21 days of verbal silence for mental clarity

It’s the 18 of December 2019 and today was a very eventful day. I went to bed last night in silence and wanting to wait until midnight to break silence but I fell asleep in my aunt Dawn’s house before midnight and suddenly woke up at 1 a.m to the sound of the strong winds blowing in Struisbaai and the sudden rain also coming in. I was not able to fall back asleep until about 5 a.m and then finally woke up at 8 a.m rested and ready to speak again.

I spent  roughly between 1 and 2 hours venting to myself. This was a release of not speaking for the three weeks. Frustrations came up, many many questions came up and even more gratitude exuded from being on silent/mute or flight mode as my cousin’s said.

The people who get me, respected my boundaries and accommodated my verbal silence as it was for me to gain mental clarity in a very noise polluted world.

I noticed the following things while not being able to verbally respond. Yes, I texted, wrote notes and started blogging again after not being able to voice what I felt.I could still address what I was trying to process with all the noise, all the cultures that I have absorbed, all the accents, behavioural traits everything was too much and I needed me back.

21 things I learnt from being in verbal silence about myself, my environment and the people around me.

  1. My thoughts are overwhelming when I am in a mixed state of anxiety and depression. Intrusive thoughts, self- critical  inner rants and obsessive trains of thinking consume most of my mornings and evenings if I don’t meditate or do my positive affirmations.
  2.  I am not present. I thought I was but I am not and have not been present for a long time, even though I actively started practicing mindfulness, meditation and yoga. My attention has been split for a long period of time and I have to relearn how to live in the moment and enjoy the moment fully right where I am right now. 5 minutes of being present gives me enough bliss to carry that through with me in my day.
  3. I am impatient and want to do five things at the same time, because of being on this automatic setting of multi- tasker, but it is actually slowing me down and exhausting my mental and emotional capacity. I also want immediate results or responses because I have so many things to sort through that I would just like to do it as timely as possible so that I can get back to a place of clarity and structure and not chaotic clutter. Others might experience this as me being demanding or needy.
  4.  I am emotionally spent. I am mentally bankrupt. I have suffered recent traumas in my place of work and in social environments so isolation is necessary for me. I know there are other people who like being around others when the need to get their heads straight. I tend to need solitude. I know that I can not change the people around me. I can simply remove myself from people who trigger me or make me feel uncomfortable. A place of work is complicated when it’s your bread and butter, but that too can be exited if it becomes a threat to my well-being. And in social environments I am able to do the same and that is a major win for me. I acted like a tree and left.
  5. I have safe spaces. I find safety in nature, in kids, in pets, in my writing, in studying and reading, in music, in dancing, in my volunteer group, with certain family and friends and within myself now.
  6. I thrive in silence, darkness and isolation. I start to suffer when I am unable to be in a safe space on a regular and stable basis. I need a soundboard and I also need someone to talk to about me and my interests. I can’t continue being the listener and wise one in all of my friendships and relationships. It’s one -sided, draining, it bores me and I have so much to offer just to get nothing in return. I get up from the table when mutually beneficial is no longer being served.
  7. I am able to give people my undivided attention, but I must reprogram myself to be attentive to my energy now.
  8. I have unlimited resources and I just need to figure out how,where and with who I am going to surround myself now within a professional capacity. No more being underappreciated and undervalued because  I am female,queer, or whatever else social labels need to be pushed onto me. I work hard and and I do my work well. If it’s a job that you want to get done hire me on merit, not on looks or personal background.
  9.   A lot of people do not know how to effectively communicate, and I noticed this with many people in the way they addressed me. Some people talk at me and not to me or with me. Others completely disregard my boundaries and make it about them. They in no way tried  to accommodate where I am coming from yet expect me to bend backwards in accommodating their narrow mindedness and their way of doing things. In my book it’s half way or no way.
  10. Being in silence reminded me of how good a listener I am and I managed to observe how many people just sometimes need someone to listen to them without responding, handing out advice, adding their two cents or even criticizing their choices. We are all fighting our own battles and we need understanding,support and togetherness. Not more shit storms.
  11.  My juniors, meaning the people who are present in my life and are younger than I am have really stepped up to the plate in being my anchors with where I am right now in my life. I can not say thank you enough. I can’t repay them but I can celebrate and honour them in their respective capacities by supporting their ideas.
