My toddler sits on top of his garbage truck, pushing himself - fast - across the floor. "Halsten! You’re not supposed to ride on it like that; you’ll fall off and bonk your head!”
** 3 seconds later there’s a crash and then crying.
Yep, he fell off his garbage truck.
Wait… Did I do that? Did I throw out that suggestion only to have the seed planted and then sprout only moments later? You know you’re a yogi parent if… yep, the joke’s on me. Or is it?
Yoga teaches us that there is power behind the voice, (thank you Vissudha, 5th chakra). It shares that if you speak of forgetting, you will manifest forgetting; if you speak of hating or distrusting, you will create more of those items in your life. Or, you can work to increase your awareness and begin to speak truth and manifest a new reality.
Communication and the power behind it has been a focal point for me during my yoga practice. I grew up slathering my words in sarcasm and/or grandeur. For what purpose, I’m still unsure (work to be done later after I’m no longer changing diapers).
The catalyst for my communication change came for me when I lost a job. Well, I didn’t lose it. I was fired for something that I didn’t do. My boss didn’t believe me. After that experience, I learned that when all else was gone - fancy job - rent check - all you had left was your word. And that was super-duper important. If your boss, or partner, or children, doesn’t believe you, what’s the point in even trying. So from that point forward, I made a promise to speak the truth, the whole truth. I agreed to remove dramatic language and pause to consider, is this really true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? Probably not. Did someone once say that silence is golden??? Possibly. Lastly, I chose to select words that empowered my life and the life of others. I chose language every day to manifest the future I strive for.
Now enter children, stage left. What the hell. Did you know that if you say, “I hate the DMV” that your toddler will spend the next 5 minutes walking around the DMV shouting, “I hate the DMV!” on repeat, even though your trip was actually rather pleasant (minus said toddler)? That the mamma’s iPhone really can’t be tired (sad face)? That if your words are coated in sarcasm or anger, that they feel that? That your ability to communicate sense to the utterly senseless becomes even more important? Yes, having children turns up the heat on your yoga practice in more ways that I ever imagined. I could go on and on, but if you’re reading this far, you get my point. I would love to hear your stories as well, so please do share. It’s nice to know that you’re not on an island with little people who only say, “NO!”
So with all that in mind, here are some tips in regards to language that will help you and your loved ones:
Brené Brown in Daring Greatly asks, “Are you the adult that you want your child to grow up to be?” Yeah, that stopped me dead in my tracks too. Sigh. Mindfulness, yoga, communication… remember, we are all simply doing our best. Now go reheat your coffee and keep trucking on.