have tried as I get older to lean into that quiet space in relationships more. It is a funny twist of personality to think I always need to take center stage…I don’t.
We have so many ways to fill silence, often in my house music is playing while I read emails and carry on a conversation. That is the opposite of silence and of leaving space. I am trying to make a practice out of not filling the space. Applying the lessons I learned teaching to other aspects of my life, will I be able to leave space in conversation?
I notice that when I leave more space for quiet in my life, I am also less busy. I don’t feel the urge to be moving constantly, I actually am able to do less. It seems that when my mind and
mouth are moving quickly my body follows, I busily move from task to task with little awareness. When my mind and mouth are a little more quiet and spacious my body feels more at ease. As with almost everything it is about balance. Sometimes I need to be fiery and animated and busy, and sometimes I don’t. For me my natural state is one of action, it simply takes a little loving awareness to know when to just be still…..and quiet.
One thought on “Making peace with quiet……”
I will never forget during my yoga teacher training (at jivamukti – when it was a year long full time program!) when I attended the test class of a woman I’d thought of as [sorry!] really “dumb.” Her class was AMAZING! Totally spacious and totally about the yoga.
Really good points, KS!
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