Thursday, July 20, 2017

Beginner's Guide to Joyful Living -- Day 20

Do you live a LOUD life?
Or a quiet life?

How would you describe the noise levels in your daily life? Is the TV playing in the background? If you walk, do you bring your phone or listen to music? Do your social media accounts announce their presence with beeps? How much time each day do you spend on social media--blogging, Instagramming, Tumbling, pinning, Facebooking?

In today's world, it's unrealistic to take a vow of silence just to live a quieter life. Quiet moments can include sounds and movement. 

I like to start the day on my porch, a cup of coffee at my elbow and a notebook in my lap. The best mornings begin with a "keyword" or mantra--a sort of theme for the day--and it becomes a goal. After I whisper the word, or words, I fall into the silence.The goal is to be here now. Be mindful. In the moment. Don't miss a thing. 
I'm aware of breezes, shifting clouds, the quality of light, and birds darting in and out of trees. Distant (and near) noises remind me that I am alive. Noise has its place in the world, of course, but so does silence. In my opinion, quietness is an underrated pleasure, and because of its very nature, it's easy to overlook it. There will be times a tree surgeon is trimming your oaks or carpenters are hammering on the neighbor's house. In that case, be flexible. Your sessions may be short for a time--but the silence will return. And you'll be ready.

Suggestions for a Quiet Lifestyle
1. Try to begin each day with a quiet ritual.
2. Schedule "me" time in the afternoon for quiet activities you love (in other words, make a date with your creativity).
3. End the day with a soft, quiet period--reading, praying, meditating, etc.
3. Less TV, less phone, less social media.*

* Even a small retreat from social media is at odds with its quid pro quo nature. You may lose a few followers, but if you are truly searching for comfort and joy in your daily life, you won't allow your personal value to have a number. You will gain a peaceful foundation in your life. Do what you can, when you can, with grace and love. 

Today, my mantra is: be here now.

Beginner's Guide to Joyful Living -- a 31-Day Challenge


  1. I enjoy spending the early morning on my veranda listening to the birds. I have tried to pull back from the computer more, not doing as many link parties, trying to concentrate on creativity, and being IN the world (as John Muir said) not just on it.

  2. You have inspired me to begin the day with a daily thought/goal which I have done in the past with great success...somehow the habit fell by the wayside, and I realized how important it was in my daily life and attitude when I started reading your series...I have only been doing it now for 3 days and it has made a tremendous difference in my thinking and general happiness...😘 thank you!

  3. I so agree with the quote, Michael Lee. I crave quietness. It's good for my soul.

  4. Everyday at four in the afternoon I retreat to my guestroom for two hours of quiet time. I read, play candy crush on my phone and sleep. At six in the evening I get up and prepare dinner. Before I take my rest I prep dinner and clean the kitchen. Being retired and 76 years old I have found I can only stand about two hours at a time. I am rested and ready to finish the dinner and clean the dishes. On July 6th my husband had an emergency pacemaker put in. I have been VERY BUSY these past two weeks. Your daily post has been a wonderful way to keep my focus on the important things in life....FAMILY♥

  5. As a teacher, I would tell my students that silence was golden, and we would take "golden moments" throughout the day. It was a time for everyone to just be still in the moment, reflect, or daydream. Amazing how it refreshed little minds and calmed the constant chatter and movement that is the norm in early elementary classrooms. Now that my husband and I are both retired, our days are very quiet. My daily walks are also quiet times for me, a time to meditate. And yes, quiet time for me means not being plugged in.