Yes Talk

Decorative Hole by Laurie Buchanan

Decorative Hole by Laurie Buchanan

You’ve heard the famous quote by Epictetus, Roman (Greek-born) slave and philosopher: “We have two ears and one mouth so we may listen more and talk less.” To me that means that when we speak, it should add value.

What we voice has the capability of transforming negative emotions and evoking particular emotional responses. For that reason, I suggest to my clients to only voice what they want, and to refrain from stating what they don’t want. In other words, instead of making statements like “Don’t slam the door,” “Don’t forget your lunch,” and “Don’t talk to me like that,” state your desired outcome instead—say what you want. “Shut the door quietly, please.” “Remember your lunch.” “Speak to me with respect.”

Positive statements help develop neural pathways in the brain for optimistic thinking. When we voice what we want—the constructive end result of what we’re asking for—we provide those in our sphere of influence with tools for success. A subtle shift in our communication can result in improved behavior. It also makes us feel better about our interaction with the people around us.

I took the photograph in today’s post during a recent stay at the UW-Madison campus. It caught my attention because it appears to serve no purpose—a decorative hole in the foundation of a pedestrian bridge. I keep it in my line of vision to serve as a subtle reminder: make sure your ears and mouth aren’t just decorative.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

The Power of Words

University Bay by Laurie Buchanan

University Bay by Laurie Buchanan

“Writers are the wind that sail words across the page.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

Have you ever felt you would burst from sheer delight? Last night I returned from the Writers’ Institute at UW Madison and my head is spinning with a joyfully intense awareness. I haven’t slept a wink in days because I’ve got enough high voltage energy to power a gazillion-watt lighthouse. I feel as though I have extra clarity of vision and an unusual capacity to perceive and to distinguish.

I am suffused with wonder
i AM suffused with wonder
i am SUFFUSED with wonder
i am suffused WITH wonder
i am suffused with WONDER

… at the deceptive simplicity of writing—for publication. It’s much more complex than it appears at first blush. Especially when you take into consideration the:

– Show, don’t tell factor (he slammed his fist on the table vs. he said angrily)
– Keep it taut – less is more
Specific is your friend
– “Because” – not because I told you so, but causality; to reveal a solution
– The semicolon – don’t overuse it
– Italics – don’t us it. Use words that do their own heavy lifting
– With few exceptions, punctuation goes inside the quote
– End every chapter with an arrow into the next chapter
– Entertainment and emotion are paramount on every page
– Avoid author intrusion (saying something on the side to the reader, like this)

Language at its best is used to inspire others to find the best in themselves. Well chosen words can motivate, offer hope, create vision, impact thinking, and alter results.

Choose each word as if it matters—it does.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

Living Legacy

 

Hibiscus by Laurie Buchanan

Hibiscus by Laurie Buchanan

The culmination of our life experience—how we spend or invest our life—is our legacy. It is my perspective that a legacy is not about leaving a sum of money behind. Rather, it’s about our contribution. Whether we’re a global citizen like Mother Teresa, or a local citizen, our legacy is permanent and has lasting impact. Intended or not, as individuals we influence others. Our actions and inactions; the words we say or leave unsaid, each have an effect—positive or negative—on others.

If Divine Love is our compass, our legacy will reflect inner wealth. It will be evidenced by health, peace of mind, joy, gratitude, contentment, quality relationships, loving what we do, emotional fulfillment, integrity, the list goes on. We may not be wealthy, but our life will indeed be rich. And our legacy will be one of true and lasting value. Have you thought about what your legacy will be; what you will be remembered for?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               ~ Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All rights reserved