There are days when, in order to get your mojo moving, to pump through your cycle class or to prepare for your next group of students walking in, it is wise to Uptown Funk You Up, and then there are days when those smoking lyrics from those hot lips are just more … noise.
Arriving home from school today, I found myself looking longingly at my couch. It was a rainy afternoon in Quito, and I wanted to curl up on the sofa, eat some chocolate and read my book. These are all good and soulful things, but, having just written about willpower and discipline, I decided I’d better follow my own advice and step out onto my covered terrace for a workout.
Usually when I’m using my TRX, I pull up iTunes and put on the Pop Workout station. Today there was a restlessness in my bones and brain that was not going to be quelled by funky tunes, and so, becoming better at listening to myself and my needs, I broke the routine and did my circuit in silence. I listened to the raindrops and their friendly taps on the tin rooftop. I listened to the sound of the TRX squeaking as I repeated my bicep curls. I listened to my own breath, the whole time. And I completed the workout feeling so calm. Without the music, it became a moving meditation, my being more attuned to the feelings in my muscles, as I could sense each rep tightening my biceps or triceps or quads while loosening up my soul a bit more.
My brain has been running a bit frantically this week. On the verge of making a decision about where the next international teaching post will be, my mind is spinning with pros and cons of various locales. The soundness of mind and body that came from a silent workout turned into a silent evening as well. I continued the evening making dinner, wrapped up in this soft solitude, where not even classical or jazz music whirled around. It was the sound of chopping broccoli, green onions and garlic that I listened to. The chickadees chirping on the terrace, the dogs barking in the yard below, and an occasional car alarm bleeping in the distance. And it was all like therapy.
Sometimes we feel like putting our earbuds in, cranking the jams, and shutting the world out. But sometimes what we really need is to listen to the sounds that surface in silence, and let the world in.
“Let silence take you to the core of life.” ~Rumi