Tuesday, 1 February 2011

The sound of silence (and win a free book)

Thank you all SO much for your small stones and lovely comments and emails. We'll be back soon with submission requirements for the river of stones book, but in the meantime I thought you might enjoy one of the weekly musings from my book A Year of Questions: How to slow down and fall in love with life. I'm giving three copies away as a celebration of the new site and forum, if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning, just email me with 'book' as the title before the 14th of Feb. It might be your Valentine...


This weekend I'm off to Salisbury for a day-long meditation. There will be an opportunity to sit still in a silent room with other people for half hour intervals from 10 am until 4 pm. Nobody will look up into each other’s eyes once we have begun. We’ll be on our own.

There's a part of me that can't wait for this. A whole day to sit and just be. And there's another part that's terrified! What will it be like to stop 'doing' for so long? What will emerge from the silence?

This meditation day is a chapter in my ongoing battle between clearing space in my life and filling it back up again. No sooner have I arranged a free weekend or cut back on a commitment, than I find myself saying yes to something else, or deciding to start a new writing project.

I know that more space is a good thing for me. It feeds my muse, and it puts me back in touch with who I am and what I really want. But I need to acknowledge that it's scary too. Sometimes it’s only when we give ourselves enough space that we get ill, or feel sad or angry. What have I been trying to avoid?

Things you might be curious about

What happens when you give yourself enough space to get in touch with yourself? What resistance do you have to doing nothing and just being? What opportunities might you have to stop doing and start being a bit more?

Suggestions for this week

Put aside a short period of time each day to be quiet, or a longer period at the weekend. Sit and do nothing. During this time, note the thoughts and feelings that arise and then let them go. Afterwards, be gently curious about what came up for you.

I love the deep quiet in which I live and grow against the world and harvest what they cannot take from me by fire or sword. 
~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. 
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh


  1. It's funny but since I started writing stones, I've found myself naturally taking time to just be when otherwise I'd be up making lists of things that still had to be done.

  2. I am trying to think of ways to use my new River Stones blog as a place and source for reflection on "Life, the Universe and everything"!

  3. I was just doing meditation in my yoga classes just recently. It was amazing to see how peaceful I was, which was reflected in several of my stones for January. My imagination took me to paradise--no harm, no suffering, no worries.

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