Professional Reader

the gift of silence book review

Anyone who knows me would not describe me as quiet. I like to have a laugh, enjoy nothing more than a bit of banter and I make sure my voice is heard if I disagree with something, or feel that there is an injustice of some kind.  Last year was a busy one for me with work changes, freelance jobs increasing, and some personal and health stuff thrown into the mix too.  Towards the end of the year, I found myself incredibly fatigued, in a bit of a funk and not quite sure what to do next. The pressure to get that article into a client, to finish that project at work, to post on Instagram because I hadn’t for a day or two. I found myself starting many things and never finishing any of them to a standard I was happy with.

I aim, like millions of others at the dawn of a new year, to do better and to be kinder to myself, so when I saw The Gift Of Silence as a book for review, I put in a request.

What Is The Gift Of Silence About?

A practical book rooted in ancient wisdom that inspires us to tap into the power of silence to manage and overcome everyday stress.

Do you struggle to find peace and quiet? Do you yearn to disconnect, find an escape, slow down and just breathe? Are you overwhelmed by modern life?

The simple solution lies in this book.

Rooted in the ancient Zen philosophies that ground her work, French Buddhist nun, Kankyo Tannier, will show you how to channel the power of SILENCE to get back in control of your thoughts and access the refuge that lies in your mind. Using her practical on-the-go tools, you’ll learn how to overcome stress and capture the moments of golden stillness that will transform all areas of your life, for enhanced wellbeing and sense of fulfilment. Kankyo’s warm and engaging voice, spiritual insights, plus a sprinkling of French charm make this an accessible pleasure to read.

Switch off the noise and discover the calm and comfort you need to navigate this fast-paced world.

Unlock and practise the wisdom of SILENCE; stop surviving, pause, listen, and start thriving.

What Did Duffy Think Of The Gift Of Silence

This is a special little book which I read in one quiet morning with a cup of coffee. It’s a short read, but each page gives you something to think about and some practical little exercises to cut through the noise and just be quiet for a little bit.  I am no Buddhist; I am not going to wake up at the crack of dawn and salute the sunrise with yoga. I will never send myself off to a retreat or monastery. I will never not boil with rage at the sight of a Trump tweet. But, I will try to reconnect with myself this year, and Kankyo Tannier’s little book might just help me do it.

How? Well, it’s all about taking tiny little moments out. Sixty seconds is all you need to centre yourself and regain control of the busy little voice in your head. Focus on an object, go for a walk and consciously list the different sounds you hear. Embrace the connection you have with your pets, after all; no words are needed there to convey love, companionship and loyalty.

Tannier writes about her life and what brought her to be where she is today. It’s not preachy, there aren’t enough pages to get too deep, but it’s enough to give you an essence of her life, and as I read I thought “I want a little piece of this”.

I’ve set myself some little tasks which I hope will set me on my way to a quieter mind and hopefully more peaceful and consistent sleep patterns:-

  • I will try not avoid my stomach turning into a knot of rage at my noisy neighbours above me. Instead of silently shaking my fist at the ceiling and slamming my door, I will close the door gently and put on my new noise-cancelling headphones and listen to something to help me focus (currently this is the soundtrack to the movie Interstellar on Spotify).
  • No more slamming of doors.
  • Meal prep. Instead of thinking about dinner when I’m on my way home starving hungry, I will prep my dinners for the week on Sunday. There will be no convenience foods or takeaways. I will continue to be vegetarian at lunchtimes and reduce red meat intake (I will never be a vegetarian).
  • I will make more effort to go to a body balance class once a week, and I will also eat lunch alone and in silence one day a week out of the office.
  • Digital de-tox. I will start by turning off my phone one night a week. This will probably be my most difficult test.
  • If I have a bad day, I will walk home from work and listen to a walking meditation
  • I will re-instate my Headspace app and get up 15mins early in the mornings to listen to it.

These are all pretty tiny things, and I will try to do them all, although I won’t beat myself up if I don’t right away, I’ll just try a couple at a time until they become second nature.

The Gift Of Silence is for those who are looking for a book they can return to, and one that gives practical, realistic exercises to achieve a little bit of peace in a hectic, pressured world.

The Gift Of Silence is available from Jan 11. Pre-order your copy from Booktopia today!

Copy given to me by Hachette in exchange for an honest review.

If you like this, you might like As You Think and Today I Am