Initially, I wanted to try to have other family members try to keep these principles in mind…I thought I was positive and considerate in how I talked, but that the other family members were not doing so great at these qualities. We (I) taped this page up on a kitchen cupboard door…as a reminder.
What I found out was a bit of a surprise…it turns out I wasn’t as innocent a communicator as I had thought…using a lot more than my own share of low key “bickering” and negativity….Now that was not a pleasant surprise. Well, I changed and so did the others… a very welcome shift.
This page has been on our kitchen cupboard door for about 2 years…
and the change has been remarkable…a very positive change.
Another, simpler version of this page: I have copies of this “simpler” page on the walls in my classroom…it really helps…
April, 2012: Same words on a forest floor photo: “Wise Speech: consider before saying or doing”
Kind Speech, 4 on a page: Click on little image or view pdf: Kind Speech: 4 on a page. (large file, may be slow to open)
Pocket cards: Click on little image to left or view pdf of Pocket Reminder Cards: Kind Speech (large pdf file, may be slow to open) I often put a card in my pocket in the morning, if I’m going to be in a challenging situation… a good reminder for me)
These qualities of speech are called “Wise Speech” or “Ethical Speech” in Buddhism.
And of course, these criteria are equally important to keep in mind for my “ordinary” everyday thoughts, too… I think kinder speech has been much easier to develop than ongoing kind thoughts. I’m finding that developing “kind” thoughts, and limiting the unkind or critical thoughts, take far more awareness, intention, shifting and energy. (I seem to be slowly progressing…very, very slowly) I have also noticed that the “critical” thoughts seem to be more often about myself than about others. That was another unexpected, unanticipated surprise.
Another group of pages I made for myself and for some 1o year old boys in my classroom…to become more aware of that kind of more “negative” thinking and to support shifting out of it. I called it “Muddy Dog Thinking”. (images are in that linked title page or click on each thumbnail, to enlarge). I used the humorous idea of “muddy dogs” to lighten up the observing of negative thinking…to avoid adding more negativity than was already there.
And a page that I made for kids, but good for me, too….
Another helpful resource for working on awareness of thinking: I read a wonderful, extremely helpful and insightful book, The Untethered Soul, by Michael Singer, In the book, he compares that “chattering, thinking mind” to a very irritating roommate who just never seems to be quiet…he has a very funny description in the book. He also has extremely helpful cd lectures that expand on the ideas in his book. (Volume 4, Side one, “Negating Nagging Needs” is wonderful!)
A few charts/page, linked and “thumbnails” below, that I’ve “developed” to help myself as I’m working on choosing more productive, helpful thinking. These are intended for longer chains of thought and thinking, more like “ruminating” rather than just those quicker, “unkind” thoughts: Helpful Thinking, A Flow Chart (see linked page for explanations…from the ” Thinking Strategies” tab in the headline area above)
Later: ohhhhh….. I just learned how to make/create emoticons using colons and letters….so how to use them here? Well, let me see…. 🙄 ….hmmmm, slightly confusing…. 😳 …. turns out there were too many emoticons…9 in one paragraph was too much…had to delete the rest…
see Spirit Lights blog for details on how to create emoticons in wordpress blogs….kind of fun. Thanks Spirit Lights!