My goal for this year has been to slow things down so I can live my life more intentionally.
I’m impulsive by nature, and, much as I talk about mindfulness, I am not a naturally mindful or present person. I’m often distracted, my brain either consumed by the past or the future. When a decision needs to be made, I can get caught up in the moment and end up saying or doing something that is not aligned with my personal values.
Recently I decided that I wanted to come up with questions I can ask myself in the moment when I am about to say or do something. The questions would be unique to me; they’d be questions that would help me to check in with who I am and be sure that I am acting in a way that’s centered around my values and not other people’s expectations.
The questions I came up with are NOT unique to me, as it turns out. In fact, they’re almost verbatim the questions that I’ve heard people recommend in rooms of recovery – questions to ask yourself before you speak.
1. Is it kind?
2. Is it helpful?
3. Is it true?
I had forgotten about these questions. Their intent, I think, is to help people to realize that we don’t always have to say everything we think – particularly if what we want to say is not kind, helpful, or true. I mostly think of these questions when it comes to what I say, but they’re also effective for checking in before I act. I tweaked them, just a little, so that I could use them every time I need to make a decision about what to say or do.
- Am I being honest?
- Am I being kind?
- Am I being authentically myself?
It’s early in the morning as I write this, and I have a day full of decisions ahead of me. Will those questions help me to slow down and be intentional with my choices and my words? We shall see.