A New Beginning

My official year of silence came to an end on December 31st. Part of me was relieved that I could speak freely again and part of me was sad that the experiment was over.

I just went back through my posts here and the frequency of them really tells a story behind the posts themselves. In January (when the experiment began), I shared the most posts. I could feel my mind whirling and my energy almost frenetic when I read them now. I was a hummingbird – flitting here and there – in constant motion in my body and also in my thoughts.

As the experiment progressed and I really settled into the silence, my posts about it became less frequent. I felt a shift between sharing about it to simply living it. My last post was in September, where I wrote about how the silence had welcomed me back home to myself.

At that point, I was having a hard time putting into words the profound shifts that I experienced during this journey. I almost felt like a translator who didn’t know the language well enough yet to be able to translate it to others. And so I stopped trying and just experienced the joy and the peace that I was feeling – keeping it to myself until I had the tools to share about it with others.

I’m still in that space, to be completely honest. While I am still the same person that I was when I began the experiment, I feel that I have experienced a rebirth where I am seeing every single part of my life and part of the world through new eyes. It’s such a magical experience, and I am setting aside time to write about it – to allow the words to flow as they come. I’m putting all of these thoughts into a book that I look forward to sharing just as soon as it’s finished.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to settle into this new version of me – the version that I always knew was there but that I had veered so far away from by being busy and running away from myself and putting others’ needs before my own and doing instead of being and going instead of being still. It’s an adjustment coming back into a world of speaking again, and I’m giving myself permission to ease in and not rush it. I trust that I’ll know when the time is right when I will speak freely again. But one thing that I know for sure is that I will never go back to how I was living before this experiment began: frenzied, overwhelmed, unbalanced, on all of the time, pushing myself, and forgetting to listen to my soul and to my body.

For now, I’ll continue to enjoy this space of just soaking up this entire experiment, allowing it to seep into every part of me. And I’m so looking forward to what’s to come. My life will never again be the same because of this silence experiment, and I’m so, so grateful that I listened to my soul and said yes to it.

There truly is so much wisdom for each of us within the silence.

Hugs and love,

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Day 261: Welcome Home

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When I began this project, it was exactly that: an experiment that the sociologist in me clung to. “How would one’s life change if they dramatically pulled themselves back from the world for an extended period of time? How would they change? How would those around them change? What would they experience during this period? What could they hope to learn?”

Without realizing it, I went into this from a researcher’s perspective and was excited and determined to report what I found. I would go into “the trenches” and see what could be excavated – discover what would happen when we stopped talking to others and delved into our inner psyche for an entire year. When this project began, I religiously took notes about what I was experiencing. I set up a blogging schedule and posted frequently – sharing some of my breakthroughs and insights. I signed with a literary agent and began writing a book about it. I put on my observer’s hat and was fully prepared to share everything that I found.

As I began to dive deeper into the silence, however, this project stopped being a project, and I stopped being a researcher. As I began to slow down, the outward journey slowed and my inner journey sped up. I couldn’t bring myself to write about what I was experiencing while I was experiencing it. I wanted to savor this time and really soak it all up. So my posts became less frequent, and I began to shift away from being the researcher and fully integrated into becoming a participant. Living the silence, experiencing the silence, being the silence took center stage. Silence became more about my own evolution and self-care and less about the experiment itself. All of the external expectations that I was holding onto when I began seemed to fall away, and what I was left with was me.

I hadn’t expected this. Knowing this when I began would have stopped me from even starting. It would’ve felt too deep, too heavy, too much. My soul knows me well enough to know how to ease me in – making it an experiment gave me permission to dive in fully. I wasn’t just doing it for myself – I was doing it to research, to share, to report, to learn.

I now see that it wasn’t about the experiment at all. It was about me getting back to me – however that needed to happen. And here I am. Completely transformed. Completely renewed. In the silence, I have been able to welcome myself back home.

I had been so used to “doing ” and “performing” that it’s taken this much time in solitude to get back to my core and really remember what matters, what I value, and why I’m here.

While I never saw this experiment as a frivolous one, I will admit that when I began I had no idea of the inner strength and groundedness that would emerge as a result of it. It feels as though each month that I’m in silence, I become more firmly rooted to the earth. Before I began, I felt so weak – like a soft breeze could easily blow me over. And now, I feel that I have gently settled into my own being – for the first time ever.

I am learning to lovingly say no. I am learning that I have permission to do whatever I want and to not do whatever I don’t want. I am learning to focus solely on my own happiness and inner peace. For years, I tried to make everyone else happy and ended up making myself miserable (and physically ill) in the process.

I am so grateful to have found myself again – to have remembered myself again. I am so grateful that I said yes to this “silly” whisper from my soul to be silent for an entire year. It’s the best gift that I’ve ever given myself, and it’s a gift that will continue. I’m not sure how long I will continue the silence, but I do know that I’m not even close to being ready to come out. I’m enjoying it too much.

I recently heard Abraham-Hicks say that if it feels good, do it. And if it doesn’t, don’t. That’s become my barometer for everything that I do (and don’t do). I trust that I’ll know if and when it’s time to come out of the silence. For now, I’m having such a great time here that I think I’ll stay awhile. The experiment officially ends at the end of the year, and I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen beyond that.

I’m still very excited to write a book about this experience. But I have a feeling that it will be a very different book from the one I originally planned to write. It will be more about the inner journey rather than the outward impact. That’s what matters now, at least to me. That’s what I wish for all of us – to give ourselves permission to have space and time and openness so we can explore and discover who we really are. That’s what the silence has given me, and it’s been an absolute miracle.

