Ep. 109: The Gift of Silence

Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | RSS

This past week I went to Maui with my good friend, Angela on a bit of an informal retreat. We had an absolute blast together – not just because we share so much in common and can laugh until we almost pee ourselves, but also because we both realized what we could change and what we couldn’t.

We chose happy. A lot. Over and over.

On one of our last days, we hiked up to a small peak at Haleakala for a super early sunrise and perched ourselves on a rocky outcrop between two boulders with only a handful of other people nearby.

I asked Angela if we could sit and watch the sunrise in silence. I love sunrise meditations and this would be an epic session. She agreed and we cozied up together in a bundle of layers in silence.

Now, sitting in silence on a silent retreat is one thing, and it’s a very unique experience. But when you sit in silence and others aren’t doing the same, you can really notice other things, specifically, what other people talk about. And let me tell y’all something:

Most of what I heard didn’t need to be said.

It didn’t build a sense of connection to help anyone contribute to intimacy. It wasn’t funny, entertaining, or informating. It was a lot of :

“This rock is hard.”

“I wish I had worn my blue shirt instead.”

“My spit feels gross.”

And it was all so disjointed. No one actually responded to the comments, they just said something else unrelated. People just telling each other their thoughts.

But not in a way that was sincerely relating or deeping or growing closer.

I know a lot of people think this small talk helps people connect, but today, I’d love to invite you to question that.

The next time you’re out at a store or standing in line to purchase something, listen to people’s day-to-day conversations. What do you hear? Are they really deepening connections, or just filling a space?

This is important because we need this space often to simply be in, to become aware of what’s actually going on.

Angela and I sat in silence. We share a look during certain parts of the sunrise or when we got really cold and needed to warm up a bit, and we still felt seen and understood by each other.

When people hear about my silent retreats, their immediate response is, “I could never do that!” Or they’re shocked I can do it because I do like to talk a lot.

But one of the things I really love about silent retreats is that it becomes really obvious how much we can communicate without talking, and how much we actually DON’T need to day.

I’ve also noticed there’s a lot less drama and suffering when humans aren’t constantly sharing what’s going on in their heads. Go figure!

So, this week, while I’m on another one of my awesome silent retreats, I want to invite you all to join me in your own way.

Try to notice when you want or attempt to make the silence go away.

When you’re with someone and there’s silence, do you become uncomfortable and want to say something to fill the space? Or maybe you turn on the radio as soon as you get in the car or turn the TV on when you arrive home, even though you’re not actually listening to it.

Now, try to play with trying NOT to fill that space. Because when we ask ourselves why we do anything, we can usually get the answer by not doing it… and noticing what arises.

Whatever that feeling is – anxiety, restlessness – just notice it for now. Maybe you can see what happens when you don’t react to those feelings.

When you’re ready, you can try not talking for a half-day or even a whole day. Or don’t turn on the music or TV for a day.

Trust me: you’ll survive and learn a thing or two about your own inner landscape!

In this Episode, you will learn:

// Things you can experiment with to get more comfortable with silence

// How to know if something is really worth saying

// What’s possible when we open up to silence


// Right speech

// Gossip

// If you want to start integrating all of you into this one precious life we have, apply for the Adventure Mastermind. It’s Soul Work. Deep work. Important, necessary, and essential to what the world needs right now. Be a part of it.

If you’re remotely curious, apply. It will help you get clear, and then we can chat to see if it’s actually a good fit. Trust me – it’s an intense 6 months so I am just as invested as you are in making sure it’s an amazing match. Head over to AdventureMastermind.com and apply for the Summer cohort. We have 2 altered states retreats, weekly coaching, virtual retreats, and more. I’ve got you!

// If you’re new to the squad, grab the Rebel Buddhist Toolkit I created at RebelBuddhist.com. It has all you need to start creating a life of more freedom, adventure, and purpose. You’ll also get access to the Rebel Buddhist FB group, and tune in weekly when I go live on new topics.

// Want to dive into this work on a deeper level on your own time? To study it and practice it together with a group of people with the same goals of freedom, adventure and purpose? Check out Freedom School – the community for ALL things related to freedom, inside and out.