“The essence of all beautiful art, all great art, is gratitude.” ~ Friedrich Nietzsche.

I missed the mark with a speech at Toastmasters this week. With a topic I knew well: writing, and raising children. I flubbed a few lines, got some words mixed up and forgot a key point, and felt it was an overall disappointment.

It was another one of those notches in the belt of life’s defeats, which turn into teachable moments only in hindsight.

I knew I hadn’t hit the mark even at the time I was speaking. I could feel the audience’s attention slipping. I didn’t have them in the palm of my hand, the way I do when I’m in the zone.

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After the meeting, instead of shaking my hand warmly, there was some avoidance. I came home and watched the video back. I saw that I started the speech with a sigh, which is never a good thing. I used the wrong word in a couple of places without realizing, and that had changed the message. I waffled on at the end. It was a disaster. No wonder people avoided me afterwards.

I felt disappointed. “You picked the wrong word,” I said to myself, watching the footage. “If only you’d stopped and taken a silent breath.”

I berated myself on and off for about half a day. After that, it wasn’t that I felt bad, I felt nothing. I was blank.

Which brings me to the point, how useful are the things we say to ourselves? What effect are they having on our lives?

In my case, I went to that giant therapist in the sky, Facebook, and shared via status update.

Normally, my posts about stuff on Facebook might garner six or so “likes.” When I went back online the next day, I saw that my post had 22 “likes” and there were comments: beautiful, heart-felt encouragement.

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Friends had taken the time to remind me of the steps forward I have taken. The words melted my heart. I sat there and wept into my keyboard like a baby, until my tea went cold.

Later, I dried my face, made a fresh cup of tea, and I could feel the difference within. The veil had lifted. The blankness was gone. I could feel again, I could smile again. I was free. Wow. What a revelation about the power of the right words and a good cry. Thank you again to all my beloved friends.

By sharing with others, by caring about others, and by practising the mindfulness of saying loving words to ourselves and those around us, all manner of ills in this world can be healed.

The right words at the right time can be good medicine.

I remember back in the day, about twenty-five years ago, I read a small, life-changing book called “Creative Visualization” by Australian author, Shakti Gawain. https://www.amazon.com/Creative-Visualization-Meditations-Imagination-Create/dp/1511326948

That was when I became introduced to this idea of the manifestational juju of the words we say to ourselves. I learned we can radically alter the experience we have by changing our inner dialogue. Gawain taught about the benefits of saying positive statements to ourselves, which she called daily affirmations.

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In essence: we can aid and sustain ourselves by saying the right words.

Here’s a good example. About the FB post on the “failure” of my recent speech, friend Sharon Hinckley said wisely, “Could you lose those ‘high expectations’ and just go out there and have fun?” She altered my perception and let in the light by using the right words.

The right phrase can alter the atmosphere of our lives and elevate the tone.

The truth is, our inner dialogue is always going on anyway, and so we might as well use it to our advantage. The first step is to come up with some phrases which work for us. The next step is to remember to say them to ourselves a few times daily. *Tip: try making it part of the daily routine so they end up becoming automatic. *Tip Two: try thinking of three things each day you are grateful for.

To return to the question I started with: how useful are the things we say to ourselves? They’re potentially life-changing, if we use the right words. What we say matters.

Have you ever tried doing affirmations? Do share…

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Talk to you later.

Keep on Creating!

Yvette K. Carol

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“To transform your life, you must find a way of being grateful for what you have now.” ~ Rhonda Byrne

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Comments
  1. Have fun is great advice. It is so difficult just to think of new speech material. You’re doing really well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thanks, Catherine. Oh, boy! Speaking of that, I thought I’d sit down today (on my day off) and take a look over my speech for the book launch. Hate it. I can’t use that! It’s back to the drawing board. I keep wracking my brain. Am thinking I may have to go watch some TED videos for inspiration.

      Like

      • Do you have to do a speech. What about your kids telling their favorite parts or something. Different?

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        That’s a good idea. I’ll ask Nat to say something. I wonder if I should get Sam to dance? 🙂
        I asked my sister-in-law’s sister the other day about what people expect the author to say at a launch. She works at a university and attends functions like this all the time.
        She said: “The author comes up and talks about some highlights in the book and acknowledges and thanks some people.”
        So, I’ve written down a few thank you’s and we’ll see where we go from there! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • It is different to a school visit which is more fun and interactive. Wouldn’t it be cool though to get volunteers to morph from human to an animal of their choice and have audience guess which animal they are.

        Liked by 1 person

      • yvettecarol says:

        That’s a cool idea. Can’t you just see the kids doing it and hamming it up? 🙂

        Like

    • yvettecarol says:

      *Yes, I love the “have fun” advice too! 🙂

      Like

  2. davidprosser says:

    To avoid some of the small disappointments of life remember to make the goals a little more flexible.Treat yourself to kind words daily to alter your life, treat everyone you meet to kind words and you may alter the world.
    xxx Massive Hugs Yvette xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • yvettecarol says:

      Thank you, David! You’re amazing. Yes, I gather I have fairly high expectations of myself! My aim is to have more fun 🙂 And, I fully believe you can change the world through kindness.
      Heaps of hugs for you :-))))) xx

      Liked by 1 person

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