Magic Words

One addendum to my last post: there is great magic and power in words, particularly the words we speak to ourselves all the time.  The words we say to ourselves, or that others say to us, do to some degree shape our experiences.  And, especially if you’re trying to make changes in your life, words can aid or dismantle your intentions, build your resolve or wipe it away.

Often when I’m working with a student, music or yoga, I’ll show them something, and they’ll say “I can’t do THAT.”  And experience has taught me that if they’re saying that to me, they’re saying to themselves a whole lot more.

I’ve come to respond (mostly): “You can.  You just haven’t, YET.”

I was introduced to this idea by several great AcroYoga teachers.  When they show something crazy (like, say, everything here), they’ll often say: “It’s not that you can’t.  It’s that you haven’t, YET.  

I was introduced to this yet idea by several great AcroYoga teachers.  When they show something crazy (like, say, everything here), they’ll often say: “It’s not that you can’t.  It’s that you haven’t, YET.”   I’ve seen “yet” work wonders in clients, and in peers.  I’m not even sure you have to believe the “yet” at first; the belief when you work towards the goal.  Like it says in the Bible, via The West Wing: “Act as if ye has faith, and faith shall be granted.  In other words, fake it ’til you make it.”

If “yet” is a white magic word, “SHOULD” is it’s evil stepsister.  Try something, say out loud, “I should be better.”  And notice how that makes you feel- decidedly not better, right?  For me, it reminds me of all the ways I perceive myself as worse.  I think (and I defer to those with more psych background than me) that the voice in your head that says should is a projection of everything but your true self- the preconceived notions of family or friends, or society or TV, that somewhere along the line we may have started to believe.  And that voice is almost never going to point you in the right direction.   You either do or you don’t, no should.

(side note, for me the system of The Work by Byron Katie.  Without endorsing all things Katie, her four questions and turnaround have been amazing tools for me to get out of my shoulds.)

More yets, no more shoulds.  It could happen.  And if it hasn’t, it hasn’t happened, yet.

 

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