This year of silence idea didn’t come about on a whim. It wasn’t a passing thought that swirled into my mind and was quickly grabbed onto. It was something that I had thought about for years. It was something that I had squashed for years. It was something that I had imagined would be too impossible or too scary or too radical or just too much in one way or another.
But, even in the midst of pushing this longing for silence down, I could feel that this idea was coming from deep within. I could feel that it somehow deserved being paid attention to. I found myself sharing about it with my husband more and more. When he would ask me what I needed and wanted more than anything else right now, I would always say “a year of silence.” And, even before the idea was fully solidified, I found myself declaring to close friends that I was getting ready to embark upon this journey.
And even though I didn’t fully believe I would actually follow through with this seemingly crazy and far-fetched idea, it felt like my soul was speaking through me and that I wasn’t able to stop it. It felt like it had become bigger than me in some way.
So, this has been going on for years – this struggle within between my heart and my mind. A push and pull between radical self care and loving trust in my inner voice on one side and logic and naysaying and absolute terror on the other.
I wrote an email to a friend early in the summer saying that I was planning on embarking upon a month of silence in September, which I hoped would someday turn into a full year. After I sent the message, I sat back and wondered where the words came from and why I felt the need to express them? At that point, I didn’t really think that I would actually do it – I had online groups to run and one-on-one Skype sessions already lined up with my clients throughout the entire month. It just wasn’t possible.
I even wrote about it in my journal – trying to find a way that I could truly do this. Maybe I could double and triple book clients for a few weeks in order to give myself the full month in silence. It seemed possible in that moment of writing, but then quickly I dismissed the idea thinking that it was too selfish and too “out there” and too this or that for me to actually follow through with it. And I went back to “real” life – rather than dreaming about what seemed like a complete fantasy.
As September grew closer (the month I had originally said I would be silent but now had no intention of following through with), I began to feel more and more tired. Things that used to be so simple (such as washing my hair or walking from room to room in my house or standing up for more than a few minutes) became close to impossible.
I became so overwhelmed with stimulus that my husband and I could only speak in whispers to each other, and the thought of talking to anyone else was completely daunting to me. I had been pushing myself for so many years – not caring at all the impact overworking and overstressing had on my body, and it felt like my body had completely given up on me. There were many nights when I would lie awake – wondering if I needed to go to the hospital. I was so sick, so weak, and so afraid.
I went to the doctor and found out that my adrenal glands were tired – very, very tired. And I came home with strict orders to rest. Really rest. Do absolutely nothing. Don’t talk to anyone. Don’t engage in anything that could induce stress. Take the hormones and vitamins and herbs that were given to me. And focus on my own well being and stop worrying about everyone else.
At first, I was shocked. I felt like a failure somehow. I was strong – I could push through this. And I felt like my body needed to buck up and get with the program. I had a job to do, people to connect with, words to write, a life to live. But I was so tired, and all of this resistance felt futile. On a deep level, I knew that I needed to rest, and I could almost literally feel the universe holding me down to make sure I did exactly that.
I had no choice but to completely rearrange my life. I had to cancel all of my upcoming sessions. Stop working for the time being. Stay on the couch or in bed for the entire day. No cooking, no cleaning, no exerting in any way.
For the first few weeks, I fought this new life every step of the way. I resented it, resisted it, and was repulsed by it. I cried and cried about how this could have happened. But then, little by little, I found that I actually was beginning to enjoy this new way of life. While I missed seeing and talking to my friends and clients, I was surprised at how much I was starting to embrace these moments of stillness and silence that were now part of my life.
I ended up being silent for much of August and all of September and October (with the exception of talking to my husband, my mom, and my doctor). Early in the summer, I had listened to my soul and set this intention. And what I find fascinating is that even though I had no intention of actually following through with it, the universe and my soul conspired to take the reins and make it happen. And I’m so glad they did.
I’ve had almost three months of silence now, and I find that I’m longing for so much more. My health is slowly beginning to improve, and I am ready to go deeper into this journey. I feel that I’ve just scratched the surface of what’s to come – the beautiful lessons, the powerful insights, the spiritual connecting, and the amazing healing.
So as I get ready to embrace a year of silence, I’m seeing that I’ve already had a trial run. I’ve already seen that it can be done, that there is nothing scary about it, and that it actually is possible to do and to embrace.
I’ve been so supported over these last few months by friends and also complete strangers – encouraging me as I find my way home. And that makes it so much easier. I feel that the world is my cheering squad, and when I find myself weary and unsure of the next step, someone always manages to come along at that exact moment and help me find the courage to continue this journey.
We truly do live in a beautiful world, and I’m learning that the messages that we receive from our soul are there to help us – not to keep us from living. They are there to help us expand into who we really are at our core. They are there to help us stop pushing against the current and be able to relax into it again. They are there to help us find our way home. I find that to be such a miracle.
Hugs and love,
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