“Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” For the longest time I thought this belief to be true because I have recognized that your own self-worth is ultimately based upon how you feel about yourself. If you know who you are and accept and love the good and bad parts of yourself, no one can hurt you with their words. However, I’ve observed that if you are self-critical and judge what you do or don’t do, self-directed words carry more weight than physical affronts.

The situation gets a little more complicated when you take one’s culture into consideration, such as the one I am from – a blend of Japanese and Okinawan. I was brought up to be humble and to avoid compliments even to the detriment of not recognizing and owning my true authentic self. It was to honor your elders and family without questioning whether their actions and words were congruent or not. Thankfully my inquisitive nature prompted me to question everything and check to see if what I was told or observed felt right. This is how connecting with your body helps you to know your truth and what works and doesn’t work for you. Your body will immediately give you feedback to help you to determine if your actions are aligned with your words.

This is where the significance of word choice and usage comes into play. There was an old saying, “I am a man of my word,” which resembled integrity and following through once you promised to do something for another. Nowadays that notion is rare, with social media, our ever-growing consumerism culture, along with politicians who say they will make our lives better, and promise the world.

This is where I have learned over the years that when asked to do something for someone, I will tell them that I need to check my schedule first and will get back to them, versus saying yes off the bat. I’ve learned from experience that saying yes to something when my heart and mind weren’t in it, leaves me feeling conflicted when having to follow through later. I have also learned that you are free to change your mind as long as you can communicate it clearly with the other person. This is where it’s absolutely essential to have clear communication with friends, loved ones, and business associates, to avoid misunderstandings and unnecessary conflicts. So why not establish that same clear connection with yourself and body?

Hence, going back to “true body language” – establishing your own unique way of listening and communicating with your body. Appreciating your nuances and tells that helps you to know what feels right or wrong. The clearer you can be with yourself, and understanding the yes and no answers of your body will not only benefit you, but allow you to thrive!

If you really think about it, we know immediately if something feels right or wrong in our gut. It is the mind or our conditioned behaviors that somehow convince us to ignore our initial response. The word “should” comes into play and our minds start to justify why we take action or don’t. My suggestion, in a funny but not so funny way is, “Don’t should all over yourself!” which I’ve recommended to multiple members. The reason being is that the moment you find yourself saying, I should do this or that, it is your mind trying to convince you to do something that you don’t really want to do. However, if your mind keeps badgering you to do that which you feel you should, then shift the should to, “how do I want to do this action?” Energetically doing something that you want feels way better than “I should.”

In closing, start being mindful of the thoughts that you entertain and how you think or feel about yourself. Shifting this dialogue can pay dividends in building your self-worth and living an authentic life. If you are inspired to do so, create a stronger relationship with your body and become in tune with your unique “tells.” Don’t let others get a read on your tells, until you recognize and know them. Establish your body as your best friend, someone you can trust and who always has your back!


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