One of the things I love about summer is early mornings in the garden and the silence. The only sounds are the birds, and depending on the weather, the wind and the ocean at a distance. For someone who loves silence… I sure like to talk! And for one who likes to talk, it is not surprising to know that I am one of many who find silence in conversation difficult!
On a store wall in cottage country in Ontario, a few large wall plaques caught my interest:
“Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder… and your hand over my mouth”
“Silence is golden… but duct tape is cheaper”.
Oh, how I relate!
In her online course “Compassionate Communication” Elizabeth Causton teaches that
“Many people associate silence with emptiness or absence, when in fact it is full of presence: there is always something going on in the spaces between our words and actions.
Embracing silence is a conscious clearing of space for whatever needs to happen there and it seems to require some degree of trust in ourselves, in another person, or of the situation itself in order for us to give up the control of that space long enough to let something manifest.
Good communication is often seen as a skill, but compassionate communication that includes mindfulness and presence in times of silence is an art.
Silence as a form of art. Wonderful thought. Silence that gives the other person the control on when to end the silence. Silence that enriches the conversation by its’ very presence.
I continue to learn from Elizabeth about the nuances and power of communication in palliative care. I encourage you to wander over and look at her online course in October. The compassionate communication skills in the course are useful for life itself and not just for the dying parts.
Silence. Sounds of silence my old friend… Can you hear it?