For the last few years, instead of adopting resolutions, I pick a word of the year. In 2012, I chose compassion. In 2013, I focused on gratitude. Last year I shifted my intent toward laughter.
This year I struggled to find the right word. I contemplated abandoning my annual tradition, but then when I least expected it, a word popped in my head while running in my neighborhood. For a brief second, as I finished my regular route, I could only hear the rhythm of my breath. The calmness of the moment served as a catalyst for welcoming this word into my space: quiet.
Quiet. I prefer the quiet. My morning serenade. Early to rise, I brew my coffee in silence. For one second, I hear the drip of the liquid goodness hitting my cup. My fingers embrace my coffee mug. Warm and comforting, the car that roars on the street betrays the silence. It is still too early to compromise on the quiet.
When this ritual slips out of my routine, my day unravels with a twinge of irritation. Quiet is not only a want in my life, but a need. Without it, my cadence slurs as if my feet are traveling on terrain that they don’t recognize. In the last 5 years in this space, there are themes that keep repeating themselves. One of the places I struggle the most is trying to calm my restlessness. The need to do is not sustainable over a lifetime. Staying still, appreciating the present and understanding that the flicker of now is what should thread my moments is a concept I need to actively work toward.
Quiet can serve as a steady companion instead of a place of fear. If I allow it. Sometimes we engage in our own self-sabatoge, knowing that we are undermining our efforts, but not taking the steps to excavate the subterfuge under these repetitive cycles.
I asked one important question as I reflected on the definition of quiet: How many times do I sit still?
I realized that my answer is not acceptable. I listen to music while I run and in those moments when I have a spare second, my mind is aimlessly pushing buttons on my iPhone. The chance to sit still requires conscious effort and part of the reason I adopted the word quiet is to carve out a pathway toward meditation.
This year I choose quiet because I want to listen and really hear my own silence.
“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” — Norton Juster
Often times I have meditated on the thoughts of being quiet because my heart is so restless that sometimes I feel that it may burst.
I have been meaning to find the word of the year for me and i found it. Its POSITIVITY for me. 🙂
This is such a thought provoking post. Loved it.
I’m wired so much the same way. the early mornings, the coffee, the irritation when things go differently. This is such a great word. I look forward to reading more about it. xox
Beautiful. I often think that you fit the description in The Highly Sensitive Person, as I do. Quiet is one of those important needs for the HSP. I love your tradition!
Oh I love this word Rudri, and desperately need some quiet in my own life, in my mind. I am so busy checking my phone and Twitter at the first moment of stillness, as if I can’t just settle and be with myself or my kids. I am nostalgic about the time before iPhones. I remember such loneliness in the long nights with my first child (pre iPhone though I did have text) but I was thinking, feeling, not just checking out.
Looking forward to hearing more from you about this word.
*whispering* Your word is superb. It’s a great one. I find quiet as a place of extreme comfort, not fear. I am always confused, quite honestly, by those who really and truly cannot be comfortable when they are still, quiet, undistracted. I just don’t get that. I know we are all wired differently, but still I cannot help but wonder about those who are afraid of the nothingness of being quiet. Maybe too much to hear in their own minds? Possibly. But it’s usually where I find the good stuff. I hope you will report back on this word and how it’s going over the year for you.
That’s a great word and will say that we all need and require silence. While impossible to fully be free of all thoughts or sounds since the brain is always working; 2 hours of silence a day promotes cell development in the hippocampus (your brain’s memory bank). A little nugget of information 🙂 Glad you found your word! Happy Hump Day Rudri -Iva
I can’t totally relate to this too. I’m always “doing” something. I turn off my cell phone on Sundays and it helps make some time for quiet – though the kids still create plenty of noise. 🙂 Quiet is a good word. I need to work on that.
Not only a want, but a need.
I so relate to this post. What a beautiful beginning to the year. And it reminded me of this Anne Sexton line: “Put your ear down close to your soul and listen hard.”
Like you, I crave quiet moments myself. The winter break with my girls was great but on the day they went back to school, and I finally had the house to myself, I could hear my own breathing again, and It. Was. Wonderful. The quiet is how I recharge – I think it’s a great word for the year.
The quiet time to myself in the mornings is something I look forward to. There is such peace early in the morning as the world begins to awaken.
I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore that quote at the end.
I think it’s so interesting how, once you’ve started this One Word thing, that the word just finds you. It’s like the universe just starts screaming — THIS is what you need! And eventually we hear the message through all the other static of our lives.
What’s going in our world that we need this so much? Ugh! I’m seeking quiet as well and I’ve decided to go as analog as possible in order to lessen my dependence on my phone. The more time I spend away from our uber connected world, the quieter my mind feels. Good luck to you and I’d love to hear how you’re “quieting” goes!
Quiet is a fantastic word. I yearn for it constantly.
A great word for the year, I am looking forward to read more about it. Xo
I’m not often home during the school hours when the girls are away. I’m usually off running around getting things done. But those days that I can drop them off and come back and enter my house, close the door behind me…. I stop and savor the “sound of silence”. And even though I could possibly get more cleaning done around the house at a faster pace if I put some tunes on, I instead often catch myself and think “no, just wash these dishes in peace…”
What a fantastic word.
An I scratch my head to think about the last time I sat it silence. I know I must have needed it, and I hope I grabbed the opportunity.
I love the quiet immediately after a snowfall, when for just a little while everything seems to stand still.
Quiet is a great word. My son and husband need quiet, and they seek it out. I almost always surround myself with noise. I can’t sleep without noise. I would love to know the peacefulness of “just being” in a quiet space in my head.
Fantastic word. One all of us need, I think. Some simply want a moment of quiet in a busy life, others need the still silence. I need the still silence. The kind that wraps around you. I love my alone time. Here’s to finding beauty in your silence this coming year.
What a beautiful word. Just today, as I stood in line at the deli counter looking at Facebook, I remembered to put my phone away and just be. Boy- was that hard! Makes me realize how much I need to remember to be in the quiet…
What a great choice of a word. I didn’t really choose a word this year but I do want to Be Jessica. Jessica as I’ve learned of her in 2014 needs quiet like she needs air. I am a better writer when in the space that being quiet provides. Cheers to you in 2015. I look forward to hearing more of how your year progresses within your stated word. Love, Jessica.
Oh, how I love this idea. I’ve never been one for resolutions…but “themes?” Right up my alley. Enjoy your quiet. Every mom deserves some. My last year was pretty quiet – not the introspective kind, but the retreating kind. I need a year that is more fearless and daring and bold. But I’m still feeling a bit timid. I need to find a word that’s in-between. Going off to ponder that right now. 😉
What a great word for 2015! I think all of us could try to be a little more quiet.