Words Have Power

This is the transcript from a recent speech I shared in Hamilton

What stories do we tell ourselves? Do we repeat that we aren’t deserving, we aren’t worthy, not good enough, or do we believe in ourselves and repeat supportive encouraging words of love and hope?

Words have power

What we feed subconscious it believes. If we tell ourselves we aren’t good enough, not deserving, not worthy…that is the reality we will create. As an example, if we say “I always end up dating the same people who hurt me or use me” then we will.

Until we change the stories we tell ourselves, the stories we experience won’t change.

I grew up with a very abusive mother and I listened to those old tapes (yes, I’m dating myself!) of messages from my mother even after she died. It was no surprise then, looking back, that I
met a man who continued that behaviour towards me. That was what I was telling myself I deserved and that was what I expected, so that was what I attracted and created.

Because words have power.

In that relationship I got into using hard drugs because it was easier than feeling and experiencing the repeated stories and pain of my reality. I also didn’t want to deal with grief of
loss or disappointment in myself for not following my dreams. I’ve seen many people in my life who haven’t addressed their stories, stay in them over decades and multiple relationships – myself included. I escaped with drugs because I wasn’t ready to face things and take charge
of the words I was telling myself. I didn’t know any better. Until I did.

In 2005 I nearly died of a drug overdose, having a heart attack, kidney failure, brain damage and being unable to walk. That was after ending up in the hospital for mental health a few months prior. But none of that was enough to stop me, and it still took me 2 years, and going
back to college for package engineering and getting my dream job, before I got clean.

Nearly 11 years ago, I found 12 step meetings that changed my life. I was able to start telling myself new words and stories, of worthiness, and deserving to live. Writing books was another dream I had, this one since I was 3 years old and during my using, I had walked away from the very thing that healed me – words!

Because words have power.

Fortunately, 8 years ago I was introduced to a writing group at a treatment center here in Hamilton. Joining and helping to facilitate this group was so special and rewarding. I got a front row seat to watch women develop self esteem and confidence, healing through their words, and realized the same was happening to me! In 2012, we collected many of the writing pieces and made it into a book. We had a full book launch and people were actually asking for my autograph! It was surreal. It was the first time I got to see my words in print, and it was life changing.

Because words have power.

As often happens when things are going really well, but the positive loving stories, words and messages haven’t been fully integrated yet, I indulged in self sabotage, overwhelm and feeling not worthy of the success. I had the opportunity to pitch agents and publishers, and since words have such power, when the words of just one person weren’t as supportive as I had hoped, I felt crushed. I stopped writing for more than 3 months. It started me down a spiral because I turned my back on the most healing outlet for me. I created chaos in my life for the next 3 years with poor choices, and letting others affect me way too much – listening to their
words, their messages.

After ending up in the hospital for a second time, this time clean, I hit another bottom. I didn’t think it could get much worse. However, while sitting in the cold sterile room, I realized I had this little light burning in me. A small candle of courage and strength, that was burning bright just for me. I could tap into that place inside that no one could touch, and it gave me strength to make it through the next year that was one of my darkest yet. I tried giving up several times, but the light kept bringing me back, showing me there was more I had to do yet. I wrote some dark poems during that time, but it helped me get through, and helped me

Because words have power.

Two years ago, I invested in a self-help program while I uprooted my life yet again, to another new city, my 25th place I lived in 35 years. It was actually what I needed to rewrite my messages. I worked on myself, my beliefs and the stories I told myself. I wrote myself a new life script. One that was affirming and empowering and helped me feel worthy of all my

3 months later, I published my first solo book, and now I have 7 books that I’ve been directly involved with, 6 just over the last 2 years, and many more on the way.

Because words certainly have power!

I followed my own passion to start a communications company to help others heal through the power of their words. I have been running workshops to help others heal, and I started my coaching business to help people find their inspiration and live their passion, and often that involves publishing books. 81% of people want to publish a book, but only 3% actually do. I help people find their voice and realize what they say has value. Because for years I believed that what I had to say was worthless, useless and didn’t matter. Until I knew better.

Because words have power.

Now I have an entire box filled with little papers. On those papers are testimonials, kind words, synchronistic experiences. I wrote them all down, because when I’m in a dark spot and can’t see my way out on my own, I look at the words of people I’ve helped. Words I treasure and help me heal. Words that have feelings and power so intense they’ve caused a
huge ripple affect, much larger than my own life.Words have power.

