Inside’s a heart of summer soul
Don’t let them throw it away
‘Cause inside’s something solid gold
so don’t let them throw it away
Words they mean nothing
so you can’t hurt me
I said words they mean nothing
So you can’t stop me
Words. We’re surrounded by them. You’re reading some right now.
Words and language are the foundation of story. They are a key element in constructing our reality and our shared human experience.
But they can also get in the way. They can overload us, and lead us astray.
Today, I invite you to get away from words a little. To step away from story, from evaluation and analysis, and move toward being in your body and the parts of your brain not occupied by language. To make some time and space where you can be word-free.
Today, I invite you to embrace wordlessness.
To push the words aside a little bit, and give in to sensing and feeling, to appreciating sounds and shapes and sensory inputs and outputs without ascribing a language meaning to them.
So try one or more of these things today, and see what emerges:
- For an hour, as you go about your day, resist the urge to read anything, whether it’s on a device or in a magazine or book. Notice how hard it is to avoid words!
- Use your body’s word-producing abilities to create non-word, non-language sounds. Hum, babble, whatever, as long as you’re not trying to form a coherent, recognizable language.
- Be with someone you love and decide you won’t speak for a little while—maybe just 10 minutes to start.
- Find a quiet spot where you can sit or lie comfortably, and close your eyes. Meditate, and notice when your thoughts start to take the form of words. Then notice what parts of your body are engaged as you form these word-thoughts. You may find that your soft palate and tongue in particular are involved. Intentionally relax these parts of your mouth. Every thought is accompanied by some sort of action in the body, and this is true with language too: when you form words in your mind, even if you don’t speak them out loud, your body is participating as well—even if it’s in the most subtle way.
- Finally, introduce wordlessness even more deliberately into your existing practices, whether meditation, or a movement practice of some kind, or just doing the dishes. You can use some of the ideas above to help with this.
Go find the words. Go find the crevices in your life where they’re hiding. Weed them out, give them some air, then nudge them to the side.
Don’t fight the words when they try to stick around—they will—but just create some space, some opportunity, for wordlessness to also take part.
Then see what fills that space you create, even if it’s a small one.
You might be pleasantly surprised once you make it clear to The Words that they don’t rule your day, or your body, or your mind.
Want to explore more ways to get back to your sensing, moving, feeling self? Get in touch.