The Gift of Silence

The following post was originally published February 4, 2017.

I worked hard to perpetuate my stupidity for half my life. The other half has been spent gathering up my loose marbles.

This marble gathering experience describes my process of recovery.  For me, recovery has been 95% recovering parts of myself that I lost along the way.  This has entailed:

  • Challenging my ingrained biases
  • Harnessing my ingrained fear
  • Motivating my lazy disposition
  • Unleashing the power of my intuition

This is how I began to find my marbles:

  • By challenging my ingrained biases through dialogue
  • By harnessing my ingrained fear through active listening
  • By motivating my ingrained laziness through acting
  • By unleashing my ingrained intuition through silence

This last one has been the hardest for me.  I am not one given to large periods of quiet time.  My mind is a bit of a chatterbox, calling out to me day and night to feed it with stimulation.

  • Conversation
  • Internet
  • Books
  • Netflix

All are stimulants designed to keep the chattering in motion.  How would I ever learn to be silent?  Stone cold silent?

I knew that my mind needed a break, needed a decluttering, and the only way that would happen would be through silence. There were some questions for which I’d never get answers unless and until I could master the art of meaningful silence.

Then the answer came.

When I turned 60 my brother Steve passed away.  It came as a crushing blow and my grief was deep.  In the months after his death I was training for the Boston Marathon and I decided I’d run with Steve as my silent partner.  The thing about training for Boston is that your training takes place in the dead of winter and when you live in Chicago, as I did, this can be challenging.

I began running early in the morning on my treadmill, in the basement, in total darkness.  Over a period of three months I discovered a way to shut off my mind and engage stone cold silence through rigorous exercise.

It was remarkable.

I experienced moments of exquisite peace and complete serenity.  I found my mind calmed, attached to nothing, grasping for nothing.  I found I could detach myself from my body and lose any sense of pain or discomfort.  Most of all, I found the terrible grief from having lost my brother replaced with a new sense of connection to Steve.

This practice has continued and I regularly find my way to my treadmill where I often find answers to my most challenging questions.

They never fail to come.

Just a Thought…


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Copyright © 2017 Patrick J. Moriarty. All Rights Reserved.