As a person who not only enjoys exercising my mind and body but my mouth as well, I have learned, mostly the hard way, a few times it's best to be silent.

If in doubt, my experience is that it's best to keep my mouth shut, however, here are 5 situations you're BEST to be silent:

 

1.  When Listening 

As a discussion becomes interesting, it can be terribly difficult to refrain from interjecting your ingenuous sparked idea.  You have 2 ears and 1 mouth for a reason, be silent and allow the other person to complete what they have to say.

  

2.  When Someone Else Deserves the Credit

We've all been there, either someone received credit for our work or we are recognized for the work of another.  In either case, speaking up will inevitably make you seem overly entitled so it's best to be silent.

 

3.  The First Date

Whether a business meeting or Friday night dinner, you just met the person.  Listen and let your less be more so that you have a chance for the second date..

 

4.  When It's Not Your Business

Enough said.

5.  After an Apology

We all screw up so when you find yourself needing to apologize, be humble and apologize sincerely. Once you have apologized, listen. The information the offended shares as this point is likely difficult for you to hear but incredibly valuable for your maturity so zip it!

Practicing yoga and meditation has certainly helped me grow in the time to be silent, in AND out of social situations. If you find yourself dominating a conversation (uh-hem guilty), pipe down and remember Proverbs 17:28, "Even fools are thought wise if they keep silent."  So true!

Last week I shared my anxiety over taking my four children on a Memorial Day Weekend trip.  Yes, the Christian Yoga Instructor experiences anxiety and considers it a sign that something needs to change.  It's not the trip itself that was burdening me, it was the imbalance with my personal time.  Being with my kids requires a lot of energy and attentiveness and "too much quality time" feels burdensome.  I spend a lot of time wearing the mom hat and I love my children dearly, unfortunately the role and responsibilities of mom have started eating at me to the point where spending time with my little blessings is seen through the scope of obligation.  Some obligations are a joy, say a job you love or giving a tithe or donation; my children had moved into the obligation category of taxes or cleaning the garage.   Listening to my instincts and own advice, I postponed the trip and took some time of solitude away to discover how I could change my perspective and enjoy being with my kids again. 

After sitting in solitude for hours, hidden away in the beautiful public Indiana Arts Museum Gardens, I heard nothing.  Unfortunately there are no mountains or deserts in Indiana (usual Biblical locations where God reveals something profound) and I was hungry so I decided to pack up and get dinner.  Enjoying my Mediterranean cuisine at a patio table for one on a beautiful sunny evening with low humidity (rare in Indiana), it hit me! I need to see my children through the scope of opportunity, not obligation.

We value long term relationships.  When a couple has been married for any length of time, we celebrate.  The longer the relationship, the bigger the party. Weddings celebrate an anticipated life-long union.  Our closest and longest relationships are those that lend us opportunity for the most spiritual growth.  They really do cut to the heart and shape our soul.  Completely expecting all of my children to outlive me, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to spend the rest of my life with all four of them!  They may live at different proximities from me and hold varying philosophies from me, however, they will continue to lend me opportunity the most opportunity for my spiritual growth.  And let's just say I have LOTS of opportunities! 

Realistically, I know my perspective of obligation doesn't change overnight. Taking time to meditate on the opportunities my children bring to my life is essential.  Certainly this will help me become more grateful and graceful with them! In the interterm and on the practical side of life, I decided to get a babysitter one afternoon a week this summer to allot me time and space to think.  I don't have to be the do-it-all-yourself-perfect-mom.  Having this arrangement and time to hear God's direction, I can honestly say I am now looking forward to taking our postponed trip this weekend.

Women are busy, busy, busy.  Did I mention that women are busy?  I spent this past weekend teaching a Guided Meditation Workshop and a Christian Yoga Session at the Chicago Church of Christ’s Midwest Women’s Retreat, “Shine”, held at the beautiful Abbey Resort in Lake Geneva, WI.   The primary skill of being still, breathing and listening for God’s voice within seemed an incredible blessing to so many busy women.  Testimonies of, “I felt something I have never felt before,” tears, release, emotional chaos, and spiritual elation were all disclosed with me.  

Godisdifficulttohearifyoudon'tstopandlisten.

As a Christian, I’ve spent countless hours sipping coffee over discipling times, volleying chit-chat, hugs, and the sincere “you-poor-thing” sigh and face.  The invitation Jesus gives to his busy apostles after a business trip in Mark 6:31 is, “Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest.”  Two friends of mine, Misha and Suzanne, regularly meet for coffee before attending my Saturday morning YOGATHEA®Christian Yoga Class.  What a wonderful way to end time with a friend…in silence.  I hope the resources I provided at this Women’s Retreat will inspire the shared silence and rest Jesus offered in his discipling times.  Let’s stop talking and start listening together!