Change your language. Change your life!

Are you as guilty as I am when it comes to creating lists for yourself? I am a great list maker! I feel it helps me to remember things that I might otherwise forget, and that is a very real concern, especially at this point in my life. Lists can be extremely helpful.

Nancy Kalina

However, have your lists ever taken on a life of their own? Do you find yourself saying — even if it’s just in your head — “I have to … before today is over?” Have you ever said, “I need to …before the end of the week?” Do you ever say I gotta or I must…?” These phrases don’t just come from lists. They are a reflection of our attitude toward whatever it is we are talking about. When I catch myself saying have to, need to, must or gotta, I stop and ask, for example, “Is the world going to stop spinning if I don’t mow the grass this weekend?” No. I actually doubt that my not mowing the grass would be noticed by anyone other than me. Yet, I put pressure and stress on myself with the words “I have to cut the grass this weekend.” It actually feels like I am shackling myself or tying a noose around my neck. And that’s just one item!

Maybe it seems ridiculous to think that one “have to” is like tying a noose around your neck. Pay attention to yourself for a full day. Listen to your conversations with others as well as your inner dialogue that you have with yourself, and see how many times you use one of the following phrases: “I have to,” “I need to,”  “I must,” or “I gotta.” You might be surprised. If you are the average person and say one of these phrases a minimum of 12-15 times per day, all those have to’s definitely add up to a noose.

Is this a ball and chain that we create with our own language? I think it might be. There are no have to’s in life. We have a multitude of choices every hour of every day, and choosing to do something empowers us a lot more than needing to do something. Check out the examples below and see if you can detect the difference and sense the empowerment that comes from changing your language.

I have to go to work. vs. I choose to work, which helps provide for me and my family.
I gotta go to the doctor. vs. I am choosing to see my doctor to help me maintain my health.
I need to get an A on this exam. vs. I choose to study hard for this exam because I could benefit from getting an A.
I have to be nice to my mother–in–law. vs. I choose to be pleasant to my mother–in–law in an effort to create a good relationship.

It may seem like changing our language in this way is small and inconsequential. However, I believe it is more powerful than we are aware. Our language acts as a representation showing us and everyone else our true attitude.

I realize we can’t change our attitudes overnight, but I believe in the old adage from Alcoholics Anonymous: “Fake it until you make it!” Becoming aware of the language you use is the first step to understanding yourself and how you see your world and what kind of energy you bring to each situation that you encounter. Once you are aware, you can choose to make changes to create a different energy within yourself. Once you create a different energy, you may find yourself with more vitality and more excitement about the tasks that used to make you groan. You may feel a sense of freedom, enjoyment or empowerment simply because you chose to do something. You were not forced, coerced or obliged. You chose. And choice is a powerful entity. So, celebrate choice! Be grateful that you can choose every day what you wear, what to eat, where you go, whether or not you exercise, with whom you associate, whether you live alone or with another. Having choice and exercising our power to choose is one of the greatest gifts that we possess. Notice the choices that you make daily. Embrace and honor the choices in your life!


Sharing Corner

Lately, I have been reading books that are accounts of real, inspiring events. A little inspiration is always welcome in my life. I have found tremendous stimulation from both of the books that I am sharing with you today.

The first book, Tattoos on the Heart, was written by Gregory Boyle. Boyle shares awe-inspiring, real stories about the individuals he supports through Homeboy Industries, which is a gang intervention program. These jaw-dropping and remarkable essays are great examples of unconditional love and comprehensive connection to our fellow human beings. Tattoos on the Heart reminds us that we are all equal and that no one’s life is more valuable than anyone else’s.

The second book I would like to share is another true story. Outcasts United is about one woman’s desire to make a difference and to connect people from a multiplicity of ethnic backgrounds. In a small town in America, Warren St. John reports how Luma Mufleh brings folks together through soccer. In the process, she and the refugees change a community for the better. These phenomenal real-life stories are inspiring and again remind us all of how much we have to be grateful for.

Just a reminder: Safe Space Life Coaching is offering a four-part class in the fall that will take place on Saturdays. The title of this course is Caring for the Caretaker: Wake Up the Vibrant, Sexy and Alive YOU with ZUMBA® and Personal Life Coaching! For more information, visit my website at Reserve your spot NOW!



Here is the Ralph Marston message of the month. I hope all of you are enjoying Ralph as much as I do. Watching and reading his slideshows is a great way to start my day!


Until next time,

Safe Space Life Coaching

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