My voice decided to take a vacation a couple days ago. I don’t know how long it will be gone, but I’m amazed at all the life lessons I’m learning as a result of not being able to speak. It reminds me of my time as a princess at camp, except this time is easier because I don’t have to think about not speaking; my body’s taken care of that for me. At first, when I realized my voice was gone, it felt debilitating. I didn’t want to leave home for fear I wouldn’t be able to communicate with people if needed, and I felt like an essential part of me was gone. But when I pushed past those fears and ventured out, I found other creative ways to express myself and actually had a lot of fun.
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I’ve been thinking a lot about commitment lately. My commitment to write a novel this month is one of the most challenging I’ve made in a long time. Although I’ve fallen behind on word count recently, I am fully committed to getting back on track and completing the novel. Commitment plays a major role in our daily lives, whether in maintaining a relationship, getting a degree, sticking with a job or completing a piece of writing. Unfortunately, much of the time, good intentions fall by the wayside and what we thought we were committed to slows down to a crawl or occasionally a screeching halt. We’ve all had instances where we’ve committed to something and then not followed through. So how do we revitalize our commitment to something we genuinely want to be, do or have when our current level of commitment isn’t getting us the results we want?
The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.
Seems obvious, right? But how hard this ancient Zen challenge really is. How often do we really quiet ourselves and listen? Not listening for something we want to hear, or planning what we’re going to say next, or looking for fault in another. But really listening. Quietly, intently.