V.A.C. #4- Having a truly silent night

Good morning Travellers,

Last Sunday night my furnace lost consciousness, and on Monday a miraculous resuscitation was performed. BUT today, I am experiencing my greatest home owner fear fully realized. Because it was not a lasting fix, and the time has arrived for the little guy to go to the big graveyard in the sky for all the appliances we’ve loved and lost. So as I sit here typing this morning, my 22 year old furnace and 16 year old air conditioning system are being replaced. Very loudly replaced. It sounds like my house is being torn out from underneath me and then hammered back together.

And I’ve just been told I need to get my ducts cleaned as well because it apparently looks like no one has ever cleaned them before, which is another couple hundred dollars on top of the five grand I’m down with the system replacement.

Merry Christmas, Happiest Holidays!! Am I right?

I’m just sharing this story for a little perspective for all of you. I just want to let you know while I come here and write about all the wonders to be found in the season and life in general, I’m also struggling my ass off right alongside you. I’m trying REALLY HARD to not let the possible joy of this first Christmas on my own get smothered by rather the unfortunate occurrences and sentiments of life. And that’s a struggle too. Happiness is not at journey’s end, it’s a choice of how you see this world. I remind myself of that everyday. Likewise, the holidays are not a destination, but a choice of how you experience them as well. And that’s something we have to cultivate, isn’t it?

Today our little door opens to a square of darkness with a little crescent moon shining in the center, which represent silence and serenity. A true real life silent night.  I’m going to ask you to consider the value of taking an evening, possibly this evening or AT LEAST ONE EVENING in the days PRIOR TO CHRISTMAS in active silence.

The goal of this activity is to create a quiet and still environment in your home for one evening. The larger your clan, the greater the masterminding required. And possibly an even greater reward. This means no TV, no phones, no internet abled devices, no talking, no music, no sounds other than everyone breathing. It’s called serenity.

Just be in the stillness of your home. Not just the silence, but feel what it’s like to be still. Sit or lie back and close your eyes. Don’t sleep, just LISTEN to the world outside your walls and how your home sounds in the quiet. Maybe use minimal lighting or candles, and nope, this is not business time people, this is quiet stillness so don’t be getting any ideas.

Obviously, cats and dogs are exempt from participating so no need to duct tapes their little mouths shut. And I find when I am settled and quiet, they tend to do the same on their own. I’ve actually come to believe their preference is stillness and quiet.

And this is coming from a busy person, you DO HAVE TIME to make this happen for one night…

I think one of the many reasons for the rise in human mental distress is caused by the environment we now live in. It’s a constant hum, noises, voices, sounds, and always in motion. Busy kinetic whirling motion. Or maybe avoidance is the better word. We are living in a world of avoidance. We avoid it’s natural state in favor of artificial distractions. If you are ever uncomfortable, there are a myriad of ways to distract yourself and avoid sorting out the hard things. And we all have hard things we need to face that wait for you in the silence.

The first time you try this, it’s really weird and yet, equally freeing. I started trying it out as I now live on my own. You’ll find your thoughts will quiet and then rebound and then quiet and then HEY HEY HEY and then quiet and there may be some emotional wobbling about, but stay in it. Embracing discomfort makes you stronger AND gets you a new furnace…

I like to remember the people who settled this country and how their world was quiet. All the time quiet, free from most basic technology. All of this modern world was nothing more than a dream. And while it’s easy to commune with nature in silence, being in your own home is a whole different level in the modern world, isn’t it?

If life is an adventure, you have to try everything once, so one night of silence Travellers, give it a go.

And in honor of my Grandma Max, here’s THE SONG …and a lovely night’s sky.

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