Don’t waste your breath. I have probably heard that a thousand times. Up until now, I never really thought about it in depth though.
Most of the time I would hear this advice from a friend telling me not to bother saying another word to someone. I thought of it more like an insult to the other person, like they aren’t worth the effort to speak. As I am trying to step up my pranayama game (yogic breathwork), I am understanding the importance of breath. Especially the mindful breath. And the fine art of breath control.
Really talking is breath made audible. So it is probably important that my speaking breaths be the most mindful breaths I take. When I see it in that light, it takes me to a new level of awareness. It helps me to stay true to one of the four agreements from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, to be impeccable with my words.
My breath is my life. As much as is within my control, I want my life to be filled with integrity, grace and kindness. So my words should be a reflection of this. Sometimes this means choosing not to speak in times of heat knowing the place I speak from is not in line with my values. Now I’m not saying I don’t dish out some verbal beatdowns every now and again. I will never be perfect. So I can always be better.
When I see my words as extensions of my life force, I see it goes beyond choosing silence over verbal weapons. It also is a recognition of the perspective of the people I am speaking to, knowing when someone is not open to meeting me in the space between us. Knowing when my words are falling on deaf ears and knowing it isn’t personal that they don’t want to hear it. So in these instances, instead of creating an opportunity for feelings to be hurt, I can just let it be. I can choose to save my life force for something else. No harm, no foul.
Beyond being mindful of my own speaking breaths, I must also be mindful in my listening. When I view all speech as audible prana it becomes easier for me to respectfully listen and respond with care. Even if the words spoken are meant to belittle me, they are only reflections of the speaker. The words are only expressing the energy from which they were born. Their power in my life is decided by me. If I respond in kind, I have chosen to accept that energy, whatever it may be.
My words are born of my breath. My breath is my life. I have a great responsibility to myself to use my life energy in ways that support and express my truth. I’m sure I’ll be needing some grace in exercising this responsibility from time to time. There will be some tests I may not pass. But I will save more breaths than I waste from this moment forward. I will make a conscious effort to only give breath to words that speak to my truth and integrity. And whenever there is an opportunity, I will breathe and so also speak with love.
Your words express your life. They are divinely linked to your breath. In what ways do you ensure your words reflect the truth of your soul?
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