Today I want to talk about words. That may seem odd for a blog that is all about the human body. I also want to talk about being beautiful. We all want to be beautiful right? Doesn’t the world tell us we should be beautiful? And ladies, let’s be honest, how much money do we spend trying to be more beautiful.
What if I told you that words could make your more (or less) beautiful? Words, in many ways, shape our lives. We use words to communicate needs, desires, and perceptions. Our words connect us to the people around us. And while all languages have their limitations, without words I doubt many of us would progress much in this life. Have you ever tried to go a whole day without speaking? I did once. I only survived for an hour before caving in.
The truth is our words have profound effect on our bodies. As part of my training in Laban Movement Analysis, we were told to consider carefully the words we choose to describe movement, the body, and the many relationships within it. During those two years my ears were hyper-sensitive to the words around me. I remember being in a yoga class at a local gym. As we were moving through some of the poses, the teacher told us to squeeze our gluteus muscles (aka: butt muscles) tightly together and hold it there. I sat there horrified as I noticed all the participants tense up and cut off the connection of the whole body while performing a function that would prove useless in their everyday life (unless you like feeling constipated, I guess).
Even some of our most common cues that we have heard throughout our life can have damaging effects. Who hasn’t been told to “straighten their back”? And yet, my own mother suffered a lot of pain from this very cue as she diligently tried to have “nice straight posture.” X-Rays have proven that she actually decreased the natural curves of her spinal column. Our curves are essential to our posture and nervous system. Rather than thinking of a “straight” spine—perhaps cues like “stand tall,” “lengthen the spine,” or supportive images would be more useful.
Okay, so what does this have to do with being beautiful?
My friends, family, neighbors… so many people seem to struggle with their own body image. I am surprised by how often I would hear my own student pick apart every perceived flaw: this is too big, this is too small, this is just pain ugly, this doesn’t work, etc. Do we ever stop to consider what our negative words might be doing?
I am reminded of a study performed by Masaru Emoto:
Mr. Emoto is the Japanese author of The Hidden Messages in Water. He is known for his claim that if human speech or thoughts are directed at water droplets before they are frozen, images of the resulting water crystals will be beautiful or ugly depending upon whether the words or thoughts were positive or negative. Emoto claims this can be achieved through prayer, music or by attaching written words to a container of water.
Take a look at some of these images:
While many scientists believe that much more research needs to be done before any conclusive findings are accepted, I think it is an interesting concept to consider.
We are made of mostly water.
That same stuff pictured above that changed depending on the words spoken is rushing through you and me. To me it makes total sense. Sticks and stones may break our bones, and words may make us ugly. How are we shaping the very elements that form us through our words? How are we shaping the people around us?
I, for one, want to create myself beautiful. How about you?
(top image by ChaoticMind75, Flickr)
This piece is from the “original” Thank Your Body Archives. Originally posted March 5, 2010. Updated and improved for your reading pleasure.