Words matter, both in what we say to ourselves and what we say to others. Several books ago, one of the Smart is sexy book club choices talked about this, more specifically In regards to switching from “I have to” or “I need to” and instead saying “I get to” and “I am able to”. My favorite example that they used is in regards to exercise – speaking of taking an exercise class… If you are saying that you have to or that you need to, it’s easy for it to become a heavy obligation and something that you try to get out of doing, instead of seeing it as a positive- that you get to or that you are able to, and it is a privilege or a reward. It was a wonderful way to learn how to change your mindset.
I am a words person, trying to be mindful of their power, and during the whole pandemic, a lot of words that were chosen did not sit well with me. I personally did not like the essential versus nonessential, as nonessential makes the category seem unnecessary, superfluous and worthless. And here we are, choosing to call people and their lives’ work, many of whom emotionally bond with their careers, especially if they are a business owner, as non-essential, unneeded, etc. Every single person is essential, and while they may not have a Job/career supporting the basic human needs, every single one of us is important, we are all essential to make the world a better place. We do not need to divide in this way, we need to be kind, and we need to continue to support each other, which will look a little bit different for each individual, and that’s ok.
And speaking of support, the other phrase that really did not sit well with me is social distancing. Being 6 feet or more apart has nothing to do with social, it is physical. We are trying to physically distance, and I know more and more physicians in particular are trying to adopt that phrasing and change the mindset. In fact, it was from a doctor friend that I heard the phrase physical distancing used first. My mind was blown! That is what we are trying to accomplish, we are not trying to socially distance, in fact, just the opposite – we need to be able to socially support each other more than ever, spreading kindness. Which can easily be done through phone calls, email, text, FaceTime or zoom type calls, good old fashion paper mail, or even face to face with physically distancing. Take advantage of this beautiful summer weather and go for a bike ride with somebody, sit out in the backyard, enjoy the social connections which are integral for our emotional needs.
Be kind, both to yourself and to others, be cognizant of what you are actually trying to communicate, and take advantage of the wonderful Aerial Dance online and in-person workouts where we can physically distance but keep that beautiful social connection with all of our Aerial sisters and aerial family.