Friday, February 24, 2012

So, I'm Gossipy

Last weekend I was at a party and per usual I was like a little chicken running from conversation to conversation chatting about a zillion things, half ADD-fueled, half anxiety-fueled, when someone said something to me that I've been marinating in all week...

"You're really gossipy" 

Now let me make this clear:

She didn't say it in a mean way and
she didn't call me out in front of loads of people or anything and
she was really just giving me shit for being all over the place (I think),
but for some reason, it echoed in my head long after it passed her lips.


My brain has been racing back in time and on this slightly annoying path I bumped up against previous encounters with other humans, communication classes in school, and quiet wrestling matches with my inner resistances. After all that, I came to realize: 

There is a direct correlation between the level of compassion and belief I have for myself and the subject of my speech.

I know this is kind of obvious, but most truths are simple. It's really just the discovering and implementing that seem to be the difficult parts.

If I'm not centered, I don't have a consistent awareness of what's coming out of my mouth. Stuff just comes out. There are no filters.

While I was contemplating all this in my bed one night, my brain's internal Stumbleupon placed an old quote on the inner screen of my eyelids:

"Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people."- Eleanor Roosevelt

And then, eyes still closed, I thought of all of my leadership classes in college:

Leaders don't gossip. 

This was one of the very first lessons they pounded into our brains as Public Comm majors in school. 

So after contemplating all of that, I pulled one of my beautiful friends aside and told her everything I had just gone through--how much I had been talking about people and not ideas and the reasons why I thought it was happening. We decided together that it was mostly because I was kinda chickenshit.

(Don't we always focus on other people when we're being chickenshits?  It's easier right?)

When I come across something in me that I'm not so happy or proud of, I like to be brutally honest about it out loud to someone else. That way, it can't hide. It's all up on the surface for me to face.

Anyway, after admitting my gossipy-nature I told her that I also feel afraid of doing the things I want to do, the things that are written in my heart, the things that make me feel alive. And furthermore, that I have never really been so afraid of the ideas that live inside me. She said she could relate and we decided that we are now not only going to remind each other at social gatherings to be present with what we speak but also help one another focus on finding and doing what's in our hearts.

And just an FYI: It's not that I was purposefully trying to hurt anyone. It's just I get so curious, wrapped up, and interested in other people that I sometimes forget to pay attention to myself and what's happening inside. Plus then too much attention goes to being nosey and perhaps saying things I don't really mean.

So now my friend and I like to check in with each other and ask:

Are we talking about people, events, or ideas?

And why not have creative thinking like that be the main course of our conversations?
This world is in dire need of new ideas.
Hell, who knows maybe a single, teeny idea will change the whole world.
In fact, I think one probably will, because many already have.

So, here's to talking less about people and more about ideas :)

"If you can't control your mouth, there's no way you can hope to control your mind." - Maya Angelou


P.S. I decided that I'm gonna do the weekly blog again. After a 4 month hiatus. So watch out.

P.S.S I love this band right now. If you want a copy of their new album Lion's Roar, let me know and I will burn it for you. 

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