Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Power of Words

"You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire
universe, deserve your love and affection.”
-Guatama Buddha

I was speaking with some old friends recently and we got on the topic of words, and the power of words. Words are very powerful, and our choice of words means so much more than we often are aware of. Often times our word choice comes out unconsciously. Yet, when we really listen to them, which we often don't, what we said made much more sense than we consciously meant. And, as we look at the words we choose, they say so much about us now, about our past, and about what we are creating in the world. 

One of the things we were talking about was what words spoke to us  this past New Year. The words that are important to me for this new year are: create, joy, prosperity, peace, and choice. As these words were taking shape for me I put them into a sentence: I choose to and am creating a life of joy, peace, and prosperity. In fact, what I would like the world to have is a life of peace, joy, and prosperity for everyone. If I can create one for myself I can be one small part of creating this for and with the world.  

Continuing in this vein, I realized that what I am helping to create for my patients is for them to be able to live a life of health, wholeness and vitality. If we have our health, and we feel good and vital, and we reclaim our lost selves so that we are whole, we then have the ability to create the lives we wish to create for ourselves. Even just saying this makes me happy and joyful. So, as I work with my patients as a chiropractor, I help them to hear and understand what their bodies are saying to them. I am helping to translate their bodies voice so they can understand them and understand their selves more fully. As a facilitator and coach, I help them to know and honor who they are as people separate from and yet connected to their families and communities so they can live their own individual, unique lives. As they reclaim their lives and selves they can have the freedom to create the life of their own dreams.  

This word smithing is fun for me. Yet so much of the time we unconsciously choose words to speak out loud and to speak to us unconsciously which undermine what we consciously want for ourselves. As I work with myself and others I so often hear our underlying fears in our words. For example, I am worthless, I am not worth anything, I don't count, I am not enough, I am bad, I am stupid, I can't succeed, and so on. Can you imagine how many times we say these words to ourselves over the years, and the impact of these words on our psyche and our lives? Those words live within us from the old wounds and injuries in our lives, especially when we were very young. It is our young selves who often think it is our fault that our parents split, or that dad left, or that if we weren't so worthless, mom would pay attention to us, etc. We believe these words when we are little. As we grow up, we consciously want to feel worthy and good enough and don't realize how much these early feelings impact our sense of worth in the present. 

Here is an exercise which I find fun, we can all do together. Take out a sheet of paper, fold it in half and without conscious thought, write out 10 words that come to you immediately, without changing  or censoring them. Now, once you have written out those ten words, on the other half of the paper write out ten words that speak to what you want for yourself in your life now. Turn the paper over, and on the back side, write out ten words that speak to you of how you felt when you were a young child. How many words were repeated on the first half of side 1 and the back side of the paper? How many words were repeated on the second half of the first side and the back side of the paper? 

What do you notice about your thoughts? What can you do to help yourself to create a life that you want? As we create the lives that we want, we can live whole, healthy and vital lives. 

Homework: 


A homework assignment you can do for yourself on your own time is to notice what words you are using as you speak with yourself, and what words you find yourself using as you go about your day in dealing with co-workers, friends, acquaintances, folks at the grocery store, and so on. What words catch your attention as you listen to others? This is an exercise in just noticing, which is the first step in becoming conscious of your thoughts and your words.