  12.  I really love my life. I am truly,madly and deeply in love with what I have been through, who I am at  my core and who I am transitioning into right now. I stand firm and tall. Nothing and no one can or will break me. I bend. I mold. I manifest. I create all that is me.
  13. When I broke silence, I didn’t break down in tears, I just broke free from a mental chain that was chocking me and now I am breathing new air.Thanks to my decision to stick to my commitment of silence so that solutions could come for me to help myself.
  14. Happiness is not a choice but a prerequisite base for my relationships. It goes both ways. If I am having an off day or a mental day, I do my best not to bring that to someone else’s space. I look for the win.Then I ride that win and take it to someone else and share our joy together. I had the most beautiful moment with one of my best friend’s daughters sitting at their pool. I dipped my feet in the water and her daughter then followed my lead and she was having the time of her life and so was I,without having to say a word. It was priceless and I can go back to that feeling every time I need a mental boost now.
  15.  I am a creative genius and many people don’t like that. I can do with words and languages what others wish they could do. They don’t realize that they need to tap into their own talents through their pain. Pain is my paintbrush. The glow up would not have commenced if pain wasn’t omnipresent. Behind every painful event or realization lies bliss. You will come and thank me for saying this one day.
  16. Nothing is wrong with me. Something is right with me. I am right for questioning things. I am right for wanting to find my voice. I am right for believing in myself and my dreams and my vision. I am right for wanting to find peace within, It is my right and I wholeheartedly deserve the best of me. I am the prize. I not a trophy. I am the gift.
  17. My life is an amazing journey and I am surrounded by the most beautiful people who are my blood relatives, my soul tribe, my Rainbow family and Mother nature. She cures me in ways that I never realized as a child because I was kept in the house,parked in front of the TV and not set free to just sit in the garden when the world becomes too much for me. I am committed to connecting to Mother nature right now. She loves me. She loves all of us and that is why we get to enjoy her and be in her presence every day. All day.
  18. I believe I have something to offer the world if the world is open, willing and receptive to what message I bring. I am a messenger. I am blessing. I am not a mess. I am not a burden.
  19. Age is not a barometer of failure or so called success. I am a raging success. You, the one reading this is a raging success. We are all winners. And failure is our best friend. She shows us where we can improve upon. What does work and what does not work.
  20. Don’t make the mistake of choosing a known hell over an unfamiliar heaven. This is a self- observation and observation of people and society in general. Out with the old and in with the new is a really powerful mantra and a process to put in place.  don’t overwhelm or rush yourself with it if it does not immediately happen. I quit smoking last year after failing to do so the year before. Smoking was my crutch for when I got anxious and stressed out. I would turn to a cigarette and until I got into breathe work,mantras and meditation. Your issue might not be smoking it might be something else. My point is I didn’t choose my familiar hell. I looked for a new heaven and it was something as small as breathe work. I just had to breathe and it worked. It has now been a year and I can continue staying clear of that.
  21. Tell your friends and family that you love them. Thank them. Be specific with your words,tone and delivery. Choose a setting of means of communication that would serve them,not you. If for example have a cousin who you know loves reading,buy them a book, it could be second hand and write them a note to just say : Thanks for being you. If your dad loves music buy him a CD that he would appreciate. We need to appreciate each other more and stop being mean spirited to each other. So what if you did something to them 10 years ago. It happened, forgive and restart. Please don’ t rehash the past. I have to constantly remind myself of this one. And when you can’t. You can’t. If you can’t be of assistance to someone. You can’t and it’s not necessary to be mean about it. If you can’t be kind. Be quiet.

Kind reminder: It’s festive season and I have not been with my family and friends here in South Africa for almost five years, so with this post I would like to take a moment of appreciation to thank each and every soul who has contributed to my safe return, my healing, my maintenance, my transition, my personal development, my spirituality, my creativity and the love that I am birthing into this world as of now. I sincerely send love and light to everyone.

We should all be mindful. Some of us are ill,some of us have lost loved ones, some of us are struggling and alone and abroad, some of us don’t have the help that they deserve and some of us don’t yet know how to go about life. But we have each other now.

I affirm and claim that help is on the way to anyone who might need it right now. Keep the faith.

My Colombian family and friends. I love you and I miss you every day. You are the best thing that has ever happened in my life and you have brought a form of healing over my spirit that I have not found anywhere in the world. I love you Colombia. Les amo, les aprecio, les extraño tanto. Yo hablo cada día de mis colombianos hermosos. Dios les bendigan y les cuidan. Siempre. Gracias por todo.

 

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