Wednesday, May 9, 2012
BBL 2011-2012 | Take a Vow of Silence for 24 Hours
#4 TAKE A VOW OF SILENCE FOR 24 HOURS
Why did I include this on my Bucket List?
In the movie Eat Pray Love there is a character that takes a vow of silence, and after watching the movie I got to wondering what it would be like to take a vow of silence of my own. I thought it would be interesting to see what it was like to move through the world without verbally interacting with it. I also thought it would be good for me to listen to my internal dialog, and concentrate on the things that I say to myself.
Was the experience what I had hoped it would be?
On one hand the experience was interesting, and definitely gave me a new perspective on a few things. On the other, I feel like I would have needed to remain silent for much longer to really gained as much from the experience as I was wanting.
Of course, the practicalities of my life didn't allow me to refrain from talking for too long, so I settled on 24 hours as the "official" length of time. I was hoping that I would make it more like 48 hours, but it ended up being about 36 hours. I wish I could say that I was 100% successful and didn't speak at all, but that isn't exactly the case. There were a few instances where I simply forgot I wasn't supposed to be talking and verbally responded to something. I also went out to eat during the 36 hours, and it felt too awkward not to respond to the waiter during the meal. I ended my vow a little earlier than planned in order to have a conversation with my husband, when he told me about something that had happened during his day that I wanted to discuss with him.
I was surprised to realize that I didn't really say too many negative things to myself during the course of my silence. It seems like I've read a lot about negative self talk, and I'd always assumed that I did more than my share of it, but once I really started paying attention I realized that overall I'm not too hard on myself. However, I did notice that if I had been speaking I would have made several random unnecessary negative comments about the world around me. So, the experience did make me slightly more aware of this habit, and reminded me that perhaps the old adage, "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" would be good advice for me to follow.
Do you want to see my entire 2011-2012 Bucket List? You can find it here.
Michele Whitacre is a portrait photographer serving Phoenix, Arizona and the surrounding area. Visit Michele's website at michelewhitacrephotography.com. Become a fan of Michele's work on Facebook. Follow Michele's updates on Twitter.