Talk Talk Talk
"You surrender to a lot of things which are not worthy of you. I wish you would surrender to your radiance... your integrity... your beautiful human grace." Yogi Bhajan
Is it just me or are gossiping and/or complaining insidious habits that can be hard to break? As a woman, it can seem rather natural to curl up on couch with your girlfriends and talk for hours. Conversations often veer towards your relationships, what you are working on and how you are feeling in the moment. If you are someone who likes to complain, perhaps words are used to express how hard life feels or how you just can't muster up enough energy to get everything done. Or maybe you are the type who takes pleasure in discussing the lives of others. The nature of this sort of conversation isn't always negative. Sometimes it's just a way to fill in space, an easy alternative to silence or pauses. But far too often it takes a dark turn. Before you know it, you are explaining how so and so wronged you. Or how x broke up with y because he was secretly cheating on her. And without being able to take it back, you have entered the icky land of gossip.
Overall, these sort of communications don't feel great long-term. Similar to other alluring addictions like caffeine or sugar, there is a definite up and a definitive down. It is a cheap easy high that can feel so good in the moment and so bad in the aftermath. So why do we do it? Often times, it is the result of habit. Once the habit is engrained, we subconsciously attract others who help support it. If we like to complain, chances are we have friends who validate our suffering. If we enjoy saying bad things about others, we probably have at least one friend who gets off on negative vibes.
Fortunately, habits are not impossible to break. I took on my first 40 day no gossip/no complaining challenge in November. While initially it was difficult, it was without a doubt a GIANT game changer. Within the first week, I realized how often people want to discuss others. I also saw how many times a day we complain about how tired we are. Not only was this an opportunity to take responsibility for my words, but it was also a call to turn talking into an art. Arousing excitement and inspiration is way more creative then basic negativity. There is nothing interesting about a whiner who shit talks.
As the days passed by, my desire to speak in these ways lessened. I found myself with more energy, as well as pride in the step I was taking to be a woman of integrity. The changes were not only happening within me, but around me, too. My intuition heightened and the right people, places and things started to manifest with greater speed. Girlfriends who enjoyed spilling other's secrets to me kept quiet. Conversations with my mother no longer included the same grumble over and over again. It was as if "gossip and complaining not welcome" was plastered on my forehead.
Currently, I strive to make this way of being my norm. It is most certainly still a daily practice, one that takes effort and conscious reminding. My speech is not perfect and I have definitely slipped up along the way. But once I took this on, I found it almost impossible to go back to the way I was before.
Ultimately, we have the choice to live out the highest version of our lives. For me, this means creating a reality where both my inner and outer voice is supportive, empowered and clear. If you are interested in joining, I suggest starting with a 40 day no gossip/no complaining pact. Grab a friend, write out a contract and hold a vision of grace. Even the hardest things are easier when you have support and accountability.
Since like attracts like, why not make your existence next level. I promise it is so worth it.
Photo by Lani Trock