“We create the world every day when we utter words.”
What is the first thing you thought about this morning? What was the first thing you said to yourself?
The thoughts we think, the words we speak, determine the life we live and at no time is this more important than our waking hour. Think of your morning as an opportunity to be the author of your life, the master of your mouth. You are declaring how you intend for your day to unfold, how it is you want to feel and experience your day.
Yes, I know…it’s Monday. And maybe you have a case of the “Mondays.” For most of you, it’s the start of your work week. Maybe you woke up thinking of your to-do list and are feeling overwhelmed. Maybe you woke up cursing the alarm clock, wishing for more time, and telling yourself you’re tired. Maybe you woke up with left-over negative thoughts from the previous day. How you feel is just a feeling. It’s not right or wrong. If you’re tired, so be it. If you’re angry, so be it. But here’s the thing: choice is a function of awareness. In fact, choice is dependent upon being aware. You can be aware that you’re tired, hungry, angry, whatever; but then you get a choice to decide how you want to feel.
I was reading an article in Fitness Magazine Saturday night called, “Too Healthy for Your Own Good.” The article speaks to the difference between healthy and harmful and the emergence of orthorexia, an especially gray area of the eating disorder family characterized by an obsession with healthy eating and working out. What struck me about the article was the one aspect that makes orthorexia different from any other eating disorder: “While anorexics and bulimics typically recognize that their behaviors are harmful and feel shame about them, orthorexics believe they’re doing something good for themselves…an astonishing 40 percent of people with orthorexia go on to develop anorexia or bulimia within two years.”
In August 2011, I was officially diagnosed with EDNOS (Eating Disorder Not Otherwise Specified). What started out in 2006 as eating healthier and working out more to make up for not playing competitive sports, turned into restrictive eating and excessive working out for 5+ hours a day. By 2011 I had the characteristics of anorexia (fear of being fat and caloric restriction) and bulimia (purging by excessive working out). What struck me about the article in Fitness Magazine was, in retrospect, that my eating disorder started out with the best intentions.
Intentions are great. We all have them. We’re going to go to the gym, eat healthy, gossip less, love more. But when intentions aren’t bound by feelings, they’re just a wish. They won’t change us. I had the best intentions, but the thoughts that were bound by feelings were the self-limiting ones, the ones that told me I wasn’t good enough. And so my eating disorder was born.
When I was thinking about our waking thoughts as the driving force of our day, I reflected upon my thoughts this morning versus the thoughts I harbored back then. This morning I woke up tired, but decided because I was teaching a new series I was stoked to do, that I wanted to feel energized and excited; and that got me in action. Several years ago, my waking thoughts were a different variety. Before I’d even get out of bed, my thoughts would panic back to what I ate the day before and instinctively my hands would reach for my hips, hoping to still feel protruding bones. At this point, instead of shifting the momentum, the self-loathing started and my actions followed suit. I share this with you as a reminder of just how powerful our words are, especially those in our waking hour. It’s not about doing it all at once or never having a negative thought, but simply shifting our thoughts one at a time, over and over again, until we form a new belief. It’s a practice that has allowed me to truly live my life and it’s one I practice in every waking moment because I know how easy it is to be unconscious and let my thoughts take over.
This month is all about the power of our words and simply noticing the thoughts we are thinking and the words we are using toward ourselves and others. The goal is to think from the state we want to be in and to use our words to transform our situation rather than describe it. We may wake up feeling tired or think we look fat in the mirror, but the minute we are aware of that thought, we have a choice what it is we say. And, the moment we put those thoughts into words, we put forth the energy and the expectation we wish to receive. The more we talk about being tired, the more tired we become. The more we talk about what we dislike about our appearance, the harder it is to practice self-love.
Awareness is a practice. If you feel tired, simply saying, “I am not tired” or “I feel energized” is not likely to be a Red Bull and give you wings. But, shifting your thoughts and words, one at a time, into something that feels good like, “I am energized,” opens the door to possibility. We take action from the state of mind that we are in. If we are saying, “I am energized,” then we can ask ourselves, “What is one thing I can do today that will make me feel energized?” and then go and do that. Our language-our thoughts and words-inform our actions and our actions create our life. The real game changer is YOU.
How can you use your words, not to describe your situation, but to transform it today? What small action can you take today that will enable you to feel how you want to feel?
Every moment is an opportunity to practice being the masters of our mouth and to take back our power in living a life we love.
To beautiful mindsets, the privilege of choice and to the real game changer: YOU.