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Coaching Corner: Finding Your Silent Night

It may seem strange in the last week before Christmas to write a blog post on silence. Despite the suggestion of the popular Christmas song “Silent Night,” the holiday season is anything but quite. There are relatives coming into town, Christmas music blaring in the shopping malls, horns honking, bells ringing—all of these things, however pleasant some might be, can be overwhelming.
We live in a culture where if you wanted to completely avoid silence, you would not be hard pressed. We wake up to an alarm, listen to the news while getting ready for the day, listen to traffic on the way to work, talk all day, listen in meetings, listen to work time radio. We then get in our cars and listen to traffic on the way home, listen to music while exercising, watch TV at night and then fall asleep. Does this sound familiar?
Silence is what introduces us to ourselves. It is where we learn what is important to us, what we want to achieve and how, what is acceptable to us and what is not. Silence can comfort us, but it can also challenge us. It shows us where we can improve; It shows us what needs to change, but it can also give us hope that we can do it!

The unexamined life is not worth living –Socrates

Do you ever feel as though you are living a life of reaction and not action? This is what can happen when we plug through life, jumping from one interaction to another and not stepping back and examining what is going on. Silence brings mindfulness, and mindfulness is the key to success in healthy living.
Here are some tips for adding silence into your life during the holidays:

  • If the stress and energy of having a house full of people is overwhelming take a 3 minuet time out. Go to your room, bathroom or closet—somewhere you can close the door on all that is going on around you—set a timer and breathe deep. Use this as a time to reset your energy button. Seek out the source of stress and visualize yourself positivity handling the situation. Take a moment to get back to a place of action.
  • Set your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than normal and use this as “me” time. Spend those 15 minutes in silence, meditation or prayer. Get your morning off to a good start by allowing yourself to wake up to a new day and not hit the ground running. Whether you set the alarm for 7:15 or 7:30, the process of waking up is the same; push through the temptation to hit the alarm and reward yourself with a low stress morning.
  • Offer to get coffees or newspaper in the morning. Use this as an excuse to get out in the morning. Drive in silence and allow the day to unfold before you. Beginning the day with purposeful action is a great way to start the day.
  • Go for a solo thermal walk. Sometimes getting out of the house is enough to clear the head and put you in a better place. Although it is cold and snowy this time of year, try your best to get outside. Bundle up and stick it out, the cool air can wake you right up!
  • Make a gratitude list and reflect on it throughout day. Expressing gratitude for the things around us allows us to open up to the world and the good things that fill our lives. Reflecting on these things throughout the day can bring peace and enjoyment to our lives and allows us to be present in each moment.

Gratitude is noticing the extraordinary in the ordinary, and then taking the nanosecond to feel it. – Karen Krakower Kaplan

What are some things that you do during this busy season to bring some silence or peace into your life?

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