Silence is key

“Guard well your thoughts when alone and your words when accompanied.” ― Roy T. Bennett


Today marks the start of a potential transformation. Six days and five nights of pure silence at a retreat. When I share this with people, many think I’m mad (not American angry, but British crazy). Why would I pay a center for silence? No speaking, technology, no cell phone alarm clocks, no reading tangible books, writing. In addition, I am sure the meals we will be fed are vegetarian, there’s no sex, smoking, or alcohol. Of all these different factors, I believe a majority of them will not be an issue. In my heart, the only one that will is no writing.

I can withstand silence, no wifi, and even the lack of reading. But I long to write. I can be alone with my thoughts, but I recognize there is an importance of outputting them on paper. I like to see what I’m thinking externally. There are the lists I create of personal, travel, and life goals. There are the lists of reflections, such as countries I’ve been to, books I’ve read for the year, dreams, or boys I’ve kissed (although I am married, I never want to forget).
But perhaps the point is to get away from this potential to plan or list out my life. The goal is to just be present. I believe I do this already. I always talk about mindfulness, but do I really do it? 
Each month this year, I do something I fear. This is one for this month…silence.

Someone said yesterday perhaps I will analyze myself, since I am a psychologist. I responded with, “this is all I will do.” This is all I already do, and it will be heightened exponentially.

What am I fearful of?

I am afraid of perhaps not liking who I am? Questioning my inherent good versus evil thoughts that arise. I am fearful that I may sink into a sense of self hate about my physical attire, body weight, lack of exercise, lack of motivation. I will question everything. And just sit with the answers, not being able to process with anyone including myself.
On the other side, I could become overwhelmed with a sense of joy for life and gratitude. I may truly appreciate numerous things that were not part of my life for days: music, loved ones, connection, writing, speaking. I am already cautious of what the first words will be that will leave my mouth. There may be this realization how valuable each word we speak is. I may speak less, or perhaps choose my words with deeper caution, knowing the impact they may have. 


As this blog is about spreading kindness, perhaps today we can reflect on how our words (written and verbal) impact and land on each other and ourselves.

“Because even the smallest of words can be the ones to hurt you, or save you.” 

― Natsuki Takaya

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