21st August 2019

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Psalm 62:5 ESV - For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. 
Psalm 141:3 ESV- Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!

The Mouth, also called Oral Cavity, or Buccal Cavity, in human anatomy, it is the orifice through which food and air enter the body. The mouth opens to the outside at the lips and empties into the throat at the rear. In addition to its primary role in the intake and initial digestion of food, the mouth and its structures are essential in humans to the formation of speech. Source-

The mouth is a powerful tool and source of metaphor. Many things are done by the mouth: it spits, drinks and devours, speaks and screams, whispers, sings, eats, vomits and sucks, feels, tastes, kisses and bites. The mouth is an entrance, an exit, a vulnerable and powerful part not only of the human body but also of society itself. It is a semiotically complex part of Self and Other, which can be transformed, remade, hidden, mutilated and adorned in many ways. It stands, as a symbol as well as in very practical ways, for silence and noise, agency and subordination. It is the protective case for the tongue which forms all kinds of sounds and is the metaphor for everything that has to do with language. The ideological and cultural concepts at work in making sense of the mouth and what it does (or is supposed to do) link language, culture and society in multiple ways. Source-

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Symbology-Of The Body state that you use your mouth to voice your positions and thoughts about particular things or situations, either by making statements or through expressing your emotions. Symbology claims that if one dreams of the mouth, generally 'problems within the mouth indicate a difficulty in expressing yourself, or an inability to digest something that is going on in [your] life.

Most Common Mouth Dreams: 
Eating - Such a dream depicts inner emotions. You don't express what you have inside of you. Others say If you use your mouth to eat something in a dream it means that you need to think about your diet and try to eat healthy.
Beard - If you dream of a mouth with a beard, you are going to have some successful discussions at your work place.
Red lips - If you dream of red lips, it indicates happiness and passion in life.

Dreaming of a woman’s mouth is an omen of love. If the mouth is beautiful, it means duplicity. A big mouth suggests illness and mudslinging. Others say  that dreaming of a big mouth means honour and abundance in your house, whereas a small mouth is the sign of profit. If you see a mouth without teeth, your efforts will have to grow in order to get the anticipated results. The mouth of a man refers to a drunkard husband. A closed mouth means unjustifiable grounds and repulsion, and if the mouth is half-open, showing huge teeth, it suggests that a misfortune in marriage is about to come.

As we can see the mouth not only plays an important part in our lives,it also has symbolic attributes. What types of Mouth dreams do you have? Let me know  I spoke about the mouth, specifically the tongue, in my book (SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott, SELF=YOU, Chapter 10, Amazon). I mentioned some of the damage the tongue can cause. We know of making a verbal stand or making our voices heard and the changes it can make. We are also all aware of the loving care the tongue can bestow on another person.  The opposite is true of saying nothing or speaking up, as one could be classed as a perpetrator, as inaction could be construed as condoning the action displayed.. This blog will look at the benefits of keeping quiet, using silence and or shutting up. Here we will look at when silence or less words would be the better option. 

The mouth is a central part of the face and plays it's part to our body. As human beings, when we look at another, we see the face and search for the eyes, nose and mouth. A face without even one of these appendages, may cause us to stare as this is not the norm. A missing finger for example, would not get the same attention. 

As the mouth is an essential part of our body and like many other parts of our body, we sometime take it for granted. Many Dentist may agree with that statement, regarding the mouth. Fashion these days highlight that the teeth should be seen and a bright smile is in vogue. It it is often not until we have a tooth ache that we take notice and more care of our teeth. Think about eating, it is often after over indulging that we decide what and just how much we had consumed. In considering what we say, again it is often when we have said something that has caused offence that we begin to watch what we say. Needless to say that we should not be taking any part of our body for granted, as when it doesn't work as well as it should, there is a huge impact on our, and maybe the lives of another.

Words that spring to mind that tells you to refrain from speaking are: keep your mouth shut, be quiet, stop talking, stop making a noise, keep your voice down, shhh, shut up, zip it, pipe down, button it, hold your tongue, hush up, keep your trap shut, mind your own business, put a sock in it, save your breath, shut it, shut your mouth/face/trap/gob or belt up, are mentioned here for you to consider while reading this blog. Do you take words for granted? Do you speak when silence would suffice? In 'Tongue, what damage have you caused' (SELF=YOU (2017) Angela Scott, SELF=YOU, Chapter 10, Amazon) we looked at words used, words not used and its affect. Can you think of any situations in your life, when less words would have been the better option?

