My name is Erika Powell and I am about to admit something that I’ve denied for years. I mean, even decades. Friends, Family and Foes: I am a talkaholic…a Little Ms. Chatterbox…a Chatty Cathie. Call it what you will. Now, yes, it may take me a few minutes, or hours, to warm up to the audience but once the words start to pour out of me, I find it very difficult to SHUT UP!
And that is why TODAY, I have chosen to embrace the silence…
At least once a year, I make a vow to keep quiet for a whole 24 hours. I‘m allowed to express myself through writing (hence, how I’ve managed to justify this blog post). I typically spend the day meditating, drawing, journaling, connecting with nature, reflecting on my challenges and triumphs, setting new goals for myself, making myself a delicious dinner and doing girly stuff like pampering myself with a manicure but I CANNOT physically utter a word. Nor am I allowed to take any of those endless naps that I so enjoy to make the time pass more quickly.
Like many people, I am uncomfortable with silence. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the city where nothing was ever completely quiet and people are always competing to talk over each other in restaurants, subways, and even libraries and churches, for goodness sake. Or maybe it’s just because there’s some level of comfort in hearing myself talk.
However I decide to look at it, this has been my day to connect with the deeper part of ME. Not the big mouth me nor the ego part of me. But, rather, that softer and gentler part of me that rests in the heart. It is in the silence that my head and heart are able to connect clearly enough to take stock of my life, hold myself accountable for my actions, set new goals and have those heart-to-heart conversations with Spirit/God/Whoever you choose to call Him/Her/It.
Strangely, it is in the silence, that I feel most CREATIVE, FOCUSED and THAWED.
During this year’s silence, I focused on my own personal creative expression and set about finding ways around the things that I think are IMPOSSIBLE. Here are just a few things that I did:
- I submitted my story and photo to Project Unbreakable. This is part of my story that I often don’t like to talk about but the spirit of Grace’s project touched a part of my soul that needed to be thawed. If YOU have had a similar experience at some point in your life and feel inspired to submit an entry to Grace after perusing the site, I highly encourage you to do so. I could feel my power seeping backing into my roots just as soon as I hit submit.
- I applied to be a Mystery Shopper for LUSH, which is one my most favorite cosmetic stores in the entire universe. Those of you who know me, know that I love shopping and I especially love smell-good stuff. Send your good vibes to my application and maybe I’ll be able to move that dream to the POSSIBLE side of the list.
- I began planning out a submission to the NY Times Win a Trip 2012 contest to be an international reporter for up to 2 weeks in the summer. This is a big one because I used to dream about things like this when I was a little girl laying on the living room floor trying to read my parent’s copies of Smithsonian and National Geographic. Maybe it was my inner 6 year old who still so desperately longs to tag alongside Indiana Jones, if only just for one little adventure, that double-dog-dared me to at least give it a shot. Or maybe it was my inner Nellie Bly or Phileas Fogg just itching to get a taste of the world. But, whatever it was, the only way to get around the IMPOSSIBLE, is to at least try to make things POSSIBLE by giving a goal or dream your best shot.
So, in my silence, I found more words, strength and possibilities than I thought I ever had.
Why not try your own day of silence? Comment below if you ever do 🙂