We live in a world that keeps us busy. Our jobs keep us busy, and many times overwork us. Our personal lives have us on the go — so much to do with so little time! There is noise everywhere in our lives: our devices, TV, traffic, music, social media. Many of us do not get the opportunity to experience Silence on a regular basis as part of our day to day life. Getting away, being Intentional, and greeting Silence is vital to our spiritual lives and to deepen our relationship with the Sacred.
The Silence I am talking about is not so much not talking or an absence of noise. It is about creating sacred space to listen deeply within.
Silence is more than meditating and praying. It is about being in a state of consciousness that opens you to listening to the depth of your Soul and the Sacred. It is about connecting in and journeying with the Silence that comes into Presence during meditation/centering prayer and is there ready for you once you awaken from that prayer-time.
There is a softness, an invitational quality to this Silence that is different from being in your home alone doing chores. That silence feels lovely. The Silence you engage here is one that, yes is lovely for the most part, yet has an invitation, a challenge, to soul work.
To greet Silence, we need to create regular periods of time where we step away from the noise of our lives; where we create the time and space to sit, to walk in nature, to attend to our interior hearts and lives, to Be fully present with ourselves, with our Soul, with the Sacred.
Sara Bessey, in her 40 Simple Practices for Lent, suggests the beginning of this on Day Five: Choose silence for the day instead of TV, radio, etc. And she deepens it on Day Six: Unfollow or mute five social media accounts that make you feel angry, afraid, envious.
The work of this Day Six is the work of intentionally choosing to step closer to Silence, to Soul. I have found that social media is noise in my life. It does not bring me joy. It took a good amount of self-reflection before I was willing to admit that it does not truly connect me with others either. It offers a mask that creates an illusion of connection, of friends and family, of socializing. Yet, something is missing. For many times when we sign off social media we do not feel uplifted, any more deeply loved.
Rather, I feel distracted, like I whittled away valuable time. I feel frustrated, disheartened by all the anger, bullying, hatred that runs through my various feeds from time to time. Twitter is the worse for me. Instagram is the one that leaves me smiling, laughing, uplifted.
Catherine Price, in How to Break Up with Your Phone, invites you to begin to practice mindfulness with social media. She invites the reader to pay attention to their emotional state before going on social media: why are you going on social media? How do you feel before you open the ap? Then after the experience of social media: how do you feel after being on social media? Did it meet or exceed your expectations? Did it create the feelings you were hoping for before you went on?
The truth is, if we peel the surface layers away, the answer that arises is that social media does not create want we hope it will, what we yearn for in our lives. Social media creates noise that allows us to stay numb to what we are truly seeking.
Silence invites us to be present with what we are feeling, to hold it before the Sacred, to ask for guidance and healing, and then to sit companioned in our struggle, in our hopes, in our prayers.
I invite you this day to take stock in social media.
How do you use it?
How and when does it amplify your life?
How and when do you use it to distract you, to numb you from life?
What do you really want? How conscious do you want to be in your life? How much power do you want social media to have over you, numbing you from your own conscious awakened experience of life?
Silence and the Sacred are there if you invite them in. They will companion you into a deeper understanding of yourself, your Soul, your life, your purpose. All you have to do is create space and time, ask, sit, and listen.
Pastor Jocelyn Emerson weaves together her training as a Light and Energy worker, Reiki master, spiritual director, and Pastor with her life experience as a mystic and contemplative to offer a space of trust, safety, and honesty to support you on your life's journey.