One of my favorite Tony Robbin affirmations…”Now I am the Voice!”
Wow. Where to begin. Silence is different!
Let me just try to bullet point, because trying to organize it all mentally is kind of exhausting 🙂
1. The voice is powerful. A lot of conversation takes place that doesn’t have to. The old saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” is totally profound. Imagine everyone living the fullness of that idea. There might be a lot of silence, but also we’d only have good things to think about 🙂 How much news media and common conversation is littered with negativity that we’d all be better for without?
2. You can communicate with the breathe. And the meaning is more powerful than words. We’re all familiar with the sound of a long sigh of relief, as well as a deeper sigh of disappointment. Human beings have vast communicative possibilities, and probably the more profound communication is beyond words.
3. Our physical presence communicates an affirmation of whatever we are around, wherever we are. When we leave, that communicates that “we’re moving on,” or “we have other things to do,” or possibly something else. The point is, just being somewhere affirms it, so you don’t necessarily have to tell everyone how much you like them – they can pick up on it just being aware that you are there. And of course, when you leave, they know that you’re done with them 😉
4. One line that really began to resonate with me over the couple days…”You are taking part in the greatest!” I think that was first said by Rilke. And William James said something similar, “Believe that life is worth living and soon it will reveal itself to be.” Life is awesome! Just being is amazing! Nothing needs to happen externally for us to be filled with awe and wonder. Everything is a miracle. No one can explain the totality of existence…there’s just too much of it! In any given moment, and in every moment, we can embrace the vastness and infinite nature of Creation. It’s way cool. And essentially, this means that we always have the perfect reason to have the biggest smile we can muster on our faces – We are taking part in the greatest! We exist!!!
5. To prepare to have a good conversation with someone, write down questions that you’re interested in hearing their answer. It’s not about what you want to say – but it’s more about tuning into the unique experiences that have been a part of your friends life and you are curious about how their experiences shape their worldview. A few nights ago, in the midst of the week of silence, two nuns were set to come over to dinner, and i was planning to remain silent. I was completely at peace with it, though, because i spent some time thinking and preparing an abundance of questions that i thought they’d enjoy answering and i’d enjoy listening to. Questions shape conversation, and if you spend time before a gathering to brainstorm really good questions, you’ll have a really good time 🙂 Instead of just asking simpler questions like “How’s the family?” maybe you’ll connect more deeply by asking “What miracles do you want to occur in your life?” or “What matters most to you?” Questions like these are such a gift, to everyone!, because they advance all of consciousness in a direction that is thoughtful, meaningful, and considerate of the long-term and infinite possibility of creation.
6. Even though i’ve officially broken the silence with a few chants and Oms, i still feel no inclination to speak to people, perhaps because i see conversation as largely unnecessary and excessive. Who needs small talk? Let’s be real! We can express our love in a variety of other ways, for example with a big smile, a hug, maybe a shoulder rub. Or, we can write a letter, which ensures a higher quality of communication than an impromptu conversation because significant thought and planning goes into the creation of a letter. Just like preparing for a conversation with questions, everything is better with preparation! Although, spontaneity has it’s place too. Like…Now 🙂 Abundance!
7. Living without speaking was enjoyable. It was fun! One of the greatest perks about it was how easy i found it to keep a positive attitude and open, loving vibration towards people as they spoke. Even if they were nagging me about being in silence – Papa Bear loves to do this 😉 – no matter how harsh the words might have been, sending love and goodness still remained rather easy. The heart naturally felt open regardless of whatever words were being spoken to me.
8. I seemed to eat an abundant amount of food…you might even say excessive! I’ve reasoned this is a bit as a psychological trick. Basically, the idea is that the energy center of the mouth produces a certain amount of total input/output daily. Because i stopped speaking, the output went to basically zero. Thus, i think i felt inclined to eat more just to ‘give the mouth the attention’ that it normally getting with actions of speaking. It would also make sense to think i’d be eating a lot less since i was speaking less…but i suppose i still kept that mouth pretty active. It’d be very interesting to a day a fast with silence and just give the mouth a complete rest for a few days…I wonder how that would turn out!
