Words have power. What you say, write, or even read can change the way you perceive yourself, and the way others perceive you. That’s why for 2015, I’m ditching my usual post-holiday, fat-busting detoxes and opting for a new one: a detox of my vocab. Here’s a list of 5 phrases that I’m swearing off this year to live a more spiritually sound life, and achieve a few goals in the process:
1. "I hope." Full of promise and ambition, "hope" is certainly enticing on the surface. But don't let its allure fool you. We tend to use it when we're not quite sure of something that we really, really want. For me, it's the frumpy sweatpants to my pencil skirt and heels. And, let's face it: If hope was a person, she'd be the less-confident younger sister of "faith." Faith is strong -- she possesses an unshakable presence that announces, "I don’t have to wonder. I know." Yet somehow, "hope" gets all the glory -- used as both a noun and a verb (so unfair). This year, I want us to commit to swapping out all our "hoping" for a whole lot of "faithing." Faith in ourselves, faith in our abilities, and faith that the universe is eternally on our side.
2. "If [this/that] could just happen." Isn’t "iffing" something to happen just the same as hoping it will? Repeatedly using words like "if" proclaims that we lack confidence in ourselves to achieve our goals. And, that kind of thinking is a thing of the past. So this year, let's make a conscious effort to replace the word "if" with the word "when," wherever it makes sense. It will be challenging, and it will feel uncomfortable. However, this simple yet powerful change will force us to both specify and commit to what we say (which can be tough, especially if you're like me, "blessed" with the gift of gab). It's an exercise in self-editing -- a moment of "pause" before we utter our next thought aloud. We'll think, "Am I really ready to stand by what I'm about to say?" and "Will I be able to follow through?" These are necessary questions when making our words count, and, making our promises more than just promises, but achievable goals.
3. "Just my luck." Believing that bad things happen because we're "unlucky" simply isn't true. Perhaps we're attracting mayhem because we keep saying phrases like, "It’s just my luck, "or “this kind of thing always happens to me." Enough, already -- by always focusing on the seemingly negative occurrences in our lives, we're sliding down a staircase so fast that we won’t be able to get back up. So this year, let’s try remembering that all of us -- yes, all of us -- have things happen big and small that are difficult, scary, and just plain annoying. But we also have a lot of great things happen, too. So why not focus on those? Start a gratitude journal, thank people more, thank God more (if that's what you believe). And let's reserve "venting time" for when we actually need it. Changing the course of our energy output will change the course of our energy input (e.g., "you reap what you sow," or, "you get what you give"). Remember, the universe isn’t conspiring against us -- it wants us to succeed. Let’s make a pact to release our struggles this year and know that there’s a greater plan at work, beyond our understanding.
4. "I’ll try." Ever hear the old adage, "the road to hell is paved with good intentions"? Instead of saying we’ll "try" to do something, why don't we just "do" it already? Think about it: the word "try" has become a crutch that we lean on when we either 1) don’t have the confidence to get something done, or 2) don’t really want to do it in the first place... but, lack the guts to admit it. Let’s make 2015 the year that we’re true to ourselves and to others. If we want something bad enough, we’ll do it. We might not succeed off the cuff (or, maybe we will!); but, we’ll keep doing it (not trying), until we get it right. And, if we really don’t want to do something yet feel pressured to say we do, we’ll just be honest -- allowing others to know us for who we truly are.
5. "I wish." This might come as a shock, but the past is gone and the future doesn’t exist. Yet so many of us -- myself included -- fall into perpetual cycles of "wishing" things were different; "wishing" things hadn’t happened; or "wishing" something new would just come along. I want this year to be the year that each of us takes root in the fertile ground of "now." For 2015, let’s commit to releasing the past to the past, and transforming our dreams into action. After all, everything we need is in this moment -- you, reading these words right now, is happening in this moment. And yet, when this moment is gone, a new one will be in full bloom. It’s the gift that we've been given for our time here on Earth -- countless moments of “now” that constantly regenerate, like cells in a sustained life form. Countless in number, but certainly not endless. So let’s work together this year to make each moment matter, not only for ourselves, but for others, too.
Like any good detox, clearing these unhealthy toxins from our lives won't be easy. We'll initially crave all those bad habits that offer us instant gratification, but long-term damage. I have faith in us, though. Faith that together, we can stay true to ourselves and achieve even our most far-reaching goals.