The Secret Energy of Quiet

I hear people say “My nerves are shot” or “I can’t take it anymore.” What is “it?” The noise that threatens our health and our lives and the very planet we inhabit is negative energy run amuck. I find myself wanting to hole up in a small room with dark blinds, soundproofing and maybe a little white noise in the background to keep away the cacophony of our time. On Facebook, there are no “real” voices, but the strident shouting of the posts penetrates us anyway. Think about this. How do you feel in your body and spirit when someone posts a hateful diatribe against a person, an organization or a whole people? Silence is not golden—we are still awash in an energetic field created by humans, each one fighting for their own point of view.

Now we will count to twelve and we will all keep still for once on the face of the earth, let’s not speak in any language; let’s stop for a second, and not move our arms so much. 

From: the poem Keeping Quiet by Pablo Neruda

When I began this column, I said I wanted it to be a place where we could come together, where we could have conversations about our differences without judgment or pointing fingers or yelling. What I’m discovering is that the level of noise created by the written word is as disruptive and noisy as the spoken word. As I decided to take the amazing poet, Pablo Neruda’s, advice, I began with turning off the television.

Shortly after, I got an email from an organization stating that, despite my non-participation in a choice made by them, I was liable for the results and had to “pay up” or be fined and, maybe, even have a lien put on my house. No one yelled at me, but their energy did. Words have power. The angst in my body and spirit was real. My first reaction, as it is often on FB, was to defend my position, write a lengthy letter—with bullet points!—outlining how unfair this was. And yet, I knew that it wouldn’t matter. This was not about a conversation to resolve, it was a “power over” move. So I went deeper.

I recognized the energy inherent in being judged and/or bullied by those in power—even if only on the level of a condominium association. I meditated on the position of minorities, refugees, citizens in totalitarian countries, children in abusive homes and kids being bullied at school or on the internet. I realized that one doesn’t have to be face to face with the energy of a bully to feel the results. The energy affects us one-on-one through cell phones or in schools and neighborhoods. It is more than projecting positive energy. It’s about deflecting negative energy. All of my tools that I use daily to calm myself are useless if I allow the “power over” of any establishment—from the neighborhood watch committee to the government—to affect me.

And so I ask that we all, each individual who desires a peaceful energy filled life, spend a few minutes at a time simply being quiet and feeling appreciation for the good in our lives. When negative thoughts come up, watch them go like dark clouds and imagine yourself surrounded with light. It will save your health, lift your families and friends, and just maybe, the planet. We are so mired in negative thoughts, words and actions that it certainly can’t hurt. I think if we started with Neruda’s “count to twelve” and repeated it every time we thought of it—for example, when reading our Twitter or Facebook—we could measure the difference. We are energy, our words are energy, and our world is energy. Each one of us feeds the energetic field positively or negatively. And it doesn’t cost a penny to make the better choice.

It would be an exotic moment without rush, without engines; we would all be together in a sudden strangeness.

Stanza two, “Keeping Quiet” Pablo Neruda