Thursday, May 29, 2008

Shhhhhhh!

3 and a half hours into my first day of silence, and already I'm frustrated. Not good!

For a little over a year now, I've wanted to go on a silent retreat. I've even tried to devise ways to get everyone else out of the house, while I made my home into my own silent retreat. I haven't been able to pull any of this off. Recently, Phillip at LovingRaw blogged about going into silence at home. I thought about doing a media fast (no TV, computer, radio, etc), but I share my home with 3 other people, and it seemed too complicated. Finally, I settled on just shutting my mouth. (That's the thing that's most likely to keep me out of trouble anyway.)

So for however long seems reasonable (hopefully 3 days), I'm not talking. I communicate via text, email, im, twitter, and scribbled notes, but I can't speak. If I continue through the weekend, I'll have to make an exception for my friend's Open House on Saturday. Her daughter is graduating high school, and a vow of silence might distract everyone from the point of the day. I'll just try to do more listening than talking.

How's the fam handling it? I usually talk to my mother and sister on the phone everyday, so this will probably be both a surprise and a nice break for them. Lovely Boyfriend seems to wonder exactly what the point is, but he's supportive of it, just as he was when I wanted to do the Biggest Loser week, and when I wanted to dive back into Raw foods. He trusts that I'm striving to be better. Fierce Teenager said, "This is going to be annoying." I just shrugged. She basically thinks my love of the stairs (I recently did 12 X 225, a new PR), my passion for Raw food, and my hair are all freakish. Wonder Girls, keeps forgetting she can talk. She writes back to me instead, which is a nice opportunity for her to fall quiet, but makes for really drawn out communications.

In this short time, I've quickly run up against some of my greatest flaws: short temper, impatience, intolerance for whining/complaining, and oh yeah . . . short temper. To deal with some of this, I quickly instituted a no complaining AT ALL rule for the kids, and made up some cards to respond to their typical questions and requests. My favorite is: ASK ME LATER.

What am I hoping to get out of this? I don't know. I have major life changes going on right now: FT graduating from high school and going to the other side of the continent for college, moving out of the home I've lived in for longer than I stayed in any other place in my adult life, trying desperately to complete my first novel, shopping for a home in an unfamiliar city, launching a business, selling off and giving away things I've lived with for a long time. Many of these are wonderful changes, but they still add stress to the day.

Hopefully, being quiet will allow me to better hear my family and friends and to better see what they're going through, so I can be more available to them. Hopefully, I'll be more productive, move my projects forward, and spend more time in prayer. Hopefully, I'll work on some of the above metioned flaws, and gain a greater sense of how to deal with things without non-stop verbal exchange.

5 comments:

yardsnacker said...

Ghandi used a day a week as his silence fast if you will. From what I recall he did it for spiritual reasons, and broke his silence in the evening. Later he confided that it turned into a great tool to catch up on paperwork. Let us know how it goes friend!

TheWriterStuff said...

I've always wanted to do a silent retreat! I had even reserved space last year at a place that specializes in them here in Maryland. Unfortunately, my son picked that week get a torn meniscus at football practice so I had to postpone. I take the fact that the idea of a silent retreat has returned to me through your blog (and the fact that I'm reading about the Peace Pilgrim) to be signs that it's time to revisit the idea.

Based on what you've said about all that's going on in your life right now, I believe you've chosen the perfect time to embrace silence, so you can listen to what's going outside but to also listen what's within. It'll be a great time of discovery I'm sure.

Rediscover Raw Food said...

Thanks for the support, you guys!

ys - That's interesting about Ghandi. I never thought of making it a weekly occurence. I did consider a certain day of each month. It seems like much of the value would come from doing it consistently

TWS - How are things going for you? Where's the place in MD? I'd love to send my sister!

TheWriterStuff said...

The place is called Dayspring Silent Retreat Center located in Germantown. You can join a group or have an individual retreat. Here's the link: http://www.dayspringretreat.org/

EcoDea said...

Just found your blog and am really enjoying it! Success with your fast and book!
Andrea