Sounds are surrounding you at every moment. As we explored the sense of sound this week on our Wholebeing Journey in Costa Rica our group was in awe of the howler monkeys in particular. The Guinness Book of World Records has credited these beings as the loudest of land animals. Their low pitched wails echo for miles through the jungle as they let other animals know where they are and when they are on the move.
Sound is the way we interact with the world and the way we connect and communicate with others. It’s an exchange of vibrations. We give sounds out to the world with our voice and words and we receive the sounds of the world through our ears when we listen.
Our sounds, however, span beyond the actual words tones and our capacity to hear swells well beyond what we hear with our ears.
How can we practice being intentional with both?
Within the practice of yoga, we bring intention to our lives. First we cultivate a calm breath as the river flowing beneath our movements as a beautiful dance partner. The next invitation lies in bringing that breath of calm awareness to flow beneath the way we share and receive sound.
The soft whisper of a mother’s good night as she tucks her child into bed is a sweet flow of good wishes filled with tenderness. Yet, often in life our tasks are not as sweet as a bedtime good night. We must share bad news, set boundaries and remind colleagues of project parameters. Yet the sound of our voice and the flow of energy below those words can make a mountain of difference.
When on the receiving end, the sound of harsh words can sting long after the ripples of actual sound fade away. Sometimes for a lifetime. Yet, we can also choose to hear not just the harsh words and tone of another but the heartbreak, disappointment and the pain beneath them. Often we do not intend to hurt, yet hurt happens.
What if the care of words and the receipt of them was like the giving and receiving of tiny precious gifts. What if the breath of yoga could soften the energy behind our words?
One of my favorite ways of guiding my use of words are these four questions.
Is it kind?
Is it timely?
Is it necessary?
Is it true?
This week as you practice yoga and mindfulness let these inquiries guide the words you use with others and the inner dialogue with yourself.
Sending you love and Pura Vida.