Can you hear yourself think? Creating space.

During these years of Covid I’ve had lots of opportunity for solitude at home. Lately though I’ve noticed that it’s easy for me to fill up the quiet with music or podcasts or radio and tv programs. I have earbuds so I can seem quiet but inside I am miles away listening to a book or a program. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing. However, I am aware that it does keep me from being PRESENT.

I listen to podcasts or a book while I’m getting the dinner ready, and I am entertained by and enjoy the content. However, it does distract me from actively paying full attention to whatever I am engaged with. Peeling this carrot or washing this dish. Perhaps I have become used to filling up all the spaces.  


When I go out for a walk I’ve been listening to books on my phone. Enjoyable for sure but it distracts  me from being present to the walk itself. When I switch off, I can pay attention to the wind on my skin, to the texture of the bark on trees, to bird song, to the sound of life all around me.


So instead of looking for the next audio book, I am trying to hold off a bit and reconnect with the quiet. Allowing the silence to silence me. Allowing my own thoughts to percolate, giving them room to breathe, to manifest. How else can I be present to God who manifests presence all around, all the time?


Can you hear yourself think? Do you have enough quiet space in your day to be deeply present? 


Isabel Rafferty, OP

Madison, WI