The power and effectiveness of your words increase in direct proportion to the silence that you observe.
- Baba MuktanandaI am still working on the practice of silence, maunam, super-challenging for me generally, but made a teense easier for the next couple of days by the fact that I have developed laryngitis. This is an extremely well-timed case since tomorrow I am attending a dreaded work-retreat, something which I have been responsible for planning all while I'd rather be pretty much anywhere else but there tomorrow. Really. Those things are like utter torture for me, worse than the dreaded staff picnic. Horrible.
I am enjoying thinking about how much I genuinely, Snoopy-dance LOVE yoga retreats, compared to how much I genuinely loathe and despise work retreats. On the one hand, spending time with delightful people on the same path, playing all day long, laughing, having fun, generally eating really well. On the other, a day spent with people I feel like I only associate with, really, if I'm being honest, for the paycheck, in a required camaraderie which I don't feel, braced all day for the attack that will come, it's only a matter of time.
Though convenient, it's not a nervous laryngitis, since I've been battling full-blown illness since Wednesday of last week. The throat just totally degenerated over the course of yesterday until I find myself here, with achy ears and a voice that is just about gone. If I could, I would go straight back to bed and sleep this out, but I'm instead going to do what I always do: keep going.
One of the main reasons I've been dreading this particular retreat is that the facilitator shared the feedback with me the other day that some of my colleagues complain that I don't talk enough at work about my husband's cancer. Let me repeat that: I am being faulted for not talking about my husband's cancer at work. At work. Really. As a stand-alone, that statement represents in one fell swoop everything that is most fucked-up, dysfunctional and boundary-less about the place where I work. Really.
But when I spend a little more time with it, what I get from that complaint is that my silence AT WORK about what was a nightmarish, terrifying and deeply personal experience is interpreted as withholding, as not participating, as not being sufficiently collegial. And in that case, I suppose I am guilty as charged.
So, hmmm, thinking a lot, trying to push aside the dread and go into tomorrow with no expectation, good or bad, thinking about the quality of silence. Not so concerned with how my silence is perceived, as much as where it comes from and why.