What does your ‘quiet’ say to you?

 How many of us take the time to sit in the quiet?

I recently did just that on Friday. I packed up my tote and head to a local beach resort all by my lonesome. My intent was to get a feel for the local campsites and to see if it ‘felt’ right. And as much as I enjoyed connecting with old friends and touring around, when I was done with the search, I couldn’t wait to reach the beach.

I grabbed one of BC’s finest homemade burgers (oh gosh.. it was just the best!)  from the log cabin pub, and head towards my final destination.

There’s something magical about sitting in front of water. The warm breezy space felt like a familiar hug wrapping around me.  I’ve really missed it. The experience was like visiting an old friend again, the kind that you may not see everyday, but the attachment always remains.

For awhile, I gravitated closer to where my truck was parked, which was a more populated area. I enjoyed the sit, watching others do their thing while I secretly enjoyed no one knowing me nor wishing to break into conversation. I simply became a watcher and listener and in my mind, I was invisible to all else. Perfect.

But I knew where I really wanted to head after my burger feast. I picked up just my camera, some loose change, and head to the local beach coffee house. My favorite mocha, topped with whipping cream and drizzled in chocolate was part of this next adventure.

‘Quiet Solitude’ below won a grand prize package in the Harrision Hot Springs summer photo contest, 2010.

So I head down towards the end of the lake to the boat launch section. Only once I reached the far end where it was quiet and peopleless, did I find the perfect spot to sit. And ponder. I was ready to sit in ‘the quiet.’

How to sit in the quiet

1. Find a secluded spot.

For this one, absolutely no distractions is key.  You want a spot that inspires you to feel comfort. For me, it’s in front of nature and/or water. And, alone. I also find off my own property best so your mind doesn’t wander to all the undone work you’re sitting in front of. 🙂

2. Tune in to nature first.

Now turn off the thoughts and voices, and listen to nature. It’s the best soundtrack available. For free. Some call this meditation, however I just call it listening to what God created.

3. Start tuning in to ONE thought.

A little too quiet? That means you’re ready. Slowly up the volume and allow a thought to enter. But be prepared for what you may hear. I wasn’t. And it made me cry.

Be careful here. You’re thoughts will all come dashing in all at once like a crowded party room. Hold that stuff back for now. Just work on one thought so you aren’t overwhelmed.

4. Stay put until you work it out.

It’s like having a mind conversation of your own. I indeed address what’s going on and even ask and answer my own questions. And I’ll talk to myself out loud too. That’s why I like to be alone when I do this. 🙂 Verbally saying it makes it more… real. Like it’s no longer a mere thought.

If you shove this thought to the side because it was too difficult, you aren’t ready to leave. Stay put until it’s aaallllll worked out. You’ll be thankful later. And if you’re the spiritual type, this is the perfect time to have that overdue conversation with God. Ask for strength and help to guide you on where you need to go with all this.

(all photos taken in Harrison Hot Springs, BC Canada)

When you’ve reached the final conclusion, you will know when it’s ready to leave or allow another thought in. Your call on what you can handle. For me, one was enough! 🙂 I refocused on nature, did this photo shoot (just wait until I get a REAL camera) and then head for the truck, content that I had worked at least one thing out. And enjoyed every dang moment of it in these beautiful surroundings.

~ ~ ~ ~

Sometimes one is too busy to listen outside of the jack in the box noise, in order to pay attention to what’s more important.

Sitting in the quiet offers you a chance to regroup and tweak parts of our life that aren’t working. And being that no one’s life is perfect, it’s my opinion that everyone needs abit of time to sit in their own quiet to see what comes your way.

Try it! All you need is abit of quiet and solitude. And in no time, you’ll be having an internal conversation that will no doubt help guide you where you need to go.

~ ~ ~ ~


Do you ever sit in the quiet? What does your quiet say to you?

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Categories: Inspiration, Personal
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  1. Donna~ that was AWESOME! What an inspiration you are! I SO need this quiet time…my life seems upside down and sometimes it’s hard to sort through all the info of the day to get to the most important stuff! Thank you for sharing this with us!

  2. The other evening a power pole caught fire and blew out about 50 yards from our house. So we were without power from five o’clock in the evening to three thirty in the morning.

