I’m now just one month away from my official year of silence beginning. Wow. I’m a mix of giddy and calm and excited and anxious and apprehensive and trusting. All of that.
Since I announced this intention to be silent several months ago, I’ve had a lot of time to settle into it. I’ve had a lot of time to sit with it and lean into it and try it on to make sure it still fit.
Truth be told, this project doesn’t officially begin for another month, but I have been silent in many ways already for the past four months. I haven’t spoken to anyone (verbally) except for my husband, my mom, my cats, and my doctor. I haven’t left the house except to see my doctor and get a much-needed hair cut. I have lowered the volume in my home in many ways – including quieting my own voice, turning off the phones’ ringers, and making space each day to be completely secluded and completely silent and completely still. So I’ve already gotten a feel for how this is going to go, and what both excites me and also scares me is that rather than feeling like I’ve had enough and to just hurry it up already and get this whole project over with, I’m finding that every part of me is craving so much more.
While someone looking in from the outside may think that I’m already very silent and still and quiet and mindful, I know on a deep level that I am just scratching the surface of what’s to come. I know that while it’s true that I’ve limited much of the external noise in my life, the internal noise is still just as loud. My thoughts are just as noisy and just as stressed and just as frenetic as they’ve always been. They keep me up at night – firing quickly one after the other and sounding the alarm that they must be dealt with immediately. I often wake up drenched in sweat with what feels like tiny electric shocks buzzing through my ears – alerting me to dangers that exist only in my mind.
These symptoms are the aftereffects of years and years of running on nothing but adrenaline. And these thoughts are the remnants of years and years of demanding more from myself than is humanly possible. I know without a doubt that these completely stressed-out thoughts will ease when I fully embrace a life of ease.
And that ease will show up when I give into relaxation completely. It will come when I give myself full permission to rest and to stop the endless pushing. It will come when I allow myself to stop reacting to the constant “emergencies” in my mind and be mindful enough to step back and gain perspective – to be cognizant enough to determine whether an actual emergency is taking place or if it’s simply a habituated thought that I’ve labeled as such but that never truly was.
I know that as long as a part of me is fed by the adrenaline rush of a hurried and stressful life, this ease that I’m searching for will remain elusive and just out of reach. And so, that’s why I’m doing this. I want to feel at peace with myself. I want to embrace stillness because I know how fulfilling it truly is. I want to not only embrace external silence (by not talking to others as often or being on Facebook as often or being around loud noises as often), but truly embrace inner silence. For me, the outer silence is the easy part. The inner silence is what keeps me up at night. The inner silence is where all of the magic will be discovered, and it’s the place I most fear to go.
But I have faith that this journey that I’m embarking upon is not for naught. I have faith in my ability to rein in my thoughts through the healing power of silence. I trust in my soul and know that it would never lead me down a path that wasn’t in my best interest. So with that being said: inner silence, here I come!