By Lisa Manning, CST, CHt
“Raise your words, not your voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.” – Rumi (Persian poet and Sufi master born in 1207)
Considering this month’s focus on oral health, I pondered the many areas of our lives that involve the mouth. The lips are highly sensitive to touch and, through our mouths, we seek physical as well as emotional nurturing. This is truly a powerful portal for interacting with the world!
Our first experiences as babies in the newly physical world are interpreted and played out through sensory touch and sound. Through our mouths, our hunger is satisfied and a kiss can be a greeting and express emotions of affection, high esteem or passion.
Our thoughts and emotions are also expressed through our ability to vocalize. We can whisper, roar, laugh, scream or simply chat about the weather.
The words we speak carry a weight of their own
Thoughts casually tossed out in the form of words may create lasting harm, just as a simple word of kindness could be forever remembered when offered at a time of great need. It’s worth the time it takes to consider your thoughts before speaking aloud.
There is a saying – “Before you speak, let your words pass through three gates”:
- At the first gate, ask yourself “Is it true?”
- At the second gate ask, “Is it necessary?”
- At the third gate ask, “Is it kind?”
This philosophy is a very good starting point for most thoughts, and it’s especially useful tool to use before having a difficult conversation with someone.
Is it true?
Are the words you’re about to say a true representation of things? Or, are you speaking about your own hurt, anger or desire to be right? Doing an honest inner inventory of your feelings can free you from repeatedly projecting emotions on others.
Is it necessary?
Just because you think it, doesn’t mean it needs to be said. Consider taking one full breath and pausing for a moment before expressing a thought, especially in tense situations.
Is it kind?
While what you’re about to say may be true, it may also be unkind. It’s worth considering the emotional impact that your words will have on the recipient. Does this really need to be said, and is now the time?
Inner mindfulness = ‘better’ words
When teaching classes, I refer to being mindful about what I say as ‘emotional landscaping.’ When you’re a careful gardener of your inner world, your impact on the outer world is far more positive. And you always have a choice!
Words are powerful. Though words can cause harm, they’re equally powerful for healing. The words of poets, sages and sacred texts can provide sources of hope, peace and transformation. The words that flow through your own consciousness every day, and even throughout your dream sleep, work to shape outcomes and reality.
We have control of what we let in and what we give out. This awareness can transform not only your inner world, but also the way you relate to everyone around you. With the right attention and focus, you’ll be on the road to cultivating the peaceful and successful outcomes you desire.
So, choose your words carefully! And wishing you success on the path.
“Words are seeds that do more than blow around. They land in our hearts and not the ground. Be careful what you plant and careful what you say. You might have to eat what you planted one day.”
Lisa is a licensed Craniosacral Therapist. She’s also a Master Certified Hypnotherapist, specializing in Somato-Emotional Hypnosis to address chronic pain and anxiety.