Do you ever feel like you are doing everything you possibly can for a better life, but still feel obstructed from what you truly want – locked away from what you seek? You may be busily get “stuff” done, feel like you’re exerting massive amounts of energy each day – only to feel like you’re stuck in one spot right now – frozen and frustrated. What’s getting in your way? For all intents and purposes you may be doing what you feel you “should”, avoiding things you feel you “should not”, devoutly practicing a myriad of techniques, following what people say, mimicking what people do, reading everything under the sun, and on and on….and yet…. going nowhere fast or SOMEwhere very slowly.
Although our answer lies within us, we can also look to environments, people, things, actions, and behaviour in our lives to give us clues and guidance. I recently had the blessing of reflecting on all of this (and more) with a colleague and friend. Higher wisdom took the opportunity during our conversations to remind us what a huge role words play in our realities. It rocked both our worlds.
Here’s the thing: Many of us get “it” intellectually. Our mind grasps the concepts of what we SHOULD do, how we SHOULD do it and what it SHOULD look like. Some of us are quite adept at our attempts to physically conform to what we believe is right to do as well. As we get deep into our inner world – things get real. I may be able to camouflage and hide my emotions from the outside world; and even my conscious awareness, but I cannot change the reality of their existence. So there they reside – awaiting expression. The deeper the repression – the subtler the expression. Where do they find expression? – in many ways and places in fact. Today Imma focus on the WORDS WE CHOOSE TO USE.
What we say has a profound effect on our reality; and conversely our inner reality profoundly affects the words we use. We have many sayings that reference the Truth of our words (e.g. “mean what you say. Say what you mean.” ). However, we still often say things by rote (habit), in a state of autopilot – and often times without full consciousness. Whether we decide to be conscious or not, our words help affect, shape, shift, and even create the realities in which we live. So why not be present for the show? In fact, why not take your rightful place as the conductor of this orchestra? YOU can decide what words suit what you want. YOU can decide what words suit YOU. It is important to pay attention to we say, how we say it, how we feel when we say it.
Now to the analogy of the cage: Our words are part of our reinforcing behaviour; and have the capacity to power us into flight or to reinforce the bars on the cage in which we place ourselves. With our words we can easily create a cage, step inside the cage, shut the door, and busy ourselves with reinforcing bar after bar after bar……Here’s an example:
1. INTRODUCTIONS: When I meet someone, I may choose a litany of words to describe who I AM – amounting to a resume of sorts. I am a mother, I am a wife, I am a sister, I am an aunt, I am a police officer, I am a holistic health consultant, I am a business owner….In actuality, these are roles – in which I feel blessed to partake. How I choose to fill these roles tell a person more about me than the title themselves. With that said, words I use to describe these roles and the ENERGY with which I describe these roles tell people my story – my inner reality – how I FEEL in relation to these roles. The Truth of who we are is limitless and indescribable. It can sometimes feel very familiar and safe to bring definition and shape to our SELF through labels. It is when we feel we adhere to these labels – though our Truth may be different – that we are erecting bars. It is when we pretend in order to conform, avoid detection, bypass conflict, divert attention, etc – that we are erecting bars. It is when we claim labels that really have nothing to do with our Truth – our unique brand of Power – that we erect bars. I grow myself wings and fly when I:
• Acknowledge – in Truth – the roles I fill within my life. Which ones fit? Which ones don’t?
• Allow my Truth to be expressed – even when it may not conform to roles/labels people understand or accept
• Go with the Flow of my Truth – and understand that roles are like clothing. Roles I donned in past may no longer fit my current form
• Dig deep and express brightly the Truth/Power of who I am so it may infuse the ROLES I CHOOSE to fill in my life
2. TELLING MY STORY: What do I choose for my story? We each exist through a myriad of moments and experiences in our lives. When I meet you, I need to be relatively concise about how I tell you about me. I use the word “relatively” because some of use a lot more words than others 😀 I CHOOSE which moments and which WORDS I USE to DESCRIBE MY LIFE moments. My choices can reinforce the bars on my cage. Especially if I describe myself by all of my past challenges; or habitually talk about my failures, shortcomings, or what I perceive I lack altogether (this can sometimes be a “I called it before you do” tactic); or maintain a false persona of fragility to seek attention, care, protection – aka LOVE. All of these choices of words work to keep me in a cage of my creation. The bars to my cage are reinforced EVERY TIME I habitually put myself down, or go through my list of what doesn’t work in my life, or recite phrases, sayings, etc that don’t help me – but people have come to expect of me. Conversely, I can also choose to strengthen my wings and bring power to my flight when I:
• Stay connected with the Truth/Power/God of who I am, remain present, and maintain clarity when I am about tell someone about myself. What I tell YOU about myself may be different than what I tell another person – because the reason you and I connect IS different than why I connect with another person. We have so many facets to our SELF – we don’t have to feel compelled to express ourselves in exactly the same way all of the time. To think that we must present as some one-dimensional character in a bad movie in order to be perceived as “consistent” and “authentic” is really having the opposite effect.
3. SELF-TALK and DAY-TO-DAY CONVERSATIONS: There are so many ways that we use words to buoy our spirits, change our attitudes, bring abundance, motivate others, etc. What if you believe none of them? What if the “real” words that scroll through your mind make you feel like crap? Are habitual and automatic? Are harshly judgemental and critical? Are cruel and unkind? No matter what we think intellectually and consciously show to the outside world – our real inner dialogue will help determine how deep into the cage we retreat or how high we will fly. This paragraph does not contain any sure-fire guarantees to rid you of all negative self-talk. It does, however, contain my shared technique of striving for “real” LOVING talk (F.L.Y.):
• FACE IT – Acknowledge the negative words you use on yourself and others. This post is not going to walk you through the deep work of discovering your “why” behind the negative self-talk and judgement of others. Simply pay brief attention to your repertoire of favourite words to put yourself or other people down. Bring them out, shed light on them, and keep them in the clarity of consciousness so they can’t hide in the darkness of sub-conscious habitual behaviour. Acknowledge the true meaning to and effect(s) of these words on you. If you so wish, look at why you choose these words.
• LIST IT – Create and maintain a list of what you know you do well and what you WANT to do well. What you are passionate about? What makes you happy? What makes you buzz? What makes you feel powerful? Revisit this list often. Amend it when you feel to do so. Add to it. Drink it in. This is your visual reminder of your Truths – your Power.
• YIELD TO IT – Allow your Truth/Power/God to be. You don’t have feel compelled to do a complete and immediate overhaul of all negative self-talk. Go one-by-one. Replace one of your most often-used put-downs with one of your Truths/passions/assets/strengths/intentions.
What WORDS do YOU CHOOSE to TELL people about WHO YOU ARE? What words capture who you will be? What words will express your legacy? Allow your words to set you free and take you to greater heights. xo Keda