I want to tell you the story of one of my biggest AHA moments about the power of words, and it all came from water. Probably my most important teaching is that your words change your reality. This is backed by science, and it’s easy to see when you have your eyes open. Well, a few years ago, I hadn’t opened my eyes yet. I’m sure yours have been closed too. Does berating yourself for everything that goes wrong and insulting yourself with every name in the book sound familiar? That was me a few years ago, until I had this AHA moment when I realized the power of words.
What The Bleep Do We Know?
I found this clip from a film called What the Bleep Do We Know!? In the video, actress Marlee Matlin plays a frustrated and overwhelmed woman who is having the worst day possible. I immediately related to the character as she runs late to catch a train. She’s angry, frustrated at herself and the awful situation she’s in, yelling at someone (presumably her boss) on the phone. This clip fascinated me because I could relate so much to this character. Even though our circumstances were very different, I could relate to that feeling of overwhelm and always being one step behind.
The character accidentally spills half a bottle of medicine and misses her train as she’s trying to collect the pills. A knot tightened even more in my stomach. I could just feel the frustration, self-blame, and self-critique coming from the character. I saw myself in this character. This is my life, and I feel this daily frustration too, I thought.
Then the character notices an exhibit on the subway platform; a series of pictures in large display cases. A guide explains that these images show the results of Dr. Masaru Emoto’s water experiments. She details how Dr. Emoto exposed glasses of water to different stimuli like music and videos. He then froze each sample to examine the crystals under a microscope, and those display cases showed images of the frozen crystals.
The Effects in What The Bleep Do We Know?
I watched in wonder as the camera panned across the images. I saw the photographic evidence that when Dr. Emoto exposed water to words like love or happiness, or upbeat, positive music, it froze into beautiful, snowflake-like designs. By contrast, when he exposed water to negative words like hate or kill, or negative, grating music, the crystals formed into clumps without any symmetry or beauty.
The guide closed the presentation by saying that Dr. Emoto’s water experiments were fascinating, especially when you consider that humans are made up of mostly water. The idea lit a lightbulb in my head, shifting my mindset. I could literally feel the pieces clicking together in my mind as a stranger said to Matlin’s character in the film: “Makes you wonder, doesn’t it? If thoughts can do that to water, imagine what our thoughts can do to us.” This was the character’s AHA moment.
The Science-Backed Outcome Of Negative Words:
It was my AHA moment too. Think about that: If thoughts or feelings can cause such beauty or harm to water, just imagine what those same thoughts can do to us. When Matlin’s character berates herself, she is harming not only her mindset, but her actual body chemistry. In fact, a 2010 study by Martin Teicher and his colleagues at Harvard Medical School found that negative words can actually affect your brain structure. So I realized that it was time to change my words, because clearly, they had a big impact. It’s time to change your words, too. Download the worksheet and let’s get started changing our harmful words.