Have you got a friend who never shuts up? Yes you know the one I'm talking about! Most of the time you do not listen to this person as more times than not, what they are saying has no bearing on the situation or your interest. Then there is that friend that doesn't speak very much or speaks in a very low voice. That person, you listen to, you find yourself leaning in, to hear what they have to say.

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Mr. Quiet (Mr. Men Classic Library)

In my twenties I found that I would 'chat' in-order to fill uncomfortable silences, most of the time I would either say things that should have remained private or I would gossip. I suppose I wanted whatever s***** I was spouting to be interesting. As I matured I found that the less you say the more you  opposed to my twenties chat feast. According to Wikipedia, an awkward silence is an uncomfortable pause in a conversation. The unpleasant nature of such silences is associated with feelings of anxiety as the participants feel pressure to speak but are unsure of what to say next. What do you do or say in those awkward silence. I know someone that says the same thing in all awkward silences, you begin to understand that that person is feeling uncomfortable. Shame really, as its been over fifteen years that that person hasn't been able to 'feel' comfortable around me when we have nothing to say to each other.Image result for vow of silence

I have noticed that a person who 'feels' uncomfortable in silences often, like myself (back then) do not have anything constructive to say in-order to fill the awkward 'space'? Do you speak when spoken to? or find yourself constantly talking to fill the silence that has developed as a natural occurrence in conversations? What topic do you reach for in those conversation pauses?

I was born and brought up in England my guardians taught me that I should be seen and not heard, I was also taught that if I did not have anything to say I should say nothing. Silence or not talking are seen differently by different cultures. Sue Bryant is an award-winning writer and editor specialising in global business culture and travel, she states that silence can be used to intimidate; or to save face; to show respect; or it can simply suggest that the other person is relaxed enough in your company to enjoy a quiet moment. 

For some Asian cultures, Bryant notes that silence can be a sign of respect. If a person asks a question, it is polite to consider your answer rather than simply blurting something out. Keeping quiet, she goes on to say, may also be used as a weapon by canny negotiators, who know that certain cultures, North Americans in particular, are used to filling every gap in conversation with talk and will be unnerved by the other side falling quiet.

Silence could be a hierarchical issue in a cross cultural meeting. In countries where the highest-ranking member of the team is the spokesperson and the others are there simply to provide context (again, Asian cultures, and some Latin and Arab countries), relatively senior executives could sit quietly as a sign of respect for their leader.

Nordic cultures, like Asians, are ‘listening’ rather than ‘talking’, aiming for calm and order in a conversation. As such, silence implies thought, or thinking up an answer to a question with suitable gravitas. In Africa, silence is seen as a way of enjoying someone’s company; it implies that you are comfortable enough together not to need to fill every moment with noise.

Sue Bryant lets us know when silence isn’t golden, stating that, in countries like Italy and Spain, it is perfectly acceptable for everybody to talk at once or to interrupt a speaker. Silence in a meeting would be uncomfortable and awkward. Silence in response to a question would suggest not that you were thinking, but that you didn’t know the answer.

They say Silence is Golden, The first example of this Phrase in English was from the poet Thomas Carlyle, who translated the phrase from German in Sartor Resartus, 1831 part of the poet states  "Silence is the element in which great things fashion themselves together; that at length they may emerge, full-formed and majestic, into the daylight of Life [...] forbore to babble of what they were creating and projecting. Nay, in thy own mean perplexities, do thou thyself but hold thy tongue for one day: on the morrow, how much clearer are thy purposes and duties" The Swiss Inscription says: Sprecfien ist silbern, Schweigen ist golden (Speech is silver, Silence is golden).

What does the bible say about being quiet? Here are a few quotes:

Exodus 14:14 (KJV) 14 The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace. Psalm 141:3 (KJV) 3 Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips. Proverbs 10:19 (KJV) 19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.

Proverbs 17:27-28  (KJV) 27 He that hath knowledge spareth his words: and a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit. 28 Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.

Ecclesiastes 3:7  (KJV) 7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
Revelation 8:1 (KJV) 8 And when he had opened the seventh seal, there was silence in heaven about the space of half an hour. The quotes above shows us that when we are quite or silence, God will work for us if we hold our peace, they showed that silence is a sign of wisdom, helping us to go within and think before we speak, also showing us that there is a time for speaking and a time for silence.Image result for vow of silenceIn thinking about the Christian religion and what is said about silence. Another way of life sprung to mind, Buddhism. Let's have a quick look at the Buddhist view of silence. 

