I went to a movie with friends Friday night. The movie is called Into Great Silence. It is a documentary about life in a monastery where the monks have taken a vow of silence. There is no dialogue (remember the vow), no soundtrack, no drama, no romance, not much of anything but monks and their chores. The movie lasted 3 hours! By the end of it, my end was sore.

It was interesting to me to observe the people in the theater. The silence seemed difficult, somehow. I heard people commenting to one another or themselves, clearing throats, sighing, etc. This is often true in communication. Sometimes, when a client comes into my office for a desired change, the change they request is not the one they really desire. I allow them to talk. If I don’t respond with a comment right away, they will continue to speak. For them, the silence must be filled! It is in these moments that I learn the true nature of their visit, their true desire.

During the hypnotic portion of the session, I enjoy creating silence, long pauses, which can be filled by a powerful subconscious mind with visions and experiences of acquiring that new habit, goal or desired behavior. It is in these moments that I can practically see what they are creating by the changes that occur in their face, breathing or body position. It is a thrill to see them reach a resolve or a level of commitment to themselves in the silence.

I think Seneca said it best, “It is a great thing to know the season for speech and the season for silence.”