A note from Tara: This post was originally a writing prompt I issued to participants in my September 2017 30 Day Writing Challenge. It was so breakthrough-inducing for those folks I had to share it here.
I invite you to join us in November for the next 30 Day Writing Challenge for Conscious Leaders and Creators. Space is limited; register now: taranicholle.com/30-day-writing-challenge.
We tell kids this all the time, don’t we? Don’t hit. Don’t fuss. And whatever you do, use your words.
But we’re much less clear with them about precisely how to use their words. So human children model the words of those around them, creating mental storylines and ways of wielding our words, both toward others and toward ourselves, that last a lifetime.
Some of these are helpful and healthful, these ways we wield our words. But often times, they are totally unintentional. This is troubling, as words and the energy behind them are the most powerful instruments we have, as humans.
We *think* there’s no instruction manual for how to use our words. But in fact, there are a number of systems and sources of wisdom on this exact topic, from very different sources.
- Non-Violent Communication: I walked into the house the other day and found my sweetheart having a deep conversation with my little black pug, Sumiko. “Sumiko, he said, looking her straight in the eye, “When you howl like that, I feel sad. I feel like I’m not taking care of you. And I need you to stop howling, because I really try very hard to make you feel cared for.” Scott was modeling Non-Violent Communication, a sort of philosophy and set of conversational templates for using your words to express yourself, have hard conversations and resolve conflict while minimizing defensive and unintended hurt feelings on the other side. NVC has an undercurrent I like, of requiring each speaker to own responsibility for their own happiness.
- Ancient spiritual authorities: One of the Bible verses I personally reference the most is Psalm 18:21, which I grew up on as “Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof.” But I personally love the specific phrasing of The Message version, which goes like this: “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit—you choose.”
I also like the fleshing out of this principle in Dwight Goddard’s translations of some Buddhist sutras: “As to purity by words. There are five pairs of words that cause much disturbance in the world:
- words that are suitable on some occasions and wrong on other occasions
- words that fit certain facts and that do not fit other facts
- some words are quiet, some are wild
- some words are beneficial, some harmful
- some words are sympathetic, some are hateful.
Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them, for good or ill. If our minds are filled with sympathy and compassion, they will be resistant to the evil words we hear, and we must not let wild words pass our lips lest they arouse feelings of anger and hatred. The words we speak must always be words of sympathy and wisdom.”
3. The First of The Four Agreements. Those of you who know me know I am micro-obsessed with The Four Agreements, a set of principles laid down by don Miguel Ruiz for accessing incredible levels of freedom and energy. The First of the Four is to “be impeccable with your words,” which does not just mean to do what you say you’ll do. It means two things:
a) To understand the power of your words to bless or curse yourself and those around you, and
b) To only use your words in favor of love and light, both toward yourself and toward others.
dMR says this single Agreement, practiced consistently, creates a life that comes close to heaven right here on Earth.
POD #10: Use Your Words
Here’s the actual prompt. Use your ever-powerful words to speak, weave and write TWO blessings. The first one is a blessing I want you to write and speak over yourself, your life and/or your future. The second is a blessing you’ll write over/about someone else. The someone else might be your dog, your mate, your kidlets or your bestie. It might be our nation or our world.
Extra credit if you can toss in a bonus blessing over someone you don’t particularly ummmmmmm like.
Write a bit about how it feels to be the bestower of blessings.