Monday, July 26, 2010

Word Power

Last weekend's Wall Street Journal included an interesting article on how language impacts the way we think about things. Cognitive research has shown the words used in distinct cultures influences they way the people in those cultures see the world. In our increasingly global economy, this could have significant impact. If you've have spent anytime visiting other cultures or talking with someone with a different native language perhaps you, too, have examples of "lost in translation."

A friend, colleague and teacher recently published a book called "Medicine Words" and in it discusses the power of the words we use with others and with ourselves. One positive side effect of reading this book is a habit of speaking less. When you start to recognize the power of words, you can become more available to listen to others. This is a good thing.

How often do two different perspectives, a scientific one and one grounded in healing, agree on something? And, how does the power of language apply to a journey toward wellness?  

A large part of your journey to wellness is your ability to believe in yourself. Another part is the willingness to listen to the part of your body that inherently knows what is best for you. Too often we allow other messages to get in the way of us taking care of ourselves. There are millions of those messages out there. If you'd like some samples, turn on the television and listen to the commercials. We also receive messages from the people around us. Remember the article about the size of the people you spend time with is a large determinant of your size? 

Your body knows it feels best when it exercises, eats wholesome, natural foods and does good things in the world each day. If your ears are receiving conflicting messages, either from advertising or the people around you, perhaps you could listen to something else. You could even go a step further when you are around people that send negative messages (conjure up the classic mother-in-law figure who asks if you've gained weight recently). Ignore them or politely and respectfully ask them to stop. 

Our wellness is determined by what we consume. Food and words. Choose wisely. 

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