    After going to dinner at my in-laws (who live another 12 miles out of town past us) we came home and decided to sit outside to see when they would finish down the road. We live 8 miles from town so the stars are unbelievable at night! It was so quiet and the night sky was breathtaking! We sat outside until 1:30 am. I went to bed but my husband waited until they were done so that he could flip the switch and get power back to the house so things didn’t melt in the freezer.

    I asked him the next morning, “how was it out there until 3:30?” He said, “Nice, it was quiet”.

  3. This is great. And yes what it does to your soul…the refreshing…you get new thoughts, fresh ideas, you are ready to face the rest of the day…with appreciation. It is like filling up your gas tank with gas…you can keep going because you are filled up again. I love it. Your pictures are soothing and say a great deal. I think we would all be in a better place if our quiet filled us up.
    Great post.
    Blessings,
    Debbie

  4. Your afternoon of quite looks delightful! I rarely find quiet in my house with 3 children and their friends! To be honest, when I do finally get the chance to experience quiet time it makes me a little uncomfortable, I guess it’s because I have a 3 year old and quiet usually means they are up to something! I think I will take your advice and head out to a nice spot to find it. Your photos are just beautiful, thanks for sharing your nice day with us!
    Dee from Farmhouse Country Style

  5. i have had these moments but i must be honest most of mine have the out come of depressing and regrets……right now in my time of life alot of things have changed and econmy effect is 1..each day is scary but i always try to remember someone out there has it so much worse then me. I am grateful to waking up everyday smiling at my loving cookie (cat) and thankful i am here to help my elderly parents.

  6. My quiet says that I am loved by God. I am not a religious person, spiritual, yes. My quiet reminds me that God created all of this, and I am blessed enough to be privy to witness it. My quiet also says, that if I am grounded(another term for what you experience) I can fulfill my purpose better, it recharges my soul as well. I bring this to my line of work and it is tremendously helpful to me and those around me. Love to you Donna, I am so glad that you are eyes and ears open on your path!

  7. I get all excited when i see a new post by Funky Junk Donna!! I love reading your thoughts and how you interpret the world. I had to chuckle when you wrote: 1. How to be quiet…it just is so charming how you think and so helpful and inspiring. You know, sometimes we forget the basics like how to be quiet and tune it to our real selves. thanks again girl.

  8. I loved this one. I really need to find a place in town where I can go and be alone. There are plenty of places along the river but most are fairly noisy. I’ll keep searching though. It’s definitely what I need right now.

  9. What a nice post 🙂 Years ago I lived 1 block from the beach. It was amazing and I would take walks everyday and just listen to the ocean and sit on the rocks and feel at peace. Before that, I would walk through my college town of Charleston, SC and enjoy the architecture as I made my way to the battery. There, I would sit on the wooden swing benches and hope to see dolphins. Talk about peaceful!

    Time flies and now I am married w/ 3 young kids. I cannot believe how long it has been since I’ve experienced those walks. I am looking forward to enjoying that peaceful time again (on a regular basis) in another year or so when my youngest of our 3 kids goes to pre-K. It seems so hard to find the time now which is sad. Those types of walks, sitting near water, hiking or whatever interests you is so key to finding balance and clearing your mind. I hope everyone is able to find time to themselves this summer! (and Fall, winter, spring…;)

  10. You speak my language. Alone, coffee, bacon cheeseburger, talking to self…sounds like heaven to me. I am on a week long blogging break, and as much brain space as that free’s up, I am realizing how much more intentional I need to be when it comes to finding quiet. I do a much better job at this when the kids are in school, and find myself longing for it at the moment. When I do finally find quiet, I hear my God whisper, “I know the plans I have for you, plans of hope for the future. Plans to heal and not harm, because I love you”
    Thank you for the reminder to find the quiet, I just love your blog and loved this post!!

  11. When my kids were little I would get up super early and sit on the loveseat in front of our picture window in the dark, with a cup of coffee and just breathe and sip and breathe and….you get the picture. Slowly the neighbourhood would awaken and I would see people walking their dogs or heading to the bus stop.
    By the time my guys needed to get up I was so relaxed and ready for the day.
    Sometimes when I can’t sleep I still do that in the middle of the night. In the dark, alone and relaxed just sitting until I wake up a couple hours later still in the living room.
    I did recognize Harrison. Do you ever go to the Farmhouse Cheese shop? I know you have been to the Back Porch. How about for the garlic festival?

