I am in Newport, Oregon on a mini-retreat with my dear friend Joni. The day is grey but we are yards away from the Oregon coast and nothing can dampen the beauty of the limitless sandy beach I see out of our condo window. We have chosen to spend today in silence. Last night at 10 pm we made a pact to not speak until 6 pm tonight. Why in the world would we do that?
Have you ever wondered what you might hear if you would just stop talking? I have. And I am finding that the more I stop talking, the more I listen, and the more I hear. And what I hear is beautiful.
Being the youngest of four kids, I believe I grew up needing to be heard. Now 53 years young, I am realizing that the great communications skills I learned from needing to speak my truth and raise my voice may not be serving me any longer.
In the last twelve hours I have heard the ocean waves, the seagulls, the laughter of children, the flicker of candles, the typing of my fingers, the soar of an airplane, footsteps of upstairs neighbors and most importantly, the sound of my inner voice. I have heard my words on the page of my journal, I have listened to myself think so I could write this blog and I have heard myself say, “You have something to say.”
I have stopped talking so I can hear my inner wisdom tell me that I am enough, I am beautiful, I matter, and I have a message that others want to hear. In the past 12 hours I have heard myself say move forward, start writing, speak your truth, then write some more. Tell the world what you believe, find others who believe what you do, share your story, help others share theirs, write, then write some more.
In the past 12 hours of silence I have heard my voice more loudly than ever before. No sound needed. Because I have begun to listen to me. I have begun to hear myself, to trust what I have to say. I stopped filling the silence with what I thought others wanted to hear me say and I have gone deeper, I have reached the darkness, opened the door, walked inside, wrapped myself with the darkness, let it get under my fingernails, in between my toes, and laid upon it. I have honored the darkness, found pleasure in it, rejoiced in its silence. I have stayed with it, stopped fearing it and become one with it. Through the darkness comes the light. The brightness of the light depends on the depth of the darkness.
I am ready to go deep. I am willing to dive into the abyss. I will leap into the unknown and plant myself where I land. I will raft the rapids and flow with the currents of the river of life. Bring it on. I will hear the silence.
And the silence will become my voice.