I spent this last weekend at the first of seven weekends for another yoga teacher training. As expected, it was challenging and full of opportunities for growth in my practice. What was not expected, however, is who showed up.
I’m not talking about the other people in the training; I’m talking about myself.
I’m a strong, take no bullshit kind of girl, and I tend to believe that’s how I present myself to the world.
Only, as it turns out, this is maybe not entirely true.
What kept showing up for me on the mat was my words, particularly the way in which I suck the strength right out of them, and thereby my reality, with just a few simple habits.
Because although I’ve spent a long time training myself to be impeccable with my word and mindful of the energy I generate through my actions, l’ve been missing something—something big.
It’s not just about using positive language, it’s about context, tense, verbs, nouns and modifiers. The power of my words lies in whether I’m making declarations, because when I look at it more closely, a good chunk of my chatter is rather unbound.
Here are three things I’m giving up to create a new reality:
For example, when I’m not feeling committed to an idea, I find I have a tendency to use language with varying shades of vagueness like “should, maybe, kind of, probably, etc…” Ironic? Obviously. Helpful to turning my dreams into a reality? Umm, no.
I also realized I do a whole lot projecting things out into the future by habitually adding the future tense to my statements, which undermines the power of the assertion altogether. This looks like “I am going to…” or “I’d like to…” and similar turns of phrase.
Following me? Look at the difference in these two statements:
See the difference? One is a weak suggestion to do something sometime in the future. The other is a direct ask for right now. It has power behind it and a strong clear intention.
Now let’s say I’ve removed the non-committal verbiage, I’m speaking in present tense and I’m using positive language. Good to go, right?
But there’s one more thing:
3. Labeling, giving value and creating attachments to a perception
Without even realizing it, my default conversation is to sort, label and categorize my everything. Somewhere along the way, I decided that if I can name it, I have a place for it. If I have a place for it, it’s mine. And if it’s mine, I can choose to keep it or not.
This can be useful, but it can also be disabling.
Here are some examples:
“I’m going to work on my handstand because it’s kind of pathetic right now.” “That’s so lame.” “I always take on more than I can reasonably do.” and “You’re so ridiculous.”
See how these statements might generate a less than desirable aftermath? We’re setting ourselves (or others) up for failure by predetermining quality or consequence.
One of my yoga teachers says: “There’s power in ‘I am.’”
Her point? The words we use to frame and define our experiences, determine their effect on us and thereby our outcome.
The remedy for these actions? Be clear, be present, be real.
Notice I didn’t say nice, positive, or kind. It’s not that those things aren’t important, but the lesson in this is that desired results start and end with clear and concise language.
Speak to what’s here, tangible and actionable.
Let’s take the bumpers off our words and say exactly what we mean.
The universe will answer, so speak wisely.
Author: Michelle Sweezey
Editor: Evan Yerburgh