Guest Post: Silence Is Golden

Woo hoo – Frank’s in love!  And here’s his guest post on exactly why it might be a good idea to keep quiet next time something big is happening for us:
Keep it Quiet by Frank Butterfield

Florence Scovel Shinn, who was a New Thought teacher during the first half of the twentieth century and who was probably quite a pip, had a few thoughts about one of my favorite, and often thorniest, topics. Here’s an excerpt from her book “The Secret Door To Success,” that goes right to the point:

Talking too much about your affairs, scattering your forces, brings you up against a high wall.

I knew a man who told his family all that had taken place during the day at the office; he discussed his hopes, his fears, and his failures.

I said to him, “You scatter your forces by talking about your affairs. Don’t discuss your business with your family. Silence is golden!”

He took my lead. During dinner he refused to talk about business …

Not long after, he was given a position at one hundred dollars a week, and in a few years, he had a salary of three hundred dollars a week.

Success is not a secret, it is a System.

Recently I had an experience that brought this point home to me.

You see, I’m in love. Yes, at 46, I have met the man of my dreams! We found each other online (which is another delightful, synchronistic story). And it was so amazing when he told me that I was the man of his dreams!


So, I got all excited about this and started projecting into the future. And I decided I was ready to go further and meet him in person.

Oh wait, did I mention he lives in Italy? That’s actually another very delicious aspect to this story, even if it does mean we’re about 7,000 miles apart at the moment.

About three weeks ago, I decided that it was time to meet! Now! So, I started doing what I normally do when I want to do something I don’t have the money for right at that red-hot moment. I began to imagine and visualize and drink a big glass of tea and ….

Oh, wait… Yeah. I do love my iced tea. It’s my preferred caffeine-imbiding device.

And I was on the Moon! I was zooming!

So, of course, I got on facebook and proclaimed my love and my desire to be in Europe and not only visit Giordano (yes, he has a name) but also several other people I have been wanting to meet forever.

And I tagged them all and mentioned specific dates and people where asking if they could organize workshops for me.

Oh, wait … right about the time a friend in England asked when she could send out an email letting others know I would be there, a feeling tugged at me. It was very quiet but it was an intuition that right at that moment would be a good time to delete that post.

But I brushed aside that “objection” and doubled-down. I called Giordano and told him all about it and asked him to meet me in Paris so we could first meet in person while walking across the Pont Neuf (a very long-held dream of mine).

And, lo and behold, Giordano was so aligned with this that he manifested some friends who told him the next day that they were driving to Paris to go to Disneyland and he asked if he could ride with them. It was a sign!

Still, a feeling tugged at me: maybe not a sign for me but a sign of Giordano’s alignment.
I brushed that aside … and on it went … I made plans with my sister, who lives 15 minutes from Washington Dulles, to leave my car at her house and fly from there to London. On and on …

The small feeling tugging at me got stronger and stronger as time went by until a couple of days ago when I woke up with no ticket, no passport (yes, it expired in December), and no ideas as to any inspired action for letting it all sort out. But, more importantly, that was the day I was supposed to be arriving in the general Washington area and I really didn’t want to.

So, I sat down and asked for some guidance and what I heard first was: “Keep a lid on it.”

And then I was reminded of the story above about the young man of business who talked about all his plans to his well-meaning family members.

Ah, yes. Not going to Europe suddenly felt like the best thing in the world and all these other ideas came flooding in and sweet relief came on like a nice rainfall in the desert.

I first read that story in 1992. And I know the wisdom behind it. In this particular case, none of my amazing friends and clients will be in despair because I stop talking about my affairs. In fact, when I told them of my change in plans, they all enthusiastically said they knew it would all work out fabulously. And Giordano said he liked the idea of driving around Europe as a honeymoon trip much better than rushing things along. Swoon!

And, by the way, I won’t be sharing the ideas that came flooding in. Not yet, at least, because it’s always best to keep a lid on things until they have jelled, as Mrs. Shinn describes in her book ” Your Word Is Your Wand,” in a slightly anachronistic way, but perfectly to the point:

A man in my class … asked: “Why is it then, a lot of women who prepare Hope Chests never get married?” I replied: “Because it is a Hope Chest and not a Faith Chest.”

The prospective bride also violates law in telling others about it. Her friends come in and sit on the Hope Chest and either doubt or hope she’ll never succeed.

