Five past noon, and I slide into a seat at the Sakurabana sushi bar in Boston’s Financial District. Two ladies sit to my right. Robed in flawless corporate couture, they hurl comments back and forth with the lightning speed of ping pong champs. Their volleys are ferocious, intense. Here’s a comment that leaps out:

“But she’s CRAZY!” the lady sitting to my immediate right says to the other one.

The tone is triumphant. Whoa. There’s a whole lot of energy wrapped up in that single word. “CRAZY.”

I don’t know who these ladies are talking about – but I’m pretty darn sure that the person of interest is NOT crazy.

I think of all the other labels we’re apt to pin on folks: clueless; incompetent; ridiculous: despicable; vile.

Words are often vessels for a whole lot of energy that has been unexpressed. Moments, hours, days are bottled up in such words. Everything that has festered is suddenly squeezed and contained.

One word. It becomes our poison pill. And so it goes. Every time we say the word, we swallow the pill. Again and again and again.

Most of us do this with supreme innocence. But why, really, would we want to re-poison ourselves? Letting go of blocked energy can take many forms – turning a mental switch, finding a physical release, asking for help. But here’s a place where we can all start, every day: Notice the words we use. Notice the energy they contain. And refuse to swallow the pill.

My action for the week: I will pay attention to my little poison pills. I choose to not swallow them again!

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