Gossip as Emotional Poison

by Rev. Amari Magdalena

By Rev. Amari Magdalena

The power of our words is immeasurable.  We are spell casting much of the time in our negative words and thoughts towards others.  Perhaps it is not our intention to harm someone; yet we surely do when we say something judgmental or false about someone to another person.

“Gossip is when you have a malice of intent or mindless, third-party conversation to someone about someone, something you haven’t said to that someone.”  Iyanla Vanzant

In the 1950’s when many women stayed home and experienced daily coffee klatches, gossip was rampant.  The psst, psst, psst about someone not in favor with the group spread through the group. Often the gossip was then shared with contingent groups.  High school, with it’s various groups, was often rift with gossip.  Many untruths and partial truths impacted a life to the detriment of the victim’s overall sense of self-worth and esteem.  Gossip was a form of bullying.  The work place, became yet another place for spreading emotional poison around the water cooler.  Add gossip columns of yesterday and today’s entertainment obsessional whispers and we have a whole network of damage being done daily.

“People gossip.  People are insecure, so they talk about other people so that they won’t be talked about.  They point out flaws in other people to make them feel good about themselves.” Blake Lively.

Probably none of us, in truth, are completely free of guilt with gossip, past or present. Yet as we understand the very real power of our word, it becomes more important to arrest that tendency.  Those who aspire to spiritual evolution and consciousness and gossip, are self-sabotaging themselves by failure to surrender an old dysfunctional behavior.  Awareness of the habit becomes imperative in expurgating it.

“How would your life be different if you walked away from gossip and verbal defamation?  Let today be the day you speak only the good you know of other people and encourage others to do the same.” Steve Maraboli

At times, we may want to practice with a trusted friend something that we need or want to say to another person.  If we are clear with that person our intent and equally committed to following up that conversation with the person we need to speak with, it may be harmless.

“It’s not technically gossip if you start your sentence with “I’m really concerned about __________,” (fill in the name of the person you’re not gossiping about).”  Brian P. Cleary

In shamanism, we have another tool.  I believe it to be even more powerful in addressing an issue with another in a harmless way: shamanic journeying.  We can choose to journey with our totem, with a stated intention to meet with the other person’s totem, to resolve a presented issue.  A spiritual meeting of this nature is many times more impactful than an ego-driven material world meeting. Insights acquired on the journey can help us see the core issue and find resolution.  We often discover that the conflict finds solution in ordinary reality without further discussion or perhaps we find better words to use when a physical world meeting takes place.

“Words have no wings but they can fly a thousand miles.”  Korean Proverb

Ultimately, when we surrender gossip as a communication means, we can have much more engaging conversations which present think-tank-like excitement about making positive changes in our communities.  In the world we are faced with today, finding great ideas and solutions in groups can serve as catalysts for important changes and the preservation of humanity and the planet.

“Great minds discuss ideas.  Average minds discuss events. Small minds, discuss people.” Eleanor Roosevelt

Being Grateful for What Is

by Rev. Amari Magdalena

Even though I do not have cable or satellite service to access network news, the internet takes up the gap.  If I choose, I can indulge in all the negativity and horror that is so frequently shared there. As the unfolding world, according to Yahoo, Google, Bing or another search engine’s titles glimmer at me inviting a click, I am aware of choice.  On the other hand, I do not choose to ignore that much of our small planet has its sufferings and challenges caused by war, famine, disease etc.

Exposed by my selective clicks to the sufferings of humanity, I’ve become so very aware of just how much we, in this country, take for granted.  My attention is grabbed by any random click of worldwide suffering at a level that most of us will never be exposed to.  Even if we have financial struggles and rank among the growing statistical poor in our country, we are far beyond rich compared to most of the planet.

All of this gives me a heightened appreciation for the ‘what is of my life.’  This affords a golden opportunity to remember to count my blessings and say thank you each day.  As I turn on the faucet of my apartment, I can count on sufficient, and good water, hot and cold as I choose.  My tub, showers and sinks provide venues for bathing and cleaning.  A short trip down the hallway, gives me access to electric washers and dryers for cleaning my clothing.

My apartment, though sparse by some standards without a garbage disposal, dishwasher or built in microware, is pleasant with large windows inviting light in a semi-dark Pacific Northwest environment.  My furniture, though not matched and certainly showing signs of aging, is attractive and functional.  I’ve been gifted a talent for creating beautiful art which greatly enhances the walls and making this space homey. A lovely courtyard is below me now resplendent with plants, flowers, and blooming trees.

I do not live in fear of my safety nor stress about what untoward things may be presented in my life. My shamanic training gives me a sense of protection and inner knowing as to where and when to proceed in many areas of my life.  The city I live in, compared with crowded others, is not dangerous.

Though not too close physically to my friends and family, venues like Facebook and other social media, give me a feeling of connection with those near and far.  Skype, Facetime, Google Duo, or Hangouts, afford me valuable time with my children and grandchildren. If I choose, I can engage in friendly hellos and light conversation as I collect my mail or go to the store.  My car though almost 20 years old is steady and running.  I’ve lots of low, to no cost, entertainment with my movie collection, Netflix, and Amazon Prime. My refrigerator is filled, as I choose, with nutritious or not, food beyond sufficient for nutrition, energy, and health.

Shelves are filled with books worthy of re-reads and eBooks are gathering space on my devices. Health, though at times facing the challenges of an aging body, is generally good and I’ve sufficient energy to accomplish the things most important in my life.  I recover from the challenges and feel renewed to forge on.

Some debt tends to pile up and I may be cash short on occasion, yet compared to MOST of the world, I am wealthy beyond measure.  More importantly, I feel SO abundant in all the truly important ways in this life.  For this, I am profoundly grateful.  Life IS good!

I hope that you too, can pause in all of your busyness, and take stock of being grateful for the ‘what is’ in your own life.  Being appreciative becomes a habit that brings deepening peace.  While you are expressing your gratitude, why not affirm that more of the world will know and share your experiences.  As Foster Gamble said, and demonstrated, in his movie Thrive, we were all intended to flourish.  It was/is the Divine Plan.  So, prosper and share what you can, in the ways you are able, to help others do so. And, remember what you learned in kindergarten when you are given a gift, say Thank You!