I'm going to share a bite sized practice that has really made a huge impact on the amount of inner peace that I feel.
When I say inner peace…I mean that it allows me to feel more aligned with my best self.
It has the power to stop anxious feelings in their tracks. It can make you feel more confident when you practice this.
The words that we speak out loud, and of course, the words that we're speaking to ourselves in our mind, they really matter.
Each individual word that is spoken carries an intention behind it, it has meaning behind it. Every word has its own vibrational frequency.And when we string words together, they have even more power.
They have the ability to connect us, the ability to foster joy, the ability to empower someone, or they can completely land flat.
They can even destroy somebody or an entire group of individuals.
We look back in time to the 40s when World War-II was happening, the words of one man led to the needless death of 1000's of individuals.
Whereas we all have heroes whose words have inspired us or led us to connect more deeply to ourselves.
People like Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi, or your favourite musician.
Their words can really allow you to tap into something beautiful.
Now you may be reading this & thinking okay, ‘I'm not Mother Teresa. I don't have 1000s and millions of people looking to me for answers.’
But the truth is you do have a really big impact in this world.
Every single person that you come in contact with, even if it's the individual at the grocery store, who you talk to for about five minutes, the words that you choose to use while in their presence -they do have power, and they impact not only the person that you're speaking to, but yourself as well.
Once you realise how your own words manifest your reality, you may be careful how you use your words.
If you imagine for a moment that you have a big bubble around you, whatever you put out into that bubble, the words … the energy …the actions that you take ~ we have to sit in that energy.
That energy has the power to change how you feel affecting every cell in your body.. all the way into your DNA.
The words that you speak, impact not only those that you're speaking to, and not only you, but people beyond that, because in whatever way your words impact that person that you're speaking to.. it will further impact the way that they show up for those around them.
Let's take a little look at some examples here of where our words matter.
Maybe you were running late one day to the office and when you arrived, the meeting had already started.
I think a lot of us in that situation would say something like ‘I'm so sorry I'm late. The traffic was awful or my child dumped this on their homework and then the traffic was awful. ‘
And we sort of share this elaborate story.
That may be true, but at the centre of it all really we just weren't able to plan our morning in a timely manner.
We weren't organised enough to have gotten ourselves to the meeting on time.
In this situation, we might make up a little white lie even, in order to avoid getting in trouble in that meeting or in order to avoid further conflict.
In this situation, you could actually arrive late to the meeting and just apologise for being late. ‘I'm so sorry,I'm late.’ Full stop. No need to explain.No need to overshare.No need to say anything else or you could say something along the lines of ‘I'm so sorry,I'm late for work. There was lots going on, and I didn't allow enough time to get here.’
It's amazing when you speak the truth. How refreshing people find it rather than telling the little white lie that people can see right through.
It may feel a bit uncomfortable, but give it a try and notice how it feels.
Sometimes not saying something can really be a powerful way to use your words.
Maybe you've said something in a moment of intense emotion that you later regretted; something came out of your mouth that you didn't mean or that you wouldn't normally have shared. Doesn't feel great, right?
I think one area that I've really noticed that I feel out of alignment is when I am in a place of gossip. And this is really interesting because gossip is actually a way that a lot of people connect with one another.
And there's a difference between gossip where we're discussing things that have happened.. what's going on in the neighbourhood and you know the news of this or that ...and it's another thing when gossip & the words that we're sharing with others have the ability to hurt somebody else.
So, when I find that the conversation sometimes turns in a direction where I know that the words that are being spoken would really hurt the individual if they heard, i change the topic as I know for me that feels extremely out of alignment.
Have you ever been in a situation where there was gossip happening, which is a common way that people connect with one another and where you notice that it didn't feel great for you?
So those are a few examples of moments when our choice of words can sometimes lead to a feeling of anxiety or just a little bit off or guilt or shame, discomfort or could even just be a sign that maybe there's something underneath the surface.
Maybe there's some work to do around that area so that you're able to really stand in your truth.
The basic idea is to become really conscious and aware of the words that we choose to use, and there are three things to remember.
1. No lying
2.No rude speech, swearing, slander …that type of thing.
3.No gossip ..so no telling one person information that may hurt another.
Think about this for a moment and just reflect for a second.
Are there any times in your day or your week where you find yourself telling little white lies or adjusting the truth ever so slightly?
Are there moments when you are using rude forms of speech?
And then do you ever find yourself in a position of gossip sharing information or saying things that could hurt another?
And so the reason I'm sharing this with you right now is that there's an understanding that at some level, we're probably all guilty of doing these things. It is human and the reason that we do it is often rooted in wanting to belong or in wanting to avoid conflict.
I also want to note that this idea of right speech doesn't mean we suppress our feelings and bottle up sharing things that may be difficult for others to hear, or simply more mindful about what needs to be said and how we say it. I find that sometimes, we hold back on speaking up if we’re worried that our words could hurt someone, even if we’re in a position to give constructive criticism, or we’ve been hurt by somebody, we have a tendency to just shove it all down and to not actually speak the truth about how we’re feeling.
Over the years, I've come to understand that this strategy does not work long term, those feelings, those words that hurt … that energy, it always ends up coming up and usually in a much more explosive way causing even more pain and more hurt for everyone who's involved.
So for me part of right speech is practising speaking my truth, expressing my needs, being clear and kind as I express them. So in summary, being clear and kind with your messaging and your words, speaking your truth, but also being mindful of when it is better to hold back a little bit, or to allow an emotional wave that's coming through to pass before we communicate.
In the book The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz - one of the agreements is to be impeccable with your word.
And he says that this is about being careful with what you say, and ensuring that it does not go against the values that you hold to be true.
So a couple of things to consider.
I want you to try this week to go through the week speaking only the truth, sharing how you feel, and communicating your ideas with clarity and kindness.
I also want you to notice how you are speaking about yourself out loud to others.
Are you cutting yourself down?
Are you making fun of yourself?
And what would it look like to just start to minimise that?
One question that you could ask yourself is why do I do this? How does it allow me to connect more deeply with others or to protect myself?
Just notice it, bring some awareness to why you're doing it, and then we try again the next time.
Another thing I'd love for you to try is to avoid gossiping - to note when it's happening, to notice if there's a desire to want to do it as well to connect with those around you and to see how it feels to change the subject to bring something else up.
Whatever it is that allows you to move in a different direction.. I want you to try to use the power of your word in the direction of love and the truth.
And something that comes hand in hand with right speech is to really take the time to actively listen to what somebody else is saying..to understand their point of view ~ doesn't mean you necessarily have to agree with it, but to really hear them.To pause after, to take it in, to reflect before speaking.
Choose your words slowly and carefully.
And then last but not least, I would encourage you to avoid communication when emotions are really intensified.
This doesn't mean we just have to leave the dialogue completely but we may say something like ‘I'm going to push pause for a moment. I'm feeling really emotional right now. Can we come back to this in an hour or tomorrow?’ Whatever that looks like for you, say it in your own way.
The words that you speak to yourself, they matter..and so to the words that you speak out loud. This concept of right speech, it sounds so simple and so easy but as you start to practice it, you realise that it's a little bit more complicated than you may initially think.
So instead of beating yourself up about this, use this as a guideline to get into alignment.
Your words, thoughts and feelings are manifesting your reality.. change these and your reality shifts.