When saying nothing says more

“Are you adding something to the silence by speaking?”

~ Caroline Shola Arewa ~

I am a Yoga Alliance™ Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) and throughout this COVID time the Alliance has been supporting their members with a wealth of online learning opportunities. Back in the autumn I took a seven-part series on exploring the chakras, lead by Caroline Shola Arewa who is known internationally as an expert on the topic.

During the session on the Throat Chakra (Vishudda), when she spoke the words quoted above she was commenting on how there is sometimes too much talking by yoga teachers during their classes, as if dead air was to be avoided at all costs. Caroline went on to offer an insightful perspective about how healing often happens in the spaces more so than in the words.

I am also trained as a Labyrinth Facilitator and it took me back to a guided labyrinth walk a client booked with me in September. There were multiple issues and stressors which brought her to the labyrinth that day. In addition to some labyrinth guidance and interpretation, I employed all those active listening skills that saw me through 27 years as a Counsellor, trying to reflect, validate and so on. But Caroline’s perspective reminded me that my most important function in that role is to hold space and be witness. And maybe this is true for life more broadly in more interpersonal situations than we might realize.

Our North American society surrounds us with a busy, verbal, media-rich, and generally extroverted world. There’s never a shortage of words or talking; it’s endless and omnipresent. When we’re constantly speaking, or hearing others speaking, it is difficult to just “be”. There is tremendous value to be found in silence and stillness–far greater than in any words–because they enable opening to spirit.

(Semi-related: I recently finished updating the leaflets I provide when doing classes or sessions involving the chakras. A bonus for blog readers… you can download full set of Chakra Summaries.)

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