The Profundity of Silence
How to tell a story in the spaces between words
Silence is a commodity and a lost art in this noisy, hyperconnected world.
We live and breathe the din of the digital cacophony: statuses that read like a drunk uncle narrating his every move at a Christmas party, nestled between political rants and foodie cravings and humble bragging. It’s not a bad thing, being that connected to a tribe that supports every mundanity of each others’ existence. Or bearing witness to the trivial moments of every person we know. It’s constant, never-ending, and safe.
Come in, we’re always open.
The beauty in an everlasting conversation is that there are diamonds in the coal mine. If you’re lucky, you find a rare cluster of them who gleam with inspiration. Those are the ones who put the UP in updates, with potent affirmations and stories that invite spiritual synergy.
Still, there is no stillness in this world. No pause between breaths. No space to just be. Or not to be.
Even in intimacy, in private traumas, in meditation, we groupie up and hashtag ourselves and our sacred journeys, because oversharing is caring.
We are legion.
So our stories are running together like melted crayon art. We are a rainbow of nonconforming conformists fighting conformity — together. One for all and all for all. It’s a communal life.
This isn’t a protest against the collective, though. I don’t discount the benefits of togetherness, really, I don’t. But we need the quietude of ourselves.
We have forgotten: There is profundity in silence.
We are, after all, made of ivory and stardust and whispers from the galaxy. We are meant to evolve in silence. In those achingly soft spaces between our statuses, we find our personal supernovas and the unbearable lightness of being. That lull is the quiet mirror of introspection which shapes us. And it’s often when we’re silent that we finally find our voice.
In silence, the truth lives boldly, with #nofilter. The quieter we are, the more we can hear —the unspoken honesty of our souls and the wisdom of others who go unheard.
Here is what I am asking: Step into solitude and silence and embrace the unfiltered story of YOU.
Unplug. Disconnect. Ghost your news feed. Be quiet.
Sit with yourself in silence and birth a legacy, and tell a story in the spaces between words.
- Journal: For 5 minutes a day (or more), write in a journal. Yes, it can be a digital journal, but it’s better if you use your physical self because there is magic in the writing of your words. What to write? Anything. Your dreams, your first thought, your wish for the day, a joke, poetry, feelings you want to feel throughout the day, even food cravings. There are no fences around your thoughts.
- Meditate: You don’t have to have prayer beads and turn into a Nag Champa-scented guru to meditate. Meditation is focus and mindfulness. It means stopping to be present in your thoughts. Sit in stillness and focus on something that brings bliss. Journaling is my meditation, but yours can be playing the guitar, running, swimming, a hot shower — anywhere or anything that takes you out of monkey mind and slows your focus to the moment you’re in.
- Self-talk: I am fond of saying that self-talk is a prayer. Anything you say to yourself is an invitation for the Universe. So say nice things to yourself and then sit for fifteen minutes — or twenty, or an hour — and let the truth of silence wrap around you with those words lingering in the atmosphere. Wear those words for the rest of the day.
- Kindness: A good deed doesn’t need to brag. Do something kind and beautiful for someone without saying a word. Leave a love note somewhere public, hold the door, wave and smile, pay for the person behind you in line, put money in the parking meter , recommend people or companies that you like and support — and don’t say a word about it. Do it and hold that karma rich feeling close to your soul.
- Walk: Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived by walking.” When you touch feet to Earth, you are closer to the divine. You connect with the elements and expand your awareness of things outside yourself. That conscious recognition of life beyond words makes us well and significant. Breathe into the world and move your body in a silent somatic symphony. There is so much power in movement and silence, and the union of the two is an incantation to invite the deepest energy of self and story.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you, as the great Maya Angelou would tell you. Unleash your untold story in the profundity of your silence, and by the writer’s creed, show, don’t tell.
And when you’re ready to publish that story to the world, come find me.
Kemari Howell is a self-described intuitive word goddess who uses her powers as a bestselling editor and professional namer (and a recovering copywriter) to help people tell stories that change the world. She’s a rebel mama to twin teenagers and is obsessed with mermaids, peacocks, lotuses, and all things purple. In her spare time, she annoyingly uses baby talk with her mini dachshunds and consumes copious amounts of coffee and pizza. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram.