Yesterday I wrote about why we need to create space for silence in our lives. Which can seem really, really overwhelming at first and almost impossible. But I have good news. You don't have to travel all the way to NYC like I did or do anything really drastic to experience silence in your life.
Here are 5 Easy Ways to Bring More Silence into Your Life:
1. Wait to turn on the music in the morning
Use this time to think about the day ahead, to think about what you want for the day, and to invite Jesus into all that you do that day.
2. Keep the radio off in your car
Last year I gave up music in the car for lent. I kept asking Jesus what I needed to get rid of in my life to be closer to Him. Each time He answered with fasting from music and each time I would respond with, "okay...what else do I need to fast from to be closer to you during lent?" I'm not going to lie, it really sucked at first. But I grew to love it. Adding those 10 extra minutes of silence on my way to campus allowed for me to become more aware of Jesus' presence with me at every moment.
3. Eat your meals without TV or music
You can have dinner with Jesus! Or be present to your roommates! Either way, this short time of silence is a great practice if you are trying to be present. Even if you're just being present to the delicious frozen meal that you're eating.
4. Go on a walk - without your iPod
Especially if you live somewhere awesome, like Colorado. Being outside naturally allows you to clear your head without much effort. It also helps me incorporate more gratitude into my daily life.
5. Set aside intentional time to reflect at the end of each day
Oh gosh, this one is money. This year I've started praying the Exam Prayer (almost) every night and it has made all the different in my life. Basically it is a 5-10 minutes period where I walk through my day with Jesus and prepare for the day to come.
For me, it takes a while to settle down. I've found that focusing on repetitive prayers such as the rosary or simply repeating a scripture verse or the Jesus Prayer (Jesus, Son of the Living God, have mercy on me, a sinner) slows my brain down, focuses my full attention on Jesus, and really helps me to be present to what God is putting in my life.
Don't be overwhelmed! Start small and work your way up. Don't beat yourself up (there are days when I can barely go 3 minutes without having to start over), and just keep trying. I believe that if you start incorporating silence into your daily life, you will come to know God and yourself in a deep, intimate way.