- In today’s world, there is a lot of noise in our lives.
- Everyone benefits from some silence to give their mind some peace and open it up for thoughts, dreams, and inspiration.
Ever get in your car at the end of a school day and you have to turn off all sounds? Music, podcasts, potential phone calls, all of it—off. You just can’t handle more words, sounds, or noise? As educators, I am certain this happens to all of us. Our jobs are just so human (or as I prefer to say….people-y). Our days are filled with so many external sounds, which can sometimes overwhelm our internal minds.If I want to protect space for creativity, energy, and peace, I have to protect the quiet around me. Click To Tweet
This gets me thinking about a conversation I had with a friend who hunts this time of year. I don’t have any experience hunting, but our conversation taught me something we could all benefit from. And it has to do with quiet stillness.
As a hunter, my friend must sit and wait in silence for a long time before the deer or other creature appears. Silence is an essential ingredient to hunters. I believe pockets of silence are essential to our lives too, but they can often be difficult to find.
Our World Is a Noisy Place
In a recent episode of The Happiness Lab podcast, Dr. Laurie Santos explored the idea of silence in a conversation with the authors of Golden: The Power of Silence in a World of Noise, Leigh Marz and Justin Zorn. They said that our world is getting louder and louder. Even when it’s “quiet,” we still have phones buzzing, email notifications dinging, or news updates popping up. Google CEO, Sundar Pichai said, “On average, humans spend about an hour a day trying to get refocused from whatever just distracted us.” Get this…they even said that sirens are getting louder so that it actually captures our attention!
Space for Stillness
All the unwanted distractions, or external noise, greatly contribute to our internal noise. The more we have coming at us, the less capacity we have for our thoughts, dreams, or creativity.
This conversation with my friend helped me understand that if I want to protect space for creativity, energy, and peace, I have to protect the quiet around me. Science can help us understand why. Silence activates the hippocampus, the part of the brain that manages the functions of memory, feeling, and reacting.
Our invitation this month is what’s suggested by Marz and Zorn; it’s to do a little “noise audit” in our lives. Let’s consider if we could benefit from getting a little more disciplined with the literal noise in our lives. Or maybe we find some unstructured moments of silence (waiting in line, waiting in the car for our kids) and try not to fill that space with noise. This could leave room for dreams, ideas, and inspiration.[scroll down to keep reading]
Hunters benefit from quiet stillness all the time. Educators can benefit as well. What happens if we get still? What ideas may approach us? How might we get inspired? In the words of my favorite musician Eric Church, there’s incredible value when we “turn the quiet up and turn the noise down.”
This small, deliberate shift in action to invite silence into our lives has the potential to unlock some pretty big gifts.
Small Shifts, BIG Gifts!
Would you be able to do a “noise audit” in your life? Where can you turn the quiet up to decrease distraction and create space for ideas and inspiration?
About Suzanne Dailey
Suzanne Dailey is a proud member of the Teach Better Family! She is an instructional coach in the Central Bucks School District where she has the honor and joy of working with elementary teachers and students in 15 buildings. Suzanne is Nationally Board Certified, a Fellow of the National Writing Project, and has a master’s degree in Reading. She is dedicated to nurturing and developing the whole child and teacher. Suzanne lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania with her husband and two children.
Check out the Teach Happier Podcast here!