  12. I’m glad you found your quiet time. This is so important. Just yesterday I was thinking about blogging about stop, be still, take a break, because we all get soooo busy doing stuff. Even God had a day of rest. Our brains never stop. Thanks for sharing. I will postpone my be still blog for another day. I’m going to go outside and listen 🙂 Your blog is inspiring.
    Thanks.
    ~ Julie

  13. Hello Donna, fellow BC-ite. What a wonderful post. I think we all need to do this…and probably more often than we realize. I like to go for walks on our quite country roads around the farm and think. It’s amazing how much better I feel when I get back home. You live in a beautiful part of the world …a perfect place to get away and ‘think’ about things. If your pictures are this beautiful now I can just imagine what you will do with a ‘real’ camera!

    Enjoy your day…:)

  14. #7 Chris, I totally get it. It isn’t fun when the quiet thoughts are all about troubles. But avoiding them isn’t productive either. One at a time is my motto. We ALL have them, so you are not alone. And to enjoy life, it’s simply what we choose to focus on is what makes the difference I find. Work out the bad to the best of your ability, just don’t dwell there.

    #18 Lori, I don’t gravitate towards tourist attractions, but rather, work at avoiding them. I’ve been to the cheese place, but never the garlic festival. Crowds. 🙂 I love my quiet boat launch best. I’m abit of a solitude seeker because my life is usually pretty chaotic I suppose.

    #20 Maura, I cannot WAIT for a real camera. I’ve about achieved all there is to achieve with a point and shoot. Which reminds me.. I need to finish that camera workshop series I started. Thanks for the compliment. 🙂

    Isn’t if funny, how such a simple concept as quiet is so often overlooked?

    Donna

  15. Again, I find your time to be inescapably… on mark. I need a better word there and it’s not coming to me. It’s my intention this afternoon to get out of the house and just go somewhere quiet for the very purpose of internal reflection.

    It’s so easy for my mind to become overcrowded. Not only with all the things I need to spare attention for, but for so much else that would unnecessarily sap my attention away.

    I’m glad to hear you found your thought’s resolution. Here’s to hoping I’ll find one for me.

  16. Donna thank you AGAIN.

    I love quiet now more than ever. Being a SAHM homeschooling with a retired husband, serving a church, being part of a band and having friends roaming in and out of our house….. I quite literally SCREAM for QUIET!!!!

    I think during those times. I also talk out loud to myself, usually combating demons of a sort or pray. I pray right out loud!!!!

    I go to quiet outdoor places where no one else is – even off the beaten path at a park. I like to lay down when I’m alone. I think I get so relaxed this way that my heart and mind can just explore and soak in what I need. I deeply breath in the quiet. Amazing how healing that is for me.
    Nature is the only place I can hear myself. I am at my best when there is a breeze and I’m not sweating profusely!!!

    Like Maura I think your photography skills would be A+ even with one of those disposable jobbies you can buy at the check out!!! Beautiful photos!!

    ~Kolein

  17. What an amazing and powerful post, thank you! I have to say, I so love my alone time! Your photographs are just incredible and your blog is such an inspiration to so many. I am happy I stopped in today, it was a wonderful treat.

    Nancy

  18. Donna, thank you so much for sharing the beauty of nature (your photos are outstanding!) and your thoughtful words. I adore quiet time in nature and I haven’t had that lately. To be near water is heavenly to me and a beach is the best therapy ever! I’m so glad you took this time for you and that you chose to share with us.

    xoxo
    Pat

  19. What a beautiful post. I have had “quiet” all afternoon. I just wish I had that beautiful water in front of me to help me relax. When I am finally quiet like you mentioned in your post, that is when God speaks to me and I can get clear direction for my life.

  20. Looks like you had a lovely day! thanks for taking us along : ) I feel more at peace just looking at your pics! happy tuesday!

