Anyone who knows me will know that silence isn't something that comes naturally - in fact, I don't think I have ever taken part in a sponsored silence in my life.

However, I was shocked to read that, compared to 10 years ago, double the number of adults my age are living with a work-limiting health condition, and almost four times the amount are suffering from poor mental health. I know first-hand the anxiety being diagnosed with a life-altering condition can be - how can I carve a future? How could I ever work full time and live independently?

Breathworks are a fantastic charity who offer places on courses for symptom management (through mindfulness), which have helped me, and so many others, find ways to navigate flare-ups and the emotional struggle that comes with a diagnosis.

This is why I'm taking part in their summer fundraiser, Silence for Seven. The idea is that you choose a silent challenge to commit to over seven consecutive days (24 - 30 June) that feels sufficiently difficult and will deepen your personal practice.


I've chosen to commit to one hour of silence, each day, from the moment I open my eyes. This includes not checking my phone or scrolling social media in bed, which is a certain daily occurrence. I find mornings hard, but rather than using my usual avoidance techniques, I want to practice being with that uncomfortable experience.

To build my challenge throughout the week, I will also be committing to a longer silent practice at the weekend. On Saturday 29th June, I will be verbally silent until 12pm. On Sunday 30th, I will be silent all day until the celebration event at 7pm.

It's going to be blooming tough! Please do consider sponsoring me with a small donation to help me reach my £250 goal.

Want to take part yourself? Learn more about the Silence for Seven challenge here, and consider setting up your own fundraiser! Shannon Phillips