I’ve been silent for the last several of months. I haven’t written a blog post. I haven’t posted much on twitter. I haven’t been as present in our virtual community. I started to apologize and feel guilty (I really did miss everyone!), but then I received a gentle reminder from a friend that it was ok to be silent.
The work/life negotiation concept is one that I feel my friend @MonicaMFochtman has empowered me to think about and name for myself. When June hit, it came with such a whirlwind of work commitments that I found myself negotiating with with life. Life, can I call you back next week? Can we work over dinner? I won’t be home for 5 days as I have another conference. There almost was no life to squeeze in. Then I had so much to recover in personal life that I found myself negotiating with work. Work, can this wait until next week when I am back from vacation? I’m only working 7 hours today because my brain is dead. When I set the out of office greeting, this time I really will only respond when I get back and not while I am out.
I think about these last several months as a pendulum. Work was so busy that my attention swung over to the work side only. Then in order to compensate, it had to swing back the other way to my life side only. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Before I knew it, the summer was over and we were launching into fall. Where did the time go? It was ticking away as I was managing the swings.
Now, how do I get it back into a rhythm where there is a fair amount of trade off and negotiation rather than a constant back and forth?
I looked to silence. From mid-August to mid-September I tried to maintain space for silence.
“The purpose of silence is to expand individual consciousness so that the human being can be nourished from a deeper source.” “Taking time to be silent comforts the heart, enlivens the mind, gives liberty and joie de vivre to whatever actions will be taken at other times, and brings an individual out of a more shallow existence, into a deeper knowing of themselves.” Julie Redstone
While I am comfortable with change, work commitments and love my job, it was silence that made me feel whole again. Instead of feeling like I was swinging from limb to limb, silence gave me a place to feel like I was in charge rather than swinging along.
This summer tested my concept of work/life negotiation and as part of the process of becoming, I learned some valuable lessons about the role that silence plays in my self-care so I can be of service to others.
Space for silence worked for me. What do you do to restore and renew?
Cross posted at http://sawomenlead.com