“Pray to thy Father which is in secret, and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”

The student should never talk of a demonstration until it “has jelled,” or comes to pass on the external.

Frank Butterfield is a Master Channel of 22 years who translates the delicious vibrations of Paul & The Communion of Light. Find out more at:
What are your thoughts?  Would love to hear them in the comments!

  • January 27, 2013
  • Julie B says:

    Great post – and I love Flo Shinn too. I’ve always kept my intentions closer to the vest and let them germinate, marinate and give thanks as the evidence “driftwood” and things come into focus.
    Thanks Frank!

  • I realize I am late to the party on this one….Haha!

  • You know what I think, Frank? It just doesn’t matter. Tell. Don’t tell. Do whatever you feel like doing in the moment.The mind is far from the heart. Sometimes they think and act like strangers. Don’t over think it. Everything is okay, really, right? xoxo J

  • Ou la la! Jeannette — I just now noticed that you put a pic of James Franco in the post! HA! I have three word: Dee Lish Us!

  • Stacey | Soul Intelligence says:

    Very timely post! Thank you.
    Reminds me of the story in Genesis 37:5:
    “Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.”
    You wouldn’t think that other people’s energy could affect your manifestation…but I’ve learned in the last few weeks that it can.
    Great reminder.

  • Libra Girl says:

    Years ago, saw this on a tee shirt worn by Walter Paraizader of the band Chicago, “Loose Lips Sink Ships”

  • Libra Girl says:

    Saw this on a tee shirt worn by Walt Parazaider of the band Chicago, many years ago “Loose lips sink ships”

  • Hi Judy —
    I do tons of pre-paving and acting as if.
    And I had never thought of it in this context, but I never tell anyone. In fact, my most powerful acting as if stories all point back to the same thing: if I had told anyone I was “acting as if,” then it would break the spell.
    But, again, it all boils down to what feels better right at the moment. Sometimes it feels better to do nothing. Sometimes it feels better to act as if or to sit and use my imagination to pre-pave.
    Paul (and Abraham and other teachers) are very clear about this — only use any exercise or principle because it feels better NOT to get results.

  • Judy says:

    Hi Frank,
    When I read this, this made a lot of sense. Then I wondered, where does “prepaving” and “acting as if” fit in? Any thoughts?

  • Brenda says:

    @Jackie – what a perfect place to share that video! Thank you!
    Serena, you beautifully described the way it feels for me when you said:
    “Like a little voice saying “wait I’m not ready to go out in the world”. And yet I usually plow ahead and somehow as I speak it out loud it gets weaker and weaker and soon I regret it and the whole idea seems dumb.”
    I’m unable to count how many times I’ve done and felt exactly that.
    In the video, Derek explains that in doing this, we experience the satisfaction that we would at the end. I suppose it’s much like a fix. I can feel truth in that. And, for me, I also sense a subtle ‘disappointment’ tangled up in there with it. Whatever the feeling is, in the end, I always regret not listening to that still, small voice, because I have empirical evidence to prove that a fully baked cake is infinitely more delicious.

  • Serena says:

    When I first read your post I didn’t quite get it, since it felt like it went against the whole idea of “scripting”. I mean why not use everyone around as a sounding/scripting board? But then I started realizing that sometimes, if the idea isn’t fully “cooked” and doesn’t have enough high vibing ooompf behind it I get sort of an inner cringe. Like a little voice saying “wait I’m not ready to go out in the world”. And yet I usually plow ahead and somehow as I speak it out loud it gets weaker and weaker and soon I regret it and the whole idea seems dumb.
    So thank you for putting into words that inner cringe.

  • This is an utterly delicious example of love happening when we least expect it, and the importance of listening to our inner nudges.
    As a chronic over-sharer (one just needs to visit my FB page and blog to confirm this!), I’ve also wrestled with the desire to tell everyone about my plans, hopes, wishes in order to get their supportive vibes.
    So many goal-setting gurus say you should share your goals with the entire world … for reasons like support, and accountability, and to ‘get the feeling’ of having already achieved said goal.
    It all seemed ever so logical.
    But then I watched this video by Derek Sivers
    And then THAT seemed ever so logical.
    (Dear lawd, it’s tough being a Libra!)
    so I’ve wrestled with the share/don’t share issue and I’m thrilled to read this post and conversation.
    I think I’ll keep a lid on it all for a while.
    It feels right, somehow.

