Silence, Stillness, Solitude || Great Ocean Road || Video and words by Birralee Hassen

The majority of my favourite words start with the letter S. I read somewhere that the mind associates words that start with S with the word yes. Similar sounds sending signals, yesssss. Sunshine, surfing, sex (come on, we were all thinking it), snorkelling, Saturdays/Sundays, snow, singing, just to name a few.


After my trip to the Great Ocean Road, I have added in a couple of new favourite S words. Silence, stillness, solitude.


Silence. I don’t mean silence as in no form of sound whatsoever; more in the sense of the absence of spoken word. When you remove words you are more susceptible to listen to other things, around you and inside of you. Other senses heighten, you become more aware of sight and sounds in the for-grounds and far grounds. 


Stillness. Stillness can be uncomfortable at first. We want to fidget, to itch that itch that all of a sudden is the itchiest thing in the entire world. To move a limb which all of a sudden needs to be moved more than anything has ever needed to be moved before. Stillness is a wonderful tool to strengthen the knowledge that we are the ones in control of our minds, and not the other way around. Certain things come up with stillness that will never come up when we are busily distracting ourselves with action and movement.


Solitude. A chance to get to know yourself. When you’re by yourself you start to have conversations with yourself. Generally speaking when you have a conversation with someone you learn about the other. Having a conversation with ourselves allows us to learn about us. What it is that makes us tick, what we do and don’t like, how we feel about certain issues, did we like the way that we acted in that situation, what will benefit us the most; there are many questions to ask yourself when in solitude. Allow yourself the time to listen for answers.


Rushing around, being busily alive, it is easy to forget to practice the art of silence, stillness and solitude. But these three S words are an imperative part of a happy existence. They allow us to check in, to find stability in a world that is constantly swirling and twirling around us. 

Birralee Hassen