The Value of Silence

Sometimes when we are driving around town running errands, heading to my mum’s house for a visit, or picking up my husband from work my daughter will pipe up from her car seat in the back and say, “Mom, can we just have some quiet time right now, please?”

IMG_0220

At 5 years old this kid is already wise to how wonderful and necessary silence can be. Normally we’d have music or an audio story playing, but many times she’ll specifically request that I turn the radio off and keep my own mouth shut as well.

At my very first Reiki session as a professional practitioner years ago I had quiet, soothing music playing (as I still do with sessions today). Somewhere about three quarters of the way through the appointment my playlist ended and I may or may not have gone into full on panic mode. I immediately started overthinking the entire situation, convinced that the client noticed the sudden lack of Deuter filling the room and was therefore having a terrible time. I actually nervously said, “whoops, my music stopped! Let me just fix that…” and proceeded to fiddle with my phone DURING THE APPOINTMENT until the playlist restarted. Thinking back to this I can’t help but cringe and wonder why I placed such worth in music playing while I worked.

When I had someone in for a Reiki session earlier this year a similar situation happened. For whatever reason the music cut out during the appointment unexpectedly and the client and I were left with a starkly silent room.

I kept it that way.

IMG_0311

What a difference a few years and some perspective can make. Where I was once afraid of lacking sounds to fill a space, I now value that absence so greatly.

Seeing my daughter not only requesting but enjoying silence already brings me so much joy. As a kid I would often fall asleep with headphones on listening to music, the bus ride to school would be full of chattering students or whatever radio station the driver felt we deserved that day, and from homeroom to last bell I’d have the voices and sounds of classroom after classroom in my ears, followed by all the varying volumes of my family and home life.

I remember all of that as an accepted constant, but I also remember the small moments in time where the act of quiet mindfulness started wandering into my life: as a tween, looking out the window and watching the snow so intently after my mother told me that if I listened hard enough I could actually hear the snow fall, and later as a teenager in psychology class learning a brief meditation instructed by my teacher as she turned out the lights and had us all lay our heads down on our desks and close our eyes.

Now as an adult I am grateful for those initial introductions to silence as a sacred opportunity. We don’t need noise all the time! We get enough of that just simply existing in the modern world.

One of my favorite things to do, and as a stay at home mom to a 5 year old this is a very rare occurrence, is sit down with a cup of tea and a cozy blanket and just be in my home.  Literally just being there. Not folding laundry while listening to a podcast, or washing the dishes while my daughter asks for more water, or strawberries, or pretzels, etc. every 5 seconds, or yelling, “ALEXA! PLAY FROZEN TWO MUSIC!” Just sitting down and leaving the quiet as it is.

This is not to say that I don’t enjoy my home when it is full of noise (just so we’re clear, I love the Frozen II soundtrack and Lost in the Woods will never not be on repeat in my head) or that when I do have some quiet time it’s completely void of noise, but when I sip my tea on my couch next to my sleepy chihuahua I am reveling in my own version of silence.

It’s enough for me for now.

 

No Apology Necessary

On the afternoon of May 14th, 2014 I was laboring in a tub at The Birth Center in Beverly.

This was my first time doing the whole “pushing a human out of my body” thing, and despite all of the books I had read, mothers I had spoken to, and videos I had watched about what giving birth is actually like I was still completely (and I mean COMPLETELY) shocked by how painful the contractions were.

I was doing my best to handle everything as calmly as my body and mind were allowing, but I was also dealing with back labor (side note: back labor is the opposite of a good time) and getting fatigued. During all of this I had music playing on my phone from the playlist I’d compiled carefully weeks before. Continue reading “No Apology Necessary”

Elderberry Syrup & Vegan Gummies

In early 2015 I was a stay at home mom to a beautiful 8 month old child, with a growing desire for some kind of creative outlet. Now that I’ve said that the nice way, let me rephrase that and tell you that I was practically ripping my hair out with wild, dangerous eyes searching for something, ANYTHING, to give me a connection to the outside world. It was a long winter spent mostly indoors; the snow that year was unbelievable and we were one of the lucky folks who had to deal with the aftermath of an ice dam on our roof. I was keeping myself busy with all the never-ending tasks that come with motherhood and homemaking, but I was desperate to do something for myself (it would be another 6 months before the opportunity to purchase The Healing Center came around). So I started a blog. Continue reading “Elderberry Syrup & Vegan Gummies”

Santosha

How do you view your life right now?

What words would you use to sum up an average day?


 

When speaking to a dear friend of mine recently, I marveled at his life with his husband and used the term “exciting” to describe it. He was so quick to refute that! He, instead, offered the word “boring”.  I argued back, stating that no, in fact, it was MY life that lacked intrigue. Is this what it’s like, being an adult these days? Competing to see whose life is the most dull?!

Continue reading “Santosha”

“I’m awake!”

Hello! Long time no see.

My daughter has recently learned the phrase “wake up!”, so now I will often find her screaming that into my face if she sees me with my eyes closed for more than .02 seconds. Sometimes she’ll mix things up a little by saying it while also shaking me as hard as her 2 year old frame will allow. I don’t think I ever considered the possibility that parenthood would involve going to great lengths to prove that I am, in fact, already awake.

Aside from that new development, I feel like I have had quite a lot going on in my life (but don’t we always?). I’m still in school and still LOVING it (I am genuinely excited to do my precalculus homework every week), I moved to downtown Beverly which has been too wonderful for words, and I have been making more time for practicing yoga and handlettering. Overall, this has been one of the best winters I’ve ever had, and I know it’s only partly because we’ve had a pretty small amount of snow.

I’ve been doing my best to focus more on my interests, big and small, and make them more of a priority in my daily life. I think for awhile I was overly consumed with my role as a stay at home mom, and really neglected my own interests and passions. It didn’t occur to me for a long time that preventing myself from doing creative and self-loving things was actually making my job as a mother harder. I take more joy in watching Willow grow and learn now that I also pay more attention to my own needs. Parents need outlets! People need outlets!

I have no other earth-shattering news to share, I just felt like it was time to poke my head out and say hello. I am still offering in-home Reiki sessions and level 1 certification classes on a limited basis, so please feel free to email me at info@thehealingcenterbeverly.com if you’re interested and want to know my availability.

I also wanted to share that All Creatures Veterinary Hospital in Salem is currently a drop-off location for Syrian refugee donations. So if you happen to live in the area and want to donate, they are looking for clothes (for children and adults), toys, feminine hygiene products, diapers, soap, bags, bedding, and a few other items. Click here to visit their website, though I don’t think they have any information about the donation drive on there (I receive their email newsletters and it was included in their most recent one). Everything they receive will be shipped to Syria.

I hope you are all doing well!

Take care of yourselves,

Katherine