The Power of Words

I love to read, and I love to talk about books. I look forward to weekends (including music festival weekends!) so I can dive in a book and spend two days reading. If you want to speak my love language, send me a book recommendation you think I will enjoy or ask me about a recent book I read. At home, I have bookshelves full of books I loved, and piles of books I am looking forward to reading.

Yesterday, I added a new book on my list of books to read, thanks to the recommendation of Debra Neill Baker of Neill Corporation.

She opened our day-long strategy meeting by reminding us of the power of words, and by sharing three sentences we should all incorporate in our conversations more frequently to build connection and love:

  • “Tell me more”: this helps us listen better. I like to “end” a conversation with “what else?” – yet this verbiage is so much more powerful.
  • “I was wrong”: because “I am sorry” is over-used and not powerful enough. This will be a hard one for me to incorporate in my language…  
  • “I don’t know”: because it is ok not to know. As a colleague added, another nice way of saying that is “I haven’t learned that yet.”  

These phrases came from a book Debra read recently, which I immediately ordered: Tell Me More by Kelly Corrigan. This book is about “12 essential phrases that turn the wheel of life.” (I think “No” is on that list and that is certainly a word I need help with!)

Today, I commit to using these three more frequently. And this weekend, I am going to read this book!  

Music for the soul

Mercury is in Retrograde, and I am feeling it… and so the timing of Austin City Limits opening weekend could not have been better. As Danielle LaPorte ’s Truthbomb earlier this week reminded me, music is soul food. And my soul was hungry. The first show I saw (thank you Ric B. and Rick B. for the recommendation) will probably be the best of the weekend: Leon Bridges, a young gospel and soul singer from Fort Worth. Before being discovered less than a year ago, Bridges was working as a dishwasher and singing at open-mic nights. His is a rags to riches story, an American dream story; a story that reminds us that great things happen to great people. At 4 pm yesterday, dressed like Nat King Cole, Bridges delighted a crowd of thousands singing about Mississippi kisses, about his mother, and about dancing (a song inspired by his grandmother’s long legs). It was soul music. It was music for the soul. Music that made me think of the 50s, of proper manners, of families sharing Sunday night dinner together, of whiskey cocktails. Music that reminded me that Mercury in Retrograde is just a phase, that this too shall pass.

Leon Bridges (courtesy David Brenda Hall, The Austin Chronicle)
Leon Bridges (courtesy David Brendan Hall, The Austin Chronicle)