Claiming our power through language


Here we are, moving towards the end of the year, in a way, having normalized the uncertainty with which we have to live, but also longing for a time when stability will come to visit us and stay a little longer. After all, our brains have limited ability to cope with so many changes around us (and multitasking doesn’t help either).

Today I want to share with you something that is intrinsically part of our lives, the way we build relationships and communicate with others.

And the importance of how we use it.

The words we use to define and describe situations have a very deep meaning and help to build narratives and stories around them. The fascinating part is that although we have standardized the meaning of words and language, the way we internalize and process them is very different from one person to another (we will leave this duty to the study of linguistics and semantics ).

But the relevant part is how the choice of our words gives us specific sensations and, consequently, is built on predisposed internal narratives. And the more we do, the stronger this pillar, behavior, belief becomes. When we want to address change and make it lasting, we need to look at language and its use as a way to demarcate narratives and discern the associated meaning.

I was talking to a friend about how often we tend to operate in a “should” space. It all feels like an obligation, something about which we have no choice, something that is inherently part of us that we don’t even question whether it helps or makes sense to do so. And how, when we operate in that space so often, we neglect and forget those aspects that we “like”, “want”, “appreciate”, “love”. Are we leaving time, space, energy for them too?

If we don’t, our tasks and actions become too mundane, too fixed. It’s as if the liveliness that inspires our creativity, our interests, and our stretching zones is gone, because we’re mostly “doing” or “being” with autopilot.

Could it be a way that we could still benefit from the routines that work for us, but still leave room for breathing for improvisation and for checking what we need at that particular time?

“I should exercise more.”

“I should meet Sarah for coffee.”

“I should play the piano more often.”

“I should really work on my business project”

“I should meditate every day.”

Too often?

It should feel heavy. They feel like an obligation. It involves a kind of fear, something you expect to end. But are these the things you really fear?

As your days go by and you find yourself using the word “should”, we can ask ourselves a very simple question: Is this something I really want to do?

If the items on your “to-do list” are things that really interest you, I suggest you be careful when using the word “should”. If this is something you really want to do, change your wording to something that gives the activity a more upbeat glow. Test:

“I would like to ______”

“I’m waiting for ______”

“I would like to ______”

“I want______”

Using more positive language will naturally give a more positive tone to the whole activity, for yourself, but also for who you are speaking to. This positive inclination will give you more motivation to really complete what you would like and should do. Try it for yourself. Every time you find yourself saying “you should” do something, try replacing it with “I’d like ____”. In fact, it feels good to use that kind of language.

If you can’t really answer the question “Is this something you really want to do?” with a safe “yes”, you may want to reconsider the task. If it’s really something that feels heavy, and the only word to describe it is like something you should do, consider whether it’s something you really need to do. And if not, replace it with something you really want to do.

Consider this a way to censor your activities. Many things are likely to happen in your life, and sometimes you may have trouble saying no to things you don’t want or need to do. They will often become “hauries”.

If I don’t mind saying “I’d like to …”. and you can remove it from your to-do list, delete it! You will have no problem replacing it with an activity that you are waiting for.

Meet the author – Mònica Ruiz

Monica Ruiz

Monica first discovered yoga and awareness two decades ago while pursuing her career in a highly demanding and results-oriented corporate environment. They brought a sense of freedom, inner peace and calm that have accompanied him ever since. It combines different styles of yoga and somatic-inspired movement (Vinyasa, Slow Flow, Yin, Restorative and Nidra) with sound therapy, coaching and energy healing in order to create profound transformative experiences. Her style is playful, creative, and curious, creating her unique offering of “Holistic Wellness,” which combines cognitive, emotional, and experiential frameworks to empower people to embody her true, resilient self. Based in London, she works as a teacher, host of retreats and workshops both locally and internationally.

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