Wednesday, September 4, 2013

More than Words by Charyn Gant

 “Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice [and heart] to infuse them with shades of deeper meaning.” 
Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings (

I stared at the 10 words I had chosen blankly, not sure how to begin. I had never really done this before and was already judging myself as doing it wrong before I even got started. I felt a bit ridiculous and silly. “Yep,” I thought to myself, “I am totally out of my comfort zone here. I can feel it”.

Not sure how to begin, I started the only way I knew how: logically instead of intuitively. I am proud to say, however, that I did resist the urge to look up my words up in the online dictionary because that obviously defeats the purpose of the exercise. I began with what I thought my first definition should be. However, rereading it, I felt odd. Everything sounded oh so proper, canned and way too formal. It was ego-mind crap. I shook my head; this was not going to work. As usual, I had to get out of my head.

And that’s about when I hit the edge of my comfort zone and stepped off into a field of space that was outside my self-limiting personal picket fence.

The 10 words I’m speaking about are 10 Power Words or Values that resonated with me out of more than 200 as a part of a business boot camp exercise (yes, I said more than 200 words; so NOT an exercise to over think). And as part of that exercise, I had to define what those words meant to ME. Self-definition is in no way a new concept; you’ll find plenty of references and exercises out there on the Internet and you may have done a few on your own. For me however, this was uncharted territory.

You see, I really didn’t know, deep, deep, down, that I actually HAD PERMISSION to write my OWN definitions and in the process, define my own set of values for all areas of my life. This means a long suppressed voice is eagerly waiting to emerge and speak directly to challenge old limiting beliefs and programs that keep me hitting an internal glass ceiling, swimming in a small fishbowl, unhappy, depressed and resentful. So if this sounds like you, you’re not alone. :-)

If you have not already claimed it, know you HAVE PERMISSION to self-define YOUR Power Words and thus what you value, which can give you massive insight and clarity into how you tick in your inner most being. Then you can begin to connect those definitions with your daily life.  And when you make those connections, those words then carry more weight, have greater meaning and act as a built-in guidance system for how you choose to show up in the world everyday in everyway. And what’s more, everything you do and everyone around you can benefit. What a cool ripple effect!

One of my selected words is “Community”, which I defined as: “giving & receiving; sharing; support; gathering & bearing witness to the fabric of life; validation of experiences; releasing judgment; happiness; feeling good; celebrations”.  For right now, this is MY definition; I can continue to build on it, or not. So if Community is something you value, how would you define it? Or maybe one of your words is Gratitude, Prosperity, Purpose or Passion.

Whatever your Power Words are, by choosing to define them from a heart-centered, In-powered space, you can begin to shift the very fabric of what you see as your life. You can gain confidence and have the courage to live fully and accomplish your goals. And by focusing on how we show up as those Power Words or values on a daily basis, those things will expand tremendously. And that is where the real magic begins.

Charyn Gant is the founder of the blog/site When We Listen to Trees: a platform to share information, stories and tolls of how we can improve our quality of life, especially our emotional health as it relates to our physical health. Charyn has been in the alternative healing arena for more than a decade. You can also find her on Pinterest and LinkedIn.

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