If there is one unique trait that needs to be exercised most often it is our voice. We crave to be heard. When another person really hears our words we feel our presence through them, and that is how one learns that we are a part of something very great indeed. This reassurance is okay and often necessary. We truly give up our time together as we wait for permission or wait for a sign to be somebody great. But by all means and ways, speak only truth, kindness, and love.
I told a young personal training client of mine that I wasn’t going to give him tough love. I was going to give him pure love. Not meaning I am going to go in every time I see him and say “I love you” in a weird, affectionate way. Pure love only means I wish to build strength through honesty, transparency and trust. In this manner, both of us benefit from a mutual place of interest, and our time together is utilized to its highest potential. What this accomplishes is the ability to build ourselves with resiliency, yet remaining vulnerable enough that we don’t become completely insensitive to the world around us (or each other).
I wish for all of my relationships to be structured in this type of a foundation, whether it be with a stranger, a work arrangement, or my most trusted friends and family. What it requires is a practice of expression with our own unique voice. This is the best exercise. What does that mean and how can you practice this?
I think that we must intentionally will for ourselves to be happy. Right now, not that many people are intentionally trying to be happy. We are doing the things that go along with what is supposed to be fulfilling our lives, but too many people are stressed and burnt out from the lack of meaningfulness in all of our actions and duties. What this leads to is a lot of gossip and slander about the next person or thing around us that didn’t appropriately please us.
My exercise is simple and effective. I do written gratitude checks. For example, I used to have this obsession with getting my paycheck and dissecting how much money went where and thinking that I wasn’t earning enough, thus creating the belief that I was insufficient. This really impacted how I viewed my employers and the amount of effort I put into work. One day I decided to change this.
I stopped looking at the front. That was something that was beyond my control at the point that I received a check, so I turned the pay stub over to the backside and it was completely blank. With that blank space I began writing things down that I was grateful for with my job. Slowly, and week after week, my attitude become better (healthier) and I discovered that there isn’t really a whole lot of pressure with work. My attitude and effort reflected this over time and I found others who were willing to create business relationships with me in various ways. I still have that practice to this day.
Using your voice isn’t completely verbal. It just means finding a way to get your own unique expression out into this huge world of ours! There are so many perspectives and we are wasting too much time and energy viewing ourselves in the “same ole’, same ole’” way. This will be the way that we turn around a community, and that, I believe, is necessary at the moment. There are a lot of good things going on, but also, there are so many people who need help at the same time. It just takes our voice.
Trey Tompkins is a local resident who writes fitness columns for the Record-Herald.