It’s tempting to start setting goals for the New Year. Before you do, consider a lake.
Most of the time, a lake is disturbed by activity: birds, children swimming, rain drops and people in kayaks. This causes ripples on the surface of the water. Your mind is like a lake. Similarly, the mind is disturbed by the activity of 11 million bits of information that bombard the human brain every second. This sensory feast causes ripples on the surface of the mind. This is a symptom of a “noisy life”. We all have a lot going on both internally and externally.
A “noisy life” has implications.
It can distract us from what is important.
It can defy our ability to see things for the way they are.
It can detach us from what is happening now.
As I approach the New Year, I find myself with a long list of social commitments. The surface of my lake is full of activity.
I am slowly taking steps to “reduce the noise”. Clearing my calendar. Saying no to engagements. Declining meetings. Reducing podcasts. Reading less. Learning less. I can observe the size of the ripples on the lake slowly reducing. In my experience, as the surface of the lake becomes still, there is a sense of clarity that can only be experienced with less, not more.
Lucy Richards in Episode 13 of our Solve for Greatness Podcast eloquently states that there are some answers that you can seek externally and there are some answers that come from within if you are willing to sit in silence and look. I agree. A lot of inner wisdom presents itself on the other side of sitting in silence for extended periods of time. If you think it’s long enough to consider it as a “waste of time”, take that time and double it. Sit quietly with your eyes close for that amount of time for a few days in a row. See what happens.
Why am I advocating for cultivating silence at the end of the year? We are all carrying a lot of “noise” from a busy year. Our lakes are covered with ripples and waves. I think it’s worth spending some time in silence to see what answers come up when you allow the ripples to settle. The answers to many of your questions may lie on the other side of this clarity. You may even get life changing answers to questions, that you didn’t know to ask.
Much love to you and of course, myself.
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