Improving Self Talk by Maureen Eich VanWalleghan
Well the ship has righted itself and I am feeling much better. My mom has been visiting for the past few weeks and having her around has helped me to stop the spinning wheels I had going in my head. I was treated to a great vacation with one of my closest friends from high school and through much talking with her, I got clear on my task of the moment: finishing a script I have had on the back burner for a long time.
In the midst of the shifting brain waves and renewed positive outlook one of those Facebook quote posters rolled through my feed that said, “Be mindful of your self-talk. It is a conversation with the universe.”* This struck me as particularly applicable to my current situation. I have a tendency to speak quite harshly to myself. And I have noticed that my daughter has picked up some my “self talk” when she is upset.
I don’t speak to her this way, but she is incorporating that harshness that I perpetuate on myself. As with so much that is being written about this transference process from mothers to daughters in the areas of body image, aging, menstruation—now consider that one’s own demons though kept at bay in direct communication still seep out reflectively to one’s child. Nothing like a whack to the head… Try again: nothing like a personal realization that my own violent communication within myself is being recorded.
As with my previous sentence, the subtlety of negative self talk can be hard to get conscious about because so much of our cultural use of language resides in the negative when we speak to each other and then more importantly when we speak to ourselves.
For me getting conscious of what I am doing is the first step to working through a process to improvement. So this brings me back to a renewed sense of utilizing Nonviolent Communication (NVC) when talking to myself. I tend to think of NVC as a tool in my communication with others, but really if I am speaking kindly to myself and considering what my needs are, then I am really creating a better habit that will be reflected back to my daughter.
This notion of self talk and the greater universe is interesting to me as well. If one believes as I do in the law of attraction it is easy to see how negative self talk leads quite quickly to a downward spiral of negativity, which breeds more negativity and so on.
Creating a space for more kindness when speaking to myself is really revolutionary. It all starts with a small adjustment. Each time the negative tape starts I am trying to look at myself in a mirror and say one positive thing back to my reflection. Interestingly this was something I used to do in high school when my father’s alcoholism was at its most awful.
Now to work on this again, my helix process continues. Every day I will be a bit kinder in the way I speak to myself.
*This quotes appears to be part a of a longer quote by Angie Karan Krezos as noted on Good Reads. “Be mindful of your self-talk. It is a conversation with the universe. You are a being, full of infinite possibilities! Focus your mind with positivity and you will have dictated the direction of your journey, your soul and your being, cascading in infinite abundance.”
― Angie Karan Krezos