I think I might need to take a silent retreat.

Have you heard of those? Typically, these retreats occur in monasteries and include meditation and living in silence for a period of days or weeks.

Sounds (no pun intended) pretty perfect to me.

I’m getting a little tired of hearing my own voice these days. Between editing 100+ videos for SoTL by Design, wrapping up video edits for how to: academia mini-courses, and editing three to four podcast episodes a week for the last couple years, I’ve gotten to hear a lot of my own words repeated back to me.

Usually, I don’t mind this too much. I’ve been asked by a lot of people how I can stand to listen to my own voice (most people hate the sound of their voices, it turns out). My answer? It’s just something I’ve gotten used to over time. I’ve kind of had to since I’m not willing to outsource the editing work for the podcast shows I produce.

This past month, however, has been a little bit of an overload.

To be sure, there are benefits to hearing my recorded self. Typically, what I record is my most confident self. What you get to hear is me sharing ideas and thoughts that, for the most part, I’ve been ruminating on for quite some time.

What I share, especially through podcasting, is also a form of autoethnography as I reflect on the parts of my professional life and career that are of interest to me at that particular moment. Each episode is a kind of artifact that I can revisit at some future moment to see what I was thinking about at any given time.

The courses I release are also often reflections of years of work that I’ve done to learn a new topic or area so that I know enough to share useful tips and strategies with others.

In other words, through all of these recordings, I get to hear myself think.

Ironically, I think this is the purpose of a silent retreat.

Maybe I don’t need one after all.

To think on:

  • What methods do you use to hear yourself think?
  • Would you ever go on a silent retreat? Why or why not?