. . my
jaws ache for release, for
words that will say
anything. I force myself
who I am, what I am, and
why I am here . . . —Philip Levine, Jewish American poet
“In Japan, it is said that words of the soul reside in a spirit called kotodama or the spirit of words, and the act of speaking words has the power to change the world.” —Masaru Emoto, Japanese scientist and author of The Hidden Messages in Water
“Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will really hurt me.” This is a more honest take on the old rhyme we hear in elementary school. What people say to us and what we say to ourselves holds deep and lasting impact. In his research the Japanese scientist Masaru Emoto discovered that “water exposed to the words ‘Thank you’ formed beautiful geometric crystals, no matter what the language. But water exposed to ‘You fool,’ and other degrading words resulted in obviously broken and deformed crystals.” Many healing practices and traditions throughout history use words such as love, forgiveness, and thank you to restore a person’s health.
Words (spoken and thought) hold powerful energy and intentions. Emoto points out that humans are made up of 70 percent water. If words can have such an effect on a glass of water, what do you think they can do to a human being?
My bumper sticker reads: “Don’t Believe Everything You Think.” Notice your thoughts. What are you thinking? What do you habitually go over in your mind? What are you in agreement with? Challenge your beliefs about your self, the words you use to describe your self and the “message” you send out to your self.
As the Tao Te Ching reminds us: “Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom. Mastering others is strength; mastering yourself is true power.”