In almost all fables or riddles, there is the repetition of the number 3. The third character in the joke is always the deliverer of the punch line and the third little pig got the upper hand on the wolf. So I'm presenting my powerful three, shared with me by a woman I will never forget...
When you speak, make sure your words pass through these three gates: What is true, what is necessary and what is kind.
One of the key elements seen in women that exude grace is the way that they express themselves in public. Many of us would blush if we saw a recording of ourselves played back after a gab-fest with friends. Perhaps it would be punctuated by criticism, gossip or just plain mean remarks that would not accurately depict the kind of women we are, that we aspire to be. In reading some of the biographies and interviews of some of the most eloquent women of our time, it can be noted that even when describing their most horrible experiences or greatest enemies, they maintain their poise and never let those negative feelings get the better of them, or cast a shadow on their person.
I read once that what we say is like a boomerang; whatever you speak of will, in some way, come back to you. If you speak poorly of someone, those qualities became associated with you in the listener's mind. If you speak graciously of someone, then you also inherit those qualities to the listener. To this end, we have the opportunity to mold ourselves with our own words.
This week: Practice pausing before you speak. Envision the picture of the gates above before you begin to speak critically and ask yourself, "Is what I'm saying true? Is it necessary? Is it kind?" If it can't pass through all three gates, don't say it. Change the subject. Shrug your shoulders and say "Isn't that an interesting thought," and move on. Don't let the desire to seem wise by espousing opinions get the best of you. You're better than that.
Take a breath, remember who you are and who you want the world to remember you as, then speak from your heart. Then, experience the peace you feel by knowing you have encouraged more kindness and truth in the world.