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,

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One Year from Now

Follow Your Heart

The closer I get to this year of silence officially starting, the more “buyer’s remorse” I feel. Like when someone buys a house or a car or a vacation package or a computer or anything that is out of their monetary comfort zone and immediately feels queasy and shaky and begins to second guess the decision. They may start looking for ways to take back whatever it is that they bought. They may wonder what the heck were they thinking when they signed up for it or ran their card through for it or signed the papers for it. They may immediately panic and say that they can’t possibly afford it and claim temporary insanity to get out of it.

I’ve definitely been there in the past. And, while I haven’t bought anything by declaring this year of silence, the feelings are much the same. Panic and anticipatory regret are setting in. And I find myself starting to bargain with my own soul and spirit and inner knowing: “You don’t really need an entire year of silence. You’re fine – truly. This is just too much for you – for anyone. It’s not necessary. It was a silly idea, and you don’t have to follow through with it. Just because you’ve declared it to everyone doesn’t mean you’re locked in. It’s okay to just quietly ease back into the world again and just try to be more mindful about making time each day to practice stillness and set boundaries and be silent in a less stringent kind of way. There’s just no need to go to this much of an extreme. No need at all.”

And yet, even as I type these words and even though I want to believe them (because it would be a lot easier in many ways), I just know that they aren’t true. I know that they aren’t coming from the deeper part of me who carries all of the wisdom and blessings and love. I know that they are coming from my ego – the part of me who knows that we’re getting closer to the official start date and is starting to panic.

So, instead of giving into this part of me who really loves me but doesn’t have enough perspective or insight to see the higher good that will come from all of this, I thought that I would instead focus on how I intend to feel one year from now. It’s my hope that these good feelings will act as a sort of comfortable, warm blanket that will wrap around my fears and enable me to fully embrace this experience.

So with that in mind, I’m going to take a moment right now, close my eyes, and imagine that it’s just over a year from now. My year of silence has just come to an end, and here is what I would most like to share:

I am so calm. And full. And alive. And vibrant. And free. And self assured and filled with such deep knowing of my place in this beautiful universe and my connection with my soul. Slowing down allowed me to embrace life rather than run from it. Being silent gave me permission to tap into my soul’s wisdom.

Throughout this year, I have felt such love – deep, profound, connected love that I knew was there but didn’t make time to tap into and immerse myself in. I have grown into who I have always been – who I saw glimpses of throughout my life but never actually stepped into fully. I have opened my heart to infinite possibility and vast awareness. I have breathed in and out and in and out consciously and mindfully and knowingly and lovingly. I have felt the universe in each breath and the vastness of everything within every part of my body.

I remembered how free I truly am – how my life is my own creation and my thoughts are mine to think. I remembered that I get to decide what to focus on and what to give my energy to. And I remembered that each emotion that I feel carries with it the opportunity for such beautiful awareness and growth.

I surrounded myself with those who fully accept and love me and said goodbye to those who weren’t willing or ready to do that. I felt infinite gratitude for those in my inner circle – those who are on this journey with me. And I felt connected to each of them and knew that we were in each other’s lives for a reason.

I loved myself enough to take such beautiful care of my heart and body. When I felt tired, I stopped pushing. When I felt sad, I allowed myself to cry. When I felt afraid, I gave myself permission to go within and really see where the fear was coming from. When I felt happy and filled with joy, I allowed myself to stay there for extended moments in time – to milk every bit of elation out of them.

I made peace with my body and even became friends with it. I fully realized that we are on the same loving team, and I no longer needed to feel in opposition to it. When it asked me to slow down, I did so. When it asked me to stop working and eat, I did so. When it asked me to go to sleep, I did so. When it asked me to be even more silent than I already was, I did so. When it asked me to be even more still, I did so. When it asked me to do anything, I did so. I no longer felt the need to question it, which freed up so much of my energy to simply be.

I am so grateful for this experience because it allowed me to tap into my inner essence – the part of me that I knew was there but had ignored or pushed away for so many years. I now make time for this connection. This time spent in silence allowed me to hit the reset button on my life and get to a peaceful place where I am able to be calm and still and quiet without feeling resistance. I am excited to be where I am and am already appreciative of what’s to come.

I’m so glad I said yes to my soul and made space for this year of silence. I will forever be changed because of it. I am more myself than I have ever been. And because of that, I will have so much more to give to others.

And now my eyes are open. I am back in the present moment. And all of those panicky thoughts have completely disappeared. I am so grateful to my soul for helping me see just how wonderful this journey will be. I know that getting from here to there is going to be great fun. I know that I’m going to learn so much and grow so much and expand so much. And I am once again excited about it. Whew! 🙂

Hugs and love,

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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!

A Trial Run

Permission to Disconnect

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,

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!