Hugs and love,

jodi signature copy

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I am currently writing a book about what I learned during my year of silence, and I would love to share it with you when it comes out! To sign up to be notified, please enter your name and email below and click on the Subscribe button. You'll also receive my guided meditation for free!

Day 174: A Loving Gift

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Wow. I’m just a few days from being halfway through this silence experiment.

To be completely honest, when it began I saw it almost as a cross that I needed to bear. I had likened it to a punishment that I had to endure after years of not listening to my soul. This was my atonement – how I would once and for all clear any karmic debt between the two of us and get back in my soul’s good graces again. So I reluctantly accepted my fate much like a bratty child who was being chastised would: with my metaphorical arms crossed over my chest – firmly planted in my “I’m going to do this because I said I would, but I’m certainly not going to like it” stance. I was prepared to go through the motions and just get it over with already, but I certainly wasn’t going to enjoy it.

And now, after just six months, I (thankfully) see this entire experiment as something completely different. I am no longer kicking and screaming my way through it. I am no longer longing for it to end. I am no longer angry at my soul for asking me to do this. I am no longer angry at myself for getting to a place where something so drastic was necessary. I no longer see this entire year as a punishment for bad past behaviors and habits. I now see all of it as the most beautiful gift that I’ve ever been given and that I’ve ever given myself.

This shift certainly didn’t happen overnight. It’s actually been quite a journey to get here. But there’s something about being silent for months on end that will take you underneath all of the bullshit that keeps you from connecting with your truth – all of the beliefs and doubts and barriers that you (for whatever reason) assigned utmost importance to will start to unravel and dissolve. And what you’re left with is the truth – your truth. You’re left looking at yourself in the mirror of your life with absolutely nothing standing between you and you. And you can choose to either keep your eyes closed and refuse to look within or open your eyes and discover what’s always been there waiting for you to see.

After squeezing them shut for a long, long time, this experiment has helped me to open my eyes again – to see the world through a lens that is aligned with my soul and aligned with the universe (rather than the scratched-up and cloudy lens that I had been looking through before). Anger and resistance are being replaced by love and openness. For the first time in a very long time, I am experiencing extended moments of peace and happiness. And for the first time in a very long time, I fully expect this shift to continue and expand as I continue to embrace silence, stillness, and my own truth.

The person who began this experiment and the person I am now are no longer the same. I have reached the point of no return where I can’t go back to how I was before. I have experienced too much. I have learned too much.

Looking back years from now, I know that I will see this experiment as the catalyst that led me home. I can feel myself getting closer to that destination each day. I feel myself feeling stronger in my own being and stronger in my place in this world. And I can feel that I’m only just beginning – that this will be a lifetime of discovery and growth, which feels so exciting to me.

So no, this wasn’t a punishment. It was a gift – a gift from my soul to me. I gift that I now lovingly accept with endless gratitude.

 

Hugs and love,

jodi signature copy

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I am currently writing a book about what I learned during my year of silence, and I would love to share it with you when it comes out! To sign up to be notified, please enter your name and email below and click on the Subscribe button. You'll also receive my guided meditation for free!

Day 114: Permission to Retreat

permission to retreat

Several times over the past month, I’ve come here with the intention to write – to share where I am on this journey of silence. And each time, the words didn’t come. Each time, I felt the need to hold close to my heart all of the shifts that I’ve been experiencing deep within – feeling that it was too soon to set them free into the world.

This keeping things to myself is somewhat new for me. For years, I’ve pretty much been an open book online, and I pretty much share wherever I am and however I am feeling. But one of the many things that I’m learning within the silence is that it’s okay to allow some insights to incubate a bit inside my heart so that I can better understand them before sharing them. I’ve never done something this drastic before – a year of silence is definitely new for me, and I have all sorts of emotions, ideas, inspirations, and revelations rising to the surface. It feels like a new me in many ways is being born, and I want to sit with this person for a bit and get to know her before introducing her to the world.

My mom recently planted grass seeds in her front yard. And they need a lot of extra care in these first few months to make sure they grow. She put straw over them and kept the soil moist in order to give them the best chance possible of sprouting. The first few weeks were a fragile time for these seeds, especially in the New Mexican desert where growing things isn’t always an easy task. After many weeks of not seeing any progress but still tending to them and believing that they would grow, she just now is seeing them begin to break through the dirt.

I feel a lot like these fragile seeds right now. There’s so much shifting inside of me, and it feels like I’m needing to offer more care and protection to myself than I usually would need. I can sense that I’m just about to experience my own breakthrough where I, too, can face the sun and blossom. But for now, I’m in this incubating period where the roots haven’t yet grounded themselves to the earth.

Once I am back on solid ground again, I’ll be back to share more of this journey. For now, I will just say that I’m settling into it, and there are moments where I truly feel like I have come home. There are moments where I look at myself in the mirror and truly see my soul staring back. There are moments where my senses are heightened and my awareness is elevated. And there are also moments where I’m confused and uncertain and afraid and question it all. It’s a mix of night and day – darkness and light. And I’m in the midst of all of it – tending the seeds and looking forward to the breakthrough that I feel is on the way.

Hugs and love,

jodi signature copy

Free Reconnecting with Your Soul Guided Meditation!
I am currently writing a book about what I learned during my year of silence, and I would love to share it with you when it comes out! To sign up to be notified, please enter your name and email below and click on the Subscribe button. You'll also receive my guided meditation for free!