Thursday, June 30, 2011

6/30/11—Creating White Space

Today's Draw: Silence from the Gifting Bones. What is your relationship with silence? Does it comfort you or make you feel uncomfortable? And how effectively do you think you use it in your day-to-day life?

This is another oracle draw, only this time the oracle isn't a card, it's a bone-shaped piece of porcelain. I reached into the bag bag full of them, pulled one at random and the side that was facing up was the message for today. That side was "Silence". On the reverse side was "Song". The Gifting Bones tell us that without one side, the other can't exist. 

Imagine a piece of paper and, in the middle of that paper, is written the word "listen" in 10pt type. In advertising, we would call all the space around the word "white space". The white space is what gives impact to the word "listen". Now imagine that same sheet of paper inserted into a magazine. You're flipping the pages full of editorial and you come across this completely white page with just a single word on it written in 10pt type. Wouldn't that have a huge impact? Wouldn't you read it and wonder about it? It would easily grab as much attention, if not more, than if you wrote the word in 200pt type. Not only that, it would convey a completely different message. That is the power of white space. That is the power of silence. 

Imagine a drum solo without the space between would just be a wall of sound without rhythm. Or a line drawing without space between would be solid black with no discernible shape or form. It's the silence between that brings emphasis to an ad, a beat to a rhythm and form to a drawing. 

Silence can have similar profound impact on ourselves. Silence is the space from which ideas spring and practicing silence is an important part of the creative process. Also, when we are quiet, it gives others a chance to reveal themselves and join in intimate communion with us. And when, instead of defining ourselves in one way or another, we choose silence, we also open the door for new discoveries and new opportunities as was noted earlier in the week with our discussion about discovering the hidden you. 

There is a time for song and a time for silence. Many of us have mastered the art of song, but not the art of knowing when not to sing. There have been a couple of times in my life that I've come across people that, when you talk to them, they don't immediately respond. So we, in our discomfort, fill the space with more information. And more information. I'm sure police use this as a tactic. I would certainly work on me...haha. Again, the power of silence. 

So definitely give yourself time in silence every day. I do this. I sit outside nearly every night and just...listen. But also consider how you can use "white space" effectively in your dealings with others. Let them take the floor. I have a friend, SK, who is probably reading this that is very good and even in her use of silence and listening. Actually, she's probably more silent than anything and gets good stuff because of it...haha. But play with this just for fun and see what happens when you pause before responding, insert more silence into your day or express yourself economically, with plenty of "white space" to emphasize your point.