Paula Schneider Have you ever had the experience of knowing that while you’re speaking or listening an entirely different dialogue is going on in your head? I have, and it’s a disconcerting feeling. Recently while speaking with an acquaintance, I felt distracted and distanced, and was aware that I was thinking of other things while she was talking to me. I came away feeling unsettled, like I hadn’t said what I really wanted to say. A few days later, a friend was telling me about a brainstorming session she participated in at work, during which she was not able to speak what was on her mind. She, too, left the situation feeling unfulfilled and dissatisfied. Then we discussed why neither of us spoke our truth. One thing we came up with was fear that our unspoken words may have hurt another’s feelings and that was why we were hesitant to verbalize them aloud. Sometime later, I began thinking about when it is appropriate for us to speak our truth. I believe it should be done judiciously and if there is a chance someone else might be hurt by your words, it’s best to keep quiet. I am reminded, too, of the “THINK” principle, good to use before posting an email or a FB comment: Is your remark true (T)? Is it helpful (H)? Is it inspiring (I)? Is it necessary (N)? Is it kind (K)? I would say that before speaking your truth you might ask yourself these five questions. I actually keep them posted by my home computer so I can remember! In his book, Being and Vibration, Joseph Rael (Beautiful Painted Arrow) tells us that his grandmother passed on the wisdom of the importance of sound by telling beautiful stories of how everything in our world is sound—our food, houses, bodies. Sounds are very powerful; words are powerful. She believes that the activity of sound actually created humans, a similar philosophy to the Hindu belief associated with the sound, Om. So, the next time you feel the impulse to speak your truth, you might consider taking a small pause, a breath, and ask yourself the THINK questions. Then, and only then, might you move forward with your comments and suggestions. That way you may avoid feelings of regret and instead feel emotions of mastery and empowerment, especially if you decide to remain silent and then a short time later be aware of other wiser and more appropriate responses.