Feeling Our Words

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Feeling our words,

ಆಚಾರವಿಲ್ಲದ ನಾಲಿಗೆ ನಿನ್ನ ನೀಚ ಬುದ್ದಿಯ ಬಿಡು ನಾಲಿಗೆ

ವಿಚಾರವಿಲ್ಲದ ಪರರನಿ ನಿಂದಿಸಲು ಚಾಚಿಕೊಂಡಿರುವ ನಾಲಿಗೆ.

The opening lines of Puranadara daasa a kannada poet, that roughly translates, to characterless tongue, mind yourself, don’t move function to mindlessly hurt others.

At the toastmasters one exercise that we have is the way we use the words, and that would be the word proper, the pace at which we deliver it, the emphasis we use on various phonetics and the pitch we use to deliver the word.

I was born in manipal… the emphasis here is I and the unheard word is not you.

I was born in Manipal… the emphasis here is on born whether I grew up there or not is another story.

I was born in Manipal… is essentially saying I was born in Manipal and  not Timbuctoo.

This emphasis delivers the energy of a language, and gives it the power and potential to heal or hurt. Probably we all have a time when someone sent a word our way and it stuck with us, it could be a compliment or a label that just stuck with us. despite of being in receiving end and realizing that the words hurt we tend to wield the same missile.

But through the training in Landmark Forum and Toastmasters I realized the deeper our relationship to the words we use, the more it allows us to speak from a place of actually feeling what we are saying. We begin to recognize that words are not abstract, disconnected entities used only to convey meaning but they are powerful transmitters of feeling.

For a few days I did practise noticing how the words I said and hear affected my body state my emotional state. Observing people with different communication styles one amazing fact that revealed to me was I was responding to quite a bit of non-verbal communication and when you really ponder over it non-verbal communication is subjective!!

Another thing I did notice that when we speak quickly, without thinking, or rush to get our ideas across, our words don’t carry the same power as when we speak slowly and confidently, allowing those receiving our words time and space to take them in. when we carefully listen to others before we speak, our words have more integrity, and when we take time to centre ourselves before speaking we truly begin to harness the power of speech. Then our words can be intelligent messengers or healing and light, transmitting deep and positive feeling to those who receive them.

While my straight on table talk improved relationship in many quarters it also did create friction in others, the next step with my relationship with words was learn to speak with integrity, that meant re-organizing my pace and pitch. To achieve that I had to learn to detach myself from intense reaction to the other persons words, that in turn meant I listen to them and not hear to reply. The discovery about myself was not really pleasant but as I master the skill I realize that I am less burdened with negativity.

The great ephiphany was words not only have imagery (somehow the word image does not give a body) but also carry weight. And the more conscious we become, the deeper our relationship to the words we choose and how we deliver the more effective our communication becomes.

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