In Buddhism, 'Silence is important to strengthen your spirituality. That is to say, it gives you the opportunity to be present within yourself. You will interact with your thoughts. As a result, you will tend to understand yourself the more. Of course, there is a link between silence and inner peace.'- Source - 

When a monk takes a vow of silence, sometimes it does not mean total abstinence from speech. However, it can be for specific times of the day. On the other hand, at specific places in the monastery. Although, it could still go on generally for a few days. In any way, total speech abstinence is rare. When one takes a vow of silence they are most likely to develop strong willpower. And, most importantly, will observe the truth always. This is because one goes over what has to be said before speaking. That is if speech is absolutely necessary.

Monks take the a vow of silence for many reasons, here are a few:-

1) To Condition The Mouth To Speak Rightly -  to pick out the words that best suits the moment. That is if it is critically necessary for them to speak. Moreover, in monastic orders, it is better to keep silent than say irrelevant things. Most importantly, a vow of silence helps to prevent one from hurting others or even himself. Speaking without care can lead to saying hurtful words. Or, on the same note, words that provoke our thoughts. Basically, this is what the practice of Buddhism is all about. Building self-control in order to promote inner peace and personal happiness.

2) To Develop A Good Listening Skill - Observing a vow of silence leads to promoting listening abilities. The monks train themselves through a vow of silence to speak less and listen more. In doing this, they are able to hear others out. In-order to help them to grow in the path of enlightenment.

3)To Quieten The Mind - Keeping the mind calm is a major step towards achieving inner peace. For those who meditate, this is their goal. To quieten the mind from wild thoughts. However, this is not an easy task as it is the nature of the mind to engage in wandering thoughts.

4) To Promote Self-awareness - A monk does not talk with anyone when observing a vow of silence. As a result, he tends to be more conscious of himself. He understands the reality of the world he exists in. Thus, always keeps himself on guard against any external influence. A vow of silence will help you to develop self-love. Loving one’s self will give you the chance to cultivate compassion towards others. Of course, it would be difficult to show love to others when you do not love yourself. It is thought that this, in turn, brings happiness. Most of all a feeling of peace and self-satisfaction, and perhaps closer to enlightenment.

5) To Train Novice Monks In The Monastic Ways - Sometimes Buddhists adopt the technique of vow of silence to teach new monks.They learn to always maintain the noble silence of the monastery. Thereby, diligently following their duties and obligations. Most importantly, there is a need for the monastery to be calm all the time. This is to avoid unnecessary chatter which can lead to distraction. Source -

The reasons given for a vow of silence is a great tool for our lives too, It ensures we only speak what is relevant, develop good listening skills, quieten the mind from all the noise that we experience in our everyday life, in doing this we can promote self-awareness, here one gets to know that self that no-one sees or hear. 

Above we have looked at why and when to be silence, how you view your silence as opposed to talking. Looking back respectively, can you remember a time when you kept your mouth shut and found that it was the best form of action taken? Or are all your recollections, scenarios of what you should have said, or perhaps said differently?

Are you aware of the people around you, that speak less than others, what is your view of them? Perhaps you feel that they don't have anything worth talking about, maybe you feel that they are unimportant! Be honest, what is your view of the quite ones? This week, try to speak less, your friends and family will assume that something is wrong with you. Let me know how you get on On keeping your mouth shut, you will find that you have left an opening for others to speak, you'll be surprised what you will learn, after keeping schtum. Ever noticed a sales person in action....Next time you are at a show room thinking of whether you should buy something or not, watch and listen to your sales advisor, you will notice that they give you their pitch and then give you the time and space to 'talk' yourself into buying the item, product or service.

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This blog has attempted to alert you to just how much you speak and asked you to consider speaking less. Is that something you think is possible in your life? Ok, I understand that you have to speak constantly if you have children. I understand that you may have to constantly talk at work.....However, if you take time out to consider the times when silence would suffice, you will be surprised at what you hear and learn.

We last saw Lena sorting her life out. She had left her job after sending an email and speaking to her boss. Lena stood her ground and said just what was necessary to get the job done. On entering her 12 Step program, Lena sat in those meetings listening to the stories, which by and large seemed more daunting than her own story. As the weeks went by, Lena began to feel increasingly comfortable and some what stronger, with the ability in the her fifth week to stand up and say something. Everyone listened with interest, care and empathy. Lena's life now revolved around listening to what served her and voicing her needs and wants when she felt she needed to. Lena no longer listened to the put downs shared out by her ex-boss, she no longer had the negative self talk in her head telling her that she was a drunk, that she was worthless and that she was an embarrassment to her parents. Lena was surprised at the amount of 'stuff' she had endured in her past life. She had also felt stunted in her growth as a strong independent woman, her self esteem had taken a knock. Lena felt that she was silenced as she was unable to speak her mind, to speak up when it was needed. In Lena's quest to become alcohol free she realised that she drunk to silence the voices in her head, to silence or numb the feelings of guilt and shame she felt most every day. Who or what do you need to silence in your life? How do you silence negative self-talk? Remember, If it cause you dis-respect, dis-harmony or to dis-trust this should concern you and needs to be addressed.  

