Monday Notes: 14 Days of Non-Communication

From June 18th to July 1st, I decided not to communicate with people I know (and love). With the exception of my husband, two daughters, and a siSTAR video I’d committed to, I was silent. This included my not responding to text messages, DMs, phone calls, emails, and social media.

24034dc7-4131-431d-8cb2-6db42fc5d233First, I alerted everyone I could through social media so that people didn’t think I was ignoring them. In this social media age, people’s feelings are hurt quite quickly if they don’t hear instantly from you. This worked for the most part. For family, like Grannie, who are not on these platforms, I simply left a message on her answering machine asking her to please wait until July 1st to speak with me, unless of course, there is an emergency. For others like my father, who sent photos of his grandson’s kindergarten graduation, I replied with the photo you see here. And for my cousin who called with news of their newborn baby, I begged Dwight to call him back so I could listen, but not respond.

Why, you might be thinking?

I needed time, space, and silence to disengage so I could hear my inner thoughts.

Recently, my sister gifted me with a numerology reading. In our conversation, the reader said, “Everyone isn’t worthy of your time.” That is one of the most poignant statements I’ve heard in 2019, and it really made me pause. Aside from thoughts about friendships, I decided to use my fourteen days of silence to assess the many collaborations and projects with which I’m involved. Will I continue with Project A, B, and C? Are these projects aligned with my personal mission? Even if they are aligned, are they worth the time/energy investment to continue? To make these decisions, I needed time, space, and silence.

Also, I wanted to focus on how I would generate extra money for the remainder of the year. Contrary to public belief, many professors do not make a huge salary. Like other professions, it is contingent on lots of factors: discipline, rank, and institution. Being quiet allowed me to think deeply about how to attract money and from where.

wooden_plankAlong with these fourteen silent days, I also decreased my sugar intake. This isn’t new to me. About four years ago, I did a 21-day detox that excluded all sugars. This time, I followed the recommendation that women have no more than 25 grams per day. Initially it was challenging, and I hovered around 24-50. But overall, it was a success. When I remove sugar, my brain becomes clearer; subsequently, my thoughts and dreams are also lucid. And combined with silence, it’s like a veil was removed, revealing the direction in which I needed to travel.

Although I wanted badly to celebrate the birth of my cousin’s baby, and although it took everything out of me not to respond to email plans for our DC reading or to text Bree to find out how she did at the Daughters’ Lives Matter event, or to comment on blog posts, it’s okay. It’s okay not to be at everyone’s beck and call in each moment. It’s okay to tell people you need a minute…away, just for yourself. In this instant communication society we’ve created, it’s okay to say, hold on wait a minute while I get myself together.

Trust me…their good and bad news will still be there for you to praise or lament. Their worlds will not crumble. And, you my friend, may feel more healthy and whole.

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42 thoughts on “Monday Notes: 14 Days of Non-Communication

  1. Such a great idea & so beautifully executed. I find the same thing re. “In this social media age, people’s feelings are hurt quite quickly if they don’t hear instantly from you.” — which can be emotionally and intellectually exhausting — for zero reason.

    As you know, I took the comments off my blog for a month, as I was feeling “creatively drained”… and found the more followers I had, the less true I was being to my own voice — especially after my boss started following my blog. I began questioning my natural urges to write and share.

    PLUS the psychology magazine column that I started writing a year ago. Something that in the end I didn’t enjoy 1/100th as I do blogging! Being your own publisher / editor / PR team has perks! As you know so well Dr. G … with all your incredible books!

    Anyhoooo … thanks for listening, encouraging, and being my friend.

    STAY TRUE DR. G.
    A VOICE LIKE YOURS NEEDS REST

    I am so proud of you and all that you do and are. Something this post illustrates beautifully.

    Dr. D ❤️❤️❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dr. D! It’s always a great idea (as you know) to step back and re-evaluate your “why” so that you can proceed in a healthier way, whether we have so-called followers/friends or not. This social media age means we have to be extra vigilant to stay grounded, I think.

