There are lots of words floating around our world. Blogs, music, speech, books, podcasts, movies, TV shows, social media - the availability of words seems endless.
While these platforms can spread hope and joy, they also spread hate and fear. We have a decision to make at this pivotal point in our history. We can continue the rage-spewing, shaming, and divisive tone that seems to be the norm, or we can rise above to create a higher vibration of communication.
In Patanjali's Eight Limb's of Yoga, he lists five Yamas, moral codes that guide us toward our better selves. I've adapted these Yamas to change our tone into one that lifts, heals, and brings us back together. We all have work to do. I'm no exception. Maybe if we start with one of these guidelines, and improve just 10 percent, we'll see a mighty change in the world. Pick your favorite and start raising the vibration of your speech.
Ahimsa - Nonviolent speech: This is where we drop the yelling. This is where we stop the condemning. This is where we avoid posting negative memes, sharing gossip, or diminishing our fellow human beings through hate speech. Words have power. Let's use that power to heal. Speak with kindness.
Satya - True speech: Lies caused absolute chaos during the last few months in America. When we can't trust elected officials to be honest, we devolve into division. Practicing true speech means not telling white lies, not spreading untruths, not exaggerating or bragging, and fact-checking before sharing information. Speak with truth.
Asteya - Non-stealing speech: The best way to practice Asteya speech, is to learn how to talk kindly to yourself. When you put yourself down through negative thoughts and beliefs, you're stealing your own power. When you express feelings of unworthiness or lack, you are disregarding your innate capacity for connection, and keep yourself from feeling whole. Learn to talk to yourself in a positive manner. You're going to make mistakes, we all do, but we don't have to live there. Beating yourself up only leaves you bloody. Speak with appreciation to yourself.
Brahmacharya - The right use of energy in speech: Brahmacharya translates to "Behavior that leads to the Creator." Words that promote inequity, injustice, or disempowerment need to be checked. Using your words with the power of love and kindness will create more change than any thrown brick will ever do. There is rage, and then there is learning to channel rage into energy that promotes growth. Learn how to speak peace, share happiness, and express joy through a high energy of communication. Speak with love.
Aparigraha - Non-attachment speech: We all want our stories to be heard. We all feel like we have something to say. But if your speech includes interrupting, jumping into the spotlight, and rambling just to hear yourself talk, you've disconnected from your own message. Learn to listen without expectation. Learn to listen without judgment. Learn to take a breath before responding. Learn when no response is necessary. Speak with awareness.
We're at a crossroads. We can continue with the hate or start speaking with kindness, truth, self-appreciation, love, and awareness. It's our turn to step up to the microphone. What will you say?
Peri Kinder is the owner of Life & Laughter Coaching. She's a happiness coach, yoga and meditation instructor, and award-winning freelance writer.