Watch Your Language!

When I was a kid, whenever I said anything unkind or unsavory (who, me? cuss?), my mother would wash my mouth out with soap.

If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything at all, young lady!” were her famous words.

My mother went through a lot of soap in those years.

She made me realize that my words, my sentences, and the language in my mind and in my conversations had power. I had some thinking to do.

I could use my mind language and words to hurt others, including myself. Or, I could use them to help and heal others, including myself.

I learned that they played a very big role in creating my future.

Our words and thoughts will either limit us or expand us.

We can speak as if we are in charge or as if we are victims of circumstance. We can speak in the language of creation or in the language of reaction.

The language of creation is like this: “I choose…,” “I intend…,” and “I will…,” while the language of reaction says, “What should I do?” or “I don’t know what to do.”

Big difference!

It’s going from an “I don’t know how to” mentality to an “I want to” attitude and that’s because desire is not a fixed state. It is fluid and dynamic, ever-burning within us, making us burst at the seams as we expand our consciousness and awareness in the creative process.

So, if you want to transform your life, watch your language. Carefully choose what you say and think.

Awaken to your status as creator, not victim.

As creator and owner of your life, focus your energy on creating what you want by using language that builds your future, not on wasting your energy with language that describes (and keeps you in) the past.

 As you commit to creating, you’ll sentence yourself to a life of goodness.


Pay attention to the words that come out of your mouth today. Are they kind and loving, or harmful and hateful? If you find yourself thinking for saying unkind things, correct them by turning them into kinder, more positive words (or you can wash your mouth out with soap, but I wouldn’t recommend that!).

If you want to spread some good cheer and lift people, compliment them. When you do this, you will find that you will receive a surge of creative energy, too. Make sure the compliments are sincere. If someone is facing a challenge, encourage him or her. Use your words to inspire others. Give as many as you can in the course of the day, and if you’re feeling really daring, continue this exercise the rest of the week or longer.

People love compliments because it makes them feel good about themselves. As a teacher, I made it a point to always find something encouraging to say about students’ papers, even if the paper needed improvement or a do-over. If for some reason I forgot to put my signature smiley faces on their work, they would let me know about it in an instant! Give away smiles today and see what happens.


Related Posts:

Read the introduction to 31 Days of Spiritual Growth here, and find links to all posts in this series.

Get my new e-book, The ABC’s of Dealing with Negative People. Available now!

14 thoughts on “Watch Your Language!

  1. Andrea

    Awesome post! I started to watch what self-talk I was saying a while ago, not only to myself, but when I talked to anyone else about myself. I was really surprised at how often I caught myself just before launching into another self put-down. It’s so important what we say! I try to think before I speak now, not just what I say about me, but what I say to others. When I meet someone I actively look for something nice to say about them. Not in a false way, but even just something like ‘that’s a nice scarf’ can really brighten someone’s day. Also it means when you meet someone you’re automatically looking for good things about them, rather than expecting something not so good, so you tend to just see the greatness in people most of the time. I believe what we say reflects what we are unconsciously thinking. It reveals a lot about our true beliefs, and if we stop repeating those thoughts out loud, eventually the thoughts change to match what we’re saying. So I think first, and try and find the most positive way of expressing my truth that I am capable of. I think changing the words I use is one of the most positive things I’ve done for my personal growth. Great post, really thought provoking and spot on!

    1. Penny McDaniel

      Thank you, Andrea!

      When I started paying attention to my self-talk, I learned to catch myself before saying anything denigrating as well. Like you, I step back and think about what I’m going to say and I actively look for something nice to say about others. It trains us to always look for the good in others and in ourselves.

      I actively listen to what others say about themselves when I speak to them, too. I have friends who ask me to hold them accountable whenever they say something negative or derogatory about themselves, which I do because I truly want them to grow.

      Thank you for sharing your insights about this.
      Blessings, my friend.

  2. Maryann Candito

    An absolute perfect reminder today for me, as Mercury in Retrograde is wreaking havoc on my life, and I really need my mouth washed out with soap! LOL…
    Great post Penny! Thanks for uplifting me today. 🙂

    1. Penny McDaniel

      Hi Maryann!

      Yeah, whenever Mercury Retrograde stays for a visit, I back off of certain things and let’s it energy just pass. We just have to exercise care in what we say because not everyone is going to hear it or interpret in the context that we meant. And with Mercury being the planet of communication, it is also the planet of miscommunication when it retrogrades. LOL. I’ve got the soap ready, too!


