ABRACADABRA MEDITATION: I Create What I Speak
Words have meaning. They have an origin and a history. It is important that we choose our words wisely. We should research them to better understand and imbue them with more meaning. Your vocabulary is yours and yours alone. Perhaps you have adopted some words and phrases that don’t quite fit you or the person you want to be. Perhaps you inherited them from your upbringing; they’ve been passed down from generation to generation and are therefore familiar to you, but not generative, expansive, or transformative. Identify the words and phrases you use that don’t actually belong to you and remove them from your vocabulary. You can do this by sitting with a familiar phrase and noticing how it makes you feel. If it feels heavy, weighted, or stifling, then transform it. You create what you speak, so we have a big responsibility to become conscious of what statements we are making out in the world.
Think about phrases you use on a regular basis. Write them here. Don’t judge them get them all out in broad daylight and then transform the ones that feel heavy into a phrase that is more generative, useful, and supportive.
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There is a form of communication called Nonviolent Communication (NVC), developed by Dr. Marshall B. Rosenberg. It is a form of communication that uses language in a specific way to communicate compassionately. The main guiding principles of NVC are observations, feelings, empathy, and self-empathy. NVC has identified certain feelings we experience when our needs are being met, and other feelings we experience when they are not. Our human needs are universal, and it is our birthright to be in a safe environment where we are able to meet our needs. One way to accomplish this is to take responsibility for how we communicate with our self and others. If we have a tendency to communicate in a violent manner due to cultural conditioning or any other factors, we now have the opportunity to change our language so that it is more compatible with our needs and the needs of others in our life.
NVC teaches us:
To observe, not judge. Describe a situation without labeling it. Instead of “He is a yelling tyrant who never listens to what I’m saying,” say, “He is yelling right now and isn’t in a place to listen to what I have to say.”
Identify your feelings. Instead of “I feel manipulated into doing what he wants me to do,” try “I feel frustrated. I don’t think I’m going to have an opportunity to express what I’d like to share.”
State your needs. Instead of “I feel frustrated because you aren’t listening to me,” say, “I feel frustrated because I need your support.”
Ask for what you want clearly. State, “Would you be willing to hear what I have to say without interrupting me?” instead of “Would you make sure not to raise your voice to me again?”
Have empathy for others. NVC points out that often we are not in a place to offer the right words, but we can be empathic toward the person with whom we would like to communicate in a peaceful manner. According to the method of NVC, empathy is something that can be offered silently and wordlessly.
Have empathy for yourself. Self-empathy is when we listen deeply to our personal needs and feelings. This will help us to determine what our next step will be.
With all of this in mind, I would like you to select and brainstorm words that really resonate, connect with, and inspire you. Following are a few words to get your collection going. Add to them as you find words that resonate with you. Then, use those words. Make a concerted effort to slip them into conversation and writing. Study them Proclaim them Love them Enjoy and enjoin them When you’re in the mood to hunt down some new words, the online Etymology Dictionary (etymonline.com) is a good resource, as is the Visual Thesaurus (visualthesaurus.com). These sites will tell you everything you need to know about the birth and origin of the words in your collection. It’s nice to know someone from the day they are born! Once you’ve found your words and put them to use, watch how they come alive in your life.