When speaking, I aim to:
- Think and/or feel before I speak
- Say what I mean
- Follow through on what I say
- Speak the truth with compassion and kindness
- Know when to be silent
It’s a short list, but each item is simple in theory and difficult in practice.
I feel like I’m part of the way there, but I keep stumbling on one or the other of these goals. As I am becoming increasingly aware, my playful self-discipline topics are by no means naturally tidy, neat little categories that can be worked on and ticked off in a month or even a year.
Speaking the truth requires knowing what I think, feel or believe to be true instead of saying the script that pops up in my head when I’m on autopilot. I know mindfulness and meditation would help with this. Being able to be silent and sit with something uncomfortable requires mindful awareness too. Following through on my words with real action requires dedication and integrity.
The other thing I’m noticing is that I’m more aware of my lapses in self-discipline. I feel an uncomfortable guilty feeling when I skip out on flossing because I’ve stayed up too late. Speaking harshly never feels great but this week I was extra aware of those times I did let it slip. It’s kind of uncomfortable, being so aware of my goals and where my actions really are in relation to those goals. But I suppose that’s one of the first steps to changing behaviour – really seeing where you’re at, faults and all.