Leonardo da Vinci believed nothing strengthened authority more than silence.
This seems like an unusual tactic in today’s world where the loudest voice usually wins. But consider the effectiveness of a speaker who pauses long enough to make the room go quiet and wait for his words.
da Vinci was certainly on to something centuries ago and judging by the millions of people who flock to YouTube to listen to music and meditative approaches that harness the power of silence, they’re hungry too.
So what does this body of evidence about silence tell us? Historical changemakers like Gandhi and Mother Teresa showed the world their strength and conviction using very few words. As leaders, they demonstrate what researchers are discovering: silence can be a very powerful leadership approach for creative problem-solving and building support.
Today, let’s consider the golden powers of silence in a different way – to use it as a tool for healing and reflection. But how to do this and what does it mean to be silent? One camp of thought might be to simply sit in silence and just be. Meditation might follow, unconstrained by visual or electronic distractions.
In silence, our ability to listen is heightened when you consider the acute hearing of a blind person who cannot depend on their sight. In many religious faiths, silent prayer provides an opportunity to connect to self and a higher power.
What I do know is that when I sit in silence and close my eyes long enough to consciously silence my thoughts at the end of a long day, I am more relaxed and ready for sleep and I am also strangely energized. This heightened relaxation can reduce the side effects from cancer, repair brain injury and improve your quality of life.
This healing, according to scientists, leads to improved brain functioning and better memory. And when certain types of music are added to the practice of silence, their alpha waves can foster a kind of superintelligence. But before you rush out to purchase healing music to realize the benefits suggested by this Harvard study, give today’s music video a try.
Find a quiet place as Yara suggested in this week’s Wednesday feature, One Square Inch of Silence. Nearly 18 million people have tuned into this music choice in the last 10 months but there are loads to chose from.
We’d love to hear what you think and how difficult it was to trust yourself long enough to listen for the entire time. Have a great weekend and see you Sunday as we share our weekly update.