I’m a wordaphile.

Which, while not an actual word in the dictionary, means I’m a lot nerdy about words. How they’re used, how they land, what they say about us and others.

I love to read, engage in “who gets it first” in Wordle, Scrabble and the Washington Post Crossword (the long-time married couple version).

I often have conversations with my clients, friends and others about the use of words that minimize and impose unnecessary limits. Words like “sorry” and “should,” for example.

Sure, say sorry when you have erred and wish to own that behavior, make amends.

But sorry for human acts of living and breathing? Um, no.

Yet the other day, I found myself on a bustling sidewalk. In one of those situations when a stranger and I came nearly face to face from opposite directions. At the last minute I swerved to avoid him. Yes, for a moment it was uncertain who was walking where.

But. It was me who said sorry.

He had the good sane sense to turn around once he passed to say, please don’t say sorry for that. Went on his way.

I was busted.

I let lose a filler-to-bridge-discomfort word. “Sorry” whizzed out, like someone might say when she approaches a buffet line first or speaks up at the same time as a colleague.

I was grateful that this stranger checked my language. It reminded me to be conscious about choosing when to say sorry and other minimizing words.

If you often find yourself saying sorry in a way that fills the void but doesn’t move a conversation forward, it might be a consideration to substitute thank you instead.

So, “I’m sorry it took a while to get back to you,” becomes, “thank you for your patience.”

And, “I’m sorry we got disconnected,” becomes, “thank you for calling back.”

Sure, it’s subtle, yet the impact is not. It moves us from separation to connection.

Leading True Power Question: What filler word(s) do you find yourself saying on auto-pilot? What situation(s) over the holidays call for more intentional use of words that empower you?


What I’m Reading: Get My Master List of Books Read in 2022. How many of these have you read? Which would you like to read next?

What I’ve Been Writing: Blog Round-Up

More people are reading more posts, more times, than ever before. Which was your favorite post of the year and why?

What I’ve Set Time Aside For: Personalized End of Year Assessment https://gailgaspar.com/take-intentional-action/.  Best way I know to set new benchmarks for the coming year is to see where I’ve been. Which is why I created this short assessment to help you get real with results, celebrate and go into the coming year with consciousness and confidence.

What I’m using for guided meditation: Insight Timer. As long-time readers of this newsletter know, I tried, for years, to find a way into mediation on a consistent basis. The Insight Timer app has many choices and lets you filter by instructor, time, purpose and more. Although I have the paid version, the free one is good too. If you’ve been putting this off (as I did), consider trying again. It’s now a regular part of most days (and some nights) and I look forward to it.

What I’m cooking: Flourless Chocolate Cake https://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/flourless-chocolate-cake/. I’m a chocolate and dessert affectionato’ so when I tell you this is now my best and easiest recipe for flourless chocolate cake, you can believe it.

Quote I’m Pondering: “When you create a difference in someone’s life, you not only impact their life, you impact everyone influenced by them throughout their entire lifetime. No act is ever too small. One by one, this is how to make an ocean rise.”– Danielle Doby, Ripples