Do Words Matter?
As you work on changing your language and approach in conversations with others, do you ever find yourself wondering ...
• "What is the right way to say ..." or
• "Is it OK to use xyz word?" or
• "Can I use "heard" as a feeling?" or
• "Am I allowed to use metaphors when I'm trying to speak nonviolently?"
My answer to these questions is usually some version of the same thing: It depends, and use whatever language most closely reflects your deepest intentions.
Just remember, connection and effectiveness don't lie in the words themselves.
They lie in your energy.
In your open-heartedness.
In the spirit that you bring to the conversation.
What matters is not the "right" word or phrase (as if there is such as thing!)
What matters is your care.
What matters is your curiosity, your openness, your humility, your open heart.
And you know what else matters?
Different words work better in different contexts with different people.
We are all just experimenting and learning.
For a while I have been uploading snippets of trainings and practice group recordings onto Patreon, and this week I decided to make a previously "members only" recording available to you because it covers a wide range of topics that we often explore together in practice groups.
In this 27-minute practice group recording, we explore:
• How the denotation and connotation of words can trip us up and what to do about it
• How the language we choose impacts conversations at the transactional and relational levels - and why caring about this matters
• How language progresses from prejudiced, to profound, to poetic - and how the use of a metaphor could be prejudiced or poetic, depending upon how its used
• Why it's hard to stay open-hearted in the face of differences
• How to navigate hard-to-hear messages (all the internal thresholds and awarenesses we may want to track and manage)
• The difference between trying to force emotional intimacy, and simply being caring.
• How to leave a relationship that is no longer working, with integrity, care and empowerment.
I hope you enjoy it!
One more thing:
I watched Marie Forleo interview Dr. Tererai Trent recently, and haven't been able to get her story out of my mind.
I found it heartbreaking and deeply inspiring.
So many resources get wasted in wealthy countries out of fears of being sued and I've been pondering what we might do about that in our own communities and cultures.
Her strength, her dignity, her grace, her spirit have stayed with me.
I immediately bought her book, The Awakened Woman, and want to share this quote with you:
"This is the movement of the awakened woman, the circle of sacred sisters.
In these pages, I will tend the fire of resilience glowing within you.
I will be your companion as you reclaim your potent voice, filling in the past silences.
With poetry and storytelling, I will give you courage to nurture your deepest hungers and discover your sacred dream, to plant and tend the seeds of who you were meant to be, and to align your life in harmony with the greater good."
With that, I'd love to know ...
What sacred dreams are you still meant to bring into this world?
How are you aligning your life with the greater good?
What helps you do this work? What gets in the way?
Leave a comment for me below!