The Necessity of Quietude

image by: brigta/2020

Sometimes I feel quiet in the midst of loudness. Even when everything around me is rushing like a river. The same way I used to feel lonely in the midst of a crowd when I was living on my own in the city so many years ago. The contrast is startling.

My first reaction to the sensation of quietness is: “Something must be wrong.”

There is such a strong link for most of us between busyness and meaningfulness. If we’re not engaged in one hustle or another, aiming the arrow toward mastery, we’re floundering.

But what if nothing is wrong and everything is wrong and both are ok?

What if it’s normal to feel exhausted on a fundamental level after a year + of totally unnatural circumstances, living through a pandemic? And what if we could acknowledge this but also just be with quietness, reverently, instead of judging it as problematic or something we need to shift out of, back into our normal ultra productive selves?

Going quiet, slowing down, feeling less engaged with the outside world, these are essential parts of the transformation equation. We pull into ourselves as we undergo our own personal evolutions.

A lot of times, quietude precedes a deeper knowing. It’s almost as though we have to step out of the current altogether, travel down to the bottom of the sea and hang out there for a while before pushing up again with a new story to tell.

Output requires input. Giving requires replenishment. It’s easy to forget these gentle truths inside a culture which focuses on proof of concept more than the daydream which births it.

If you’re finding yourself in retreat mode too these days, see if you can resist the compulsion to judge a slower, lower frequency as “depressed” or “bad” or “wrong”. We are constantly gestating as we evolve. We can trust ourselves to reemerge from quiet times. Just as the tide goes out and comes in again. Always with some new treasure to share.

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