I breathe in and out, wishing to break my vow of silence and vocalize my feelings. I wanted to express my annoyance. I wanted to externally portray my happiness. I wanted to speak.Blog Image My urge to talk occurred on the first day of my 48-hour vow of silence. After some practice of being silent (and having a very understanding husband), I found that being silent is peaceful. Those 48 hours were the most peaceful days of my entire life. I didn’t interrupt movies with my behind-the-scenes jargon. I didn’t demand that my husband do the dishes or take out the trash every few minutes. I didn’t post on social media. I just scrolled on my newsfeeds, absorbed the good and the bad, and just moved on.
I decided to take my first vow of silence after the election results in November. I had nothing positive to say, and I was only getting angrier with social media as my fuel. I wanted to fight with my written and spoken words. There was turmoil inside me, and I hated it. Nothing positive was coming out of my mouth. Every word was saturated with sarcasm, anger, and annoyance, and I couldn’t take it anymore.
My silent retreat made me realize that some words just aren’t really needed to be said, and speaking is a privilege. I also learned the importance of listening, because that’s all I had. As much as I love to talk, it is so important to be a great listener.
By withholding my speech, I ended up stifling and ultimately eliminating my little annoyances that would have usually grabbed a hold of me. I ended up finding peace.
I truly recommend taking a vow of silence every now and then, especially if negativity has taken a hold of your speech. These are a couple of my easy tips on starting a vow of silence, your own silent retreat.
- Make Your Silent Retreat About Peace, Not Anger
When some people get angry or hurt, they retreat within themselves and become quiet. It is a defense mechanism. For example, if a partner does something wrong, the other partner may ‘punish’ them by refusing to talk. Do not make this the reason behind your vow of silence. Do not start a vow for punishment or revenge to yourself or to others. Start your vow with an open heart and open mind.
- Give Yourself a Time Frame
Start out slow. I work from home, so 48 hours was feasible for me. However even a vow of silence for an hour could be a peaceful experience. No matter what amount of time you choose to stay silent, try to stick to it.
- Let Your Loved Ones Know
Since I live with my husband, I had to first verbally communicate to him that I was going to be silent for awhile. I also had to strongly express that he is not the reason why I’m going silent. I really did not want him to think that I was upset with him or punishing him because I was refusing to talk. We actually ended up having a great couple days. He still told me about his day and even would ask me questions. We made dinners together and watched movies. It was actually a unique bonding experience.
- Don’t Get Too Upset If You Break
Now my silent retreat actually made me realize how much I talk to myself outloud! Sometimes I would end up breaking my silence on accident. Like when I was mending a hole in my shirt and I accidentally pricked my finger with the needle, I blurted ‘ow!’ outloud. And that’s okay. Don’t be so hard on yourself if you break your vow. This stuff takes practice just like anything else.
- Use Other Ways to Express Yourself
Just because you can’t use your voice, doesn’t mean you can’t communicate at all. I found that facial expressions are very helpful. I could still let others know when I liked something or didn’t like something. I would clap sometimes if I was excited or give a hug or tender touch to express sympathy or adoration.
I hope that these tips help you to find some quiet peace in your world and to find some gratitude for your own voice. Now go on shhh!
Madison wore the Dream Leaf Organic T-Shirt Dress