So how did you do last week with eliminating filler words? I thought it would be easy. However, eliminating those words is more of a challenge than I expected.
As an artist I spend a lot of time by myself. When I’m with family or friends, conversation is a welcome change of pace. What I realized this past week was how quickly I forgot this mindfulness practice. It wasn’t until late in the week when visiting a friend that I listened to myself while speaking. My big filler word? “Um.”
I find I use the word “um” as a way to string together my thoughts. Instead of taking a short, silent pause between phrases or sentences, I fill the silence with “um.”
Of course, the more aware of this I became, the more effort I put into trying to stop myself from saying “um.” I was hearing myself speak, then thinking “stop saying um,” and then worked harder to try and stop myself. Frankly, it was a bit exhausting. The solution? Speak slower and think about what you’re saying.
This week’s practice
This week’s mindfulness practice is to appreciate your hands. Several times during the day this week, observe your hands as you use them in activities. Observe them at rest. Observe your hands as if they belonged to someone else.
We use our hands naturally and unconsciously. This week observe your hands, how you use them, and how they help you.
Caution: I suggest doing this practice during safe activities. Watching your hands while driving, chopping veggies, or cutting wood is not recommended.
Reflection: If you ever need a helping hand, you’ll find one at the end of your arm. -Yiddish proverb