I recently read online that each day the average person has about 50,000 thoughts. Some researchers put that number at 70,000 thoughts per day. Is it any wonder with this amount of inner traffic we lose touch with our self? Is it any surprise that with over 100,000 thoughts between us and our partner each day, we have difficulty finding and making contact with each other?
With all the thinking go on, what chance does our heart have to breathe, feel, and experience life, no less make contact with our significant others? The crowded mind makes for an overcrowded heart with little room for ourselves and less room for anyone else. When we live such a congested life, how open, available, and loving can we be?
The overwhelming load of thought people routinely carry makes it common that couples find themselves living together as two strangers. In the noise and confusion most people live with, it is a wonder that relationships last for months, no less many years. It is beautiful that we can be as caring and giving as we are with all the busyness.
Reclaiming ourselves and our partnership can be a major challenge. Calming the thoughts and slowing down the inner traffic are the important beginning. Peace and quiet and enjoying silence can be a life-changing event, bringing us back to basics, the simplicity of just being -- including being together.
Many people complain there is already too much silence in their relationship. They are waiting for the wall of silence to somehow go away. They are hoping for their partner to open up and share. The truth is that it is not too much silence, but all the thought and feeling behind the silence that is closing down the contact. On the other side of the wall is everything but stillness. There is the backlog of complaints, concerns, worries, difficult feelings, lots and lots of thought, everything but peace and quiet.
The answer is finding time for simply being, being in silence together. This can be an evening stroll, a visit to the ocean, making a retreat. Healing begins in any activity that is without the expectation of talking, with no demands to finish the unfinished conversation. When there are no expectations, we can enjoy the peace and quiet. The heart is free to soften and open. A quiet mind makes for an available heart. When one is not so overwhelmed with one's self, there is room for some one else.
Partnership is more than the activities, more than what we do together. It is more than what is said. Partnership is the presence of the relationship itself, which nourishes the heart and gives the treasure of love and friendship. A relationship has a foundation of shared silence. In the moments between our words and our activities, our relationship ripens in the richness of being, being together. When we are not busy with the crowd of our own thought, we have room to receive and enjoy the other. Shared silence is what binds us with everything that is good in ourselves, everything that is good in the other.
Disconnected personalities find healing and renewal in the intimacy of silence. Taking a walk in a green forest, watching a sunset, laying next to each other in bed, intimacy is found in the quietude of these moments. The silence holds everything the relationship ever was, everything that it is, and can be. Out of the great silence, out of all realms, countries, towns, and cities two souls at one time found each other. No matter how close or distant we are now, when the stillness of our heart is present, so is the possibility of the original magic. When the 50,000 thoughts are turned off or slowed down, the wonder and joy of meeting can meet again.
When we make time for silence, this is much more than not talking. It is enjoying the solitude, including the joy of solitude together. Each person in our life has a unique quality of stillness, a unique presence of love. This is the part of us that is more than our thoughts, more than our words. It is our essence, our being, the abundance of life that radiates from us. The silent presence in each person is totally unique. This silent presence is what attracted us to one another in the first place. In shared silence, our heart breathes. When we feel our hearts, all the problems our mind found just moments ago are seen differently. Life is not so overwhelming and neither is our partner. As the heart feels safe, it opens and wants to share again.
Many people think when they go into silence, all their difficult feelings will come forward. What they do not realize is that as the busy mind surrenders to the stillness of the heart, simple peace is present. The wisdom of the heart grows as the fear of the mind diminishes. Our complaints, worries, and difficulties become smaller as our awareness of our heart expands. When we find inner stillness, today's problems become yesterday's memories.
When we are not so full of thought, other parts of us now surface. We find more laughter, generosity, and gratitude. When our awareness is not so crowded, instead of anger there is gentleness, instead of pain more understanding, instead of loneliness more oneness. When our awareness is not covered in the details of life, we feel more of the heart of life, including the heart of one another. Here we discover and open the many gifts of our relationship.
When we have between 50,000-70,000 thoughts per day, this means between 35 and 48 thoughts per minute per person. The steady flow of thinking is a thick filter between our thoughts and feelings, our head and heart. The constant mental traffic prevents us from seeing clearly, listening deeply, and feeling our well of being. Taking time to nurture the silence of our heart and new life is growing. We begin to be very present, including present with one another. In the presence of our loved one, there is no limit to the wonder, appreciation, life's simple being. Silence and the stars are seen once again.
The small moments are rediscovered as the important moments of grace and beauty.
We invite everyone who wants to get away from the crowd and enjoy a life more full of heartfulness, to join us at Silent Stay near Napa, California and Assisi, Italy.
For more by Bruce Davis, Ph.D., click here.
For more on conscious relationships, click here.