We all end up in dark spots, no matter how positive, grounded and spiritual you may be, we all have our moments. Unfortunately, many don’t talk about it, so when those moments happen, we feel alone. When we share our authentic truth, we help ourselves heal as well as others. We give others permission to hurt and to heal. To not feel alone.

The writing groups I run have a wonderful magic. We use the words of meditation to get grounded. We use the words we write to tap into deep healing that we often don’t expect. We use the words of sharing to connect with others and form magical bonds with strangers we just met.

Words have power.

When I need to realign my thinking when it’s gotten off track, I write a gratitude list. You bet my subconscious fights it and comes up with all sorts of counter points as I start. But I persevere. I keep writing and in the end, I feel grounded and have hope. What we tell ourselves creates our reality.

Because words have power.

Have you ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon or Frequency Illusion? It’s where you talk to someone about something, and suddenly see or hear it everywhere, repeatedly. Or you think of someone and they call. Or if you buy a blue Toyota and suddenly feel like everyone is driving a blue Toyota. This phenomenon can work for good or bad. We condition ourselves a certain way, to look for the good, or look for the bad in life, and create a life that reflects that. That feels like an oversimplification, but the old phrase whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right certainly rings true.

Words have power.

When I make sure I’m focusing on the good messages and gratitude, there is a lot more to be grateful for and good comes abundantly into my life. Now that’s not to say that crappy things
don’t happen, they do, all the time! But my perspective and how I respond to them is different. I’m able to respond instead of reacting and making the situation worse. There are times it feels like a snowball of things not going how I’d hoped, but I need to stop, breathe and adjust my expectations, otherwise the words and messages playing in my head will get out of control fast.

It’s much easier for us to find familiar struggle, than to find the courage to change our stories. Often when we do start to succeed, we notice people around us change. They try to knock us down, they use words to get us back to where they’ve always known us to be. This often isn’t intentional, but happens subconsciously to keep us comfortable and safe, maintain
the status quo. Because if we are changing and growing, it can shine a light on what they wish they were accomplishing but have let fear take over and paralyze them. It’s called tall poppy syndrome. I heard there’s two ways to ensure you have the tallest building in town, keep building yours taller or knock down all the taller ones. I’d rather keep building mine

When I published my first book, the one from my dog’s perspective, I really experienced this for the first time. In about a month I had a dozen people lose their temper and say nasty untrue things to me or about me. It made me question myself and who I was. I am not out to hurt others, but that’s what seemed to happen.

Words have power.

I chose not to respond because my words have power too and I’m in charge of whether I respond or react to my environment. I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror. When I choose kindness and love, I start a ripple that creates a life I want to live. It opened doors for me to meet many more amazing people that came into my life and I express gratitude for them often…

Because words have power.

I was speaking on a topic near and dear to me, depression and suicide prevention. This has been something I have sat side by side with all my life and I do all I can to bring awareness
and remind people they aren’t alone. It wasn’t a topic many people in the room had experience with and I wanted to give them a solution to help someone if they needed to. I created these little kindness cards that I now share wherever I go. On one side it shares a powerful encouraging message and on the other a reminder to reach out for help and a way to
get more cards if you want to join the movement. Simple words have helped more people than I know. People were asking for them to hand out at schools during exams, to give struggling friends, to leave random places so people that need them can find them. They have been sent to 7 countries worldwide and thousands have been dispersed because you never know when a small phrase on a card can save someone’s life.

Because words have power.

So how can we all change our stories?
We change the words we say to ourselves.

I still have enough days I want to throw in the towel, my old stories come back and they are quite loud. But I have a tool box I can use to help those words have less power. And that allows me to give power to the words I choose to create the life of my dreams.

I let go of self sabotaging messages created from living through years of abuse. I no longer let them indulge in self fulfilling prophecies. The new messages I humbly affirm to myself are that I am almost 11 years clean. I am building a heart centered business as a spiritual entrepreneur. I am an international best-selling author living my dreams and helping people be empowered to live theirs. I am living an unlimited future where I love my potential.

What stories are you telling yourself? Where do you want to be?

Words have power.

Love yourself today. You matter. I matter. Every voice is important. Thank you for letting me
share mine tonight.

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