Yep, you read that right. Recently I fasted from speaking for 24 hours, errr...well, I tried to anyway and lived to tell the tale.
Sidenote here - I have some shady friends LOL!!!!! Look at what Danielle, my manifesting and blogging friend from OKDani.com, wrote on my FB status:
Whatever, mayne!!! I can be quiet!
Ok, so I woke up yesterday morning and the thought just hit me to go for a whole 24 hours and not utter a single word. Luckily my daughter was with her father this weekend so it was the perfect opportunity for me to really get quiet for longer than an hour here, six hours there. I decided to start my speaking fast, vow of silence, no talky, just be quiet commitment at 8:30am, and so I did. There wasn't anything special I needed to do this, no special shoes, particular chair to sit in or anything of the like. This was completely free99 so I was even more eager to get the peaceful party started.
The first 2-3 hours went very well until I went downstairs to watch a little tv after doing my morning mat stretch and morning routine. Unbeknownst to me, a movie I randomly picked to watch (that new one with Angela Bassett playing somebody's rich mama) showed a scene where one of the characters ends up bucka naked in front of the fridge, putting his nuts (can I say nuts?) on display. Color me shocked girl, I was completely caught off guard with that one so I ended up uttering "oh my damn", then proceeded to hit the rewind button on my roku remote. Judge ya mama, ma'am!
As I sat trying to get through the movie one of my boo's, Yolanda, called. I didn't want to be rude so I let the phone ring several times before hitting that red "decline" button, then immediately texted her to let her know what was going on then answer her biz related questions. Hey, I didn't say I was on a texting fast, just a talking fast.
Not deterred from my goal after all of that I continued on. Up next? Something I didn't plan on when I decided to do a 24 hour talking fast - - FOOD! I didn't have a damn thing in the fridge worth cooking or eating and there was no way I was braving a grocery store so I decided to go to my local taco spot and get some take-out for lunch. Ordering my food was fairly simple, thankfully. I put exactly what I wanted in the notes of my iphone then held it up to the lady that took my order. There was a moment of discomfort here though.
I'm ashamed to admit it but I felt embarrassed momentarily because there was a guy sitting behind me waiting for his food. I didn't want anyone to think that I couldn't actually speak so I cleared my throat to show that I had actual vocal cords. Ugh. Talk about a "duh" moment. The fact that I cared about that was very telling. Also, in the moment of ordering it made me realize how privileged I am to be able to speak/communicate with others by just using my mouth. For others that need to sign, aren't able to communicate at all, don't know the language, can't hear well, etc, I briefly (like .005 seconds) felt and understood what that may possibly look like for them.
I didn't end up speaking to the lady as I left as she understood that for whatever reason I couldn't talk. However, I did end up speaking again just a little later. I went to Walgreens to get a few things and ended up giving a worker half of a "hi" before i snapped my mouth shut. Damnit!! Not talking isn't as easy as it sounds because I'm wired to say things on autopilot.
The rest of the evening was uneventful. I went to the park for a few hours to write, think and immerse myself in the sound of the leaves rustling on the trees. Absolutely no talking was done at the park OR at my empty house , and I didn't need to eat again (I usually eat only once a day on the weekends) so the night was a total score!
This morning at about 7:50am my daughters dad called me and let me know that he'd need to bring her home early because his wife is not feeling well and is at the hospital. We talked for a few minutes, made arrangements, etc, then I disconnected the call. That isn't the way I wanted to break my fast of words but sometimes things happen and you have to be grateful for what you have and what you are able to accomplish in real world situations.
Overall I'd say my first 24 hour talking fast was a great success. Here are some tips and takeaways:
- Talking takes energy (I read a stat that said we say about 20,000 words per day) and can be draining especially depending on what you are discussing. Choose your conversations well.
- Be prepared to get super focused on ideas and thoughts. While I sat at the park I got some great clarity and vision for things I am working on. When you aren't flapping your gums so much you actually make space to listen much, much better.
- Make sure you let your family and friends know that you will be going silent, and for how long. I let my mom know that she could reach me by text but that I couldn't speak on the phone for 24 hours. She completely understood and respected that.
- If you have littles in the home or don't have a ton of flexibility with your schedule be sure to figure out when you can do this and how long you can commit to. You may not be able to go 24 hours like I did, but you may be able to do it for three hours and you know what? That's perfectly fine! YOU define what works for you.
- Have your food on hand or be prepared to have to communicate another way to get what you need.
- I'm thankful that this fast caused me to slow down and think about the things I wanted to say even though I did blurt out that half "hi" to the Walgreens gal. I'm more mindful that my mouth/words are on autopilot and I want to work on that.
- I confirmed that I talk to myself. ALOT. Going silent was a little weird because I wanted to comment on things out loud or sing but couldn't. Very frustrating when you want to belt out the words to You Raise Me Up (shut up, I see you smirking LOL!!) or complain to myself about the chick that rudely made me wait while she backed out (she saw me backing out first, ol' heffa!!).
- I was very aware of my body. The way it felt. The way it moved. Where I felt loose and of course where I felt tight. Also, my breathing was very relaxed and simply full. I can't really explain it better than that.
- If you are able to speak and communicate like most of us on the planet, consider yourself privileged.
- Lastly, it was easier to only have to focus on me without needing to verbalize anything or have chit chat with folks. I could just be direct with what I needed then bounce. That was very refreshing.
So, here we are, over 24 hours after my first full speaking fast. You may be wondering if I'd ever do it again. I can tell you that I absolutely would without hesitation and plan to very soon. The next time may be with my daughter present so I'll need to explain to her the how's and the why's of everything. My hope is that one day she too will consider doing something like this for herself as a form of self-care.
So, would you ever give up speaking for a day? Let me know in the comments. I always look forward to hearing what you have to say. Also, be sure to check out the shop before you leave and be sure to get you some BGSC swag.
Thank you for prioritizing yourself,