I'm in Greensboro again this weekend, working with First Friends Quaker Meeting. One of the things I really enjoy and admire about the Quakers is their commitment to and comfort with silence.
Today I facilitated about 4 hours of learning and sharing along with an hour for lunch. In that timeframe, we observed no less than 4 times of quiet reflection and prayer. I really enjoy the rhythm of occasional silence that gives some depth and meaning to the rest of what is going on.
I wish I were better at quiet and silence in my daily life. I've always been so easily distracted and my involvement with technology has made me a thousand times more so. I've blamed some of that on being extroverted and my last spiritual director spent a lot of time helping me develop an extroverted spirituality.
Then, a month ago or so, my mom told me that I was an introverted child. Me. Introverted. Huh. She remembered me changing in high school, around the time (I think) when I made a promise to myself to figure out how to have more friends and fit in better.
Mom and I were talking about this because she and my dad are reading the book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Just last night, I ran across the author's TED talk on Brene Brown's blog and I really loved it. I hope you do too. In it, Susan Cain says, "There is zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas." As a talker, I need to hear that. She also reminds us to go into silence and solitude from time to time and "have our own revelations." And she wishes us the "courage to speak softly." Amen.