9. On a physical level, i had something pretty intense happen the first or second day of silence, and it continued up until yesterday. Basically, i’d occasionally feel a very sharp pain in the heart area, lasting for maybe less than a second. Sharp and brief and it would go away. This continued for several days. After some googling, the most reasonable explanation was that it was a sign of gas. Normally, with speaking, we do a far amount of exhaling out the mouth, which is kind of like burping – a way to relieve pressure in the system and put out some gas! So, without the speaking, naturally there was more buildup of gas in the system. Additionally, with eating more, there was even more gas without a way to get out. So…i think that pretty much explains it. And, thankfully, after a few days of eating less food and practicing more hatha yoga and doing pranayama (breathing practices, including kapabalati – rapid abdominal breathing while exhaling through the nostrils) the sharp heart pain has ceased. Hallelujah 🙂
–> Before i determined that the pain was a result of gas, it totally connected me more with death, thinking that i might die at any second! And either way, it is true 🙂 Hard to connect with the Reality of death in the present moment, but it is always a possibility! So this sharp heart pain was really a gift because it reminded me of the inevitable death of this body and helped me connect more with what matters most, which is why blog production was pretty high over the past week…i felt like i better share something in case the body kicks the bucket! 🙂
10. On December 1, i began what i thought was a 30-Day Challenge to have this watch vibrate every 5 minutes while awake, reminding me to express gratitude, take a deep breath, and maybe laugh and do a little dance. It’s fun. Alas, after only about a week of having the watch turned on, i found myself in the silence, and having the vibrating function turned off. Interestingly, last time i did a 30-Day Challenge with the watch was a year ago last December, and for that challenge i had it audibly beeping every 7 minutes. At the end of that challenge, about 25 days into it, i found myself at the Abbey of Gethsemane, a place where monks live and everyone who visits practices silence. So, the first time, being reminded every 7 minutes, i find myself in silence after about 25 days. The 2nd time around, a year later, being reminded me every 5 minutes, i’m in silence after only a week! I wonder how quickly i’d go into the silence if it was set for every 3 minutes…
–> What’s the significance of this observation? For starters, i think it attests to the power of that which is beyond words and that which is beyond our habitual way of doing things – that which is spontaneous and forever in the Present Moment. The watch reminders are a way to stop and reconnect with what matters most, even if that just means taking a deep breathe, smiling, and expressing gratitude. Being reminded often enough of this can move us to new experiences and open doors of possibility, hence i found myself with perfect opportunities to go to Gethsemane and practice silence at home with the parents.
11. Not much else to say for now 😉 In case you’re wondering, the watch is back on! So maybe i’ll re-enter the silence soon, although i guess i’m still technically in it aside from a few chants. Mother Eagle is home now, and i’m not all too inclined to speak, nor do i think she’s aware that the week is officially over. It’s kind of difficult imagining breaking the silence. Is it immensely significant whatever the first spoken words are? Perhaps this is one of the reasons why i’m inclined to remain in the silence 🙂
12. Ah yes, “You shall know the Truth and the Truth shall set you Free.” The seven days of silence began after a bit of a feud with Mother Eagle, where she basically told me to stop talking, at which point i wrote down on a post-it, “Tuesday 10:10 AM: I am practicing silence for the next week.” And then, BAM! So it is written. The first couple days, i encountered lots of resistance from the parents, especially Papa Bear. He was not down with the silence. But, it is much easier to persist in the face of adversity when you are committed to honoring your word, honoring your personal truth. And in honoring your personal truth you are set free! Regardless of whatever happens externally, including people getting really angry at you for being silent, you are free to abide in your truth. Ultimately, if i was speaking and explained that i want to honor my word above all else, i think virtually every human being would respect that decision. Our word is bond! And the more we honor our word, the more we realize our creative power, and realize that we are the Truth! Each one of us 🙂
Love and Gratitude in Superabundance!
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Namaste (Bowing is a great way to communicate beyond words) 🙂