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My Story

Why I Went Silent:

I made a radical decision at age 31 to change the habit of a lifetime and become silent. I stopped talking, I stopped playing music, I stopped talking on the phone. I went silent. Completely.

I had noticed over the last few years that I had become unreasonably panicked. Everything seemed so chaotic, from my conversations to my work, to the way I interacted with my closest family and friends. Even alone I could not get any peace. My mind was constantly abuzz with the snatch of a song, the urge to check a website, or a snippet of a conversation I had had. I lacked focus, I lacked clarity, and it was wearing me down.

What may have seemed like a gimmick to those around me when I started has now proved itself to be a powerful transformation for me, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

Physically, I have never been more in tune with my body. While we motivate ourselves with background or pump-up music at the gym or on a run, we are not listening to the natural rhythms of our body. We ignore its distress cries, and its breathing patterns. Exercising in silence, I have opened up whole new worlds.

Spiritually, I feel I have grown immensely. Shutting my own mouth and listening to the world around me has made me much more keenly aware of the enormity of the universe, and my own place within it. I have a much stronger sense of belonging, ironically, by isolating myself. I sense my kinship with nature, with animals, with the society around me.

I also think that mentally, I am much healthier. We are all told from an early age that the wise listen, but we rarely heed that sage advice. I am finding that
I understand others much more than I ever have, by forcing myself to listen and to reflect, cutting out the urge to interrupt and overpower with my own thoughts.

In the wider world, I believe we have descended into a culture of obsession, fear, and distraction. We constantly seek background music or television-noise and chatter to help us “zone out” or more aptly, disconnect with the world around us. Between electronics, phones, music, television, our rush to speak before we are interrupted by someone else, and the frenzied pace we set for our own lives, I believe now quite firmly that there is no better mass therapy than silence. Why do you think so many people are discovering meditation and yoga? Silence is our best tool to help us return to our true selves, and truly understand each other in a meaningful and helpful way. I hope that I raise awareness of these issues and at the very least provoke thought and introspection from the people I meet along my journey.

  To hear, one must be silent