Have you ever spent a day in silence? Anyone who has done a Vipasana retreat knows the painfulness of silence, especially 10 days into it. Like recovering from surgery or a serious illness, there are the traditional stages of silence: panic, resistance, and surrender.
Once you hit the third stage, you know why it is such a healthy exercise. All of a sudden, the deadlines, the worry and the noise just stop. Tomorrow never dies- your life has not ended just because you decided to step out of it for a spell.
We all know the stories of people digitally detoxing and then coming back from “the void” only to realize that the work never went away: people still depend on you, the emails are waiting like hungry children in a breadline and the gym still guilt trips you every morning before work. What has changed is how you perceive the urgency of each one of those demands.
It is true that we cannot completely shake our responsibilities and move to Hawaii tomorrow without consequences (which is completely debatable), but we can see that possibility differently. Our success in life depends on our ability to follow through with the execution of tasks, but HOW we perform them and WHEN we CHOOSE to complete them is up to us. This is simple, conscious living.
So, next time you feel overwhelmed by the laundry list of life, pause, take minute of silence and ask yourself, “How can I best accomplish this and when is the REAL deadline?”
p.s. Always feel free to say “No” to unimportant BS. That’s the true lesson behind silence.