Connecting With Silence
By Laurent Vuibert
PCC, CPCC, MBA – Founder Personal And Team Executive Coach
Founder of Authentic Choices
This piece is a sincere attempt to express why and how important it is for me to connect and cultivate silence in chaotic times to find my next step in transcending the apparent complexity. Evolving from silence.
I am overwhelmed with the quantity (let’s forget about the quality) of digital products being distributed these last few weeks but even more since Europe became the epicentre for the Covid19 and the US has started to pay attention to the situation. Since then there has been a disturbing phenomenon resembling a tsunami of emotional tension being released via endless social media stream… to which I contribute with these lines. Rather than fighting my aversion to it, I got curious and it connected me to my own urges and how I respond to them in these troubling times.
We “normally”, diligently, happily, follow and chase what is in front of us, we are well trained to engage with our conditioned ideas for the sake of safe passage towards a life full of conditional promises. How do we respond when the conditions of, and the formula change at the same time? What becomes possible when our senses are challenged beyond what we believed was part of the realm of possibilities? Welcome to the unknown!
It is the first time in my life, and I believe in the life of most of those who like me have been blessed with a rich and somehow predictable life, that most of the world population is in the same conversation at the same time, talking, dreaming, listening to apparently the same thing, on the same platform, 24/7, across generations and cultures.
From a systemic perspective, this is an incredible amount of energy being deployed and moving in the same direction, with the same intention, at the same time: we are requested to stop doing to save our selves. What a paradox!
How are we going to do that?! Who is able to do it? Who are we empowering to do in our names? Who much are we able to trust “us”?
I wonder what it feels to be an animal at this time, must be bliss.
If I stop a minute and think about this, it is hard to consider and even harder to do – and I am not talking about being an animal – the rewiring, redirecting of this energy flow in a world we designed and greedily structured to carry our endless pursuit for more of anything.
How do we do that for more than a week? What does it mean for the world? What will family, relationships, couples, singles do once all the Facebook, Instagram, Netflix, LinkedIn possibilities will feel like we all just had a maxi pot of Nutella daily for a week?
If I look at my behaviour in the last four weeks, I went through waves and internal negotiation and tensions. My initial reaction to the slowing down of activity was mentally positive but physically hard. I felt ready to pay attention; I welcomed the opportunity to respect life, but, was nevertheless saying yes to do as much of the usual as possible behind any pretence, knowing that I was not in integrity with myself. I couldn’t decline my urge to engage in some kind of action, to do something, to show up well in these times, being in dialogue with the fantasy of heroism, to make use of the time, to be useful and alleviate my fear by working with other’s fear and dis-empowerment. After all, I know I can.
The more I engaged mindlessly, the more I surfed the unsustainable wave of over-activity the less energy I had, the more depleted I felt, and to some extent the less I could escape from the sadness and the fear I could feel all inside and around me, in the news, in my head, in my heart, in my home, the fear for my family members in France, in Europe, my friends, for my loved ones everywhere.
With time I started to see that there was no escape from my fast-evolving feelings, that my behavioural response was simply an amplification of what I do in calmer times: despite all my grounding practices and other learnings I know I have the tendency to work harder, push through, wake up earlier, do more, smile more, until my energy is no more and stops to support me; a few days ago, finally, I had the choice-less opportunity to surrender to the situation, to sit and start to listen to what I truly need: silence and stillness.
When I accept to sit, to listen to myself and stop long enough to find stillness, silence, and love for myself and others, then clarity shows up. It isn’t clarity to do; it is clarity which comes from the progressive and sudden alignment of my energy circuits, my thinking models and gut senses. I can finally operate with courage and serenity to do less, and share calmly what I believe.
What is your process? What do you need?
For many of us, it is time to stop, slow down and listen. We will soon be ready to wind down, we are almost beyond the stage of “horrific distraction”. Currently, we can only communicate powerlessly, horrified and appalled by the growling death toll around us, the risk we take with each other’s misbehaviours, the rapid expansion of this faceless and ruthless enemy which seems to grow from our demise. Ring a bell? I wonder what the animal kingdom and the natural world are thinking about us now?
Right now we still need to prove ourselves we matter, we react, we are trying quick business pivoting, take quick decisions to save the day; all this is great, but I believe the more we can truly engage with the gravity and the depth of the situation, stop avoiding our fear, the more we will be able to unite and respect each other in the process and create a stronger bond for the weeks and months to come.
Soon our energy pattern will adjust themselves and be with what the situation requires from us: to stop amidst the chaos, slow down, connect deeply, simply, reflect on what we do and how we want the future to be. This slowing down might be the fastest way forward. For those of us who can afford it, this is a unique opportunity in a lifetime: a collective reset.