The Value of Silence


Here is an odd idea for a blogger: silence.

I mean silence in the larger sense, a practice that includes not only verbal but also written communication.

Expression. Express yourself. Talk about your feelings. We are told this is the key to feeling empowered, understood, and self-actualized.

My friend, Laura, who is a Reiki practitioner and creator of her business Reiki Fusion, once told me that expressing yourself can be seen another way–like popping a boil. You don’t want to express yourself all over someone else.

Communication, however, is a two-way sporting event. Volley and serve. Listen and speak. Give and receive.

Lately, I’ve been expressing myself all over everything and everybody. Like I’m addicted to it. Like I have this (wrong) belief that if I somehow get my thoughts and ideas and opinions out there in a large enough volume, I will make a positive difference in the world. I’m beginning to see that perhaps a little opinion goes a long way.

Like salt. A pinch is good on your potatoes. A cup would be disaster.

It doesn’t help that I’m finally getting paid for producing words. Instead of using up my expression/communication energy, my job seems to be feeding it. So now I seek balance. I am trying, struggling really, to curb my addiction to voice. It is hard. I fail often. I remind myself to just stay quiet, to let the ideas and feelings stay inside my brain and heart or else find other, non-verbal outlets for releasing the pressure. Dancing. Meditating. Walking. Creating images. Still, the words come. Here I am, right now, producing words, words, words.

I am drawn to the idea of taking a vow of silence. I now see the value in such a commitment. A week of silence. Even two days. I long for a vacation from the sound of my own voice.


“In Silence there is eloquence. Stop weaving and see how the pattern improves.”
― Rumi

4 responses to “The Value of Silence

  1. The idea of taking a silence break is a very interesting one, especially in a world where everyone feels like they must do and say something all the time. I’m sure this experience would be extremely rewarding. If someone couldn’t do a few days, at least part of each day would be a great start : )

  2. I wonder if perhaps we are afraid of the silence. I know that it makes me uncomfortable and I’m always trying to fill it with mindless chatter sometimes. I have gotten better lately at savoring the silence lately but know I still have work to be done in that area. I wonder why silence is so uncomfortable to many of us.

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