Yesterday, I was challenged to do something I had not done in a while and that was to be mindful of what I said and what I thought. Denise Linn calls this being a sacred observer. Miguel don Ruiz uses a similar exercise in which he has you write down all those thoughts that float through your head. So often, we are not aware of the language of our thoughts. Even when we do not speak language that is disempowering, we may think it. It is a humbling experience when you observe your speech and thought patterns.
One of the things I wrote about in my process journal about being a sacred observer yesterday was how even others conversations can bring up disempowering and negative thoughts in our minds, especially when they trigger unhealed wounds. I became mindful of my thoughts and words, as well as the impact of others thoughts and words. It was interesting to be mindful of what I was saying both externally and in my head. I can remember a time when I would have caught myself using more disempowering language then I am presently. It was nice to see how far I had come. There were a few moments when I was mindful that I was thinking something judgmental. For example, on the bus when people were talking about some of the drivers that had been fired for cutting seat belts or having sex on the bus. I found myself thinking about why anyone would do that. Or when customers were talking about how they had been left behind in the past and I began thinking about this one dispatcher, who when I was left behind one night during a snowstorm, told me I don’t care how you get home you missed your bus. I found myself thinking how non-compassionate she was. Then I had to stop myself and think about things from her perspective. It made me wonder how many people say they missed their bus each day, how many people had been rude to her, what other things had happened in her life that day, and that helped me come back to a better place of understanding. Then I had to stop and think about why this was still bothering me so much and I decided I needed to forgive myself for being judgmental, forgive her for not being as compassionate as I would have liked. I began to think about all the times I might have come across as less compassionate as others would have liked me to be and began to pray for their forgiveness as well.
Then I started thinking about all the words I had worked to remove from my vocabulary and what I had replaced them with that were more empowering. I began to realize how much changing my language had changed my life. while doing an audio course on the power of language we were challenged to be a sacred observer of our words and to listen for when we used words such as failure, put down, bad, forgot, problem, no problem, difficult, hard, worry, poor, not bad and but. We were challenged to transform these words to be more dynamic and empowering. So rather then think or talk about something as a failure, it was a learning opportunity. It was not a problem, but an opportunity for growth and development. I stopped talking about worrying and started talking about how I was searching for a solution. I stopped using the word but which made me feel like I was making an excuse to something like no I cannot do this and this is why.
There are still times that I catch myself using disempowering language. For example, after writing about not using the word but I wondered if I had used it in this reflection. I had, so I had to think about how I could say what I wanted to say in a more active and empowering way. So I did. I think that is one of the important things to remember, is that it is a process and it is all about the journey. Changing our language does not happen over night; if we practice and take time to sacredly observe our thoughts and actions we change our lives and can have an impact on others lives as well.