The silence of the season
December is my favorite time of the year to honor the silent reevaluation of my life. Itís the end of the year, the time for giving, receiving, and deep reflection. I like to reflect on how Iím doing with balancing the body, mind, and spirit in my life, because I know thatís the secret to every kind of success Ė even money.
My body wants more attention. My heart complains when I donít pursue meaningful action. My mind tires from the constant barrage of information and clutter that the media continually broadcasts as it attempts to pull me from the present.
I choose to clear the noise and clutter to experience more peace. I was reminded by a friend when she asked me, ďWhat moment captured your heart today?Ē I realized getting caught up in the noise surrounding the mind has become an epidemic. Iím choosing silence. Iím choosing to listen more instead of talking. Iím choosing beginnerís yoga instead of pushing myself to the next level, which I canít manage any more: my shoulders will ache. Iím choosing to honor my body and my mind, and to spend more time in silence to hear messages that I know are waiting for me from the spirit. The ones you can hear only when youíre not doing and talking. When, instead, youíre simply being. Thatís when I experience the magic, creative ideas, deeper relationships, and courage to move toward unknowns as I expand my business.
Itís essential to find balance among body, mind, and spirit. Itís a responsibility and it isnít temporary; itís the most important one we have, and continues until we die. One important component of this balancing act is forgiveness and letting go of grudges. Forgiving yourself for what you think you did wrong, and forgiving others. As the winter darkness continues, and before we start to ascend into longer days of light, itís time to evaluate who and what needs to go and no longer serves us. Iím reminded of a beautiful story of how one African tribe instills love and forgiveness for each other, called Song of the Soul by Tolba Phanem, an African poet.
When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the child. They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose. When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else.
When the child is born, the community gathers and sings the childís song to him or her. Later, when the child enters education, the village gathers and chants the childís song. When the child passes through the initiation to adulthood, the people again come together and sing. At the time of marriage, the person hears his or her song.
Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the personís bed, just as they did at the individualís birth, and they sing the person to the next life.
There is one other occasion upon which the villagers sing to the child. If at any time during his or her life, the person commits a crime or aberrant social act, the individual is called to the center of the village and the people in the community form a circle around them. Then they sing their song to them.The tribe recognizes that the correction for antisocial behavior is not punishment; it is love and the remembrance of identity. When the member of the tribe recognizes his or her song, thereís no desire or need to do anything to hurt another.
A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by mistakes you make or dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken, your innocence when you feel guilty, and your purpose when you are confused.
You probably didnít grow up in an African tribe that sings your song to you at crucial life transitions, but life is always reminding you when youíre in tune with yourself and when youíre not. When you feel good, what youíre doing matches your song; when you feel awful, it doesnít. Balancing the body, mind, and spirit will help you find your way home. Perhaps you will hear your song if you listen more deeply within the silence and allow it to surface.
May the silence of this holy season kindle the light within you so you can see the light in others.