  21. In this blog you said something that really hit me. Until I read this I thought I had a lot of quiet time. What I actually have a lot of is alone time. Your statement about spending quiet time away from home opened my eyes. We all need to find a quiet place away from home where we can reflect on life. You are so right about sitting there thinking about all the work that needs to be done. Enough of that. I will take my quiet time elsewhere.

  22. Great post.
    For some reason I seem to be afraid to be still.
    I am constantly running, filing every moment with activity so I do not have to think about whatever it is God is trying to do.
    Don’t get me wrong, I love to please God, and He actively works in my life, but, there is something, or things, i have just not been able to deal with yet.

    Thanks for encouraging us, and actually telling us steps to make it happen. Now, if I can just do it.

    hugs and blessings

    barbara jean

  23. such a beautiful post. I love everything about it. I have been to Harrison Hot Springs. It is not too terribly far from us here in WA. 🙂 Your post today is so thought provoking a inspiring…Have I said I love it!????

  24. Another great post from you – and a fabulous pictorial. I agree with you that we all need a little quiet time now and then. I know I do. My dad used to tell me that “Sometimes you can speak volumes in your silence that you can’t with your words”. It took me years to truly understand what he meant by that. But it’s tru, when we stop talking and just listen to our hearts/minds for a while, that’s when we start to figure things out.

    I try to grab some ‘me’ time whenever I can.

    Today, I was sitting on my patio wishing that I had planted a garden this year. I was kicking myself because I missed the farmer’s market today and I had wanted to pick up some tomatoes. I heard my phone ring and when I answered it was a client of mine asking if I wanted some extra tomatoes she had from the garden!! I jumped in the car and ran to her house to pick them up, and she threw in watermelon and cantaloupe too! And homemade salsa!. I told her that I’d been sitting on the deck kicking myself for forgetting the market today, and she said “Well those thoughts must’ve reached me because something just told me to call and see if you’d like a few things from the garden”. So maybe our thoughts really do float on the air out there somewhere.:) I just thought it was so coincedental that she and I were talking about what we think of when we’re doing nothing, and then that’s what your post was about.

    Sounds like you’re really starting to reflect on the things that have affected your life and concentrating on working out your future plans. Good for you! I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you next.

  25. Your post makes me want to run away by my self to find some quiet. I awake early in the morning to have some quiet. My home is always full of noise. The quiet of the early morning is beautiful. Although I don’t always hear what it is saying, I will listen more closely tomorrow.

  26. It has been a long time since I sat in the “quiet”. I am alone most of the day but my thoughts are racing as I work on a project. I need to stop and listen. Thanks for the reminder and the inspiration. Beautiful photos by the way. I just love the water!
    Hugs
    SueAnn

  27. Eek! Quiet scares me. The thought of being alone with my thoughts and God is probably what keeps me rushing through the days… busy busy busy. Which, of course means that I’m probably long, long, long overdue for that quiet time. So thanks for your post. Dreadful as it may be… I think it’s time to get alone and figure a few things out. Thanks, friend. 🙂

  28. Glad to see you’re enjoying your vacation, Donna. We all need a little quiet time now and then. Love the photos, BTW!
    Have a great day, and watch some chick flicks for me! I haven’t seen a really good one in a long time. ;o)
    Hugs ~ Jo

  29. Beautiful pics and yes, I love to sit and be still and know that He is God! It’s easiest for me to do this near some form of lake, river, ocean, stream, etc. I’m emotionally attached to water and find it easiest to meditate, pray, and contemplate when near it. Glad to see you’re finding some peace while away!

  30. The older I get the more I love the quiet. It makes me realize there is more to this life than me. So even when things may not seem great, I have a mighty God who loves me and will never leave me.

  31. This is a great post. As a junior high teacher, I see that kids do not know how to “be quiet”. They (as well as we adults) live in almost constant sound and movement. I actually have my kids work on just sitting quietly in the classroom and thinking. At first, they think I’m nuts. But after a while, I’ll have kids come in and ask if the class can just sit and be still for 5 minutes.
    It isn’t the same as you have described, but it does make a small difference.

  32. This post is just beautiful, on many levels. I love, peace and solitude, quiet time to just think, or not. Sometimes we all need to be reminded to slow down and just be. I love my quiet time. Take care, Carrie