by Dian Reid-Jancic· Follow Dian on

This is the post I was in the middle of writing when my hard drive crashed. I’d almost forgotten that I started it at all. So now it’s nearly 3 weeks later, and I’m finally getting back to it. Let’s see now…where was I?

I’ve been taking three minutes every day to sit in the body of my own silence. It’s not always easy, but so far, it’s always been worth it. Some days the three minutes fly by and I feel like I no sooner close my eyes than my three minutes are up.

I’m a firm believer that there’s no single right way to do anything; there’s always another way. But here are a few things that I do to set me up for success in my three minutes of silence each day:

  1. Put it on the calendar. I started out with a recurring appointment at noon each day for my three minutes. It hasn’t always worked out that way, but it’s on the calendar and a reminder pops up at 11:45 to remind me that silence is on the way. If I’m not in a place to take a break, I push it back to a time that works for me. You may want to start your day with 3 minutes of silence, or you may choose to end your day with it. No matter what you choose, write it down, put it in your BlackBerry or iPhone or whatever fancy electronic or hand-written calendar keeping device you’ve got.
  2. Write about it. I keep a journal that’s specifically for my #3MoS. Some days it has three words, some days three paragraphs. Writing about it will help you hold yourself accountable, and help you remember what you just experienced. For me, this gives me a place to look back and see if there are any patterns or recurrences I might find interesting or useful. I keep a hand written journal for this one, but you may want to use something electronic like Evernote or LiveJournal (which I use for other types of note-taking), or you might just tweet about it using the #3MoS hashtag to keep it really simple.
  3. Alarm yourself. I have an alarm on my phone, which I use when I’m out of the house, or one on my laptop, which I use when I’m home. Set your alarm for three minutes from the time you’re beginning your silence. For those of you unfamiliar with (or just plain resistant to) sitting still for more than a few seconds at a time, it’s important to keep it to just three minutes in the beginning.
  4. Grace yourself. Especially if you’re unaccustomed to sitting still and/or being silent, remember to give yourself some grace—be gentle with yourself as you ease yourself into the discomfort of being still. Stop to recognize what’s uncomfortable. Release your judgment and just let yourself be. I started with three minutes because the thought of anything more gave me anxiety. If you need to back off and start with two minutes or 30 seconds instead of three minutes, do it. And when that becomes comfortable, stretch yourself into more time with silence.

These minutes of silence are a gift to yourself—listen in and see who’s there.

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