  3. Peggy

    Awesome, awesome post Penny! Our words are so important – the First Agreement reminds us to be impeccable with our words. We can use our language to create black magic (bad) or white magic (good). I discovered, after a little experiementing, that the four most important words I can say to someone I lover or care about, or even a stranger is, “I Believe In You.” Those words create yummy goodness and lots of warm fuzzies 🙂

    1. Penny McDaniel

      Yes! Speak with integrity at all times! I love the Four Agreements. Great book.

      “I believe in you” is such a powerful phrase because it lets the other person know of the love, the encouragement, and the truth behind those four simple words.

      Rock on, Peggy!

  4. Rochelle Gordon

    What you say is so important. I especially liked: We can speak in the language of creation or in the language of reaction. The language of creation is like this: “I choose…,” “I intend…,” and “I will…,” while the language of reaction says, “What should I do?” or “I don’t know what to do.”

    Thanks for putting it in such a clear way.

    1. Penny McDaniel

      I’m so glad this resonated with you, Rochelle.

      People don’t always realize how important language is and the power behind words.

      Thank you so much for stopping in and sharing.
      Blessings to you.

  5. Anonymous

    Hi Penny,

    Are these “Rainbow Soaps?” (inside joke) 😉

    This is such a great article.
    I totally agree that our words have power. Power to hurt and power to heal. Angry words spill from an angry heart. A loving person speaks gracious words of love, compassion and goodness. May our words be used to build up not tear down, bless rather than curse, encourage not discourage.

    Thank you Penny!!
    Healthy Blessings,
    Gena 🙂

    1. Penny McDaniel

      LOL…Gena, I didn’t even notice that about the soaps, other than I wanted colorful soaps that looked like soap for my blog! Ha Ha. Rainbow soap it is!

      Words are indeed powerful as we all know as writers/bloggers. We have been endowed with the gift of language and we have a responsibility to use it wisely. Awesome stuff, isn’t it!

      Thanks for stopping in and commenting.

  6. Anonymous

    As a child growing up….I never understand the importance of my words. Now being on a spiritual path.I’m learning that words really have an influence on me too…when I was angry I felt the anger..and when I was gossiping I felt the negitive energy heading my way…just until recently I’ve become more away on how that works…its incredible the power of words n how they can manifest into something good or bad…now I understand why parents would say “watch your words BC they become harmful to you n others” true. What goes around comes around…so true. So I have been very careful of my words BC they can become actions …….love n peace my friend…

    1. Penny McDaniel

      It’s amazing how our eyes open when we embrace the spiritual path.

      We become more conscious of who we are and of what we say and do because it always comes back to us in more ways than one.

      Love and peace to you, my friend.

  7. rseni

    Hi Penny,

    Great post and I’m happy that even since childhood, I have never ever said a bad word to anyone. Others would use bad words, but I – NO! My mind never accepted using them. Forget using them but not thinking about them. Now, even I’m on a spiritual path and I am happy I don’t have to struggle changing this trait which many other people have.

    There are people who can’t talk without using more than a few bad words in every sentence. Ack! It doesn’t sound and feel good to say, but it’s a reality that their minds have a gutter flowing within. A really bad trait which can’t let them earn others’ respect. If they knew how words have a positive and negative energy associated with them, they would at least try to change themselves.

    An ancient saying goes here in India – As the food, so the mind, As the water, so the voice. As the attitude, so the vision.

    Raspal Seni
    My Writer Site:
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    My Tech Blog:

    1. Penny McDaniel

      Hi Raspal!

      That is wonderful that you have never said a bad word to anyone.

      I can remember the first time I said a bad word…I was walking home from second grade with some friends who always cursed, so I cursed on the corner of Mill St. and High St. at the traffic light as we were waiting to cross the street. Odd that that memory is still with me today. I “knew” when I did it that it was wrong, but I did it anyway. Of course, the soap-in-the-mouth years began.

      Your point about people who can’t speak without throwing in a curse word every few words is spot on. The energy is not pleasant to be around. And it makes me not want to be around them. I like your analogy of the gutter flowing through them. Apropos. Words either have a positive charge or a negative charge attached to them; their connotation is key.

      I love the saying you have in India. Beautiful.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing, Raspal.
      Blessings to you.


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