Find your (silent) haven, hear your voice

It’s pretty common to see swimming pools in most building complexes in Los Angeles. It’s basically the equivalent of having a functional elevator in an apartment building in Manhattan.

There’s a pool in the apartment complex that I live in now but it was only until just the other night that I went inside (though I pass it everyday).

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The truth is, I don’t know how to swim properly (aka do breaststroke), but I can float, doggy paddle and swim on my back. Regardless, I was drawn to the water because it was a mild evening and the water looked so tempting. I’m glad I did because it reminded me of something that is so easy to forget on a daily basis: Find a silent haven in your everyday. 

As we get busier and busier and the world gets louder and louder, we’re listening less and less. Not to mention there’s the constant ding of emails and texts that are constantly tugging at our attention. Silence allows your mind to sort through all of the stimuli of the day. For me, wading through the water and floating on the surface, looking at the stars in the sky was my silent haven. There’s something peaceful about being submerged in water, where suddenly the world melts away and it’s just me, the beat of my heart and my breath. There’s a low murmur of voices that pass by and the occasional rumble of passing cars. The darkness hides me from judgment of having to “look good” in the pool and envelops me even more.

When is the last time you allowed yourself to sit in complete silence for at least an hour? Where you didn’t have your phone next to you. No TV. No background noise. No distractions. Just complete silence where you can relish in your thoughts, or clear your mind completely?

It’s when the noise goes away that you can decide what you want and what you don’t want. What matters to you and what doesn’t as much. Find your silent haven- maybe it’s running, maybe it’s sitting by the beach and looking out by the water, maybe it’s taking a long walk or maybe it’s just sitting at home closing your eyes. Do it as often as you can otherwise you’ll get caught up in all of the things that don’t matter and be swayed by the voices that aren’t yours.

I’m learning to listen more and surrounding myself with people and places that remind me to breathe. You just make better decisions when you’re listening to yourself.

What’s your silent haven?

“The quieter you become the more you can hear.” – Ram Dass

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