Daring to Keep My Mouth Shut :)

This month I am making a focused commitment to consider the yoga of speech (Is it true, is it kind, is it necessary?) specifically when feeling the urge to respond to a comment with which I disagree or one in which my natural “devil’s advocate” tendency to voice another perspective may (or may not be) true, but not kind or necessary.

Two examples this week: a member of my book group shared her belief that the hand of God saved her 15 year old daughter last winter. The young woman had swallowed a bunch of pills with a hydrogen peroxide chaser. Her dad happened to be home during the day – not his normal schedule – and when he called to her to help with a project she came upstairs and told him that she had attempted suicide. Good news is she survived and appears to be getting better. My initial response was, of course, shock and compassion for my friend and her daughter. Then my mind went to work and thought, “Well, maybe the hand of God…but in that case how does God’s hand play into the death of her best friend and friend’s grandfather in a private plane crash-the reason she tried to kill herself. Also, she could have called 911 whether her dad was home or not. And hydrogen peroxide is an emetic, so maybe it was a cry for help and not a serious attempt necessitating the hand of God via Dad’s serendipitous presence. (I realize these thoughts might make me seem like a heartless asshole, so consider this a mini-dare in spelling them out.) 🙂 I had the urge to offer one of those counter thought (my spiritual views are not along the line of “God’s hand only when it works out miraculously” ). I surfed the urge (I can hold my beliefs, love my friend, and not need to voice them or be attached to their being true.)

A less loaded situation occurred this morning in my walking group. Someone commented that Amazon is trying to buy Whole Foods. Another woman, generally the most Zen and kind in the group, said that pretty soon the world will be owned by Amazon, Walmart, and _____, one of the two medical systems in our area. Her husband had worked for the competitor system. Mine had a board position in the one she mentioned. She looked at me out of the corner of her eye and repeated it. I chose to say nothing (and was wearing sunglasses, which made my surprise less obvious) and just let it roll past. It would have been easier for me to offer reasons and facts about the medical industry in our area. It felt strong to let it go.

I think these are dares. Do you? It’s challenging not to challenge and the result is feeling internally self-confident rather than defensive and reactive.


p.s. I joined SCS mainly to hear you coach and partly to explore my nightly one or two glasses of wine habit after Stop Over Drinking morphed into SCS. As a coach, teacher, yoga instructor*, and someone who has practiced the model with you since 2009, I also appreciate the depth and nuance that have evolved in your work within the framework.

*You’d be surprised (or maybe not) how the model subtly lends itself to the verbal part of leading yoga classes as well as my own internal work as a teacher. Namaste. 🙂