When I was young, my Dad would always tell me to “think and breathe before you speak.” He was one of these very thoughtful men who never went anywhere without a book in his hand. He was all about learning, about expanding our view of the world, and he was all about being grounded and centered before opening one’s mouth. He spoke 14 languages fluently (although with a strong accent.) He taught me words were everything, and even more to listen deeply beyond the surface to what is not said too.
I, on the other hand—rebellious, reactive, noisy, always challenging everything asking “Why?” and not giving much credit to his love of clear focus and being discerning with one’s words.
He’d remind me, “Be careful once you say that because you can’t take those words back.”
This week, in particular, I’ve made a commitment to do that. Think and breathe before I speak. But that actually doesn’t work (sorry dad) because it’s backward. Breathe first, think after—then speak!