A short while ago I received a private message from someone on social media. I happened to be on vacation, and some how the notification for the message popped up on my phone, allowing me to read a majority of what was sent, without even really choosing to do so.
The message was pretty harsh, very critical of me and my life, and was sprinkled with judgments and jabs at my character and my work. I know I talk all the time about not taking the things other people say and do personally, but in this instance, I took it all very personally.
The words written felt like a punch to the gut, like I was completely misunderstood, and it made me really sad. In that moment, I felt incredibly vulnerable, and allowed myself to really take in what was written to me, and even ponder if what was written could actually be true.
Luckily, through my own mental practices and the support of loved ones who I had shared the message with, I was able to remember that what was said to me was not my truth, write a kind but aligned response in return, and move forward. The words this person wrote to me though, did take a toll on me internally. In fact, I can still feel their energy, the questioning, doubts, and validity still enter my mind, so I am very personally reminded of how powerful the words we speak, write, and think, really are.
This past week, I was again reminded of the power of the words we use. I was catching up on current events, and I was troubled to read what the President of the United States wrote and spoke about women of color in the US. I know speaking about current events isn’t typically on brand; however, in this case, I feel enormous responsibility to make this connection in regards to the power of spoken word, especially when it involves powerful world leaders. I don’t really believe this topic to be political, but rather, an example of how we have allowed ourselves to speak so harshly and so cruelly, without stopping to examine the consequences.
We, as caring and mindful human beings, must begin to take responsibility for our thoughts and words, and hold each other accountable in being aligned with the language we use. It’s on all of us. The thoughts we think influence our beliefs, which influence how we speak, which influences how we behave. I believe it’s incredibly important to recognize and be present to the connection here.
My hope and intention for this week’s blog is to encourage us all to pause and take note of our language and the words that we use in our daily lives. Here are ways we can do this:
Take inventory on the thoughts you think to yourself. Are they kind, loving, and compassionate? Are the thoughts you think ones that are helping you to be the very best version of yourself?
Become mindful of the things you say to your loved ones and those closest to you. How do you engage with the people in your life? What are your conversations and interactions like?
Start questioning and monitoring the words you use when discussing and describing the people you don’t even know. Are your thoughts judgmental? Hateful? Envious? Loving?
Be honest with yourself and see what comes up. Try not to judge yourself for what you find. Remember, by taking the time to really go within and see the language and words used, we can start to make shifts and positive changes.
I know this topic can feel a bit challenging, but I promise the work of going within and making these shifts within ourselves will help to produce the positive changes that we hope for externally.
Thank you for reading and for being so open minded on this topic with me.
Michelle is Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life's Creative Director and resident writer. She has a degree in Journalism from Indiana University and is also a certified holistic health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and registered yoga teacher with trainings with Anuttara Yoga Shala and Strala Yoga. Michelle has a deep desire to help people find happiness in all areas of their lives, and truly believes the Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life movement will bring lasting change to the world. Michelle splits her time between Florida and New York City and loves connecting with people from all over the world. If you'd like to contact her, she can be reached at email@example.com