  • Brenda says:

    By the way, I don’t think the caution about keeping the lid on is even so much about overt judgement that might come from the person/people we’re sharing it with as much as it’s about the judgement that we ‘think’ they might have but not express…now or down the road. Ha! But those imagined judgements are NEVER theirs – they’re ours – it’s all us. But now we’re not only dealing with our own psyches, we’re dealing with what we’re imagining is in someone else’s – all while we’re trying to align our vibration. It’s easier and cleaner for me to keep the lid on. When what I’ve wanted has materialized, I’ve had noooo problem telling all to all – that part’s a blast. 🙂

  • After reading Brenda’s and Jennifer’s comments I just realized something quite amazing — I don’t have any naysayers in my life anymore. Or if they’re around, they keep their nays to themselves.
    That has to do, I believe, with my expectations. And, the amazing part of it is that then I get to realize that all the nays come from within me.
    That was a cool insight I wasn’t expecting! Thanks y’all for pointing me in that direction!

  • Brenda says:

    Ahhhh, delicious post, Frank. Firstly, YAY to you for this beautiful new relationship!!
    I completely agree with Florence and applaud you in now honouring that inner nudge to keep a lid on things until they’ve jelled.
    It may be that not doing so works for a lot of people. It may be that sharing dreams and manifestations underway with like-minded folks adds fuel to the fire of some deliberate creators – I get that, I do. I’m just not one of them …or it may ‘seem’ to work in the red hot moment, but, in short order, I know by the way I feel that I should have kept the lid closed. …besides, I’ve found it’s more delicious that way – I can feel the manifestation’s pressure/power build. Conversely, every time I open my mouth about it before it’s arrived, I can feel the steam escape.
    Although I’ve never read Florence Scovel Shinn (I suspect she’ll be on my Kindle before nightfall), I know she’s not the first new thought pioneer to suggest keeping the lid on the cauldron….or keeping the oven door closed, as opposed to repeatedly opening it up to show everyone what’s baking inside.
    In Resurrection, Neville recounts how the story of Mary and the Immaculate Conception is rich in symbolism related to our creative consciousness. Then, he says:
    “…Then like Mary of the story you go about your business in secret telling no one of this wonderful and immaculate self-impregnation, confident that in due season you will express this impression.”
    And, this isn’t the first place I’ve read this caution (wish I’d been saving those quotes). If anyone else has found one, I’d love to hear it!!
    Of course, we should only ever listen to our ‘own’ guidance, so if you can share what you’re cooking up with a keen awareness of that guidance and it ‘still’ feels good, then, hey, knock yourself out. 😉

  • Jennifer says:

    Love it, love it, love it! And agree that, until it becomes so much my reality that nobody could possibly dispute it, I should keep it to myself.
    Not only does talking about it open the door to nay-sayers, but karma is ‘doing’, ‘acting’, and the more time spent talking, the less time spent stepping into the role and getting it done in a way that drives the inspiration to do more. Thanks, Jeannette 🙂

  • MissyB —
    Not luck — lots and lots of letting go and being willing to not have! I knew something was happening when I didn’t care anymore and started realizing how much I enjoyed being single.
    But to your question — the bottom line, for me, is following intuition. If the words feel better as you speak them, you know you are empowering yourself and your situation. You know when you feel better in the moment, and that’s key.
    I didn’t follow my intuition. It said to delete the thread. Then it said not to read into Giordano’s experience. Then it said to not go to Virginia (several times, I might add), and that’s when I finally found the relief.
    I wanted to write about the general principle of keeping a lid on things as Mrs. Shinn wrote and spoke about it because it’s a great metaphysical concept.
    But I think she would definitely say that only you know when it applies and your intuition will always guide you as to when to speak and when to be silent.
    The reminder I have here is to remember that silent is an option.
    It all comes back to deliberate intention and paying attention to intuition, which trumps any principle or concept, in my book.

  • MissyB says:

    First of all – Frank – you lucky thing you 😉
    Funny, but I am in the middle of that The Secret Door to Success as I type. I diverted off to read the Taoh of Pooh for a few nights, but will be returning to it tonight.
    What I don’t get is why talking about your business doesn’t help. Yes, yes, yes…I know, you don’t want to discuss your thoughts on failure etc…but why not talk about your dreams, aspirations and the such like? Surely that adds to the good vibes. Or is it as is in the hope chest example as above – the friends are quick to strip the situation of any good vibes from it?

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