Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Silence to Purify the Self

As I work through the mandatory text book chapters which seem little more than narrative links of one dictionary definition to another, I've needed to take regular breaks to clear my cloudy thoughts. At work I've had several conversations with colleagues which have made me see some people navigate the organization like it is a game. I'm not sure which is worse! But as I examine these topics for a commonality I find they have one thing in common: they are mind-numbing through noise.
It's true not all text books are best selling page turners (and I admit this text does inject interesting studies frequently) but when I started graduate school I knew there would be times I had to push through areas to grow and get to the other side of the road. By the way the chicken made it just fine. Another side of me screams NOOO when I hear a person in a leadership position spend a great deal of time telling me how messed up the organization is and then say: "I get paid decent money and life is fine in the organization if I just do what I'm told."

While I am willing to sacrifice a couple of hours to boring parts of a text book and not put up a fight--I am not okay with selling myself out to the long term support of the status quo. At times I am greatly frustrated because I do not know what I can do to make a difference in organizations where people (in my opinion) have sold out. I know many people who feel frustrated in a similar way yet choose to withdraw from the situation and nod with absent eyes until the situation improves. This is one of the reasons why I think I find organizational silence to be so interesting. Because I believe the individual can heal when she chooses to take responsibility for her self development. Allowing others to silence us is not healthy.

Front Cover
Finding silence and allowing it to heal us is healthy. One story I am reading is about Yolande Duran-Serrano in the book "Silence Heals." Her observations have helped me see how noise disconnects me from myself. "I have the impression that the tiredness, the loss of energy that used to occur in the past, comes from identifying with the agitation. We believe our thoughts. We take part, agree, disagree, become anxious, react. We say I want it, I don't want it, we predict we calculate."  For me I need to disconnect from the agitation of others--they do not define me. Instead, I need to get in touch with what is right for me.

Duran-Serrano describes one way of doing this, "And then there is the delicious flavor of silence; a constant sweetness. There is no longer a voice judging, condemning, subduing, draining energy. And even if from time to time a thought occurs, it is so sweet--it leaves a feeling of lightness." So practicing silence can restore my energy, it can purify me from negative thoughts and it can help me realign to myself.