Since Lena began her 'clean life challenge', she found that her home felt 'lighter', it was less cluttered, she felt that if her home was free from clutter her mind may feel less congested. Lena began to listen to music again, music that she had forgotten that she enjoyed. She felt free to take up a hobby...having loved to dance, she enrolled at a local gym, where she could attend dance classes. Again Lena was engaging in noise and sounds that served her. How do the sounds in your life make you feel? Consider the sounds around you in the morning, is it the TV news? your children? Your partner? During your working day, what type of sounds are you subjected to? As a Counselor I heard a lot of mourning about this and mourning about that. My job was thus, I was able to help the people in-front of me, and of course procedures where in place to 'off load'. When the bullying noises of my bosses or colleagues became 'too much' I left.....What are you listening to that should be silenced or left in your dust, as you walk away?

As adults we are aware, or should be aware of what we intake....We should not be walking around our lives just accepting anything and everything that is thrown at us....When was the last time you took a stock of your life? And realised that you or others are in control of what you hear, see, do eat etc? Being in control of your life (to the extent that we can be in control) will allow you to live the life you enjoy. I am not saying that one would not have issues, situations or some drama to negotiate, but by and large, if you are in control of your life, you will be able to ride the storms that come your way and accept responsibility sooner!


The Mouth, also called Oral Cavity, it is the orifice through which food and air enter the body. According to '' many things are done by the mouth: it spits, drinks, devours, speaks and screams, whispers, sings, eats, vomits and sucks, feels, tastes, kisses and bites. 'Symbology Of The Body' state that we use our mouth to voice our positions and thoughts about particular things or situations, either by making statements or through expressing our emotions. We went on to look at dreams depicting the mouth. The most common being eating, a mouth with a beard or red lips, meanings ranged from relating to our inner emotions, workplace discussions to happiness and passion in life.

We know that a verbal stand or making our voices heard can invoke changes. We are also all aware of the loving care the tongue can bestow on another person. I mentioned the chapter 'Tongue', from my book SELF=YOU (2017), Amazon. In which I make you aware of saying nothing, could have you being perceived as a perpetrator and or being construed as condoning the action displayed. However, this blog looked at the benefits of keeping quiet, using silence and or shutting up. We looked at when silence or less words would be the better option. We spoke of that dreaded awkward silence in which people attempt to fill with uninteresting or often unrelated information. I admit this was a flaw of mine in my 20's. 

We looked at how silence is used as a hierarchical issue cross culturally. A reminder was given that Silence is golden and speaking is silver! I took a look at what the Bible says about being quiet or 'holding your tongue' In the quotes used for this blog. I found that God will work for us if we hold our peace, be quiet or still. The bible also showed that silence is a sign of wisdom. Buddhism tells us that silence gives us the the opportunity to be present, and a way of understanding ourselves better.

In putting 'being silence instead of speaking' to the test, you was asked to take a closer look (or listen) to the people around you, to take note of the ones that could 'chat' for England and the ones who are quite. Then you was asked to watch and listen to the next sales advisor you encounter and watch for the pause in the conversation where s/he has left open for you to fill.

We paid Lena a visit and noted what she decided to listen to, and what she choose not to hear anymore, she also muted some of the voices in her head and stopped the negative self-talk. We looked at what served Lena and found that she began to listen to music again. You was asked to consider the sounds around you this week, for example, what do you hear or listen to in the morning? What are you subjected to at work? Take a stock and look around your life.

It is imperative that we take control (to the extent that we can be in control) of our lives. This also means what we hear and say, controlling what and when we speak, may be a challenge for many. As mature adults it is something that should be considered. Being aware of what and when you speak will allow you to view others and your life differently, it will give others a chance to voice their opinions, thoughts and maybe their insights on the subject you are both engaged in. Knowing when to be silent will also allow others to view you in a different, perhaps more mature light. Remember always, that speech is silver [but] silence is Golden.

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