Conversations: Food or Poison?

Couple in bar

Did you ever feel tired and drained of energy without an apparent reason (like building a brick house or cutting wood)? Out of clear blue sky, after being your merriest self, something happens and – bang! – your mood takes a nose dive. Now you’re happy, now you’re not. You know what I mean?

Think of the times your mood has turned around just after a conversation. One word, and the whole atmosphere changed. During my banking years, a manager in my branch confessed to me about the power he had to turn around the entire meaning of a worker’s performance review. “If I write that this person has excellent work efficiency”, he explained, “it sounds different than when I write that the person is efficient most of the time”. “Most of the time” means “not all of the time” and that doesn’t look good on the review.

Why is it that a word, or a look, or a gesture, can make such a difference?

Look at intentionality – that place where behaviour stems from. It’s not just what people say or do, but why they say or do it.

“Words can kill and words can heal”. Or, maybe not the words themselves, but the message they carry. And, just like substance, the energy that fuel words and conversations can be either nourishing, or toxic. What is the difference between a toxin and a nourishing substance? Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of “Biology of Belief”, mentions a lab experiment: they put a cell in a Petri dish. Then they add a toxin in the dish. As a result, the cell moves away from the toxin. Then they add nourishment in the Petri dish. The cell moves towards the nourishment.

Nourishment is what supports life. It adds to it. It strengthens the system. Toxins inhibit life. They take away from it. They weaken the system. This is true with gross matter. This is also true with subtle energies, with emotions, with thoughts, with words.

I have been pondering on conversations I have participated in, and how it affected me and the interlocutors. And, unlike the lab conditions, life, relationships and conversations are not Petri dishes. More often than ever, nourishment is delivered together with toxins. Just like in the kitchen. How many foods do you know that are 100% digestible, pure, uncontaminated?

That’s why you have detox Meisters in your system, like your kidneys and your liver. You eat the food, filter out the toxins, keep the nutrients, and thrive. Life goes on because life goes strong.

What is your gastronomic ideal, then? Is it to always ingest foods that are as high in nutrients as possible, with little or no toxins in them? Or is it to have such a strong and functional immune system, that, just like some Chinese Qi Gong Masters, you can eat broken glass and still be okay? Or a bit of both?

Let’s face it, living in lab conditions do not foster a strong immune system. A bit of exposure to the bad stuff makes you strong. The mythical Rasputin was said to drink poison (poison is what you call a deadly toxin) in order to build immunity to it, which he did.

So going back to conversations: a little bit of bitching, complaining and sarcasm may not kill you. It may, in fact, make you stronger. That is, if you have a good filtering system. Otherwise, you get contaminated with the bitching bug and start spreading it yourself.

Now it’s really up to you to decide if you want to ‘go Rasputin’ and participate in conversations that would kill a small lab mouse. Or, start your filtering at the oral level, and keep your conversations supportive, inspiring, uplifting, energizing, life enriching. In other words, nourishing.

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Negative value judgments

Sarcasm and Irony







Positive inquiry

Authentic self-disclosure