Book Review: Listening Below the Noise, Anne D. LeClaire
During a walk on a quiet Cape Cod beach in January 1992, author Anne LeClaire writes in her book Listening Below the Noise: A Meditation on the Practice of Silence that “the words “sit in silence” ran through her mind. At that moment she made the decision to take the first and third Monday of each month in silence. Though still active in her life, she chose not to speak. She became a true observer of life around her.
In what is described as “part memoir, part philosophical inquiry”, Cape Cod Author Anne LeClaire shares the impact these silent Mondays had on her life as wife, mother, writer and friend, over the course of 17 years.
I know what you’re thinking already:
I don’t have time.
My family would NEVER let me
My friends and family wouldn’t understand
What will people think?
One of the great things about this book is LeClaire shares her struggles with all of the above. Dealing with a frustrated husband, angry friends, and sometimes finding herself at events not able to participate in conversations in order to stay true to her silence, were all part of her learning experience.
In addition to sharing her struggles, she’s also very clear about the growth she experiences. She learned how to judge less and listen more, how to take in more fully her environment, and how to stop owning the feelings of others. Powerful stuff.
LeClaire’s writing drew me in immediately. Every time I sat to read a new chapter I felt instantly transported to the beach on Cape Cod and peace surrounded me. Reading the book itself was like taking a mini retreat.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all the “noise” in society, this book will help shed a little light on how to find relief, without spending a lot of time or money. LeClaire now leads workshops, and the final chapter of the book offers practical tips for bringing more silence into your life, even if you’re not quite ready for an entire day. Do you dare start with a few minutes?
This is not a book about a woman who exits her everyday life, sitting cross legged and “ohming” all day. Even on her silent Mondays, she’s active in her life, in a non-verbal way. Silence and peace from a busy life is possible and quite frankly necessary for a healthy satisfying life.
Listening Below the Noise is a quick, worthwhile read. Check it out at your local library or from Amazon and then pass it on. I don’t know anyone who couldn’t use a little silence in their life. And that is feel-good living.
Feel Good Living Rating: 4.5 hearts
Have you read the book? What did you think?