Do You Walk Your Talk?

+ sneakered feet on sidewalk Blog april 14 13409511_sDo you believe the world should be a kinder place? That people should help each other more? That people criticize and judge each other too quickly and harshly? These are all good beliefs. The question is, are you living them as well as believing them?

A phrase jumped out at me the other day in a blog post comment I was reading. The commenter wrote “I made a conscious decision to practice what I preach…” Though I don’t love the saying, practice what you preach, I admire the writer’s determination to address discrepancies between what she says and what she does.

I’ve heard the phrase Practice what you preach all my life. It can feel a little scoldy to me, but maybe that’s just because none of us like to be reminded that our actions might not be in alignment with our beliefs. But, viewed from our consciousness (instead of from our chagrin!), making a good, clean assessment of what we’re saying we believe and how we’re living those beliefs is a good thing to do.

I’m more comfortable with a variation on Practice what you preach that goes, “Walk your talk.” For me, this version has less “attitude.” The tone is straightforward and grounded. It inspires an image of our heady ideas and beliefs, our “talk,” coming through our bodies as our feet walk on the planet, integrating our beliefs as practices in our lives.

Walk your talk is where the rubber meets the road.

Lately, I’ve been thinking about whether I’m walking my talk. The talk part of the equation has been kind of staring me in the face as I archive past Muses on my new website. These Muses are filled with my “talk,” the spiritual ideas and thoughts that are my life lessons, my beliefs. As I copy, paste, and re-format the six-plus years of Muses, I’m revisiting their content, asking myself if what I wrote about at the time is still something I believe. I’m also checking in about the walk part of the equation, if I’m implementing my beliefs in my life.

Most of the Muses continue to resonate. I’m still working, for example, with the message of “Super-Size Me!” which suggests that we tap into Source Energy in a big way. Walking this particular talk is a challenge for me, because, while I believe that there is an abundance of Energy, utilizing it in it’s freely given, generous capacity sometimes still escapes me. So, I’m reminding myself that there is no shortage of loving, kind, compassionate, helpful energy and that I/we can use it in super-sized portions, that we can also share it with others.

I also still use the principles of “A New E.S.P.” My version of E.S.P. stands for “Ease, Satisfaction, and Pleasure,” three qualities I want in my life. Periodically through the day, I ask myself if I’m experiencing ease, if I’m feeling satisfaction, if I’m noticing the pleasure of the moment. These questions inspire the mindfulness of relaxing breaths, gentle realignments of my energy, pauses to enjoy the sunrise’s colors.

Ease, satisfaction and pleasure dovetail right into the current “talk” I’m trying to walk. Those qualities speak to me of Spirit – the consciousness and energy I want to permeate my every moment, thought, and action. My customary, continuous doing/task mode just isn’t in alignment with this idea. Instead of the spiritual feeling of being calm, centered, and able to see the bigger picture, doing-mode keeps me a little tense (not in ease), minimizes my satisfaction (am I coming up for air, let alone appreciating my efforts?), and dulls my senses (what sunrise?).

So, that’s my “talk” these days. How am I doing walking my talk? Well, as the saying goes, “It’s a work in progress.” Integrating our beliefs into life practices is, as another saying puts it, easier said than done.

A “am I walking my talk” check-in shows us a lot about ourselves. If you’re not clear what your “talk” is, start by asking yourself a question like, “What ideas am I trying to live by?” or “What’s a principle I believe would make the world a better place?” Commit to integrating this belief into your own way of being, to walking the talk, not just waiting for it to happen in the world.

Then, recognize that there will likely be a gap between your beliefs and your actions for some time. Be kind, and encourage yourself to keep trying to narrow that gap in small increments. Acknowledge that practicing our beliefs is just that, a practice. Practice takes many repetitions and slowly brings gradual improvement over a long time. And, allowing ourselves “do-overs” when we slip up is a way to be gentle with ourselves and yet keep trying.

Little by little, we’ll eventually align our beliefs with our actions – or at least reduce the discrepancy. And, it can help to share our process with each other along the way. Doing this keeps us in connection with each other and with Spirit. That’s where we’ll find the companionship, the loving support, and the courage to live our beliefs. Let’s start talking, and take the walk together.

Comments

  1. Sheila Kingston says:

    That’s awesome. x

  2. Kathy Kessenich says:

    “Walk your talk” really resonated with me, Janet. Thanks for writing it. I struggle a bit too with really tapping into the abundance of spiritual energy that I know is there and shining as my best self. But I appreciate your calling out that there will
    be gaps and the important thing is to keep practicing to narrow those gaps between your talk and your walk.

    • Spiral Energies says:

      It’s so easy to focus on the discrepancies we notice in ourselves between what we believe and how we live it, isn’t it? I’m glad that the point about seeing this as a spiritual practice (lovingly tended in ourselves) came through. Thanks so much for your comment, Kathy.

  3. Laura K. says:

    I’m reading this late this month, but the timing seems apropos as I’ve been trying to get back to my own mindfulness practice, and made some good progress on it last night that’s carried over to this morning. This was a great reminder of yet another good reason to try to live in mindfulness, which I believe does so much good not just for me but for the world. I look forward to re-reading the archived Muses you linked to, as well!

    • Spiral Energies says:

      I agree that living with mindfulness and practicing what we believe benefit the planet as well as ourselves. Good to hear that you’re reviving your own practices! Many blessings!

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