I believe in the power of words. Almost everyday I teach about the impact of what we say to ourselves and others and how it shapes our mind, mood, and experiences. I try to be very intentional with what I say to myself and to others, but boy oh boy, did Life see that I needed a deeper lesson…
September was a wildly exciting, overwhelming, and whirlwind kind of month. Launching two new courses, resuming the fall schedule of my Coaching Courses, two speaking engagements, hiring a videographer, two weekend retreats, all along with my typical schedule seemed like a good idea at the time. But as the month progressed I could feel the impact of all this activity and a sense of chaos along with some frantic moments, caused me to question some of my decisions. But I was committed and passionate about these things so I just had to walk through it.
In the midst of this crazy month, it was time for my annual visit to the eye doctor. My vision had certainly changed and I wasn’t quite seeing the way I knew I could be. The visit went as planned and sure enough, he ordered an updated prescription and I was on my way. Days later my annual prescription arrived in the mail and I didn’t give it much more thought as I still had a few more days left using my current contacts.
But as I neared the day when I was ready for a fresh pair and was really looking forward to a new perspective (literally), I realized I couldn’t find the contacts anywhere. Trying not to panic and having bigger priorities to deal with, I tried to put it out of my mind and look for them a little bit everyday. As the days passed, my search efforts extended to the back of my car, the basement, drawers, etc. I was getting desperate.
As much as I didn’t want to entertain the idea, I came to the dreaded conclusion that perhaps, in all of my haste, I had thrown them away. I didn’t want that to be the case of course, but I couldn’t find them anywhere. I went about my daily activities but it weighed heavily on my heart and in the back of my mind.
During the course of the month, I happened to hear myself say “I’m so busy I can’t even see straight.” I realized I had been using that line, and ones similar to it, all month long. That moment of awareness cued me into some other phrases I had been saying: “I can’t focus on that right now.” “I can’t look at that until the end of the month.” “I’ll have a clearer perspective when I get through all of this.” Interesting…
All of these words were a simple reflection of the busyness I was experiencing and my attempts to prioritize and stay on track. Each of these were attempts to maintain my current focus. I had no idea how my thoughts and words were actually playing out. “I’m so busy I can’t even see straight” was unfolding in a real-life experience. I made a conscious effort to mind my words during the last few days of the month. These phrases had become fairly habitual and pretty rote so I wanted to be mindful of the words I was choosing.
Sunday, 9/27/19, was my finish line. Just like that tape pulled taut at the end of the race, I kept my focus on that day knowing that sooner or later, it would arrive and all of my projects would be completed. The day came, I was driving home from my last scheduled event talking to my mother, explaining the details of my month, the lost contacts, and the power of my words. I heard myself say “Well Mom, IF I find my contacts.” NOOO!! WAIT!!! “Mom, WHEN I find my contacts, you’ll be sure to hear me screaming all the way from NY.” She politely listened, though I’m not sure how much she bought into my beliefs and my stories. We laughed and said our good-byes.
Moments later, I walked to the hall closet to put a some things away from the weekend. I moved a few items to make some room and suddenly… there, right before my very eyes, was the entire stack of contacts, a whole years worth…
I couldn’t believe it. I had looked in that closet a dozen times, searched it even. But all along, they were right there, even at eye level on the shelf. I simply “couldn’t see straight”. I wasn’t focused and didn’t have a clear perspective just like I had been telling myself and everyone else all month long!! They had been there all along, i simply could not see them.
The power of language… What we tell ourselves and how it shapes our experience and perspective… I never understood the power or the depth of my words choice and how simple phrases can shape our entire experience. But have had such an eye-opening example, I encourage you to be mindful of your words and understand how they shape your perspective and your real life experiences. I can see clearly now… literally!!