      I appreciate your words so much!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes I truly think you are peeking in my head! I love being silent on solo vacations when I could easily go for hours without talking. 🙂 Staying away from my blog and not writing has allowed me to “see” better….I need to eliminate sugar too 😪

    Liked by 2 people

    1. HA! I don’t wanna get all woo-wo-, but I do think collective consciousness is a thing. We kind of all sway with one another every now and then. About sugar…this time around, I’ve noticed how much sugar is in EVERYTHING, even things you don’t think they would be in. I really think we all need to do some elimination.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I did this once several years ago–for about 3 months. Spoke only when necessary and stopped listening to external noise. I spent more time tuning in and listening. It was helpful. I came out of it with some profound–though in some ways painful–revelations. Lately, I’ve been feeling like I need to do this again, but it seems so much harder now.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad you’re back! I have found breaks from social media essential. That applies to FB, but the environment on Twitter is getting bad, too. My wife and I did a 30 day detox in January with great results. I think a 10 day is in order next month.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for sharing this, Kathy. I think that many people are craving *peace breaks* but aren’t sure of when to make the commitment or how to pull it off! There are so many “voices” from outside of us competing for our attention and compromising our focus and attention. I am happy and inspired that you honored your need for space and silence to hear your inner thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. THIS IS FANTASTIC! Way to go Kathy. I acknowledge and honor you for going into the stillness to look at what you want––and how to create money. Key method!! I’m going to email you with an idea.

    Much love. Have a graceful integration back to communicating. 🙂
    Love and Light,
    Debbie

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I admire your discipline in doing this, Katherin. Self-care is necessary and it sounds like your dedication paid off. I understand about reducing sugar intake. I have especially noticed as I’ve gotten older how my sensitivity has increased. If I overdo it, I’ll be very sleepy and foggy. I also have to avoid caffeine, as well.
    Hoping you put feelers out into the universe and prosperity comes to you soon!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Judy! I was also talking to a friend, who is around my age and she has noticed the same thing. I’m not sure if it’s our bodies or if it’s because we’ve (unknowingly) overdone it and our bodies are over it, but little to no sugar is the best way.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have mixed feelings about this post. I respect your need to look inward and not communicate. I have done it to a certain extent lately, but it’s been because of health issues and I needed my privacy. However, if relatives or those close to me were involved I would have indeed responded to them out of curtesy and love. But, I do understand needing to be alone to recharge sometimes. I suppose there is no right or wrong way to do that. Everyone is different. And you did inform people. But, suppose the people you didn’t acknowledge (birth of baby, daughters lives matter etc.) really were hurt. What then?
    Definitely some people aren’t worth our time. They can suck us dry. And as an educator I know our salaries aren’t huge.
    My question is, did you get any back lash from this? Did your silence retreat help and give you what you needed? It took discipline. I’m not sure I’m that disciplined. But I’m happy for you if it gave you peace of mind.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Q1 (backlash): I did have one person complain that it was too long for her. Another person attempted to communicate. I’m not sure if that’s backlash, or not.
      Q2 (what I needed): Yes. It gave me exactly what I needed. I cannot figure out what’s best for me if I have a lot of noise from others about what they’re doing.

      As far as people’s feelings being hurt…I know this may not translate well via written word, but here is my best response to that: My cousin’s baby was still there on July 1st when I called him and his wife to talk about their new addition. They were just as excited. They didn’t let on that their feelings were hurt, but even if they had hurt feelings, I don’t see that as a good measurement for when I should take time for myself, you know? If that were the case, I’d always be breaking a promise to myself because someone is always in need (in their eyes). I hope that makes sense.

      And yes. I felt like a stronger and more grounded version of me ❤

      Like

  9. That’s quite an accomplishment.
    I think that if I were ever to try, I’d do exceptionally well. As an agoraphobic, I can go long periods of time without any outside contact. Add a writer into that, and I can go days lost in my head as well. I think, if it wasn’t for my kids, I’d probably not utter a word for weeks either.
    As for the sugar intake, I take a small spoon with my coffee every morning. And that’s that, no fruits or anything else that contains sugar, unless it’s bread.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Jina! All of that sounds good. I did tell my husband that I felt as if I could not talk to anyone for months in the woods, but he reminded me that I still had contact with him and our daughters and that I was reading and interacting online, just not commenting lol

      The sugar thing is a definitely gonna be more permanent for me moving forward.

      Like

  10. Katherin, we are really traveling a similar road again! Although not (yet) like you two weeks in a row, I’ve started to take those ‘non-communications’ hours or days and focus on just me. It led me to review my current projects. Even though I work pro-bono, the projects I take on I devote all of me to, and there are only so many waken hours per day.
    Also I realized, I’ve fallen in a pattern ago to put some people/organisations on a pedestal again and even worse: I had put myself on certain areas of me as a person on there too!
    Yes , the world will keep spinning, even if I decide to take a break 😉
    High time I started to walk the talk myself again. And like you, I examined my eating habits again too!

    Liked by 2 people

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