power of words

The Power of Words & Why "It Is What It Is" Doesn't Cut It

Reading some thoughts by Anthony Robbins on how the words (or word associations) we use either weigh us down or give us wings with which to fly. He suggests trying a simple exercise in an effort to change our thoughts from negative & energy-zapping to empowering & energy-provoking.

Robbins provides the following exercise: 

1. Take a moment to write down at least three words you currently use on a regular basis...words that make you feel lousy, lost and lazy. These can include (but definitely aren't limited to) frustrated, angry, scared, sad, incompetent, etc.

2. Write down next each word how it makes you feel. Does it affect your ability to succeed in your work, relationships, or other areas of your life? Does it keep you from reaching your goals and dreams?

3. Go on a crazy, outrageous, and fun brainstorming session! Write down new words that you can use in place of the words you listed. "Remember that your brain loves anything that gets you out of pain and into pleasure," writes Robbins. Choose new words that will move you beyond limited thought to new places cookin'!

It's quite interesting to think --- your world is what you perceive it to be. Have you noticed the difference from neighborhood to neighborhood within a city? In Los Angeles, I'm always amazed at how one neighborhood can be inspired...pristine...creative...litter-free. Yet, a few blocks down the story can be completely different...litter everywhere...houses with cracking paint and barred windows.

The difference between neighborhoods...and minds...is vision. It's what we perceive and what we manifest (create) as result.

As a Disneyland fan, I notice when I ride on the Pirates of the Caribbean some children cry their eyes out because they are afraid of the dark atmosphere & the freaky pirates, while others love it so much they want to go again and again. The only difference between the two types of youngsters are their mental perceptions.

In many sacred texts, "the word" is given much attention. I think this is because long-ago wisdom-filled individuals realized the words that run through our minds -- are then spoken through our lips -- which inspires action/or non-action -- and then the results are seen in the home, in families and friendships, in the workplace, and in our neighborhoods.

Don't allow the words & perceptions that run through your mind to be the end-all-be-all.  One of my least favorite phrases =  "it is what it is." I hear it all too often from people I love. An "is what it is" mentality is a cop-out. Don't forget that we have the power to shape our worlds --- moment by moment. It all begins by reshaping our perceptions and creating a new mental vocabulary.

Make it a bold day!

- Jen Engevik

Right Speech: Noble Eightfold Path Part 2

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Right speech may be one of the hardest tenants of the Noble Eightfold Path to follow. It is one that I find challenging at every turn!

Buddha laid out the following guidelines for Right Speech:

1. to abstain from false speech, especially not to tell deliberate lies and not to speak deceitfully.

2. to abstain from slanderous speech and not to use words maliciously against others.

3. to abstain from harsh words that offend or hurt others.

4. to abstain from idle chatter that lacks purpose or depth.

Buddha sets the bar high for us trouble-making human beings! Yet we can't deny the pain and frustration that wrong speech can bring to our lives on a daily basis. Our words have such power over us that they creep into our muscles and bones -- they have the power to give us life or cripple our souls.

Many of us seem to feel we have the no lying part of Right Speech down, but very few of us have mastered the art of not talking badly about our neighbors/co-workers/friends/family members, or using words that offend, or engage in idle chatter throughout the day.

I have to be the first to admit that I love to chatter - love to comment on things and discuss and talk and talk and talk. And sometimes it gets so darn tiring. It's actually freeing for me to realize that I just can be still and should be still more often. And when I'm being still, I'm learning to be a better listener.

Surrounding talking about others, I find it all too easy to be entertained by the latest gossip -- to hear the rundown on what Jane did yesterday, or what Tom is doing today, and about how Jane and Tom got into an argument over x,y and z. I listen and engage in the drama-filled gossip session, and I find myself tired and a bit stressed by the end. Jane and Tom's x, y's and z's become my problems indirectly -- and yep...my muscles and bones feel it.

It is said that we don't use our minds to their fullest potential, and just maybe this has to do partially, or maybe even majorly with the words we choose to use and how much we engage in idle chatter. Sometimes we babble on about how we don't want to do something, or how silly it is we have to perform a certain action, etc. And by the time we are done going on and on and on, the thing that we dread would be completed and our minds reeling from the high from performing a task successfully.

Or we blurt out something and wish we could reel it back in -- and then we spend the rest of the day thinking about (while wasting mental energy) what we said. We worry about the repercussions of our words.

In a nutshell, we are our words. Our words shape and mold much of our daily experience.

I make mistakes each day. I choose words that I regret...but I need to remind myself that I can stop my words right as they are about to come out of my lips. And I can breathe...and let my ill-feelings pass. And if I fail and those words come spewing out of my mouth. I'll try again and again and again...and maybe...just maybe...I'll be on the Right Speech path one fine day.

-Post by Jen Engevik of Project BE Bold

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